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Scouting The Draft: Clifton Geathers, South Carolina, DE

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I don't think many other players would of benefited more by returning for their senior season than Clifton Geathers. A great athlete with a lot of talent. who also has sloppy technique. He sent a request to the draft advisory board, and the return was not a positive one, saying he was likely to be drafted around round 5/6 or 7. Many expected that he would return to South Carolina after this and improve his game. He however decided that it was best to jump ship and get to the NFL as soon as possible.

Geathers was arrested before the start of the 2009 season for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, some of you may have been his mugshot where his eye is almost completely swollen shut. Here is what one draft analyst had to say about Geathers:

"Very inconsistent football player. Not a very technically sound guy. Some games he looks really good, and others he looks rather average," Detillier said. "With somebody that big, that strong, that quick, he should be a dominant player. And he just flashes it."

He has the family pedigree, his father was a 3rd round pick by Buffalo in 1981, his brother Robert Geathers plays for Cincinnati as a starting defensive end. His uncle Jumpy Geathers had a 13 year NFL career where he posted 62 sacks in total. So football runs through his blood. He also stands at an impressive 6'7 299 lb's

Career Stats

2007- 10 games plaed, 2 tackles

2008- 13 games played, 29 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, 2.5 sacks

2009- 12 games played, 41 tackles, 8.8 for a loss, 3.5 sacks

Combine Results:

40 Yard Dash: 4.96

Bench Press: 26

Vertical Jump 36.0

Broad Jump: 9'04

What Does Geathers Do Well?

First and foremost he has excellent size, he has good pedigree and he has room to grow. He shows good strength, and has good speed to protect the edge. Competent against the run, and can tackle quite well . He does hold the point well and can anchor the line to protect the lanes for the linebackers to make tackle on the ball carrier. Uses his length to bring down the ball carrier close to the line. Has a good bull rush that he uses to decrease the size of the pocket. Does have some quickness off the snap, has a variety of moves that could work if practiced a little more.

What Does Geathers Need To Work On?

Geathers is a raw prospect, a very raw prospect. He is incredibly inconsistent, and his body control is an issue, has good speed but doesn't always look like he is using it. Has a nice burst, but doesn't consistently get off the snap well. Doesn't always show the effort getting down field in pursuit. He has the strength to keep players off him but his pad level needs to be better. He needs to use a variety of moves and not rely on his bull rush quite as much. Coasting off his superior speed and strength at South Carolina, needs to work on his technique to make a difference at the next level.

Final Word

Geathers is an interesting prospect, he definitely should of returned to South Carolina for his senior season. I think with a little more coaching and another season as a starter (only started in 2009), he would be a more polished attractive prospect. As it stands if you don't have too many needs to fill in the late rounds, and you have some good technique coaches, it might be worth taking a punt on this guy. He has good size, speed and strength, he just needs to learn the intricacies of the position. I don't think he will make much impact in year one in the NFL, but it wouldn't surprise me to see his name on some stat sheets in a couple of years. I could go either way on Clifton to be quite honest. If Rex thinks he can mold him and he takes him, then will trust his judgment.

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