You can never have too many good pass rushers, and Kevin Dodd coming out of Clemson is certainly one that fits the description, getting recent interest from the Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins.
The big question regarding Dodd, who has already visited with the Seahawks and Dolphins while probably doing so in the future with the Panthers, is whether or not the Shaq Lawson presence affected him, for better or worse. Lawson, who will go much earlier in the draft, might have made it easier for Dodd to get his 12.5 sacks and 24 tackles for a loss last season, usually facing off against the weaker offensive tackle in Clemson games. However, Dodd might simply be flying under the radar because he was playing next to Lawson.
Right now, he’s a low first round pick or maybe later. This draft is filled with good defensive linemen so teams aren’t in a rush to pick one unless he’s one of the franchise-player type of guys, at least according to projections. Dodd has all the intangibles to be one: He’s 6’5 with long arms and excellent numbers in 2015, including finishing his college career with five consecutive games of sacking someone. However, it was his only season as a starter, which means he might not have the experience pro teams want from a player heading into the NFL.
But while his weaknesses mean he could struggle getting starter time right off the bat once he begins his NFL career, it’s hard to imagine him not becoming a three-down type of player very quickly. The Panthers, for example, might be drafting him with the day after Charles Johnson in mind. The Seahawks also have some holes to fills at defensive end, with disgruntled players regarding money a constant in the Northwest scenery over the last two years.
In Miami, Dodd might get more playing time than anywhere else right away considering how disappointing they were when rushing the passer last season. His size, athleticism and football intelligence/instincts (whatever you want to call it) are what ideal defensive ends are made of. If he falls down to the second round, he’ll might turn out to be one of the steals in this draft.