NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones
With the 226th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots selected defensive end Michael Buchanan, Illinois.
This is what we said in our scouting report on Buchanan:
Buchanan is not your typical athletic college speed rusher. He plays the “Bandit” DE/OLB position for the Illini, for the same coach who taught Demarcus Ware and the late Gaines Adams the same position (Vic Koenning, current DC at North Carolina). As the “Bandit”, he is asked to be half pass rush end and half edge setter, two things he does very well at this point.
Buchanan is tall (6’5″, 255) with long 34″ arms, intriguing measurables, and has experience playing both defensive end and outside linebacker. This is an outstanding value, as Buchanan had been projected as a third or fourth-round pick. He is especially adept at batting down passes at the line.
Buchanan’s 6.91 three-cone time was once again telling. He also ran a sub 4.8 forty and benched 22 reps. He totaled 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss in 2012, but was able to notch 7.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss in 2011. Buchanan’s long arms also batted down five passes in 2012.
I saw Buchanan play live against Northwestern in 2011 – along with other Patriots Draft picks Tavon Wilson and Jeremy Ebert – and came away very impressed. Here are my notes from the game:
-Lined up at DE, standing up.
-Playing on kick block units as well.
-Switches to LDE, bulls over RT and flushes QB into sack. Powerful.
-Tries speed rush, can’t quite turn the corner.
-Active hands, keeping himself clean.
-Sets a hard edge, flashes outside, sheds block to make the play.
-Bends around edge and catches RB from behind – impressive athleticism.
-Nice jerk move, can’t get there in time.
-Exhibits plus change of direction skills, mirroring shifty QB – then delivers hit.
-Very active motor, never content to be blocked – using a wide array of counters.
-Keeps outside shoulder clean, strings out play and lays a hit for the TFL.
-Bends around edge, wraps up for another tackle for loss.
-Loses balance on club move, falls to the ground.
-Very strong tackler, wrapping up and delivering the hit each time.
-Shows good speed working down the line against option, makes another good hit.
-Club move sets up the rip, gets pressure on the quarterback.
-Sets edge, sheds block and lays out the RB for another TFL.
-Incredibly impressive quarter, can’t be blocked.
-Steps with OT on down block, finds ball quickly and shows off great COD skills again sacking Persa.
-Another big hit on QB, an absolute menace.
-Disciplined, locates ball and works down the line to make tackle.
-RT stays with him on spin move, keeps working and trips up QB later in the play.
Overview: One of the most impressive games that I’ve seen in a while from a college defensive end. Looked very balanced and versatile and was utterly unblockable for long stretches in the game. Look for Buchanan to be a riser in 2012.