This years 2016 NFL draft class has no shortage of pass rushers and defensive linemen. Another player who has been getting attention all season long is Michigan State’s defensive end Shilique Calhoun. Calhoun is a 6’5 250 lbs speed rusher who racked up 10.5 sacks and a second-team All-American nod during his senior campaign. You will hear different opinions on Calhoun depending on who you talk to, after watching three games of his I felt like I already had a full idea of what kind of player he is.
+Calhoun is an explosive pass rusher, who uses speed more so than power to get by offensive linemen. He has flexibility to bend and dip around blockers which makes him tough to block. Calhoun has long strides which allows him to get past linemen quicker and can slip blockers thanks to said flexibility.
+He can play as a 4-3 defensive end or a 3-4 OLB in my opinion. His speed rushing skills can translate into both schemes effectively. I think his pass rushing abilities could be best utilized as a 3-4 OLB/EDGE rusher or even in a wide 9 formation. Anything that gives him extra momentum to go along with his speed would be scary.
+He had a productive college career, totaling 44 career sacks during his Michigan State tenure. Calhoun should come in a produce in a rotational role and have some success.
-Calhoun will be 24 come draft time which is going to scare many teams away in the first and early second round. At the age of 24 just how much will Calhoun improve and is he already at his peak. This is going to be an issue for team who want to draft young, his age will probably hold him back come draft day
-He lacks the ideal strength you want in a defensive end, once he is engaged in a block it is over for him. Due to his lack of strength he can’t shed blocks or push linemen like you would expect someone his size to do.
-Sometimes Calhoun seems to play out of control and wild which either takes him out of the play or makes him miss tackles. To go along with his out of control style, Calhoun plays too high and makes it easy for linemen to lock onto him. Playing high is a big issue for Calhoun, he may have a tough time gaining any push in the NFL if this keeps up.
I hear a lot of late first round early second round talk for Calhoun which is intriguing. He has too many issues for me to use a first round pick on. I have him slotted in the back end of round two or early round three. He can be a rotational defensive end but can he be an effective starter for years, that is the question. I would not draft a rotational defensive end in the first round who has the issues he has.