Photo of Courtney Upshaw
Grade
88.0 ?
  • 22 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 6'2" Height
  • 32" Arm Length
  • 272LBS. Weight
  • 9" Hands

Overview

Upshaw is a naturally strong human being who will be an imposing rush outside linebacker in an NFL 3-4 alignment. His athletic ability can be exposed in the open field because he doesn't have great agility or speed, but his understanding of how to use his strength and leverage, as well as his hands, allows him to blanket tight ends at the line of scrimmage and avoid having to run with them across the field. He has overpowered many tackles and running backs against strong competition over the years. He is a much more effective player against inside runs, and he struggles when having to chase outside. He will also need to develop his footwork and show that he has speed to be an effective pass rusher at the next level. Overall, due to his size, strength, and play against the run, Upshaw has late first-round talent. Look for him to pair with a pass-rush specialist opposite of him at outside backer in a 3-4 scheme where he can set the edge, work against tight ends and be a heavy run defender.

Analysis

Strengths

Upshaw sets the edge as good as any prospect in recent years. He uses his lower strength and girth to stall blockers and read plays off them to get to the ball in the run game. He understands how to use his hands to stack a block, hold the player up, then shed him and react to the play. He also uses his heavy hands well when covering a tight end at the line of scrimmage. Physical strength, explosion, and the ability to overpower offensive lineman to get to the ball carrier is what gives Upshaw so much value. Upshaw uses brute strength to rush the passer, can leverage tackles at the point of attack and literally force them into the backfield to create disruption. He also possesses the flexibility and knee bend to dip around tackles when given a step.

Weaknesses

Upshaw is a strong man who has serious lower body power, and at times this can limit his fluid movements. He labors when moving laterally and has slower feet than most productive pass rushers. He is a bull-rusher first, finesse player second. He can struggle at times pursuing a play across the field for long stretches. He is much more effective in tight quarters than in space, and there are questions as to whether or not his athletic ability will be exposed at the next level.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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