The native of Hamburg, Germany, arrived in the United States in 2007 as part of the USA Football International Student Program; although he had played American football (he was a tight end for the German under-19 national team at the 2006 European Championships), he spoke limited English. After playing for a New Hampshire prep school for two years, he enrolled at Boston College and redshirted as a freshman in 2009. Played in 13 games in '10, including four starts at defensive end, and had 13 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and zero sacks with one pass batted. Started 12 games in '11 and had 27-.5-0 with five passes batted. In 11 starts in '12, he registered 59-7.5-1.5 with four passes batted and one forced fumble. Missed the Clemson game with a shoulder injury. Had a solid senior season in '13, starting all 13 games and tallying 67-14-9.5 with five passes batted and three forced fumbles. Team captain.
Good get-off. Shows an arm-over to defeat tackles. Has some disruptive ability to penetrate gaps. Reads plays and locates the ball. Uses his arms to create room to operate. Good motor in pursuit -- forces runs outside and chases to the boundary. Strong tackler. Tries to disrupt passing lanes. Intelligent and articulate. Hardworking, well-respected captain with a professional approach to the game. Three-year starter. Graded very highly vs. Ohio State.
Lacks ideal size. Overpowered at the point of attack. Pops up off the snap. Needs to develop pass-rush moves and use his hands more violently. Average flexibility, foot speed and change of direction -- exposed in space and shows when he runs the arc. Power element missing. Will be a 24-year-old rookie.
High-motor, effort-based pass rusher who could warrant developmental consideration as a situational 4-3 rush end or stand-up 3-4 linebacker. Is not a natural, physically gifted hunter, but football smarts, competitiveness and effort give him a chance.