40: 5.00 (estimated)
Shows some quickness upfield to shoot gaps, get penetration, and make plays in the backfield. Uses his hands well and has a nice swim move. Flashes potential as a bull rusher, getting his hands inside blockers and delivering jolt off the snap. Uses his hands well to get leverage, and does a nice job getting off blocks at the point of attack to make the stop. Does a nice job getting his hands up to tip passes at the line. Plays with a good motor and will fight through double teams.
Lacks the ideal quickness or first step to really impact as a pass rusher. Best when he's playing inside, and doesn't have the burst to challenge edge as an end. Needs to get bigger and stronger and can get pushed around inside.
Bair is a technically sound, stack and shed defender that is productive, but doesn't pop on tape. He started two years at Oregon, with his best year coming as a senior where he had 47 tackles, 16 for loss, 3 sacks, and 8 passes defended. He plays predominantly DE in their 3-4 scheme, but will also get work inside and outside when they go to a 4-man alignment. He began his career as a tight end, but moved to defense during his redshirt year. He'll turn 27 in November, having spent 2 years before arriving at Oregon on an LDS mission. He is married and started his own small-time used car business.
Bair is a player I think will have a bright future in the NFL, although some teams will be scared off by his age. If he can bulk up and get up to around the 290-300 pound range, he should be a very good fit for a 3-4 team at defensive end. He's the type of guy that eventually develops into a starter, but won't ever wow on the stat sheet because he won't make a ton of sacks. But he'll work hard, be a factor vs. the run, and will play his assignment well. While he has the size currently that 4-3 teams look for in an end, he just doesn't have the burst or first step to really challenge the edge there. He's better when he's lined up inside. If he can add the bulk to anchor against the bigger guards and tackles he''ll face in the pros, he should be an effective starter. I would compare him to a guy like Brett Keisel, who didn't really play a lot until his fourth year in the league, but has been a solid starter ever since. But I think Bair will be able to help out a rotation during his first few years in the league, and by the end of his rookie contract if he's not starting for the team that drafted him, he'll sign elsewhere and be a starter for his second team. The problem is going to be that by the time he reaches his second contract, he'll already be a few years into his 30s. The hope is he has a career similar to that of Chad Hennings, who played with the Cowboys in the 90s, but didn't begin his NFL career until he was 26 due to an Air Force obligation. Hennings played 9 years for the Cowboys, including 4.5 as a full-time starter, before a neck injury ended his career at age 35.
While the Falcons would love to have a player with Bair's toughness and character on the roster, he just doesn't bring a lot to the table that they don't already have in Jamaal Anderson. He could be a nice run defender on the edge, but he's not going to be able to get the upfield penetration and be effective as an edge rusher to be more than a two-down defender. The Falcons would probably be better off trying to get him to bulk up signficantly and try him as a defensive tackle in the same mold as an Adam Carriker. He could be a nice rotational prospect, but he's at least 25 pounds away from being a significant contributor there.
From a talent standpoint, Bair is worth a late third/early fourth for a 3-4 team. But because of the fact that he isn't likely to have a long career due to his age, teams are probably better off waiting until the 5th round to get better value.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Pass Rush: 2.0
Point of Attack: 4.0
Scouting reports of the defensive ends in the 2011 Draft.
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