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Carl Granderson

Scouting Report done by Mark Jarvis. See all his work at What’s on Draft. Support his work on Patreon.  See the full report here.

Comps – Low/Medium/High

Ian Seau (Low) – Garrett Sickels (Medium) – Nate Orchard (High)


A try-hard rusher with a moldable body that doesn’t meet expectations for an edge rusher, Carl Granderson is a precarious situation as a prospect. On one hand, his hand usage and technical prowess should get him drafted. On the other, there are questions about his ability to do damage in one-on-one rushes from the edge. The expectations that have been placed on “The Grandy Man” since his upstart 2017 season are both unfair and unfulfilled. He seems to have lost some juice in 2018, but there have never been great genetic gifts for Granderson to work with. He can continue to pack on weight to improve anchor strength in run defense, but there is nothing than can be done for his below average reach. He’s catchable by a longer blocker and will always have issues breaking free despite how tenacious his rush can be. When he does bring out his favorite rush moves, such as the arm over move, he will often get caught on the final break through into the backfield. Always being sucked in by bigger guys will make him a liability as a pro in the pass game, and a whipping boy in the run game. Granderson does a great job on stunts and opportunities to work laterally, largely because he has a great jump cut as a former running back, but there are few plays where he can avoid being tangled on his way. The change of direction and flexibility does not say former running back at all. He routinely loses his balance or fails to explode out of turns. It’s a massive issue in his backside pursuit, as he’ll be late to hit the gas and find top speed. Granderson will likely be utilized as a 4-3 defensive end rather than a 3-4 outside linebacker as a pro, but he has experience from both spots. His coverage ability is up in the air, but that won’t matter to most teams looking for someone who can run the arc, something he has struggled to do.There’s nothing special about his motor or tackling, but he must improve accuracy and contact strength to take out NFL runners, who would power through his grip at the moment. Both of Missouri’s tight ends, Albert Okwuegbunam and Kendall Blanton, walked Granderson off the line of scrimmage during their 2018 contest. It’s just one more scratch on Granderson’s name when it comes to being a well-rounded player.

Twitch & Moveset

Lacks explosion off of the snap. Struggles to close the distance and get engaged when dealing with a vertical set. Hands don’t wear out even if his initial rush is stalled. Tries to utilize a long-arm stab to control distance, but lacks the length to do it. Arm-over wins on a frequent basis and may be the most used blade in his knife block. Push/pull is another prime tool; dominates tight ends and beats tackles with it. Wins aren’t clean enough; must do better completely breaking free of blocker’s wingspan. Lacks speed to power ability for bull rushing. Ties his hands together well; coordination is huge in his block shedding. Great variety of pacing in his rushes. Counters need more juice. Well-rounded plan of attack that never runs out of options. Good rip setup and leveraging but doesn’t finish it off.

Natural Bend & Athleticism

Well-built frame that has continued to mature throughout his college career. Short stepper who doesn’t cover much ground as he moves. Spots the release coming from the passer and gets an arm up to bat it down. Ability to contort body through openings makes him an effective stunter. Does not consistently cut back his angles into the pocket once he reaches the corner. Arms aren’t as long as you’d desire for an edge rusher. Average to below average ankle flexion. Experienced working both defensive end and rush outside linebacker. Can be taken out the backside of the pocket by patient tackles. Works well laterally. Can’t dip his hips and get parallel to the turf when working a pure outside rush. Overall stiffness is worrisome. Potential in coverage is an unknown commodity; mixed so far.

Anchor Strength

Does not have the strength to meet blockers head on without being moved by the punch. Needs to bulk up another 10-15 pounds to deal with the rigors of the pro game, although his frame should take the weight without issue. Tends to guess and shoot for penetration rather than hold his ground; unlikely to be an effective two-gap defender. Gets popped out of the way as he comes off the snap on the majority of his plays. Too much time spent on the ground hints at a balance issue that will magnify in the NFL. Got cleaned out of his rush lane by a Missouri back; where is the power? Got walked back by tight ends if he met them with inactive hands; cannot reanchor upon losing ground. Cut blocks are his nemesis; goes flying if he has to dodge low contact to continue his assignment.


Brings enough force to take out runners when he makes contact, even without perfect accuracy. Stack and shed ability is near instant; can allow him to get good backfield penetration. Tends to descend too early, often ending up at the ankles of his target. Backside closing speed won’t catch up to runners who pace at the line of scrimmage. Patient when working containment. Tackling radius is not optimal. Will have trouble getting winning angles unless he goes far wide. Drives into runners even after he makes contact. Will need to wrap at the hips more frequently to make up for smaller arms. Goes for the strip when he gets a free run at the quarterback; chops downwards and tests the grip strength of the signal caller. Faster and meaner in 2017. Will eat contact to make the play happen.


Hustle is solid on a snap to snap basis. Not deterred by a loss early in a rep, and quickly rebounds to make plays. Fails to get involved when asked to put his engine in overdrive. Doesn’t go 100% when in pursuit even when there is a chance to get involved late. Does not seem to gas out quickly, but his hands do become less active as the game drags on. Doesn’t play like his hair on fire, but doesn’t quit prematurely either. Reps don’t finish as strong as they start, something that will need to improve if he wants to create pressure more. Legs keep running if he can get an initial push through. Willing to get into the action if a pile forms.

Categories: 2019, EDGE, Scouting report