Getting to Know: DeMario Pressley

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via media.scout.com

 

Without a third or fourth round pick this year, the Saints third pick of the draft didn't come until the fifth round. With that selection they chose DT DeMario Pressley from North Carolina State. Of course we already had DT Sedrick Ellis in the fold, but I think Payton, in keeping with his best player available philosophy, saw this as a steal in the fifth round. So much so that they decided to trade up, over Cincinnati (yeah, again!) and screw them over out of the guy they wanted. This pick gives us even more depth on the line and proves the teams commitment to beefing up the defense this off-season. If Pressley earns a spot, Payton could have the option of doing some shuffling around on the line, optimizing our potential.

I think this is a good pick but its basically a boom/bust situation. The main concern here are his durability and his consistency. The final two years of his college career were marred with injury, after maintaining relatively healthy prior to that, and the main reason why he fell to the fifth round. These include a dislocated wrist, fractured toe, an elbow injury and knee surgery.

"When you watch the tape of him, he's real up-and-down," said Matt Williamson a member of Scouts, Inc., and a former scout for the Cleveland Browns. "He turns it off and on."

Part of that, Williamson said, might be explained by the rash of injuries Pressley suffered and played through during his senior season.

But even that turned into a red flag in the eyes of some scouts, who have questioned Pressley's durability.

"I think I'm a pretty tough guy," Pressley said. "I can endure pain very well. Accidents, they happen. I broke my wrist and stuff, but I came back strong." - News-Record

If he can prove that these won't be problems he will be a steal for the fifth round.

Physically he is average size, most of it being in his upper body. He has some room to grow, particularly in his lower body. He will need to get bigger and he will definitely need to improve his strength, as it could be the other factor that holds him back. Pressley is quick and speedy, getting a good burst off the line. He may actually be better as an end in a 3-4 than playing on the inside.  He is hard hitting and is good at disrupting the pocket, getting into the backfield and pursuing.

On the character side, there is really not too much to talk about. And thats a good thing! He is a hard worker and is very competitive both on and off the field. Having expected  to get selected earlier, he will have a chip on his shoulder going into training camp and he will be out to prove to all the teams that passed him up because of his injuries that he is for real.

"I am going to work hard this offseason and preseason to really show everybody what I can do," said Pressley, who only missed three games in college. "Those two injuries (wrist and knee) were the only major ones that I have had in my four years there, and I think they were both just a freak accident. I am a tough guy and I can handle it." - Times-Pic

I will let former Atlanta Falcons All-Pro defensive end Chuck Smith sum it all up. He should know, right?

"He can do everything in the book," Smith said. "I believe DeMario Pressley is going to be one of the biggest steals in the draft."

Let's hope so!

Name School Position Hometown DOB Ht. Wt. 40-Yard Bench Press Vertical Jump
DeMario Pressley N.C. State DT Greensboro, NC 11/03/85 6'3" 301 5.11 28 25

 

Year GP Tackles Tackles For Loss Sacks
2004 10 15 1 0
2005 12 43 6 1
2006 12 34 6 2
2007 10 38 6 1.5
Total 44 130 19 4.5

 

Check out New Era Scouting and FF Toolbox for scouting reports. The following information is from NFL.com , NFL Draft Countdown and ESPN Insider , respectively.

The Good...

Strengths:Big, thick-bodied athlete. ... Good quickness and great strength at the point of attack. ... Occupies blockers and is tough to move off the line. ... Holds up well against double teams. ... Good speed and willing to pursue to the flanks.

Strengths:
Excellent athleticism...Very good speed and quickness...Great range...Does a nice job in pursuit and has a burst to close...Does a good job of shedding blocks...Can penetrate and wreak havoc in the backfield...Versatile...He will get a decent push up the middle...Explosive off the ball with a great first step...Still has some upside.

Strengths: Possesses an outstanding combination of size and speed. He is tall with adequate bulk and room left on his frame to get bigger. He has been versatile within a hybrid system that allows him to play traditional DT, as well as the DE spot in three-and-four man fronts. At his best when playing a three-technique, which allows him to use his quick first step and explosive burst to penetrate and disrupt. He shows rare closing burst to the ball carrier (and QB) for a prospect at his position. He is powerful in the upper body. Generally drives legs once in position and flashes the ability to drive offensive linemen back into the quarterback as a bull rusher.

The Bad....

Negatives: Lacks great burst off the snap. ... Occupies blockers without losing ground, but struggles to disengage or make plays in the backfield. ... Tends to lose the ball and can allow plays past him. ... Inconsistent and tends to disappear for stretches.


Weaknesses:
Has an inconsistent motor...Doesn't have great size...He doesn't always play with proper leverage...Will have to get stronger...Not overly stout at the point...Wasn't real productive...Durability may be a concern...Did not have a great senior season.

Weaknesses: Lacks elite bulk, plays too high and struggles to hold the point when teams run at him. Plays with a narrow base and loses balance at times. His effort can be hit and miss and needs to play with better discipline. Gets frustrated by the double team and will give up too easily at times. Gets too far upfield because he's looking to make the big play and occasionally will blow his assignment and take himself out of position. Missed two games after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in 2007, missed timed with a broken wrist in 2006, missed 2007 spring practices because of a toe injury and durability is a concern.

NFL.com Q&A...

Growing up, who was your favorite NFL player and why?
Deion Sanders and "Mean" Joe Greene.
In college, what player hit you the hardest? Who was the recipient of your best hit?
Oliver Hoyte, RB from Southern Miss, O-Line from UVA.
What TV-show marathon will keep you on the couch all day?
Martin
What are the five most-played songs in your iPod? What's the one song you hope nobody ever finds out is in your iPod?
Chris Brown - With You; Trey Songz - Can't help but wait; Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal; Gorilla Zoe - Hood Figga; TI - Top back remix; I hope no one finds
What celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life and why?
Terry Crews, he looks kinda like me and he's very funny.
What is one thing your teammates don't know about you?
I played the tuba for six years.
What reality TV show would you like to be on and why?
Fear Factor. I think I can win.
What's your proudest moment in football? Proudest moment off the field?
First college interception against ECU my senior year; Graduating.
When you play Madden, what team do you use? Do you put yourself on the team?
Dallas Cowboys
Who has been the biggest influence on your football career and how?
My family, they've been the best supporters and I feel like I owe them something special.as
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