Who says Baalke won't be around next year to make the picks? I mean he has lasted this long. Walter said so himself, that Baalke has incriminating photos of the York family doing some scandlous things.. that's the only way to explain how he's lasted this long to begin with. What will change in 2017 ?
Strengths: Very good (upper and lower) body strength ... Reads and reacts very well to the ball ... Strong hand use and at times truly controls his opponents ... Gives a very nice second effort in pass rush ... A finisher with a consistent motor ... Dive tackles with very solid form ... Polished swim and rip moves ... Takes solid angles to the ball ... Outstanding, powerful bull rush ... Redirects running backs with his athleticis ... Solid agility ... Outstanding sack production in sophomore year (16).
Weaknesses: He's not short, but he does lack some length and height for a 4-3 defensive end ... Quick twich athleticism is somewhat inadequate and doesn't get much of a burst off the snap ... Could get better leverage in run support ... Athleticism will limit his double move in the NFL.
Summary: Middelton doesn't have all the tools you look for in an edge rusher (height, length, speed, athleticism), but he makes the most of what he's got and has room to grow being a young player. Had a pro body being a sophomore, and it's exciting to see what's to come. Not a fit in the 3-4 as an outside linebacker, but a great fit as a 4-3 left defensive end where he could take advantage of slower right tackles. Middleton would be a solid right defensive end as well.
Player Comparison: Dewayne White. White and Middelton are very similar prospects, considering they are shorter than ideal 4-3 ends, with decent athleticism, and very strong at the point of the attack. I think Middelton is a much better prospect than White was, and has more upside in the pros because he is a little more athletic and gives a better motor in pass rush.