Photo of Courtney Upshaw
Drafted By: Ravens
  • Round 2
  • Pick 3
  • Overall 35

Combine Results

Grade
88.0 ?
  • 22 REPS
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

Mayock's take: "What a great fit. Remember, their Sam linebacker left town. Upshaw now steps in with a chance to win that spot as a second-round rookie."

  • 6'2" Height
  • 32" Arm Length
  • 272LBS. Weight
  • 9" Hands

Overview

Upshaw is a naturally strong player who will be an imposing rush outside linebacker in a 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 through the years. He is at his best 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. With his size, strength and ability to stop the run, Upshaw has late first-round talent. Look for him to be drafted by a team 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 body strength 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 in place, shed him and react to the play. He also uses his hands well when covering a tight end at the line of scrimmage. Physical strength, explosion and the ability to overpower offensive linemen to get to the ball carrier are Upshaw's best traits. Upshaw uses brute strength to rush the passer, can leverage tackles at the point of attack and 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 and a finesse player second. He can struggle at times pursuing a play across the field. He is much more effective in tight quarters than in space, and there are questions as to whether his athletic ability will be exposed at the next level.
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Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.

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