Get-off/Burst - Operates almost exclusively from a 4-point stance as a nose tackle and is rarely asked to just fire gaps, but gets off the ball extremely fast despite not gaining a ton of ground upfield. There is some variance to his first step, but the low points are still good get-offs, and the high points are elite, blow-up-a-play-from-the-snap explosive. Consistently fires out into his opponents and can re-set the line of scrimmage in an instant when his technique and pad level are right.
Leverage - Inconsistent in his pad level. At times fires off the ball low with arms extended to lock out his opponent. Other times will stand up straight off the ball and navigate slowly to a gap rather than firing low and looking to knife through contact. Can get walled off and moved around when he loses leverage despite his unbelievable power.
Hand Usage - Strike placement and timing are all over the place, but he does show the ability to lock out his opponent and bench press blockers off his frame in the run game. Raw power is crazy to watch at times, when pads and hands are right will drive blockers into the backfield and disrupt plays. Has the length and strength to be dominant at the point-of-attack with better attention to detail. As a pass rusher, almost fully in need of development with his hand usage.
Rush Plan/Counters - Almost never has a rush plan or works a move on his opponent. Bull rush defensive tackle who will occasionally flash an arm-over move to clear contact at the last second. Definition of a slow-burn pass rusher who doesn't think quickly on his feet to work counter moves into his attacks. Absolutely bully as a bull rusher, will bend opponents back but needs to be quicker to take advantage of their struggle with a secondary move. Tools are great, but this is an area of clear weakness.
Mental Processing/Block Recognition - Better in this area than I originally gave him credit for. Especially in games where he gets to play a lot, begins to get a good feel for how opponents are trying to attack him and will counter with good footwork. Has done well to scrape playside against zone concepts. Can get mauled by double teams or down blocks that he doesn't see coming. Finds the football through contact decently, but could do better at shedding quickly to pursue.
Range - Rumored to run a 4.85 40, and I think a penetrating role may reveal those traits even more. Doesn't look overly fast on tape, but has shown the ability to run down plays in pursuit. Clearly at least a solid athlete, but playing nose tackle so heavily at Arizona State didn't open him up to much of a run-and-chase evaluation.
Bend/Flexibility - Probably my biggest question mark with Wren. Wish I saw him work to the edge of his blocker more so I could see his turn to the pocket. I think he might be a little stiff from the flashes I've seen, certainly plays as a very linear rusher, but that could also be due to a lack of creativity.
Tackling - Hardly had any tackles in college, until emerging with 43 his senior year. Rotational player so only got a couple tackle opportunities a game, but I did not see any misses in the six games I watched.
Competitive Toughness - Ultra-physical and plays the game with an edge. Motor runs hot, will consistently show good pursuit skills and the desire to chip in on tackles.
Athleticism/Size - Probably one of the best frames of any player in the entire class, at any position. Absolutely stacked with muscle, weight room numbers at Arizona State are insane, puts a lot of time into his frame.
BEST TRAIT - Get-off/Power
WORST TRAIT - Rush Plan/Counters
RED FLAGS - None
Physically, Renell Wren reminds me of Chris Jones with his unbelievable frame and length for the position. He's a little bit smaller than Jones, but even stylistically the two share some similarities, most notably in their first step and eye-popping raw power. But where Jones was better with his hands and plan of attack as a pass rusher out of college, Wren is still lacking in a lot of ways. Perhaps a move from nose tackle would help the promising defensive tackle, whose landing spot in the NFL might mean everything in determining a potential impact player or a career backup at the next level.
Round Grade: 3rd