With the dog days of summer upon us, and very little news coming out of the NFL, there is one story I’ve been following. Running back Duke Johnson wants out of Cleveland.
During the off-season, Johnson asked the Cleveland Browns to trade him. He was feeling like the Browns just didn’t want him anymore. Hearing that the Browns had put Johnson on the trading block before the running back had even asked about a trade was sort of a hint. Johnson has become so adamant about wanting out of Cleveland that he fired his agent Kristin Campbell and hired Super-agent Drew Rosenhaus.
The New Orleans Saints selected Al-Quadin Muhammad with their last pick of the 2017 NFL draft. There was faint expectation for this pick given its position in the draft but the Saints, who never fail to surprise, pulled off a bit of an upset with the selection of Al-Quadin Muhammad.
His ESPN draft profile reads like a dream for a pass rusher.
Pass Rush Skills
Shoots hand inside and jacks up blockers with initial punch. Above average initial quickness and flashes ability to win with speed to power. Tracks quarterback as he works upfield and sheds in proper direction. Average bend and adequate closing speed. Room for improvement when it comes to double and quick inside moves. Appears to have long arms and gets hands up when doesn’t get to the quarterback.
Versus the run
Flashes ability to shoot gaps and disrupt plays in the backfield. Lean lower body and gets overwhelmed at times but does a better job of setting edge than other edge defenders with similar size. Strong and plays with good pad level for the most part. Shoots hands inside and stacks much bigger blockers though needs to shed quicker at times. Effective wrap-up tackler between the tackles. Some tightness in hips and concerned about ability to regularly make open field tackles. Good effort and sound angles but quicker than fast and struggles to chase down backs on a straight-line.
Ideally fills out frame but best long-term projection is at LDE. That said he is a 3-4OLB candidate with experience lining up in two-point stance and off the line. High-cut and more effective attacking upfiield but has experience dropping and has enough range to hold up in underneath coverage.
Plays with a chip on shoulder and good fight taking on bigger blockers. Relentless would be an overstatement but good effort chasing the run and average to slightly above average effort rushing the passer. Flashes ability to fight through double teams.
Al-Quadin Muhammad’s issues off the field have hampered his ability to develop on the field. He has missed two of the past three seasons because of a suspension and dismissal. The University of Miami suspended him for the 2014 season after he allegedly punched a former student in the face in the Hard Rock Stadium parking lot. Al-Quadin Muhammad was dismissed from the team because the university believed a Miami Beach car dealership gave him free use of an exotic car, which is an NCAA violation.