PROS: He’s got the goods: juice, power, size and motor to make plays. Love how he works to the edges of blocks and powers through gaps. Does well to place his hands and play with extension to control at the point of attack. Timing and placement of his hands is outstanding and he does a great job of finding leverage points on blockers to dispose of them when he’s ready. Effective with his swipes, chops and crosses to clear contact. Plenty of pop in his strikes to jolt pads and control blockers. Keeps his pads low and plays with consistently outstanding leverage to maximize the power in his frame. Frequently defended multiple gaps and faced double teams while holding his own. He’s a bully when pushing the pocket and is a load moving forward. Has enough flexibility throughout his frame to corner and change directions. Overall quite slippery with the fluidity in his frame to work laterally and carry speed through sharp turns. Does a good job of diminishing the surface area available for blockers to get their hands on his frame. 2017 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. Upside to serve in multiple alignments.
CONS: Missed 2018 with an Achilles injury but was outstanding in 2017 and 2019. Has room to grow in terms of processing the run and reading blocks so that he can most effectively attack - as that develops it’s exciting to consider how much better he can get because the traits and physical tools are so outstanding. Will have a stylistic/technical transition at the next level after working from a four-point stance and executing all the stunts involved in the TCU defense.
BEST TRAIT - Power, Juice
WORST TRAIT - Processing
RED FLAGS - 2018 Achilles Injury
NFL COMP - Gerald McCoy
Ross Blacklock is a rare exciting defensive prospect from the Big Twelve with all the tools needed to be a dynamic playmaker in the NFL. While there will be quite a bit for him to acclimate to at the next level, Blacklock has the size, length, power, flexibility, athleticism and technique needed to develop. He often two-gapped at TCU but I like him inside even fronts as well, making him a prospect with all the versatility needed to execute in a defensive front that is multiple by alignment. Blacklock needs to develop his processing skills but his ceiling is exciting given how physically talented he is and how he already applies those gifts on the field to make plays. He deserves to be among the first interior defensive linemen selected in the Draft and has the upside to become a building block for an NFL defense.