With only mere days since the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft, one might consider talking about the summer scouting season or the 2021 NFL Draft itself to be rushed and foolhardy. While I will certainly recognize that premature hype for a player has been known to backfire on us draftniks and that we should sometimes let the dust settle before diving in too deep. That said, speculating NFL prospects has always been an enjoyable activity for me at least. And if we end up being right about a player, great. If not, then we put aside our egos for a minute and admit we were wrong.
With that addressed, the player we will discussing today is Duke University pass rusher Victor Dimukeje.
Before hunting down opposing quarterbacks for Duke, Dimukeje was a three-star recruit coming out of the Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore, MD according to Rivals. The Baltimore native had offers from schools such as Pittsburgh and Michigan State but ultimately set his sights on Duke. Arriving in Durham, NC for his 2017 freshman campaign, Dimukeje appeared in 13 games where he notched 40 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, and two sacks. During his sophomore year in 2018, Dimukeje found similar success with 41 total tackles 7.5 tackles for a loss, and 3.5 sacks.
Although in 2019 he once again put up similar numbers in terms of total tackles (41) and tackles for a loss (9.5), he managed to improve his sack total to 8.5 during his junior season.
This week I managed to take the time to watch a cut-up of his game against Pittsburgh and bit of his game against Alabama. During my study of his film, I noticed he has a consistent get off from the snap of the ball. Nothing elite but he covers a decent amount of ground despite his smaller-ish frame. There were a couple of instances where co-defensive coordinator Ben Albert was asking him to stand up in a two-point stance and rush from space, which much to my delight he appears to be comfortable with. Lastly, he carries a very nice bull rush in his repertoire which is something that I wasn’t expecting going in.
Another solid rep by Dimukeje. He long arms the right tackle, then knocks his hands away. Finishing it up by chasing Pickett for a sack. pic.twitter.com/cFDEeQbWj5
— Nick Price (Ravens 0-0) (@PriceCheck3) April 27, 2020
But while there is always good that can be found in a player, there are other aspects that give me pause. In the case of Dimukeje, I noticed a handful of times where he would wind up on the turf. This likely stems from a limited amount of strength and balance. And at first glance, he seems to heavily favor the long-arm/bull rush in terms of pass rush moves.
Although I have only done a limited study on Dimukeje and his film, the sense that I get is that he could be poised for another successful season for Duke. He displays enough speed around the edge to beat tackles to their sets but needs to work on varying his moves and add strength in order to maintain that success. While this is not a definite stamp that Dimukeje will be the next great pass rusher, what I have seen thus far has me intrigued.
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