A disruptive player that is able to pressure the quarterback and make plays at a variety of positions. Has a good motor and keeps working to the quarterback. Has good range and burst when moving in space, comfortable dropping off into coverage on zone blitzes. Has a quick first step, and able to beat guard with the swim move. Has the speed to challenge the edge as an end, setting up a slow-footed tackle and beating him with a quick inside move. Uses his hands fairly well. Works laterally down the line in pursuit to make stops. Has the strength to anchor and ability to get leverage vs. the run. Holds the point of attack and can get off blocks to make stops. Plays disciplined and with good recognition, especially when facing a scrambling quarterback or against the zone read.
Not always consistent with his disruptive and run-stopping abilities. Can get stalemated at times by the double team. Doesn't always get leverage with his first step vs. the run, and needs to work on getting off blocks better. Needs to develop more pass rush moves.
There is very little not to like about Dareus. He doesn't always pop on tape, but he's fairly consistent and plays within himself and the scheme. Alabama used him primarily as a DT/DE in their hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense, and he was effective wherever he played, which gives him good versatility to stick in any scheme at the next level. He was suspended for the first two games this past year in connection to inappropriate contact with an agent, but still managed to record 34 tackles, 11 for loss, 4.5 sacks, 4 pass breakups, and 10 pressures in 11 games, nursing an ankle injury early on. Was part of a rotation as a sophomore, logging only 4 starts during the season but managed still 33 tackles, 9 for loss, 6.5 sacks, 1 interception, 2 breakups, and 7 pressures in 14 games. That year, he spelled Brandon Deaderick as well as Terrence Cody on passing downs. PLayed with a cast on his arm for a big chunk of the 2009 season.
Dareus fits best as a defensvie tackle in a 4-3 scheme. He's a guy that can play either under or nose tackle, although he'd be more consistent at the former. But he'd fit well in a scheme that prefers their defensive tackles play multiple techniques like the Falcons. He can also be a solid end in a 3-4 scheme. He won't be as effective there in the pros as he was in college, more along the lines ofTy Warren than the next Richard Seymour. And he would likely need to slim down a bit to fit best there. Dareus is a guy that showed improvement from his sophomore to junior tape, showing more consistency and improved technique. He is a pretty safe pick at the top, as you can be very confident he'll be a good starter. He may not be an elite defensive tackle, but he'll at least as good as Cullen Jenkins in a 3-4 scheme, and probably as good as a Brandon Mebane in a 4-3. But he has the potential to be one of the top defensive tackles in a 4-3 if he keeps working. The main concern with him is going to be durability. He has been nicked up both years he's played and you hope it's a trend that doesn't continue. That, more than ability, lack of motor, and character will prevent him from ascending to the top ranks of defensive tackles at the next level.
Dareus would be good fit here in Atlanta because of his ability to play multiple techniques. He would be a good fit at left or right defensive tackle. He would beef up the interior run defense, as well as give the team a second dominant disruptor in the middle to team with Babineaux. He's good enough to think that by the end of his rookie year, he'd be the full-time starter logging more minutes than Peters or Jerry, although that probably won't be the case at the beginning of the year. And he has the potential to be a central piece and the team's best defensive playmaker for the better part of the next decade.
Dareus has the ability to be one of the top defensive tackles in the league, and his ability to play in any scheme only makes him more valuable. He's definitely a Top 15 pick with the high ceiling that makes him worthy of a Top 10 pick for a needy team.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point Of Attack: 4.0
Pass Rush: 3.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.