AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
40-YARD DASH: TBD
– Great size and strength for an NFL defensive end, and he has some pop in his hands to lock out offensive tackles one-on-one. Solid hand placement when taking on blocks too.
– Physical at the point of attack and sets the edge pretty easily with his upper-body strength.
– Refuses to get blocked by tight ends and can close the gap with them.
– Squeezes and comes straight down the line of scrimmage when unblocked on the backside of zone runs to make tackles near the line of scrimmage.
– Times the snap well on passing downs to help make up for some of his lack of acceleration on the line of scrimmage, and he takes good angles off the edge as a pass-rusher to beat tackles with slower feet.
– Has good leg drive when bull-rushing to help collapse the pocket against offensive tackles. Also does a good job of working to get on an edge and has a couple of good counters off the bull, like a cross chop, club over and rip move.
– Decent at turning speed to power as a rusher.
– Good pass-rushing motor to get coverage sacks, and he gets his hands up if he can’t get to the quarterback to bat balls at the line of scrimmage.
– Doesn’t show a lot of athletic ability on the field and isn’t quick-twitched.
– Subpar acceleration off the line of scrimmage, which becomes an issue when he doesn’t time up the snap.
– Has a habit of stopping his feet on contact and stands up out of his stance too much for his height. He’ll get washed out by double-teams and might struggle against more physical offensive tackles at the next level.
– Struggles to recognize and get underneath pullers as the spill player in run fits, he will get kicked out occasionally on the front side of power and counter.
– Hasn’t shown many finesse moves he can win around the edge with as a pass-rusher at the next level, partially because he needs to be more accurate with his initial chops to get the offensive lineman’s hands down when working a move.
– Not very bendy. His ankles aren’t flexible.
— DOB: 4/22/2001 (22 years old on draft day)
— A 3-star recruit in the 2019 class, No. 396 overall, No. 27 SDE, per 247Sports’ composite ratings
—Injuries: 2019 (hip, missed entire season), 2021 (leg, missed 3 games)
— 15 career starts, played behind Aidan Hutchinson (2022 second overall pick) and David Ojabo (2022 second-round pick)
— 2022 Honors: Second-team All-American (FWAA), Academic All-Big Ten, first-team All-Big Ten, Smith-Brown Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year
— 2021 Honors: Academic All-Big Ten
– Father played offensive line at Florida State, and sister played basketball at Georgetown
After being hidden behind a couple of top-50 picks last season, Mike Morris burst onto the scene and was one of the most physically dominant edge defenders in the country. He’s aggressive at the point of attack and might have the best upper-body strength of any defensive end in this year’s draft class.
Morris puts his power to good use as a pass-rusher and against the run, as he can collapse the pocket with a bull rush and can be hard to block one-on-one. However, the NFL Scouting Combine will be important for him, as he didn’t show a ton of impressive athletic traits on the field.
Probably the biggest concern with the Michigan product moving forward is whether he has enough athletic ability and bend to win around the edge and add a finesse move or two to his pass-rushing arsenal.
That could make his scheme fit a little difficult, as he’ll need to show more athleticism to play as an edge in an odd or even front, and he’s not big enough to play as a 3-technique. Right now, his best fit is as a defensive end in an even front for a team that is looking for a power-rusher.
GRADE: 7.2 (High-level Backup/Potential Starter, 3rd round)
PRO COMPARISON: Za’Darius Smith