Had a chance to catch up with FSU DT/NT Derrick Nnadi. As the Saints have shown interest in both free agency and the draft process in beefing up the interior of the defensive line Nnadi is a player to watch in the middle rounds. A good run stopper who has the play strength and mental processing to be a complete player. The possible union of Nnadi, Sheldon Rankins, Cameron Jordan and Alex Okafor could provide a stout base front.
Deuce: Thanks for taking the time to talk Derrick. Whats this process been like for you? Meeting teams at the Senior Bowl, the NFL Combine and I’m sure you will at your Pro Day. Are you living the dream?
DN: The process has been what I expected it to be. I’ve met a lot of great people and the combine was a wonderful experience. To be doing what I what I love to do, of course I’m living the dream (haha).
Deuce: From the measurable side of things how did you feel you did at the NFL Combine? Do you think the combine is a bit overrated in ways, and that ultimately your tape should show who you are?
DN: I feel like I did ok. Compared to others, I understand that things could’ve been better. When it comes to the combine, I don’t think it’s overrated. From how I see it, the combine, as well as pro day, is used to get measurements and compare it to a person’s film. They gotta use both to help come to a decision, so both are truly needed.
Deuce: What would you say your best game in 2017 was on tape? What’s your go-to if you wanna show a coach or scout what you’re capable of, and what makes that game so special?
DN: I feel like my best game was the Clemson game. Even though we didn’t get the win, I feel like form and technique was really good.
Deuce: From an alignment standpoint, how comfortable are you in a 0/1 Tech vs a 3 Tech? Do you think you could handle consistent 2 gapping assignments when asked, or do you prefer to have a 1 gap assignment and work as a penetrator?
DN: Honestly I’m used to both scenarios. There are many games that I had to switch from 2 gapping to working with just 1, as well as working as a 0/1 tech or a 3 tech. I’m fine with either one.
Deuce: One thing we’ve heard scouts mention about you as a strength is your ability to read your keys and diagnose quickly, specifically in the run game. How important is the mental part of the game for an interior DL, and do you think you’ve got an advantage in that area compared to your peers?
DN: I feel that it’s a crucial part of the game and it all comes from watching film. Honestly that’s half the game right there. I’m not worried if I have an advantage or that, it’s all about how much time you put into it.
Deuce: How comfortable are you in varied fronts? We see multiple teams around the league constantly showing different variations of odd and even fronts to try an confuse passers and ball carriers. Do you consider versatility a strength?
DN: Yes, it brings a lot of variation in a defense. I’m very comfortable when it comes to that. My school does the same thing.
Deuce: Who was the opponent that gave you the hardest time getting by in college, and why?
DN: It would have to be Lamar Jackson. From passing to extending the play with his feet, he’s a great football player.
Deuce: Do you put sugar in your grits?
DN: I’m not a fan of grits, I’d go for some oatmeal or some cream of wheat.
Deuce: Are you a 2k or Madden guy?
DN: I’m a little of both, but I’m a lot better in 2k than Madden.