From now until the 2020 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.
#55 Jason Strowbridge/DL/6’4 267 lbs
- High motor
- Strong hands and power allow him to swim through blockers
- Diagnoses run direction fairly well
- Plays with low pad level, maintains leverage by attacking beneath blocker’s shoulder pads
- Uses hands well to disengage
- Moves well laterally across the line of scrimmage to blow up runs to the outside
- Good upper body power
- Needs to show more consistent ability to hold his gap responsibility
- Tape far less explosive than his showing at the Senior Bowl
- Dropped from 285 lbs to 267 lbs, position fit is a question mark
- Listed as EDGE at Senior Bowl but had limited reps coming off EDGE in college
- Lacks burst on tape
- More finesse than power when it comes to lower body ability
- Really late off the snap at times
- 2019: 44 tackles, 6 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble
- Career: 123 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
- 2019 Third Team All-ACC selection
- Tied for ACC lead with three fumble recoveries in 2019
- 2018 All-ACC Honorable Mention
- Invited to 2020 Senior Bowl
- Listed at 285 lbs but weighed in at 267 lbs at the Senior Bowl
North Carolina defensive lineman Jason Strowbridge has definitely been one of the tougher evaluations I have had to make in recent years. There are a lot of variables around his game and position. His playing weight during his senior year was 285 lbs but he weighed in at the Senior Bowl at 267 lbs. Majority of his time was spent on the interior during his collegiate career though he did get some EDGE reps and he was listed as an EDGE at the Senior Bowl. Strowbridge really shined down in Mobile at this year’s Senior Bowl as well, flashing a lot of explosiveness and quickness off the tape. His tape is a bit of a different story but there is no denying what he showed last month, so let’s start off there.
Strowbridge seemed to win majority of his 1v1 reps at this year’s Senior Bowl. His upper body strength and hand work were seemingly too much for the opposing lineman to handle. He just manhandles Wake Forest’s Justin Herron above, tossing him completely out of his way and putting him on his backside. The impressive ability to use his hands to win is a consistent trait that is seen throughout Strowbridge’s tape.
The swim move seems to be Strowbridge’s go to pass rush move and he does it quite well. He swims over the block of the Clemson offensive lineman on the play above and then violently shoves him to the ground. His rage continues as he bumps Travis Etienne before taking down Trevor Lawrence for the sack.
Strowbridge is a player that is going to go as far as his hand work takes him. It is the bread and butter of his game and it is on display again on the play above. He uses his arms to work through the block and is in clear position for the sack but he whiffs, though the pressure he generates is the selling point here.
More hand work above as Strowbridge rips through the opposing guard’s block and finds his way into the pocket again. Just more of what he put on display at this year’s Senior Bowl as few linemen were able to compete with his upper body strength. Watch how he is able to pull the guard down to power his way to victory.
Those hands also do wonders for Strowbridge against the run as he uses them to control the point of attack. He is able to gain good leverage in order to disengage blocks when needed to make a play against the run, which he shows on the play above against South Carolina.
Another area that the North Carolina defensive lineman shines in is his ability to move laterally against the run. Even at the 285 lbs that he played at last season, he moves very quickly for his size and is able to penetrate the backfield to make tackles for a loss. On the play above he quickly diagnoses the run off tackle and is able to make a stop in the backfield. This is an area that should only improve if he remains at the 267 lb range that he showed up to the Senior Bowl in.
Now onto the negatives in Strowbridge’s game. Not too sure how well he will anchor at the next level as this was one aspect that he was inconsistent in during college. He will get blown off the line of scrimmage far more than anyone would like. While his upper body strength may be his calling, his lower body power and strength leaves a lot to be desired. This may be what holds him back from being a true every down player at the next level.
After seeing Strowbridge explode off the snap all week in the Senior Bowl, I expected to see more of that on his film but that was not the case. He looked sluggish off the snap, even being a half second behind on more than a few occasions. Perhaps playing at a lower weight will help fix that problem as he did provide some jaw dropping rushes at the Senior Bowl but whether that will continue against NFL quality lineman remains to be seen.
The other question is where do teams position Strowbridge at the next level? On the interior or on the edge? He definitely has the pass rush moves to succeed at either level with his rip and swim move being his go to moves but again it’s a toss up whether he has the bend to survive on the edge.
There is a lot of intriguing attributes that the North Carolina defensive end brings to the field and his performance at the Senior Bowl certainly upped his draft stock but teams are going to have to decide how to utilize him. That is not necessarily a bad problem as he does have a lot of upside as a tweener type player. With the right coaching and development, Strowbridge could be a force on the defensive line.
Projection: Early Day Three
Games Watched: vs South Carolina, vs Temple, vs Duke