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2015 NFL Draft: Scouting Eli Harold, Virginia Edge Rusher

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Could the Broncos add the athletic pass rusher to their defense?

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

One prospect who may interest the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft is former Virginia pass rusher Eli Harold. He is a 6'3", 247lb edge rusher who is considered one of the better ones in this draft class. Harold is ranked as the 36th overall prospect in the draft according to CBS Sports, and is ranked as the 3rd best outside linebacker in the entire draft.

Harold played three seasons at Virginia and put up some good numbers during his career. During his three-year career, he totaled 141 total tackles, 36.5 tackles for a loss, 17.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 4 pass deflections, 4 forced fumbles and 1 defensive touchdown. Harold has back to back seasons(2013 and 2014) of at least 50 tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, and 7 sacks.

Eli Harold

Outside Linebacker, Junior, Virginia

Height: 6'3" Weight: 247lbs 40 time: 4.60

Arm Length: 33" Hands: 9 3/8

Vertical Jump: 35 inches Broad Jump: 123.0 inches

3 Cone Drill: 7.07 seconds 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.16 seconds

60 Yard Shuttle: 11.81 seconds

Film Room:

Eli Harold vs Cameron Erving (2014)

Eli Harold vs Pittsburgh (2014)

Eli Harold vs Louisville (2014)

Scouting Report:

Strengths:

  • Outstanding athlete
  • Fires out of his stance
  • Usually the first one off the line of scrimmage
  • Keeps his pad level low
  • Has quick and takes long strides
  • Changes direction quickly
  • Great motor
  • Very good hand usage
  • Can get skinny and slip through gaps
  • Active player
  • Surprising strength

Weaknesses:

  • Will need to bulk up his lean lower half
  • Will need to improve his functional strength
  • His frame looks to be maxed out
  • While he does play with surprising strength at times, he struggles with physical blockers
  • Struggles against the run
  • Lack of lower body strength makes it hard for him to anchor
  • Has a hard time at disengaging from blockers
  • Very little experience in coverage/space
  • Sometimes gets too far upfield
  • Below average instincts

Does Eli Harold fit with the Broncos?:

Sure, you can never have enough pass rushers

I came away with mixed feelings about Harold. I love his explosiveness, his non-stop motor and is ability to get after the passer. What I didn't like was his lack of strength in his lower half, his inability to get off blockers, and his struggles in the run game.

I view Harold as a very good pass rusher, and that's it. He will be a liability in the run game unless he improves his overall strength. He would fit well into the Broncos 3-4 defense, but teams could take advantage of his struggles in the run game.

If Harold was drafted by the Broncos he would serve as the potential replacement for veteran DeMarcus Ware. He can play either linebacker spot, and would give Von Miller a young and explosive pass rushing partner.

I know many on MHR are high on Harold, and I see why. He's explosive, and would give the Broncos another very good pass rusher. I have my concerns about the other parts of his game, but I would be okay with this pick. Harold is expected to go in the late first to early second round.