Iowa, Northwestern, Nebraska
Derrick has incredible strength. He consistently bull rushes lineman with ease and has obvious power in his tackles. This power allows him to rush as both a DE and a LB. He has natural leverage and gets under the pads of linemen with ease. He knows how to use his hands violently knocking away defenders to allow him to operate cleanly. He has just enough quickness to make lineman miss on blocks as well. He plays with a high motor for the most part. He knows hot to follow a play and generally takes a good angle to the ball carrier. He understands how to sit in his zone and read the QB's eyes.
He is not the best athlete on the field. He does not have elite speed or quickness and lacks ideal height for both a DE and a LB. He is not extremely fluid and looks rigid when in pursuit. He has extremely low zone awareness when in pass coverage and completely fixates on the QB. While defending the run, his lack of height allows him to lose sight of the ball too often and tends to have a delayed reaction on a lot of plays. He can be inconsistent at times with angles and sometimes takes his foot off the gas when in backside pursuit.
Derrick has a lot of gameplay experience playing since his true freshman year. He has played as both a DE and a LB. His most productive season came as a DE during his junior campaign, but still had reps as a senior even through he primarily played as a LB. He has great play strength combined with his natural leverage of being short for a LB allows him to excel at the bull rush. He also has violent hands allowing to to often win his battles when rushing the QB. As a LB, he often has issues seeing the ball resulting in some delayed reactions. He is a powerful tackler with a high motor typically. He will pull off the gas when in backside pursuit some times. He usually takes good angles to the ball carrier as well. In pass coverage, he does not cover man to man but does cover in zone. He is still in space and doesn't always look fluid. He has terrible zone awareness and if too fixated on the QBs eyes not usually knowing where the closest receiver is to him. He will be limited in what he can provide in the NFL but his power and ability to bull rush could become an immediate limited asset for team.
Pass Rush Ability:
Big Play Ability
Against The Run: