Kevin Dodd- DE Clemson 

6-5, 277, (U) 4.86 Split-1.7,

34" Arms, 22 Reps,

30.5" Vert, 9'2" Broad,

7.18 3-Cone, 4.44 SS, 

The Clemson Three Part III.

By TOM

Dodd is one of the new odd passrushers. I don't know if there is a sea change in edgerushers, but this Draft is packed with 270-280 pound edgerushers. Now none of these guys are going to turn the corner with 4.5 speed like Von Miller, but when your a 270 pound edgerusher, how much speed do you need. Do you need 4.7 speed like Lawson. Is a 4.8 in the Forty Okay, like Dodd and Nassib? You even have Day Two guys who are larger than normal rushers, like Fanaika (271) and Kaufusi (an astonishing 285-pounds). Now Kaufusi ran a disappointing 4.88, but he also ran an impressive 1.69 10-yard split. So what do teams do with that?

Or is this just an aberration? Maybe next year all the rushers will be down to 250, like in previous years. Just blast off the line, shove off the O-tackles arms, and hits the QB in less than 2 seconds. These guys are different. They have more strength and power. So they rely on their speed less, and hand fighting, rips, and bull rushes more. They rely on relentlessness and continuing to move forward when the O-tackle gets his hands in their shirt. They are much harder to stalemate than smaller rushers. They also rely on lateral quickness and have the hands and power to change direction while engaged with blockers. 

With their bigger size comes a lot more power. They shove off blockers with more force and consistency. When big O-tackles grab smaller rushers shirt they are done. With these guys they can dig lower and continue to power the tackles back. They have stronger hands and arms, to slap and punch arms and hands off their shirts with much more consistency. They can control the O-tackles arms more, and cross their faces when the QB tries to escape and redirects. 

So maybe they aren't as effective in the instant pass rushes where the speed rusher flashes into the QB before he can react. But they have the strength to rush for longer. It is harder to stop them completely in the rush. If the QB has to holds onto the ball, and Dodd's or Lawson's first moves don't work, it doesn't matter because they can slap off the hands, redirect, and make more moves than the smaller 250 pound guys can. 

Both Dodd and Lawson are prime examples of that. "It's crazy,” Lawson said about Dodd. "That's just great knowing you’ve got a partner beside you that’s going to help you along the way, and open up your game and make it easy for you. And I can open up his game, make it easy for him. We just feed off each other." They both played with a hand in the dirt, and standing up regularly at Clemson last season. 

Dodd is so good at crossing the ORT's face, and then stopping and shoving him off and crossing him again. He crossed the ORT's face against UNC three times, and then hit the QB trying to flee the pocket. That was an incredible rush. He was controlling the ORT with his hands, quickness, and power. When he punches the ORT they feel a lot more impact than when a 250-pound speed rusher does, and he is not as limited athletically as a 290-pound 5-tech or a 300-pound DT. He can dance out on the edge with his great quick feet. A 7.18 in the 3-Cone Drill is very impressive for a 6-5 277-pound man.

Both Lawson and Dodd also are stand up rushers and will play OLB in odd and even fronts. "I ain’t fighting Shaq," Dodd said. "We're not the No. 1 defensive end right now. There's a lot of hype about me and [Shaq] fighting each other [for Draft position]. But the goal is to be No. 1 and neither of us is the No. 1 defensive end." But they are so closely entwined that it is hard to separate them. "It all starts from the coaching," Dodd said. "We've all been coached by the same coach. Coach Hobby has a great philosophy. I believe in it. I trust in it and I brought into it. I just trusted the man that was leading us and it has gotten me this far." So it is not shocking that they look similar on the field, when they are using similar techniques taught to them by their coaches.

They play the D-end position a lot like the Pats have done the past few years. "He’s a complete player now," Swinney said. "He really had no football foundation when he arrived here. He had so much to learn. He had the tools, but he just really had a long way to go. Give him the credit for putting the work in. He worked on his weaknesses and things like that. He’s bringing size, athleticism, and he's a great pass rusher." They both will line up at D-end, but sometimes their both standing up, sometimes only one of them is standing up, and sometimes both have their hands in the dirt. 

It really is amazing. Dodd really came out of nowhere to be a star at Clemson last season. "Some people have grown up as stars, this and that," Swinney said. "But if we went by what the Internet said, Kevin Dodd wouldn’t be here. Adam Humphries wouldn't be here. They weren't sexy enough recruits. If you’re only taking them, Brian Carter wouldn't be here. He'd played just about a year and a half, and Brad Scott came to me and said don't even watch the tape. He's not a very good player. He's athletic. He can run. He's a maybe guy." So maybe he can play OLB in the NFL.

He is such an impossible athlete for such a big guy. "A lot of teams knew I could pass rush," Dodd said. "But the question was could I move in space? I wanted to show teams I could move and I got the job done." He showed he could move around in space, and did drop a little at Clemson. "That was the focus today," Dodd said at his Proday. "Coming out of the combine teams wanted to know if I could play outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. I did my best to do what I could, but personally I feel comfortable playing either (OLB or DE]. I did it and dropped in space here." So Dodd has worked himself into a great player. He has the athleticism to be a 277-pound 3-4 OLB. That is not something you see everyday, except in this years Draft.

He is a smart and studious kid who stayed in school to get his degree in sociology. "Kevin is a great story," Dabo Swinney said. "Just makes your heart feel good. And then the fact that he stayed in school so he could graduate this May. I think that speaks volumes of just how he thinks." It is amazing how hard he had to work behind he scenes, with no one watching, to make himself into such a great young man and football player.

Dodd's 34" arms where a great stat at the Combine. Great size for a rusher. Might be a 4-3 strongside DE only. He pulled up and looked like he pull a hammy running his Forty. He is an all-out all the time competitor going after the QB. He had an incredible 46 pressures in 2015. Plays with great eyes. His Combine stats were a little low for a speed rusher, but when you factor in that he is almost 280-pounds they are really remarkable. He is a one year wonder, who was backing up older players his first three years at Clemson. He is redshirt junior. Exploded out of the gates in 2015 with 12 Sacks, 23.5 TFL, and 62 tackles, including 11 tackles and 4 Sacks in the playoffs.

Dodd is the rusher who I think is the best athlete of the big speed rushers. "I'm going to go out there with the same approach, executing plays, tackling the man with the ball. Just go out there and play football," Dodd said before the Champ game, where he had three sacks. "Best players have got to play well in order for us to win. That's what I intend to do. I'm just ready to play." The top guys are all quick and strong, but Dodd is the guy with the best bend and athleticism.

He had 12 Sacks despite an injury in the middle of the season. "He's a guy that had the focus and the maturity to watch and pay attention, to listen, where so many young guys, the norm is certainly not that," Clemson DC Brent Venables said. "The norm is to wait until 'my time' to do all of the learning and growing then. A lot of times that window passes guys, but he's unique in that he chose to pay attention when he's sitting on the sideline. " He didn't have a Sack in five games as he recovered from the Injury, and then went on to have 7.5 Sacks in the final five games. 

I think that run, and a great showing at the Combine, makes him the first passrusher off the Board. "Talking about defensive linemen, you're talking about that great first step, and he has it," coach Marion Hobby said. "You talk about being physical at the point of attack. He can do that. Can he rush the passer? Yes. Does he play with great motor? Yes. Does he have a high football IQ? Yes. I think his future is really bright. If somebody takes a chance and drafts Kevin Dodd, whether it's this year or next year, they'll have themselves a gem, a real gem." I agree.

Additional Notes:

ND: They doubled him right off the start in the Notre Dame game. Who is this guy? He is a greater fighter on the edge. He sacked the QB twice and I have never seen him play before. #98 Kevin Dodd. I think I just found a sleeper. 

FLA ST: Great leap when he is in front of the QB and he can go up high and bat the pass down. He will grab the RB trying to sneak out of the backfield into a pattern, and I wouldn't say cover him, but certainly stop him from running the pattern. 

Miami: when they blitz the LBs up the gut, he will blast off up field and then stop rushing a little when he sees the RB in the flat, and take away that option. He can then break off the RB, and get his hands on the QB, when the linebackers flush him but can't bring him down. I love his instincts and smarts in the rush. Interesting that he garnered more attention than Lawson early. They double him a lot in the 1st quarter. Nice blast off, and he has a powerful inside move, with an outside hand punch, that flushes the QB almost instantly. He scares the QB sometimes.

UNC: Man he has suddenness in his shoulders Dipping inside. He headed up field against UNC, it was only one play, but I never saw anyone turn that quickly through the ORT to the QB (7:32 in the 4th). Sometimes gets stuck in the Bullrush. While he puts the ORT on skates, he doesn't always shed him consistently. He can take on the chop block from the ORT, with his inside shoulder! Then redirect and hit the QB. How does a guy his size get that low without falling down? The word freak comes to mind. The TE will chip on him more than Lawson. Great hustle. He will run down field on off tackles runs away, and when the RB cuts back ten yards down field, he can track him down and tackle him hard.

Oklahoma: It is so impressive how this guy moves on the field for a 270 pound guy. He's not really 270 is he? He does a nice job getting up field fast as the ORT retreats. Then he can read the QB as he fakes out the ORT. Then can go and hit the QB as he takes off from the pocket. He is a very smart rusher. Nice inside move when he is lined up outside the TE, and he can burst around him and power into the ORT on 3rd and 1. They will line up in a four man front with Dodd and Lawson standing up like Patriots DE/LBs in an even front. He can take on the FB, toss him aside, and still hit the RB. Man would he look good in the Pats defense

Dodd Vs UNC:

Okay, I hated that Tape (Alexander Vs Alabama), but this Tape is also short, and you get a great look at Lawson and Dobbs. I keep doing too much, and can't piece together the 1st Round to show off all the new Profiles. So this will be quick and semi-painless, as I have to put my Humpty-Dumpty Mock Draft back together again. Plus, I'm only doing this because I think the Pats, however slim, have a shot at Alexander, and I think he was made to play slot corner in the NFL, but he also looks like he can play outside as well.

Alexander #2 does a great job staying with the big Speedster Hollins. You will be hearing a lot about him next year (0:01). I like Lawson #90 as an OLB in a 3-4 a little more than Dodd. He gets a little stuck as they fake the option. But watch the second burst, from a stand up position, that blasts him past the OLT and right into the QB. That is a 270-pound edgerusher. Dobbs stunts inside and gets stuck.

Alexander bails right before the snap. Watch the feet and hips as he turns and shuffles back in off coverage. Both Lawson and Dobbs stand up here like outside linebackers in a Patriots even front. Lawson does this a lot. He tries to duck under the OLT and gets caught, but watch how he still freakishly drives the OLT back to the QB. Dobbs gets doubled by the two RBs, and can't punch them off (0:10). This is such a great look at Alexander's swivel hips as he bails sideways down field. Then watch how quick he snaps forward after he gets that foot planted (0:18). You also get a peek at how low Lawson can go. Then the slip, and watch how he regains his feet while still moving towards the QB.

Watch Alexander's feet as he weaves in front of the WR, and slows him down enough to destroy the timing of the throw. That is great coverages right there. It frustrates the WR so much that he finally reaches out and grabs Alexander and the pattern is over (0:24). Some times the rush is just about hustle. Watch Dobbs #98, who is always on the strongside. He gets caught by the ORT. But watch this stop and go move as the QB takes off. He stops, slaps the arms, and then suddenly Rips under the ORT, and forces the bad throw.

Up in press were I like him. He has outside contain. Watch the quick hop inside when the WR breaks inside. He has such great quick feet and a hop in coverage. This is a nice play by Lawson. Watch him power the OLT back, with his arms extended, to force the RB inside (0:34). Watch him move backwards down the seam like a slot corner (0:41). Remember Dobbs is a 275-pound passrusher. He is standing up here like an OLB. He charges up field, and then turns into the ORT with his long arms. He fakes inside and knocks him backwards with his hands. He sees the QB take off. So he crosses the ORT's body, and slams into the QB as he throws.

Covering in the slot. You get a great look at him transitioning into the shuffle, and then out of the shuffle into a full run. His hips are so effortless. Lawson is standing up on the edge. He bursts into the OLT's outside shoulder, and rides it right to the RB on the play action (1:00). You get a great look at Alexander hoping back in coverage. He turns it into a kind of gallop. Then watch the snap as he changes direction once he reads the play (1:16). You have to watch Lawson here. Just in case you think I'm full of it. He is standing up, and he bails right before the snap to cover the RB, like a Patriots OLB. He gets outside with nice controlled speed. Weaves between the blockers, still in coverage, right at the RB. If that pass was accurate he was going to kill that RB.

Back outside. He steps up into Press. Watch the little hop back that he likes to do. Then the effortless hips turning to run with the WR with his upper body twisted back to watch the QB. He might have the best hips in the Draft (1:23). Both Dobbs and Lawson are standing up again. Watch Lawson's blast off that gets the OLT off balance a little. Then he gets real low, and pulls his shirt down to get him even more off balance. Then he rams him into the ground and pounces on the QB (1:31). I also love him in Press on the Blindside. He can play there in the NFL. Watch the snap in the hips as he has to swivel them outside, and then watch them snap back over 180-degrees as the WR break inside (1:40). This might be my favorite play by Dobbs all year. He blasts off inside, as the linebacker is blitzing outside of him. The ORT dives down at his knees to chop him. Watch how low he goes without losing his balance. He gets his shoulder pads down so low they protect his knees, and the  ORT goes down by himself. Then he has a lane to the QB. Watch the acceleration as he bursts to the QB, and rips him down to force the bad throw. You also get a good look at Lawson getting real low and stopping the chop block with his hands.

Alexander steps up on Hollins in Press again. He bails a little before the snap, as the LBs blitzed. So the safeties are probably up. You just get to see his great feet shuffling back to keep his body in position so he can see the WR and the QB. He gives up the catch, but that was only the second catch in the first three quarter by a top prospect in next years Draft (1:48). I like the rushes of Dobbs and Lawson as well. Dobbs rushes standing up, but turns the corner a little too late. Lawson stops the TE from getting outside, and then pops the OLT back into the QB.

You great a perfect look at Alexander's technique here. He turns to the side right off the snap. Then he shuffles downfield eyeing the QB the whole way. The WR breaks in as the QB slows. This is why he goes in the 2nd Round. You would have liked to seen him get that ball, or at least make a play on it. The QB throws high and he can't make a play on it. Both Lawson and Dobbs absorb cut blocks and can't get pressure (1:58). Up in Press. This is when I like him the best. When he stays in Press and uses his feet to slow the WR, so the QB can't throw to him. See how he weaves and hops in front of him with his feet so that the WR can't get into his pattern. The QB wanted to go to him, and when he couldn't he panicked and threw the ball away (2:07). Dobbs has a nice rush. He gets a nice shoulder punch. Then a Rip. Then watch the ultra quick spin move that is so fast the ORT can't stop. Then the QB bails, and he slaps the OLT's arms down, and crosses his face for the third time. Meanwhile Lawson gets stuck in the triple team. He gets jammed by the OLT and OLG, the OLT picks up the blitzer, so the RB comes over to jam him as well.

Alexander is suddenly in inside leverage. He turns towards the WR and shuffle down field with him. Lawson blasts off a little late, but runs past the double team block. But the TE is able to wash him past the QB. But he is able to stop, change direction, and jump on top of the QB (2:19). Watch Alexander's head and feet as he sticks to the WR like fresh dog crap on his shoe (damn puppy!). Then watch him stop as the WR cuts out, and he gives him nothing (2:29). That is just great coverage, and elite quickness and COD.

So they move him off the line and he zones it up. I don't like that decision. But watch Lawson here. He blasts off the OLT's outside shoulder. The stocky RB jams his shoulder into his gut. But he just keeps going, and shoves the ORT past the QB, and hits the QB to help make the bad pass, That looked like a 270-pound rusher there (2:48). I also like Dobbs rush as well. He blast off into the double. Shoves it off, and bounces inside, where he jams the ORT into the QB's way as he throws. He looked like a 277-pound guy on that rush.

