Da’Shawn Hand 2018 NFL Draft Profile

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Da'Shawn Hand

Overview
Position
: Defensive line
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 297 pounds
School: Alabama Crimson Tide

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.83 seconds
Bench press: 28 reps
Vertical jump: 31.5 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 3 inches
Three-cone drill: 7.98 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.62 seconds

Da’Shawn Hand 2018 NFL Draft Profile

Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook. Those are just a few of the names currently in the NFL that were college prospects in 2014 but weren’t as highly rated as Da’Shawn Hand. The number one recruit in the nation according to Rivals, Hand narrowed down his choice of schools from the multitude of offers he received to Alabama, Michigan, and Florida. He committed to the Crimson Tide and comprised a high-powered recruiting class that included other 2018 draft prospects such as Rashaan Evans, Tony Brown and Bo Scarbrough.

Hand saw fairly regular action as a true freshman, no easy feat at Bama considering their stacked roster across all positions. He played in nine games that season and registered two sacks and two tackles for loss. His most prolific season from the standpoint of forcing negative plays out of opposing offenses came the following year. It was then that he added a further three sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss to his career total. Two of his plays in the backfield came in the Tide’s win over Clemson to claim the national title that year.

Still, Bama’s depth made it tough for him to gain consistent starter reps. He only saw time as a reserve during his junior season but did manage a sack, 2.5 tackles for loss, five quarterback hurries, and a forced fumble that year. It was in 2017 when he finally emerged as part of the starting rotation on the defensive line. Though he did miss three games due to an MCL injury, he started nine of the 11 contests he appeared in and tallied a career-high 27 tackles to go along with three sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. Hand collected second-team All-SEC recognition from the league’s coaches as a senior.

Strengths

  • thickly built with long arms and plus wingspan;
  • stuns linemen onto their heels with a good conversion of speed to power;
  • has value getting pressure up the middle in the stunt game;
  • maintains solid base and overall contact balance at the point of attack;
  • drives players back then sheds to inside gap to create pressure in the backfield;
  • shows an ability to disengage from blockers with twists and counters;
  • can shift inside as a reduced rusher on passing downs;
  • versatile player who coaches can deploy as a 4-3 tackle or 3-4 end.

Weaknesses

  • just a year of consistent starter level reps despite five-star status out of high school;
  • stays anchored to blocker instead of releasing to attack ball-carrier;
  • ploddy footwork and subpar reactive athleticism;
  • might not have the burst to win on the perimeter at the next level;
  • legitimate questions over whether he’s capable of playing with the edge required of him;
  • production in college didn’t match expectations.

NFL Comparison: Jonathan Allen

Teams With Need at Position: Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins

Projection: Second to third round

Bottom Line

Hand certainly had his moments on Alabama’s defensive front. But considering his status as one of the top prospects at any position prior to his arrival in Tuscaloosa, many observers consider his college career a bit of a disappointment. Only as a senior was he able to emerge beyond that of a rotational defensive lineman. And even then, his numbers were underwhelming as he finished 12th on the team in tackles for loss and 16th in tackles. Having said that, Hand possesses the physical tools to succeed at the next level. For that reason, he probably won’t slide past day two of the draft. All that’s required of him moving forward is a drive to succeed so that his potential and natural talent doesn’t go to waste.

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