Quinn is a big “boom-bust” prospect in my opinion. Missing the 2010 season could be a huge bump in the road for him, but he has the natural athleticism and raw talent to make it as a NFL defensive end. His biggest asset is his explosiveness, which ranks among the top five in the entire 2011 NFL Draft. It allows him to make up for some of his deficiencies in the run game and allow him to compensate for his sluggishness off of the line. Although he appears to be a strong defensive end, he has the athleticism and good combination of size/speed to be an outside linebacker. There were several occasions where he dropped into coverage for the Tarheels, so playing coverage as a linebacker isn’t completely foreign to him. He reminds me of the Giant’s defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul from last year; an extremely athletic talent who is also extremely raw. It will all come down to his ability to develop his skills while putting on some muscle to help him become a better run defender. Despite some deficiencies, his overall talent will be too hard to overlook. I expect that he’ll be taken in the Top 10.
Although his run defense isn’t the best, there is a strong foundation to build on. He doesn’t have the prototypical size or strength to fend off big offensive linemen when playing the run, but he does a solid job of using his arms to keep distance and create separation. When the run goes away from him, he does a great job of staying home to play the reverse or cutback. He also does an outstanding job of working his way down the line of scrimmage when the run goes away, but will need to work on his tackling. However, when the run comes towards him, he doesn’t have the strength to stand up to blockers at the point of attack. One of the best ways that he will be able to counteract this is by working on getting off the line quicker, which would allow him to catch the blocker off guard. More often than not, he tackles too high and does use proper technique when bringing runners down. If he can continue to work on his strength against blockers and improve his tackling technique, he could be an excellent every-down defensive end in the NFL.
Quinn is a terrific pass rusher who has the athleticism and potential to be a nightmare for NFL quarterbacks. When rushing, he uses a good mix of different techniques from the rip to the club to help him edge past offensive tackles and get to the passer. His speed is good enough for him to slide around the outside of tackles, but he also has the strength and quickness to force his way to the quarterback on the inside. Sometimes will depend too much on his speed to get around the corner and doesn’t round his rush off properly, ending in him over-running the quarterback. Despite his outstanding burst and quickness, he has a tendency to be lazy off of the snap, sometimes ending up as the last one to come out of his stance. He was able to depend on his burst and explosion at the college level, but will need to refine his skills to be consistently successful in the NFL.
There is a bit of inconsistency in this category for Quinn. During some plays, he does a good job of reading and plays the run or pass very well. On other plays, he tends to battle against the offensive lineman with his head down and doesn’t do a good job of keeping his eyes on where the ball is going. However, his terrific athleticism usually allows him to make up for this lack of awareness. That may not be so easy in the NFL, so he will definitely need some work in this department of his game.
Even though he doesn’t have the desired size to play the run, he uses great hand placement and technique to make up for it. Uses locked out arms to keep distance between linemen and himself and sheds block using leverage and power. However, due to his lack of strength, he sometimes struggles to get his hands under linemen’s pads against the run and gets washed down the line.
Depending on what chapter in his life you are looking at, he is either a character guy or a guy with character concerns. As a senior in high school, he battled back from brain surgery to become one of the top defensive players in the nation. Before his junior year at North Carolina, he received illegal benefits and then lied to investigators about it on numerous occasions, which led to his suspension from the North Carolina football team. Despite the suspension, he has been described as a quality character and teammate from numerous people within the UNC organization. He is young and still has plenty of years ahead of him during which he can continue to develop his athleticism and fill in some of the holes in his game.
2009: Started in 13 of 13 games.
2008: Started in 12 of 13 games after taking over the defensive end position due to an injury.
Was enrolled at the General College at North Carolina.
Awards & Honors
2010: Pre-Season First-Team All-American by Blue Ribbon and Sporting News, Pre-Season candidate for Nagurski, Lombardi, Hendricks and Lott Awards
2009: First-Team All ACC, ACC Defensive Player of the Year runner-up, Second-Team All-American by CBSsports.com
2008: Brian Piccolo Award, ACC Defensive Player of the Year finalist
Prospect Video Clips
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