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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson

Kevin Dodd, defensive end from Clemson, is profiled and evaluated for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Kevin Dodd – Clemson Tigers


Position: Defensive End
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 275
Year: RS Junior
Hometown: Taylors, SC
Experience: 1-year starter



40yd dash: 4.86
Broad jump: 110
Vertical: 30.5
3-cone: 7.18
20yd. Shuttle: 4.44
Bench Press: 22

Note: 40-yard dash time is from combine. He did not participate in other drills after pulling up with a hamstring injury. Other results are from Dodd’s pro day.


Career Notes:

After high school, Kevin Dodd spent a year at Hargrave Military Academy before joining Clemson in 2012. Dodd spent his first three years waiting for playing time behind a deep Clemson defensive line group. He had the physical traits, but he struggled to translate that into on-the-field production with only 21 tackles and zero sacks. In the fourth game of 2013, Dodd suffered a season-ending knee injury and received a medical redshirt.

After only 92 snaps in 2014, Dodd became a starter this past season and he finally made his presence felt. He continued to improve throughout the year and finished off with strong performances against Oklahoma and Alabama in the College Football Playoff. He finished 2015 with 12.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss, essentially matching the production of star teammate Shaq Lawson (12.5 sacks, 24.5 tfl).

Dodd lined up as the strong side defensive end. He played standing up and from a three-point-stance, and he occasionally dropped into coverage.


Injury Report: 

Dodd received a medical redshirt in 2013 after he injured his knee in the fourth game of the season


Career Stats:


Against the Run: 3.5/5.0 Kevin is excellent at shooting gaps to gain penetration. When his initial move doesn’t gain penetration, Dodd tends to lean into offensive lineman with his shoulder instead of using hands to get off the block. He maintains his position and does not over-pursue. Dodd sets the edge in the run game, and keeps a lot of plays from bouncing quickly outside. On plays the other way, Dodd scrapes down the line of scrimmage in pursuit. He shows excellent play recognition and doesn’t get fooled by misdirection or screen plays.

Pass Rush: 4.0/5.0 Dodd has a quick first step when rushing the passer, which gets the tackle moving backwards. He is effective with both bull rushes and using his speed to beat the tackle around the edge. Kevin shows good use of hands with strong rip and swat moves to keep the tackle off of him, which also allows him to quickly disengage and pursue the ball. 

Agility: 3.0/5.0 Shows good COD, which is probably aided by his quick mental processing. He is able to dip his hips and accelerate around the corner on pass rushes. Also, he did occasionally drop into zone coverage, but he struggled making tackles one-on-one in space because he would lunge and miss quick runners.

Impact Play Ability: 4.5/5.0 Kevin showed a tremendous ability to make big plays, especially when it matters most. In the National Championship Game, he destroyed Alabama’s offensive line and finished with five tfl, including three sacks. Earlier in the season, with a three-point lead in the final seconds of the Louisville game, Dodd came up with a sack on that essentially sealed the win. The sack pushed the Cardinals out of field goal range and kept the clock running, so they were forced to rush a desperation Hail Mary that came up short. Also, he had six tackles and two sacks against Notre Dame. Dodd seems to rise to the occasion and play well against the best opponents.

Summary: Kevin Dodd is one of the top edge defenders in the draft class. He has great instincts and is able to process plays quickly and disrupt them in the backfield. He could use some work to develop more pass rushing moves, but he has the athletic ability and strength to get the job done. Dodd plays hard and he has a knack for making plays when they are needed. Most analysts list Dodd's limited experience as his biggest weakness, but he has shown the ability to play well against college football's best. WIth his physical attributes and football IQ, he has potential to be an excellent pro.

Overall Grade: 3.8/5.0  


If drafted by the Packers:

Even with the resigning of Nick Perry and Matthews planned move back outside, you can never have enough pass rushers. Also, Julius Peppers and Nick Perry will be free agents after this season, so the Packers should be looking to add pass rushers in the draft. There could be several good options available when their turn comes at the bottom of the first round, including Kevin Dodd.

Dodd is probably best suited to play as a 4-3 defensive end, but I think he can also play OLB or as a 3-4 DE if he adds a little weight. Although he did look more comfortable rushing from a three-point stance at Clemson, he has a good combination of size and athletic ability to do both. Position doesn’t matter so much either because the Packers play nickel more than base defense. His flexibility, like Peppers and Datone Jones, gives him the ability to play standing up or with his hand in the dirt and he could drop back in Capers zone blitz. With his playmaking ability, he could be very disruptive opposite Mike Daniels and Clay Matthews. 


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Comments (2)

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 01, 2016 at 08:58 am

Well, I don't want Bama's right tackle! I guess that says something. Dodd has talent, but looks like a tweener. He could play elephant OLB for us (joining Peppers and Datone). Probably can drop into a zone but nothing man to man. I agree that he would need to add weight to play DE; at present he is a penetrating DE rather than a stack and shed guy. Probably more of a late first early 2nd guy rather than a legitimate first round guy.

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RCPackerFan's picture

April 01, 2016 at 09:08 am

I agree, He does remind me a bit of Datone Jones. I think his best fit for Green Bay would be at Elephant End.

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