From now until the 2023 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I will be profiling Mohamoud Diabate of Utah.
#3 Mohamoud Diabate, LB, Utah (SR) — 6033, 229 lbs.
Shrine Bowl/Combine/Pro Day
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Mohamoud Diabate||6’3 3/8”/229||9 1/2||32 1/8||80 1/2|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Experience in Power 5 conferences
— Aggressive play style
— Some experience in Man and Zone coverages
— Able to blitz inside and rush off the edge
— Good overall athlete
— Gets downhill quickly on runs in his direction
— Strong tackler, limits yards after contact
— Solid working through traffic
— Good effort to get to the ball
— Lean body type, frame may not allow added weight
— Man Coverage cuts give him all kinds of trouble
— Will leave area in Zone coverage
— Very little ball production
— Limited pass rush plan
— Aggressiveness gets him out of position
— Poor angles outside, will overrun the ball
— Poor balance and marginal getting off blocks
— 2022 – 58 tackles, 32 solo, 13.5 TFL, 5.0 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 FF
— Career – 228 tackles, 102 solo, 24 TFL, 10.5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 4 FF
— 49 games, 29 starts
— Shrine Bowl Invitee
— Played 3 years for Florida Gators
— Lead Utah in tackles for a loss
— 4-star recruit coming out of high
— Sister, Fanta, ran track and field at UAB
— Birthday 5/18/2001 (age 21)
Mohamoud Diabate is about as lean a linebacker as you will find. He has a vary narrow body type with long legs and looks like a safety playing linebacker. He was the MACK linebacker for the Utes.
Against the pass, he has some experience in Man and Zone coverages. In Man coverage, he would pick up running backs out of the backfield and wall off receivers to try to force them to the outside. He has the speed to run with tight ends down the seam and I saw a couple examples of that. In Zone, he plays with his eyes to the quarterback and displays solid awareness of receivers in his area. He has a solid burst to tackle throws in front of him or outside on screens.
Here is Diabate (3) in Zone toward the top. He breaks to the ball quickly to limit the gain.
He was used on green dog and cross dog blitzes and has good burst and acceleration into the gaps. They also used him on the edge and he has good up field burst and solid bend to stress the tackles. He can be slippery using a swim to the inside of blockers.
At Washington State, he will blitz up the middle and shows a nice swim over the center to get the sack.
At Oregon, he will rush off the edge on the right and swipes the left tackles hands to get inside of him to move the quarterback.
Vs USC, he’ll shows some burst off the left edge, loops around the QB and comes back for the sack and forced fumble.
Against the run, he is aggressive in his play and tries to get to gaps as quickly as possible. He has solid pad level and hand placement to take on blockers. On running plays in front of him, he gets downhill quickly and is a good, wrap tackler with solid pop behind his pads. He is solid working through traffic and shows good effort to get to the ball.
Vs Oregon State, here are a couple examples of him getting up field to make the stop at or behind the line of scrimmage.
Here are two downhill plays sandwiched around a play off the edge.
In coverage, he frankly looked confused quite a bit. While in Man coverage, he doesn’t have the feel to read and react to the cuts of receivers and is often left behind by jukes and fakes. In Zone, coverage he will leave his area focusing on one receiver leaving gaps in the defense. Due to his coverage issues, he has minimal ball production in four seasons. When rushing the passer, there isn’t a lot of variances other than speed and an inside swim.
At Washington State, he’ll attempt to pick up the inbreaking WR by running into him but he gets by anyway for the reception. On the second play, while chasing the receiver gives him a little fake and he loses his balance.
Vs Penn State, he’ll attempt to cover the TE in the slot. The head fake gets him to jump and the receiver gets a nice gain.
Against the run, his mental processing is poor. He is marginal reading the mesh point and loses sight of the ball often leaving him pursuing in the wrong direction. On plays to the outside, his aggressiveness and poor angles will lead to him getting ahead of the running back instead of staying on his inside hip which takes him out of the play. He has marginal play strength and struggles to get of blocks. His balance is poor becoming off balance by the smallest of fakes by the ball carriers.
He is the left linebacker in these clips. In the first, I don’t know what he is looking at, but it leaves him just standing there. The second he reads the pulling blocker and takes his eye off the ball leaving him running outside with the runner going up the middle.
Overall, Diabate is a lean, athletic player with lots of game experience. He has some experience in Zone and Man coverages. As a blitzer inside as well as rushing off the edge he had some success. He is an aggressive run defender and is best on plays in front of him where he can get downhill quickly to get to the ball.
Areas to improve include his technique in all coverages and understanding of Zone areas when playing pass defense. Adding to his pass rush plan would be great. Reading the mesh point, improving his pace to the ball and adjusting his angles to no overrun the ball will help him make more tackles.
Diabate is a good athlete in an unusual body type. The way he is built I don’t believe he’ll hold up as an inside linebacker. He’s also does not fit the mold of an edge rusher. And honesty, his coverage skills are severely lacking so a money-backer type role may be out. So, where does hit fit? Not in Pittsburgh in my opinion. Besides they already have a developmental linebacker.
The best chance for him would be as a developmental WILL linebacker for an even front defense to allow him to chase and tackle the ball. He can be used in subpackages as a blitzer from the inside or from the apex and sometimes off the edge. Without improvement in his mental processing versus the run or in his coverage ability, he may not have much of chance at all. Finding a comparison for Diabate was difficult. I’ll give you Shaka Toney who was a 7th round pick out of Penn State. Both have a lean build, were slippery and hand some burst off the edge but looked uncomfortable in coverage.
Projection: Late Day Three
Depot Draft Grade: 6.2 End of Roster/ Practice Squad (7th Round/UDFA)
Games Watched: 2022 – At Florida, Vs Oregon State, At Washington State, At Oregon, Vs USC