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Scouting The 2017 NFL Draft: Garrett Sickels, DL, Penn State

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We continue to look at potential draft prospects with a defensive lineman who could potentially help the Jets as a 3-4 OLB.

NCAA Football: Kent State at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets are showing a lot of interest in Garrett Sickels of Penn State. They conducted a formal interview with him at the combine, they were in attendance at Penn State's pro day yesterday and they spent time talking to him after workouts. So I thought it made sense to cover Garrett this morning in our scouting the draft series.

I don't tend to get caught up in the whole 3-4/4-3 argument. The Jets are a 3-4 base team, but with the way the NFL has evolved, most teams don't play out of their base formation all that often. Saying that Garrett Sickels is most comfortable and most suited to playing as a defensive end in a 4-3, however teams may be looking at him as a 3-4 outside linebacker, and that's certainly how the Jets view him.

Sickels has some pass rush ability, but his functional strength at the point of attack is questionable, which may be why playing as an 3-4 OLB is beneficial, to keep tackles out of his frame. Allow him to set up his moves and utilise his good athleticism without getting glued to blockers.


Hometown: Red Bank, New Jersey

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 261lb's

Hands: 9 1/2"

Arms: 32 1/8"

Combine Performance

40 Yard: 4.90

Bench: 20 Reps

Vertical: 28.0

Broad: 105.0

3 Cone: 7.21

20 Yard: 4.41

College Statistics

2014: 11 Tackles. 3 For a Loss. 2 Sacks.

2015: 36 Tackles. 5.5 For a Loss. 3 Sacks.

2016: 47 Tackles. 13.0 For a Loss. 6.5 Sacks.

Positive Attributes

  • Good motor
  • Consistently in the backfield.
  • Flashed huge potential as a disruptive force (see Ohio State game)
  • Good dip to turn the corner.
  • Smooth athlete with good change of direction ability.
  • Good closing speed on the QB.
  • Intelligent player, gets hands up if he's not getting home.
  • A very solid tackler.
  • Shows a good understanding of how to use his hands.
  • Whenever he's been in space, he's looked quite comfortable

Negative Attributes

  • Can easily get caught in traffic.
  • Tackles can glue on to him, finds it hard to shed bigger blockers.
  • Isn't overly reliable in setting the edge for the run game.
  • Doesn't have that quick first step that you look for in a pass rusher.
  • Can sometimes play too upright, losing a lot of leverage.

Draft Grade

Personally I think Sickels is a 5th round type prospect. He has some talent, and he's shown the ability to get to the QB. In fact he led the Big 10 last year in QB pressures, so his lack of an explosive first step hasn't hurt him all that much and he's still adding strength and power to his game. I agree with most assessments, he'll fit better in the NFL as a 3-4 outside linebacker who is a situational pass rush guy to start his career, with an eye to adding more functional strength to become a 3 down type player. I'd be happy with selecting Sickels in the 5th.

Sickels on Sickels

“It’s an opportunity to make a great first impression and perform at my very best and set some great times for myself and just get to know some teams and establish some relationships,” - Speaking on the combine.