Oregon junior defensive lineman Arik Armstead will get to show NFL scouts what he can do against one of the nation's most talented offensive lines in the Rose Bowl against Florida State on New Year's Day, but as an athlete, at least one NFL general manager is already sold on the Ducks underclassman.
"No. 9 (Armstead) is extremely gifted," the GM told NFL Media's Albert Breer. "He has first-round talent, no doubt. The more he shows us in the playoff game, the better chance he has. But he's a 6-foot-8, 290-pound freak."
That praise comes less than two weeks after Yahoo! Sports reported similar remarks about Armstead from an AFC West general manager.
"Can see him go very, very high. Has everything you want out of a [defensive lineman]," the GM said. "Height, length, power, pass-rush ability. Needs to show more consistency, but raw potential is very intriguing."
While there aren't many doubts about Armstead's physical ability, his production at the college level will be something NFL scouts will have to consider. He has just 2.5 sacks this season with 5.5 tackles for loss. Not that college statistics necessarily matter to NFL scouts -- Houston Texans rookie Jadeveon Clowney was the first name called in the 2014 draft coming off a 3.5-sack year at South Carolina -- but Armstead's ability to finish plays will be a question scouts will want to reconcile.
Armstead has yet to announce whether he will enter the 2015 NFL Draft. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15.