Scouting Report: Marcus Hardison, DT

How high can this explosive defensive lineman go in the draft?

How high can this explosive defensive lineman go in the draft?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I have moved away from the corner back position (for now) and refocused my attention to the defensive lineman in this year’s draft class.  Hardison’s name has come up quite a bit in conversations with other draftniks as someone who might fit the profile of a Patriots-type player, so I decided to give him a look to see if I agreed or disagreed with their assessment. Read on to find out.

Name: Marcus Hardison

School: Arizona State (Sr.)

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 311 Lbs

 

Positives:

If you had never watched Hardison play and just looked at his measurables, you would assume he was a DT.  You would be right and wrong though because Hardison plays everywhere. In the games I watched, he lined up in a 4-3 at both DT spots as well as both DE spots.  In the 3-3 and 3-4 defense that ASU likes to play, he also lined up at DT, DE, and even OLB on a few plays.  He is that versatile because of his explosive first step and speed.  Coming off the line of scrimmage he looks like a pass rusher who is 40 pounds lighter but he is no slouch as a run defender either. He shows a good anchor, active hands, and good strength to disengage from his opponent and make the tackle.  Hardison is an aggressive player with a unique combination of size, burst, and agility.  He also has a good motor and seems to be effective throughout the game.

 

Negatives:

The majority of Hardison’s production came from the DE spot while at ASU.  In the NFL, I think he will be kicked inside in a 4-3 or play the 5 tech in a 3-4.  He relied heavily on his speed to win in college and must refine his technique in order to be effective at the next level.  Hardison was handled if the offensive lineman was able to stop his initial surge so he needs to refine his pass rush counter moves. He also needs to work on his hands because they’re not as active as I would like to see especially if he is going to move inside.  Hardison’s main responsibility was also to rush the passer so he will need to work on playing the run.  He also tends to be over aggressive when it comes to anticipating the snap, which has led to a lot of off sides penalties.

 

Overall:

It is pretty rare to see a guy run the arc as well as Hardison does at 311 pounds.   He has a great burst at the snap and an explosive first step that rivals some of the pass rushers in this year’s draft.  I think he could really excel as a 5 tech in a 3-4.  He has to improve his technique and hand use though because he will not be able to rely on his speed all the time in the NFL.  I really want to see him add some additional pass rush moves, especially to the inside so he can take advantage of his speed and agility.  Hardison was not run at a ton, so the tape on him anchoring and setting the edge is somewhat limited.  From what I saw though the raw skills are definitely there and just need to be developed.

 

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11 Responses to “Scouting Report: Marcus Hardison, DT”

  1. rdf63 says:

    He had some pretty good numbers in 2014 with 53 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and six turnovers. The biggest question is people really don’t know how good he really is having spent time at a Community College in Kansa and then a back up to Will Sutton. His value is really tough to evaluate but would consider taking him with a 3rd or 4th round pick.

  2. Russell says:

    Prospect’s for the oline I like for the Patriots ;

    John Miller 6’2″ 303 Lbs #29 on the bench with 331/4 “arms
    Marpet 6’4″ 307 lbs # 30 on the bench with 333/8″ arms
    Erving 6’5″ 313 lbs #30 on the bench with 341/8″ arms
    Finney 6’4″ 318 lbs # 20 on the bench with 32″ arms
    Fisher 6’6″ 306 lbs # 25 on the bench with 333/4 ” arms
    Gibson 6′ 5″ 305 lbs # 24 on the bench with 351/8″ arms
    Robinson 6’7″ 324 lbs # 28 on the bench with 355/8 ” arms

    • rdf63 says:

      John Miller 6’2″ 303 Lbs #29 on the bench with 331/4 “arms
      Marpet 6’4″ 307 lbs # 30 on the bench with 333/8″ arms
      Erving 6’5″ 313 lbs #30 on the bench with 341/8″ arms
      Finney 6’4″ 318 lbs # 20 on the bench with 32″ arms
      Fisher 6’6″ 306 lbs # 25 on the bench with 333/4 ” arms
      Gibson 6′ 5″ 305 lbs # 24 on the bench with 351/8″ arms
      Robinson 6’7″ 324 lbs # 28 on the bench with 355/8 ” arms

