Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

Corey Liuget vs Ohio State (via AloAloysius)


6-2, 300 lbs

2010: 12.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks

I've read in a few places that Rex is apparently in LOVE with this guy.  And after reading that I decided to look for myself and its easy to see why.  The guy is just explosive and seems to live in the backfield.  But I think that what is probably my favorite thing about this guy is that his name is pronounced "LEGIT."  Can't hate that. 

I first came across Liuget by accident.  I'm a big fan of Mikel Leshoure (Illinois RB who I would LOVE for the Jets to draft, but thats for another day) and tried to watch him whenever I could.  I didn't really know anything about Liuget at the time but kept noticing what a pain in the ass he was for opponents.  He was always in the backfield blowing things up.  I mean a lot.  And you know a DL is disruptive when you keep noticing him when you're not specifically watching him.   So needless to say, I wasn't suprised to see him ranked pretty high at the end of the season.

However, like a lot of people, my first thoughts were that he was more of a 34 DE or 43 gap-shooting DT.  I didn't really see that as being enough of a priority for the Jets in the first round.  He's not really a gap-shooter like I thought.  Don't get me wrong though, he can do that.  But what I mean is, he's more than just that.  A lot more. 

What impresses me the most is that he seems to always win "the first punch" battle.  By that I mean he always seems give his opponent a jolt that pushes them backwards.  And thats what I see him doing more often than not in the tape above.  He gets into his guy, stands him, and pushes him back.  Mano y mano.  But you also see a lot of the little crafty moves and discipline you might find from a savvy veteran.

Some of my favorite plays from the clip:

0:50 -- straight up stuffs a run play.  OSU runs a draw to his side, he stands his man up and pushes him into the ball carrier.  The play is totally blown up.

2:10 -- Its a pass play and he runs a stunt where he has outside contain.  His responsibility is not to get to the passer but to create confusion for the OL and hopefully get a free run for the DE looping inside.  The DE gets blown up buy Liuget stays disciplined in his lane, and gets his hands up to disrupt the pass, and it results in a pick.

2:25 -- Not even sure if this is a good play but I just like it.  OSU runs a draw to his side again, and he does some kind of weird one-man stunt.  Pretty sure he was running a stunt with the other DT but I'm not sure.  Anyway... the OG on the play is doubling the DE, then he slides off to pick up Liuget, who's coming back into the running lane, and Liuget just trucks right through him and makes the tackle.  The OG got totally punked.

***2:55 -- This is my absolute favorite.  Liuget is shooting the inside gap, he reads run to his outside shoulder on a cut-back, so he chucks the guard (Reggie White style) to the inside with his outside arm, and swallows up the RB for a tackle for loss.  Thats how real men play football.


I'm still kinda torn about using a first round pick on Liuget.  I really like him and I think he could be a really good player.  But I don't think his ceiling is as high as say a Phil Taylor or Kenrick Ellis.  If he could add 20 lbs without losing his ability to uncoil and get that pop off scrimmage, I'd be 100% behind taking him at 30 (if he's there).  But I think that he's much better suited to play DT in a 43 defense than he is to playing in a 34.  Right now, at 300 lbs, I think he could be very effective as a 34 DL, but not enough to force constant double teams and to hold his ground against them if he does draw them, which is kinda the requirement in a 34 defense. 

However, what makes me torn about him is the prospect of putting him at NT on passing downs.  I think he could hold up and be just fine on running downs as a 34 DE.  He gets enough initial pop that he probably won't get pushed around by bigger OTs.  But I think that by putting him at NT on passing downs, he could develop into quite the demon.  Like I said before he gets a good busrt off the snap, and he's got a lot of interior moves to resort to, and he's a high motor extremely active and violent guy.  So if he's there to be had, and we do take him, I'd be cautiously excited about it.         

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