2015 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Luther Maddy

Career Recap: In 2013, Virginia Tech featured one of the best defenses in the nation. The Hokies had a ton of talent in their secondary, but it all started up front for the Hokies as their defensive line was extremely disruptive. Perhaps the best player in the front seven was Maddy.

Maddy racked up 55 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks in 2013. He played well in the season opener against Alabama with three tackles, two for a loss and a sack. The junior also had impressive games against North Carolina and UCLA.

Going against one of the best interior linemen in the country with Duke’s Laken Tomlinson, Maddy gave Tomlinson fits. He beat the Blue Devil for a sack and made a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage for Virginia Tech. Two weeks later, Maddy was dominant against Miami with two sacks and tons of disruption.

As a sophomore in 2012, Maddy had nine starts and recorded 35 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks.



2014 Season Outlook: Unfortunately, Virginia Tech doesn’t play Florida State during the 2014 regular season. Perhaps those programs will meet for the conference championship, as it would be great to see Maddy take on guards Tre Jackson and Josue Matias.

Maddy’s first significant test will be in Week 2 when the Hokies go to Ohio State. He will also see some quality ACC programs in Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Pitt and Miami.

In mid-November, Maddy will go against perhaps the best guard he’ll see all season with a rematch against Duke’s Tomlinson. If Maddy can get the better of Tomlinson for the second-straight season, it could help his draft stock significantly.

Skill-Set Summary: With his speed and quickness, there is no mystery into the type of player Maddy is. Interior pass-rushers are a tough commodity to find for NFL teams, and Maddy has the speed to be a mismatch rusher against interior offensive linemen. When Maddy is on, he can take over games and put the offense on the sideline with plays behind the line of scrimmage.

Maddy is a fast gap-shooting defensive lineman who would be a good fit as a three-technique rusher in a 4-3 defense. Off the snap, he can fire to get leverage on offensive linemen and charge down the pocket. Maddy has good closing speed and gets onto quarterbacks and running backs faster than they expect. Maddy’s relatively short stature gives him natural pad level to rush the quarterback.

There are a number of areas Maddy needs to improve in to possibly be an early-round pick. The most important is run defense. He lacks strength to defend runs coming straight at him and powerful offensive linemen can push him around. If Maddy could improve his upper-body strength, that could make a big difference for him to hold his ground at the point of attack.

In pass rush, Maddy should work to improve his hand usage to get blockers off of him, and also he could stand to add a repertoire of moves. Maddy needs more than just a speed rush and bull rush. A rip move, club move or spin move would be nice additions.

Maddy is clearly at his best when he attacks upfield and tries to cause havoc in the backfield. Generally, Maddy gives good effort, has a quality motor and he doesn’t quit in pursuit.

Maddy also steps up his game against good competition. He was very impressive against Duke, UCLA and Miami in 2013. Maddy also made some plays against Alabama in the season opener, although the Crimson Tide offensive linemen had some success moving him in the ground game.

For the next level, Maddy looks best as a pass-rushing tackle in a 4-3 defense. He doesn’t look like a good fit in a 3-4 unless the team utilizes an undersized nose tackle.



2015 NFL Draft Expectations: Entering the 2014 season, Maddy could contend for second-day consideration if he can improve his run defense and strength at the point of attack. If Maddy doesn’t, he could end up going on Day 3 of the 2015 NFL Draft.




RELATED LINKS:


2015 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie’s | Walt’s


2015 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings


2015 NFL Draft Scouting Reports








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