It's no mystery that the Bengals love themselves some tall defensive ends. Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson, Margus Hunt and Will Clarke all stand at 6-foot-6 or taller. But whether it's Marvin Lewis or former defensive line coach Jay Hayes who placed a heavy emphasis on selecting tall defensive ends in the draft remains to be seen. If Cincinnati still likes tall defensive ends, Penn State's Carl Nassib would seem like a no-brainer in the third round and would warrant strong consideration in the second.
Weight: 277 lbs
Arm length: 34 1/2
Hands: 10 3/8
College: Penn State
Class: Redshirt Senior
40 dash: 4.84
Bench press: 21 reps
Vert jump: 28.5"
Broad jump: 114.0"
3 cone: 7.27
20 yard shuttle: 4.37
Nassib compared to other defensive ends, per Mock Draftable
Nassib's older brother, Ryan, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 Draft. He's currently backing up Eli Manning on the New York Giants. Nassib has rare size for a defensive end, but like Hunt and Clarke, his lack of college production (considered a one-year wonder) makes him a gamble in one of the early rounds of the Draft.
Scouting Report Consensus - What to like
- Relentless pass-rusher; decent repertoire of moves
- Can mix speed and power well; very disruptive
- Disciplined in assignments; great block-shredder
- High motor, great character, great work ethic
- Technically sound, diagnoses plays quickly
Scouting Report Consensus - What not to like
- One-year wonder
- Doesn't have elite strength or speed
- Needs to improve as a run defender
- Dominated against bad teams, didn't perform vs top teams
- Played exclusively against right tackles
The Bengals have likely kept a close eye on Nassib, as they're one of the few teams that has the ability to take a chance on him. About half of the league runs a 3-4 base defense, which means that there are really only about 16 teams that would consider Nassib (simply because he doesn't fit into a 3-4 scheme). Of those teams, many have pressing needs that need to be addressed early. Nassib may have been a one-year wonder, but he reminds me a ton of the Bengals' defensive ends. He's obviously tall, but he also uses a unique blend of speed and strength to make plays on defense. Nassib had to gain 50-60 pounds throughout his college career to get to the point where he was ready to play during his senior year. In 2015, he led the nation in sacks despite missing two games. A few years earlier, Nassib was a walk-on who was told by former head coach Bill O'Brien that he needed to forget about playing football. Nassib's lack of volume raises questions, but his unquestioned work ethic more than makes up for those doubts.
If Nassib were on the board in the second round, assuming the Bengals didn't take a defensive end in the first round, I would definitely take him. If he were on the board in the third round and the Bengals were to pass on him, I would be angry. The Margus Hunt experiment hasn't appeared to work out, and it will end when his contract expires after the 2016 season, barring an unforeseen breakout. The jury is still out on Will Clarke, but he and Nassib don't play on the same side of the defensive line, so it's not worth comparing the two. The Bengals need to find a legitimate backup at left end, and Nassib can be that guy. And despite being a redshirt senior, Nassib is only 23 years old, which means he still has plenty of time to grow. And with a work ethic that won't let any obstacles get in the way, Nassib seems like a perfect candidate to take on Day 2 of the 2016 Draft.