Early 2016 NFL Draft Scouting: Iowa Hawkeyes DE Drew Ott


The Iowa Hawkeyes football program lost a lot of seniors this past year to the NFL, and plenty of really good looking NFL prospects including the fifth overall pick in the entire draft, offensive tackle Brandon Scherff.

This year, there are going to be a lot of new players stepping into larger roles, and the guy Scherff was probably going up against a lot in practice — defensive end Drew Ott — is a player that will be ascending into not just a bigger role, but an NFL spotlight.

Baltimore Ravens third round pick Carl Davis received a bulk of the attention last year for the Hawkeyes defensive line, and for good reason. He’s a 6-5, 320 pound mammoth with quickness off the snap and the ability to dominate games. Ott wasn’t bad himself, showing power, range, a strong punch, and really good ability to make plays all over the field.

Here’s his Maryland tape, courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com, and I’ll tell you some things I noticed from this game.

  • Ott made some really nice plays in — gasp — coverage in this game. The first play of that tape shows Ott faking a rush, dropping into a zone, and picking off the quick slant.
  • There are three plays in this game by my count where Ott drops into a zone and actually is the reason why the play fails. Once he forces the Maryland QB to improvise, and another time, he ruins a screen play before it really happens. Those are the type of instincts that NFL scouts are going to love about Ott’s game.
  • What I notice about Ott’s pass rushing skills — he’s not a speed rusher. By any means. He can get to the QB in a hurry, but he gets there with power, smarts, and really strong hands.
  • Ott isn’t an edge bender. He doesn’t necessarily need to be, not even to be a successful NFL player, but it could limit how high he will get drafted. He has to win in other ways, and that’s fine.
  • Great arm extension. Ott gets his arms extended and can, at times, completely control where the offensive lineman is going. He is able to use his leverage here to re-direct a running play or to be patient and shed the lineman quickly when the QB steps up into the pocket and make a sack.
  • Ott’s got good range. You’ll notice throughout this game that he doesn’t really ever give up on a play, and there are some plays that he goes from one side of the field to the other to make a play.
  • He hits hard. When Ott gets a clean look at a player, he is going to absolutely crush them. That was evident throughout the Iowa season, and this guy continued to make these types of plays throughout the year.

For Ott, the production is there. He had eight sacks and 12 tackles for loss for the Hawkeyes last year, but as a power defensive end he added 57 tackles. These types of players carve out really nice roles in the NFL, regardless if he is going to be a first round pick or a late day three consideration.

I think we’ll continue to see this (now) senior develop this season and at 6-4, 270 pounds, he’s going to be a key leader for this Hawkeyes team and a player that could open some eyes in the NFL draft process.

Next: Washington Redskins QB Battle