      There is a lot of good talent in this year draft. A couple of the players from your list that stand out because of their versatility is Cameron Erving and Fisher. The Pats may have the opportunity to pick two offensive lineman in the first four rounds that could be immediate starters. The Pats may be thinking of building a line that could last a long time right now. A few other players I like are:
      A.J. Cann, G, South Carolina Height: 6-3, 313
      Tre Jackson, G, Florida State Height: 6-4, 330
      Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke Height: 6-3, 323
      Arie Kouandjio, G, Alabama Height: 6-5, 310
      Matias, G, Florida State, 6-5. Weight: 309
      Kouandio and Matias are both interesting candidates because they had excellent combines and moved up to possible 2nd round picks but were considered late 3rd before and could stay that way.

  3. nick says:

    new mock i did over at fanspeak. daryl williams is an absolute beast. watch film on him if u haven’t

    32: R1P32
    DE ARIK ARMSTEAD
    OREGON
    64: R2P32
    OT DARYL WILLIAMS
    OKLAHOMA
    96: R3P32
    G JOSUE MATIAS
    FLORIDA STATE
    98: R4P2
    DE HENRY ANDERSON
    STANFORD
    128: R4P32
    ILB BEN HEENEY
    KANSAS
    162: R6P2
    WR KENNY BELL
    NEBRASKA
    194: R7P2
    G BOBBY HART
    FLORIDA STATE

    • jim r says:

      that would work,line help and depth. heeney is nice depth at LB. Bell could be a steal that late could add competition

  4. Dylan.C says:

    I really like the tape that I watched of both Marcus Hardison and Xavier Cooper. Similar players in terms of measurable’s and in that they played all over the line in college. Also, both were successful rushing the passer from the edge despite their larger size and both project as 4-3 DTs or 3-4 DEs in the NFL. They both absolutely wrecked havoc and were in the backfield on nearly every play. I would really like to see the Pats target one or both of these guys and I think they offer very good value in the 2-4 rounds. I have a feeling that they will be rising up draft boards.

    Imagine a 3rd down defense with Nink, Jones, Hightower, Collins, one of these guys, and a healthy Easely? The offense wouldn’t have a clue where the rush was coming from.

    • Dylan.C says:

      Also, imagine if we draft another legitimate edge rusher…. We could actually ROTATE other people in so that Jones and Nink don’t need to play 99% of the snaps =)

  5. Russell says:

    Player to watch at the Combine OT Laurence Gibson Va. Tech. 6’6″ 300lbs runs (college time 4.96 40 yd.) I have met this guy and he is a powerful guy. I asked about his wieght room work; 445 lb bench max, 346 lb clean, and 450 lb squat. He showed me his several work-out plans, and talked about his film room work. A real humble guy who works hard to move-up in the Va.Tech program from a guy on the FG protection team, to starting LOT for Tech.
    Prep school; Hargrave Military Academy, and was listed as the No. 2 prep school prospect by Rivals.
    Has graduated with two degrees, Sociology, and psychology.

    • Russell says:

      Gibson showed very well at the Combine 5.04 40yd, 24 bench with 35 1/8″ arms, 9’5″ B-jump. He was very attentive to instruction during the drills. Looked good very quick feet.

  6. Ryan says:

    Hardison does seem like good value at pick #64, especially considering Carl Davis’s recent rise in the DT standings and the lack of quality players behind him, but it might be difficult to pick a DT there because of all the OG talent available. A good portion of the NFL-ready OGs available at 64 could be gone at 96, so I would rather go with Laken Tomlinson or even Josue Matias with our second-round pick because OG feels like a more pressing need than DT.

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