Josh Sweat Draft Profile

Josh Sweat draft profile

Strengths:

  • Talented tackler with impressive reactive athleticism
  • Still athletic despite injuries
  • Can play with a hand down or standing
  • Uses long arms to ensnare, wrap, and finish runners
  • Hands are active and can swipe away
  • Capable of flipping hips over the top of pass setting tackles
  • Can move inside as a rusher
  • Gives punching tackles a moving target to strike

Analysis: Florida State has had its fair share of defensive ends make it to the NFL, which may have helped Josh Sweat pick the Seminoles as a five-star, top-10 overall recruit nationally coming out of Virginia. He missed most of his senior season of high school due to injury but still made an immediate impact in his first year on campus at Tallahassee. Sweat played in all 13 games, starting nine, made 41 tackles, five for loss, and two sacks. He finished the year on a high note, making two tackles for loss and a sack against Houston in the Peach Bowl. Knee surgery sidelined Sweat early in the 2016 season, but he came back to use his length and agility as an edge rusher to affect opponents’ offenses. The sophomore started 10 games, playing in 12 overall, and was credited with 41 tackles, 11.5 for loss, and seven sacks (all coming in the final eight weeks). Sweat took that success and ran with it, starting 12 games, posting 56 tackles, 12.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, with three breakups. He chose not to play in the Independence Bowl against Southern Miss to prepare for the NFL Draft. He still has explosive athleticism despite knee injuries that have ravaged him. Versatile can play inside or out, hand in the dirt or stand up. Punch is forceful. Active hands throughout pass rush.

Weaknesses:

  • Slow out of stance
  • Frame carries a lean lower body
  • Struggles against power
  • Drops head and loses sight on ball carrier
  • Decelerates when approaching the edge
  • Inconsistent effort
  • Scouts are concerned with his medicals
  • Had severe knee injury his senior year of high school and a meniscus injury in 2016

Analysis: Josh Sweat has the length, frame and athletic qualities to fit right in as a 3-4 SAM or rush linebacker, but he needs to go to school with a position coach or a talented veteran to help unlock his pass rush potential. Sweat’s initial quickness and issues with contact balance could hinder his ability to play with his hand down. He has the ability to become a decent NFL starter but there is a wide disparity between his ceiling and floor thanks to concerns surrounding the current and future health of his knee. He struggles against powerful lineman and always tries to beat them with speed. This would work in most instances, except he’s dreadful off the snap always the last one to fire out on tape. That puts him at a disadvantage right away. He seems to get slower as he rushes around the edge, instead of picking up his pace. Effort level is hit or miss. Durability issues.

What the scouts say: “I wish I could just hang onto my draft grade until after we saw how he does with combine medicals. If he checks out medically then I see a coachable player with a ton of upside as a pass rusher.” – AFC East Coast scout

Size: 6’4 251lbs

Draft Grade: 4th Round

NFL Comparison: Tyus Bowser

Draft Projection: Round 3-5

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