What teams are really looking for at the NFL Combi
Sure, 40 times are great, but that's not why NFL coaches and general managers are spending the week in Indianapolis with this year's draft prospects.
2014 Stats: 41 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks
Career Stats: 170 tackles, 25 TFL, 15.5 sacks
**47 consecutive starts
Considering how much time he spent on the field in his four year career at UM, and also noting he came to Coral Gables as a 5 star recruit, the numbers above are modest at best.
However, "Chick" came to Miami as a pass rushing speed end, and finished his career as a 282 pound anchor who mostly 3-4 end on early downs, and inside in pass rushing situations.
When Chickillo opened some eyes with a sharp week in St. Petersburg leading up to January's East West Shrine game, then performed like a man possessed during the game, many were surprised.
And if his play that week was a revelation, his comments after were even more of a jolt, especially to 'Canes fans.
[ICYMI] Anthony Chickillo made some kermit-drinking-tea comments about UM's defensive scheme: http://t.co/24EvqJa6wa— Matt Porter (@mattyports) January 21, 2015
NFL Network's Alex Flanagan, during the game: "How much has the coaching and scheme today has allowed you to be aggressive?"
Chickillo: "That’s pretty much what the whole thing is. We’re running a 4-3, get off and you just play, I’m just out here playing ball."
Flanagan asked Chickillo, "Where’d you get that get-off?" and the two shared a brief laugh before Chickillo responded: "I’ve always had it. In college, I was asked to two-gap. I’ve always had it. I’m happy I get to use it out here today."
You get the drift.
So is Chickillo a potential star at the next level who was misused in college?
Or is he just a nice player with a good skills, who had a great week of All Star practice?
Let's break it down and look at where he might end up come draft time.
#1 Motor - His sack numbers may not jump off the page, and he didn't exactly spend his career in Coral Gables in opposing back fields, but the guy never quits on a play, and often pursues plays from behind. If players were drafted on effort alone, Chick would probably be a 2nd or 3rd round pick.
#2 Stout at the point of attack - Going back and watching a lot of film on Chickillo I was amazed how often he was able to come to a complete stale mate with opposing blockers. Again, you have to wonder how much was just by scheme/design and intended for gap control, which AC did admirably this past season. He does a very good job of occupying blockers with out getting blasted off the ball. When on the play side, he's also good if not great at using his hands to shed blocks and make a play or force a cut back to the strength of the D.
#3 Versatile - At UM he was forced to play in both 4-3 and 3-4 fronts. He showed he was very comfortable at Shrine practices in the latter. But should he end up playing for a coach at the next level who uses a 34 and/or multiple front, he has shown he is proficient at either.
#1 Not an explosive athlete - Handcuffed by scheme or not, he did get plenty of chances to as a rush end during his 'Canes career. And the majority of time he did not exactly explode around the edge. In fact his sacks were almost always coverage type sacks where got to the quarterback after plenty of time had passed. Runs about a 4.8/4.9 40, which won't make scouts forget Jadeveon Clowney any time soon.
#2 Sometimes sticks to blockers - He was pretty good at getting off his man in run situations overall at Miami, but there were a few games where he simply could not shed his man (in his defense the whole team suffered this malaise in said contests). And again, not to beat a dead horse on point #1, but in pass rushing situation more often than not he did not flat out beat his man, and his rushes were often cold stopped.
NFL Players he most resembles: Former player Matt Walters, Trevor Scott, Brett Kiesel
Draft Projection: 6th Round, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs like what they see of Chick during the Shrine Bowl and keep him in his hometown where he tries to prove he was a better player then he showed in Miami.
Stay tuned for many more updates as Miami's 2015 NFL Draft eligible players prepare to hear their names called at Radio City.