Scouting Report: Marcell Dareus
Disruptive is the first word that comes to mind when watching Dareus play. Dareus possesses ideal size and weight for the defensive tackle position and he’s surprisingly nimble for a man his size. His first step isn’t as quick as other prospects but he’s relentless after the snap. Dareus has a knack for making plays when it matters most and playing in Alabama’s 3-4 defense gives him an added bonus of versatility that other prospects don’t have. He is probably best suited to play as a 1-gap DT but his combination of size and strength along with his experience in the 3-4 make him a potential 5-technique defensive end in the NFL. Dareus could potentially be the #1 pick in the draft and if not, he’s a top 5 pick at worst.
Dareus is strong and plays with a wide base. He does a nice job using his hands to keep run blockers at a distance and finds the ball carrier quickly. Once he identifies the play, Dareus can get off his blocks quickly and flow to the ball. For his size, he moves laterally very well and has a relentless motor when chasing the play. Dareus also does a nice job of anchoring when the runs come in his direction. When he is unable to get off the block, he still finds a way to maintain gap integrity and re-route the runner.
This is the area where Dareus has made a name for himself. His initial step isn’t quick but after that, he bursts through the line. His pass rush moves are limited and he needs to do a better job of changing up his rushes and keeping the blockers guessing. Overall, he’s disruptive in the passing game. If he can’t get to the quarterback, he gets a nice push on the pocket and can flush the quarterback to the outside. When that fails, he does a tremendous job of getting his hands up to tip the pass.
Dareus may have the best awareness of all defensive tackles in this class. It’s rare to see a young defensive lineman that keeps his eyes up at all times, but Dareus does. Either through film study or instincts, Dareus has a knack for identifying the quarterbacks hot read and can get into the passing lane. When he can’t get to the QB, he shows nice timing getting his hands up to tip the pass. Dareus can also identify trap blocks quickly and knows how to identify when the offense is setting up a screen.
Overall, Dareus does a nice job of using his hands in the run game. He know how to keep the blocker off his body and uses his hands to disengage the blocker and pursue the ball carrier. However, Dareus needs to do a better job of using his hands while rushing the passer. His pass rush moves are limited, but this is common among young defensive tackle prospects. In time, he’ll learn to use his hands more effectively and become more of a crafty pass rusher that doesn’t rely on his speed/strength combination alone.
Size, Speed, Strength and Agility
Dareus is surprisingly quick on his feet for such a large guy. He possesses ideal size for the defensive tackle position and can play numerous spots along the line. Dareus has the strength to hold up against double-team blocks while being responsible for multiple gaps, making him an interesting prospect to play in a 3-4 defense. His first step is slow but once he gets moving, he’s like a runaway truck on a steep, downhill grade. Dareus showed tremendous agility at the NFL Scouting Combine and moved through bag drills like a linebacker would. Not as strong in the upper body as some other DT prospects but lower body strength is solid. Plays with a relentless motor.
Dareus was suspended for the first two games of the 2010 season after the NCAA determined that he received benefits from a sports agent. Dareus also had a bit of a Michael Oher type upbringing. His father died when he was six years old and his mother is now in a wheelchair. Dareus also lived with several different families, including one of his football coaches while he was in high school. If that wasn’t rough enough, the coach he was living was killed in an auto accident. Through it all, Dareus has stayed strong.
2010: Played in 11 games with 11 starts.
2009: Played in all 14 games with 4 starts.
2008: Played in 8 games.
Unknown major at Alabama.
Awards & Honors
2010: 1st team All-SEC. 3rd team All-American.
2009: 2010 BCS National Championship Defensive MVP.
Prospect Video Clips
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