NFL Draft

2019 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Florida State DL Demarcus Christmas

From now until the 2019 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

#90 Demarcus Christmas / DT Florida State – 6’3” 294

The Good

  • Good strength and ability to lock out OL
  • Able to corral runners while engaged
  • Good anchor vs double teams
  • Can push the reset OL into the backfield and push the pocket
  • Gives solid chase to the outside and downfield

The Bad

  • Short shuttle and 3 cone times were the worst among DL at the Combine
  • Lateral agility is slow and able to be reach blocked by IOL
  • Effort and consistency to shed blockers needs work; content with a stalemate
  • Many tackles are “catching” the runner in his gap without taking him down
  • Inactive hands when engaged or rushing the passer
  • Pass rush extremely limited and cannot be relied upon
  • Likely only a 2 down player

Bio

  • Career – 106 tackles, 49 solo, 11.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 13 PBU, 2 FR, 1 FF
  • 2018 – 28 tackles, 14 solo, 3 TFL, 2 PBU
  • Started 39 of 51 career games
  • 2018 FSU Most Valuable Lineman
  • Majoring in Social Sciences
  • Will be age 24 at the start of the NFL season

Tape Breakdown

Demarcus Christmas (#90) has good starting experience for Florida State and was used all along the interior defensive line lining up from the 1 technique out to the 5 technique.

He has solid get off at the snap and gets his hands up quickly and is solid at diagnosing the running scheme. He shows good play strength being able to anchor vs double teams, extend and hold of solo blockers and can reset the LOS pushing his opponent into the backfield. Has 2 gap potential able to stack his blocker and has shown the ability to shed his blocker but it’s inconsistent.  He’s more likely to stalemate and use one arm to catch runners in his gaps than keep his legs going to drive and be a physical tackler. His lateral agility is limited making him less effective on runs to the outside but he’ll give solid chase to get to the ball.

At Miami he anchors against the combo block from the OC and LG and when the OC climbs he sheds the LG to wrap up the RB.

At Miami he does a solid job to extend and move with the OC trying to reach him and gets and arm out to catch the RB Travis Homer (#24) at the LOS but can’t get him down until 6 yards later.

Vs Clemson he steps around the RG and you’d like to see some explosiveness or aggressiveness to go get the runner but he doesn’t move laterally very quickly. Again gets his hands on the RB at the LOS and he still gets 4 yards.

Vs Clemson he’s basically unblocked and has a clear lane to chase the runner but just lightly jogs after the runner. You have to want to get there, give the effort.

Vs Florida here’s a good effort to beat the reach block of the RT and slide down the LOS to make a tackle for a loss.

As a pass rusher he leaves a lot to be desired.  Most of his rush attempts came from the inside but there were a few from the 5 technique. His rush moves are very limited to bull rushes and a club/swim move. Occasionally he’ll generate enough push to collapse the pocket but not enough to be relied upon. He doesn’t seem to have a plan and that shows in his results.  He doesn’t try different moves and doesn’t use his hands well to counter if a move that doesn’t work.

Vs NC State he’s the 3 tech near the RG. He gets a slow start at the snap but is able to get a good push to reset the pocket.

At Miami lined up inside the RG he takes advantage of the guard setting up too far outside and uses an arm over to the inside to get in on the sack.

Vs Florida he’s working against the RG and here is one of his poor efforts.  The get off is solid and he extends his arms well but that’s it. No move, no hand usage, not even an effort to chase.

Overall, Christmas looks like a potential backup IDL who would fit best in a 2 gap system to let him use his strength to anchor and with improved shedding ability could be solid run defender.  But he’ll likely be a 2 down DL as he doesn’t generate enough positive plays in the passing game to warrant staying on the field on passing downs. He could fill a backup role in Pittsburgh but there may be better options to look at with a more rounded game.

Projection: Late Day 3

Games Watched:  2017 – Vs N.C State; 2018 – At Miami, Vs Clemson, Vs Boston College, and Vs Florida

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