2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Eric Striker







  • Eric Striker, 6-0/222

  • Outside Linebacker

  • Oklahoma


  • Eric Striker Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

    Strengths:
  • Fast edge rusher
  • Can beat tackles with speed around the corner
  • Pure speed to fly by left tackles
  • Pursuit run defender
  • Can close on the quarterback
  • Gives a second effort to get sacks
  • Has some variety in pass-rushing moves
  • Displays some natural pass-rushing skills
  • Awareness
  • Upside






  • Weaknesses:
  • Extremely undersized
  • Too light; needs to add a lot of weight
  • May not have the frame to get much bigger
  • Will struggle against downhill runs at him in the NFL
  • Only a situational pass-rusher in 4-3 or 3-4 defense
  • Not particularly skilled at dropping into coverage
  • Lacks length


  • Summary: Over the past three years, Striker has been one of the most steady and consistent pass-rushers in college football. Not only has he been steady at getting to the quarterback, but he has come up with some clutch sacks to lead his defense in tight games.

    Striker is a very interesting NFL prospect. His body type is that of a safety or undersized outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense, but his game is that of a 3-4 edge rusher. Thus, he is a tough evaluation in terms of finding the right team and scheme for him to be successful.

    The Seffner, Florida product Striker made a name for himself in 2013. He finished the 2013 season with a coming-out party against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, dominating Crimson Tide left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio (Buffalo Bills second-round pick) for three sacks and seven tackles. Striker collected a total of 50 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 10.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble that year. Striker totaled 68 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, nine sacks and five passes broken up in 2014. The senior has played well for Oklahoma in 2015, recording 61 tackles with 16 for a loss, 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

    Over the past couple of seasons, Oklahoma has used Striker in a variety of ways, including dropping into coverage and playing him in more of a traditional outside linebacker position. He wasn't bad at dropping into coverage, but he needs development if asked to do that in the pro game.

    However, Striker's biggest strength is rushing off the edge. In the ground game, he can struggle against big offensive linemen going straight at him. He is better as a pursuit run defender who uses his speed to chase backs down.

    The issue for Striker as a pro is that he is a 3-4 pass rusher in the body of a strong safety. Thus, he is massively undersized and there could be a significant chance that Striker won't make it in the NFL. However, if he goes to the right team, he could be real weapon as a situational pass-rusher. He doesn't have the size or strength to play the run as an outside linebacker, or the coverage skills to move to safety. Therefore, he can only enter the game in obvious passing situations. That being said if he goes to a good team that produces a lot of third-and-long and passing situations during the second halves of games, he could be a dangerous weapon as an edge rusher who helps produce sacks to help his team to wins.

    In the 2016 NFL Draft, I think Striker will be a mid-round pick.



    Player Comparison: Robert Mathis. There really aren't any 220-pound pass-rushers like Striker. Perhaps the closest comparison for hims would be Mathis, but even he is 25 pounds heavier than Striker. The best that one could hope is that Striker is like Mathis, but I don't believe that Striker will be as good as Mathis has been in his NFL career.

    NFL Matches: Baltimore, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Oakland, Atlanta, Carolina, Cincinnati, Arizona

    It is early to be filling out this section, so check back after the season for an updated version.

    Baltimore could use a young edge rusher to groom behind Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. Striker would also fit the Ravens' defense. The Saints also could use an edge rusher to replace Junior Galette.

    The Colts definitely could be a fit for Striker in the mid-rounds. Bjoern Werner looks like a bust, Robert Mathis is aging, and Trent Cole isn't a long-term answer. Indianapolis has to upgrade its edge rushers.

    The Jets moved on from Quinton Coples, and Striker could be an option as a situational rusher for Todd Bowles.

    Tampa Bay must upgrade its pass rush, and Lovie Smith has had success with some situational pass-rushers in the past like Mark Anderson. The Falcons badly need an edge rusher to go with Vic Beasley. The Raiders tried Aldon Smith, but after his most recent suspension, they obviously can't count on him to stay on the field. Oakland needs a rusher to go with Khalil Mack.

    Cincinnati needs another pass-rushing end to go on the other side from Carlos Dunlap. Michael Johnson has disappointed in the sack department for three straight years. The Bengals also could use some linebacker depth and have a strong enough roster to be able to afford a luxury pick like Striker.

    Ditto for the Cardinals; they could use a situational edge rusher and Striker would be a good fit in their scheme. The Panthers traded for Jared Allen, but the aging veteran isn't a long-term starter. Striker could make sense for Carolina in the mid-rounds as a situational player, but he isn't a good scheme fit for the Panthers. However, Carolina has the roster strength to afford a luxury pick like Striker.





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    RELATED LINKS:


    2016 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie's | Walt's


    2016 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings


    2016 NFL Draft Scouting Reports








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