Here Alexander is confusing things before the snap. He does that sometimes. They snap the ball before he is ready. But watch the quickness as he snaps his head back, and sees they are running right at him. Watch the elite athleticism as he leaps over the blocker. Lawson does a great job getting up field and turning the RB inside  (2:57). Alexander stays in front of the motion man, and checks the play into a match up zone. This causes confusion as he takes the guy who breaks outside, and his teammate in the middle doesn't take the deep guy (3:15). Lawson uses a little head and shoulder fake in the speed rush. He runs past the OLT into the QB. Dobbs tries to split the double. He does, but it is too late.

They have Alexander burst past the LOS for some reason (3:36). They need to calm things down a little here. They put Alexander back in Press. He turns and runs down the seam with the big WR (3:43). He switches sides again. They really move him all over the place to try and confuse the QB. He gets great position on the WR in the Flat, and the QB cannot throw into that position so he has to take off (3:54). Watch this Rip move by Dobbs. He blasts off. Slaps the arms down, and then swings his arms around as he dips and rips as quick as I've ever seen past the ORT. Watch the instant turning of the corner, as he uses the ORT's body to turn him faster.

Alexander hops inside on the fake, and then has to spin back around, putting his back to the QB and WR, and back into coverage. That was risky, but a great recovery. Meanwhile, Lawson and Dobbs do what they do best. Lawson breaks inside to hit the QB, and Dobbs runs the arc outside to try and hit the QB (4:11). Watch this coverage by Alexander. He waits for the WR in off, and then is instantly running on the WR's hip. He goes for the fake inside, and then watch the suddenness in his hips as he twists back outside to defend the pass. Those are some elite hips right there (4:20). Lawson shows his 270 pound size with a power rush into the double team. He sticks his inside shoulder into the OLT and dings him back. While Dobbs runs by the ORT, but it is too late.

Dodd Vs. UNC:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E90WWewrbWk

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Dodd's Bio:

 

I hate it when universities like Clemson don't support their athletes once they are done with them. And you have to go to other Websites like Sports-Reference.com, just to find their star players seasons Stats:


Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2012 Clemson ACC FR DL 1 6 7 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
*2013 Clemson ACC SO DE 1 3 2 5 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
*2014 Clemson ACC SO DE 5 5 3 8 2.5 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 Clemson ACC JR DE 15 46 16 62 24.0 12.5 0 0 0 0 1 1
Career Clemson 55 27 82 26.5 12.5 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

 

Has served as a reserve defensive end in his first three active seasons ... has 21 tackles, three tackles for loss and four quarterback pressures in 219 snaps over 24 games in his career ... had a game-tying-high six tackles, a game-high two tackles for loss and one sack in the 2015 Spring Game.

2014: Had eight tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and three quarterback pressures in 92 snaps over 12 games ... had two tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss in 18 snaps at No. 12 Georgia on Aug. 30 ... had one tackle for loss in 19 snaps against SC State on Sept. 6 ... had one tackle in 13 snaps against NC State on Oct. 4 ... had one tackle in three snaps at Wake Forest on Nov. 6 ... had two tackles, one tackle for loss and two quarterback pressures in 26 snaps against Georgia State on Nov. 22 ... had one tackle in six snaps against No. 24 Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 29.

2013: Had seven tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss and one quarterback pressure in 40 snaps over four games ... had four tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss in 23 snaps against SC State on Sept. 7 ... had three tackles in 15 snaps against Wake Forest on Sept. 28 ... suffered a season-ending injury and received a medical redshirt.

2012: Had six tackles in 87 snaps over eight games ... had one tackle in eight snaps against Ball State on Sept. 8; it was his first career game ... played 14 snaps against Furman on Sept. 15 ... had two tackles in 13 snaps at Wake Forest on Oct. 25 ... had three tackles in 22 snaps at Duke on Nov. 3 ... enrolled in January.

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