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Scout critical of Oregon DL Arik Armstead


Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead is poised to become a first-round pick in next week's NFL Draft, perhaps in the top half of the round. But for one NFL scout, there is an alarming three-round gap between Armstead's talent and his production.

"Talented and big as hell. He's the one guy I've had a hard time grading. You watch him and you see the talent of a first-round pick. But then he plays like a fourth-round pick," the scout told

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Armstead (6-7, 292 pounds) played several positions along the defensive line for the Ducks, and his versatility gives NFL scouts a measure of confidence that if he struggles in one role, he might flourish in another. His lack of production (2.5 sacks in 13 starts last year) has been a worrisome drumbeat of NFL scouts for months, but the assessment that he plays like a fourth-round pick is a particularly strong condemnation.

The scout also compared Armstead to a steady but unspectacular 10-year veteran who has never developed into a star in the sack category: "You know who he reminds of, Chris Canty. He's that kind of player," the scout said. "I don't think he'll ever be a big sack number guy, but he'll play well for you."

The Canty comparison is all the more interesting given the scout's fourth-round assessment of Armstead's play. Canty, entering his 11th NFL season and his third with the Baltimore Ravens, was a fourth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2005.

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Five of six mock drafts among NFL Media analysts project the San Francisco 49ers to make Armstead the No. 15 overall pick of the draft. The lone dissenter is former Washington Redskins general manager Charley Casserly, who projects Armstead to slip to the New England Patriots with the No. 32 overall pick.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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