2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Drake Nevis
Despite not being a full-time starter until his senior season, LSU’s Drake Nevis is considered one of the top defensive tackles in the 2011 NFL Draft class.
He’s not the most familiar name on the board, but don’t be surprised to see Nevis climb towards the top 10 by the time the Draft actually rolls around in April.
He was a consistent playmaker in his last two years in college and, other than Auburn’s Nick Fairley, may be the best interior defensive lineman this class has to offer.
Player Name: Drake Nevis
Position: Defensive Tackle
Arm: 31 1/2
Like Glenn Dorsey, one of his predecessors at LSU, Drake Nevis is known for having a mean streak. Despite not having ideal size for an NFL defensive tackle, Nevis has the strength necessary to help collapse the interior of an opposing offensive line and disrupt a play before it can develop. He has a good first step, giving him a solid jump off of the snap. His smaller stature helps his quickness when facing slower interior linemen, and he’s a very solid tackler in the backfield, as evidenced by his 13 tackles for loss as a senior in 2010. Nevis has an uncanny nose for the ball as a defensive tackle, which makes the jobs of the players around him easier. His athleticism makes him disruptive, especially against the run.
He’s a little small for his position, which likely limits him to being a 4-3 defensive tackle at the next level. Nevis also needs to do a better job of getting low off the snap and using that leverage to push opposing offensive linemen backwards. He will have a problem facing off against bigger offensive linemen if he doesn’t add some bulk to his 285-pound frame. He’s still relatively inexperienced, as he only started a total of four games through his first three collegiate seasons with the Tigers. His quickness will help him, but if he isn’t able to add some thickness to his body, he will struggle with helping to stuff running lanes. At 6’2″, he’s also a bit shorter than your standard NFL defensive tackle.
Despite his physical limitations, Nevis is talented enough to where he’ll likely be one of the first 20 players taken in this draft. He’s one of very few viable 4-3 defensive tackles in a draft dominated by 3-4 edge pass rushers. Adding bulk is rarely an issue for incoming pros, so Nevis should be in solid NFL condition by the time training camp rolls around in August. He has all the skills necessary to succeed at the next level, and if he’s able to physically adapt to the pro style, he should be a very solid pro for years to come. Our primary draft analyst, Keet Bailey, has Nevis being drafted 11th overall by the Houston Texans in his most recent mock draft.
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