Neil Farrell Jr. is a senior defensive lineman for the LSU Tigers. As a Tiger, Farrell has spent most of his career as a rotational player. This past year was Farrell’s first year being a consistent starter and his production matched. Farrell finished the year with more than 40 tackles. As an interior defensive lineman, Farrell showcases good athleticism and can beat offensive lineman with his quick first step. Farrell also shows that he has the functional athleticism to flow sideline to sideline. To be a productive NFL player, he needs to improve his ability to stop the run. Against the run, Farrell will occasionally get flushed out off the line of scrimmage. Farrell will need to improve his overall strength to become a reliable three-down defensive lineman in the NFL.
Ideal Role: Rotational interior pass rush lineman
Scheme Fit: Attacking 4-3 scheme
Written by Keith Sanchez
Games watched: Florida (2021), Ole Miss (2021), Alabama (2021), Arkansas (2021)
Best Game Studied: Ole Miss (2021)
Worst Game Studied: Arkansas (2021)
First Step Explosiveness: Farrell has good explosiveness at the snap. When he can time the snap right, he can quickly shoot the gap and get upfield to get pressure. At LSU, they take advantage of Farrell’s quickness and run him on stunts and twists to take advantage of his athleticism and ability to get upfield quickly.
Flexibility: Farrell seems to be fluid in his movements. He has good reactionary athleticism that allows him to try and work counter moves. Farrell looks to be confident in his agile movements when rushing the passer and will attempt spin moves to defeat offensive lineman.
Hand Counters: Farrell has active hands but he doesn’t use them effectively. Watching Farrell, he uses his hands to attempt swim moves and arm moves but they are inconsistent in their effectiveness. When using his hands, Farrell can use work on the timing of his hand counters to improve the overall effectiveness of them.
Hand Power: Part of Farrell’s ineffectiveness in his hands is his lack of overall power. In the run game, Farrell struggles to control offensive linemen because of the lack of strength in his hands to stabilize them. When he strikes offensive linemen, there doesn’t appear to be any power in those punches to shock offensive linemen and affect their ability to work upfield.
Run Defending: As a run defender, Farrell has both positive and negative aspects of his game. Farrell is athletic enough to run with offensive linemen on zone stretch plays an maintain integrity. But on power run plays, Farrell offers little resistance. He is often flushed out of the play and displaced three-plus yards off the ball.
Effort (Motor): Farrell shows to be a high-effort player at times but he is inconsistent. There are times when he will chase plays 10-plus yards down the field and other times where he gives little effort to chase ball-carriers. It would benefit Farrell’s overall value if he can play with a consistently high motor.
Football IQ: It appears that Farrell has good knowledge of playing the defensive line position he is just inconsistent in his discipline. In the run game, instead of maintaining gap integrity, he feels that he can’t beat an offensive lineman at the point of attack and will abandon that gap and look elsewhere to get penetration. Farrell appears to be a freestyle player and doesn’t play within the defense.
Lateral Mobility: Farrell appears to have good lateral mobility. When defending the run he has the fluidity to move laterally along the line of scrimmage. Farrell shows that he can redirect and change direction of his flow to react to the ball carriers when they change direction.
Functional Strength: Farrell shows to have limited functional strength. When playing the run he will get displaced off the line of scrimmage because he isn’t strong enough to hold the point of attack. Farrell needs to improve both his lower body strength and upper body strength in order to be an effective run stopper.
Versatility: Farrell appears to have limited versatility as a player. As an interior defensive lineman I don’t believe he has the strength to fulfill the roles of a 3-4 DE. Farrell should play in a 4-3 scheme that allows their defensive lineman to shoot gaps.
TDN Consensus: 67.50/100 (Seventh Round Value)
Crabbs Grade: 68.50/100
Marino Grade: 70.00/100
Sanchez Grade: 65.50/100