Yesterday, I posted the Q&A I did with Addicted to Quack's Rusty Ryan (@Rusty_Ryan11) on QB Marcus Mariota. I also had Rusty answer questions while he was at it, for Oregon DT Arik Armstead. Rusty was kind enough to answer both 6-packs, and his responses for Armstead are below, enjoy!
1. He's already huge, but to be a big-time NFL player, he needs to add bulk, no?
He weighs in at 292 pounds. It would depend on what position he's playing at the next level. He's very athletic and Oregon focuses on getting players fast and will sacrifice some weight to do so. If he's playing a 1-technique in a 4-3 I could see the need for him to gain more. But he's a pretty lean 292, which sounds ridiculous. If he's a 3-technique DT or a DE he's probably fine.
2. Has a ridiculous combination of athleticism, size, speed, power, etc. However, that didn't translate into number production, where's the disconnect?
Oregon was very reluctant to blitz at all. Often it was the three down linemen rushing against 5-6 blockers. Armstead was also routinely double teamed. I've said that I think he lacks a motor to compete every down, but there are times where he shows a real superiority. In the Rose Bowl he blew up the tackle for Florida State many times over. The difference between the two was as wide as the Grand Canyon. A lot of the lack of numbers was the double teams, the lack of blitzing Oregon did, and an inconsistency between plays.
3. The aforementioned height/size, scouts have said he "plays tall," is that a weakness you see in his game? Furthermore, what's his biggest area in need of improvement?
I think it's fair to say he plays tall and that's something he needs to work on. Oregon asked him to two-gap a lot, and he seemed more comfortable playing high, but obviously once the talent level rises he wont' be able to get away with it. I think his motor needs to improve as well. That's why I'm hesitant to say he needs to gain weight. He had a habit of disappearing in the games at times or maybe even taking plays off.
4. He's listed as a DT, but do you see him as a better fit in a 3-4 or 4-3? Can he play nose as well?
I really don't see him as a DT because he was a DE his whole career at Oregon. If he's a DT in a 4-3 he needs to be a 3-technique. He set the edge well as a DE and required a double team a lot. With some blitzes I could see his production improve when he gets blocked one-on-one more.
5. His size and athleticism will likely get him drafted in the first round, but that's largely projection-based, how much work does he need to be a solid NFL player?
I thought he'd be a second-rounder based on what he's shown at Oregon but the NFL obviously can fall in love with people based on projections. He needs to work on being more consistent and refining his techniques. His freak athleticism has really brought him a long ways thus far. But, technically he needs some improvements so that when he gets doubled he doesn't get stuck. Consistency and technique are the biggest things he needs to do moving forward.
6. Ultimately, where do you think he'll get drafted, and what sort of immediate impact can be expected?
I think he'll go in the mid to late first round. It would probably be a mistake to take him with the twelfth pick but at 19 I could see him being a viable option. Most projections have him going to the 49ers with the 15th pick who are dealing with an aging and needing front seven. Armstead's floor is very high. I don't see him busting at all given his athleticism and making plays even though he is technically not great and making big impacts on games, and even though he can disappear at times.
A big thank you to Rusty and the gang at Addicted to Quack for chipping in on the 6-pack series, appreciate all their help.