Football Intelligence –Don't feel like he has a very strong sense of play development. He kind of drifts in space too much and can be late to process action as it develops when he's put out into space. He's got poor reaction to flip his hips and carry landmarks vs. the pass.
Tackling –Very potent in head on situations. He'll really cause a ruckus with his pads if he's uncontested to the ball carrier, like his hitting power. He doesn't redirect himself or maximize his tackle radius too well due to tight core and hips. Doesn't always wrap up, either.
Block Shedding –I like the intent in which he addresses blockers, but he's a mixed back with his results. He'll get out-reached by OL and swallowed up at the POA instead of pressing and extending to stay clear. He's more effective to slip blocks than stack them head up.
Competitive Toughness –He flows to the football with hustle and leaves no doubt that he's an intense player. He loses his luster in traffic though, given his pedestrian lateral quickness and lack of reach to effectively stack and press out on blockers.
Lateral Mobility –He's not a great scrape athlete. But when you get him between the hashes (maybe the numbers) he can play more to his strength and slide/shuffle over the top of the play before bursting forward to challenge the ball.
Coverage Skills –He's stiff, which poses challenges as he looks to hinge and take away throwing windows. He doesn't show the fluidity to carry a route as it works through his area and can get picked on if he's caught trying to blanket a receiver.
Gap Shooting Ability –He's got the linear burst to step down and challenge effectively and I like his functional play strength vs. lateral contact to press through unabated. His anticipation and feel for finding these creases quickly is a much less inspiring story.
Feet/Change of Direction –Guilty of some sloppy play as he scrapes in space. He'll over-commit too often and struggle to peel back and get into the ball carrier's body. He doesn't have the needed lateral spring or hip mobility to play with grace in side to side scenarios.
Flexibility –Tight. He's really dynamic and shows good hinge through the hips to generate power when he's in the phone booth but the moment you put him in space things happen a half second slower. Lacks body contortion to be a large influence as tackler or jam defender.
First Step Quickness –He's got some straight line twitch and if teams pull in front of his face, he's definitely capable of shooting the gap and pushing the mesh point to create havoc. He'll defeat angles with his quickness here but his inspirational reps come in straight ahead breaks.
BEST TRAIT - Physicality
WORST TRAIT – Flexibility
BEST FILM – Mississippi State (2018)
WORST FILM – South Carolina (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Tyrel Dodson has the needed physicality to play at the NFL level, but I'm not sold where he projects favorably as a regular starter or contributor at the pro level. Dodson is a heavy hitter who uses his hands effectively in traffic, but he also doesn't showcase great reach and his IQ in both run and pass defense leave you wanting more out of him. As a result, he projects largely as a depth piece and potential ST contributor.
ROUND GRADE - Fifth Round