Pittsburgh has seen many talented players thrive in the NFL from their university, could Ejuan Price be the next in line?
The University of Pittsburgh has pushed several talented players into the NFL, most notably is Los Angeles Rams’ defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Others include LeSean McCoy, Larry Fitzgerald, Dion Lewis, and Darrelle Revis.
While he can’t be included in this category, Ejuan Price appears to be the next Pittsburgh player to try to make a name for himself in the NFL. Price was ultra-productive as a fifth-year senior, gaining a first-team All-ACC nod as well as second-team Walter Camp All-American. He finished the year with 13 sacks and second in FBS with 23 tackles for loss.
While he struggled with injury early in his collegiate career, Price was a leader for the Panthers. Despite his successful tenure at Pitt, does Price have the traits to warrant a selection in the 2017 NFL Draft?
Weight: 255 lbs
40-yard time: 4.70 seconds
A good athlete with incredible burst and an explosive first step, Price really sets the tone as an edge-rushing presence. Relies on his quick-twitch athleticism and devastating counter move to get passed the offensive line and make plays in the backfield. Is disruptive in several different areas, finding ways to leak through gaps and make plays.
Does a nice job stunting lineman, often doing it faster than tackles can react to. Is a relentless pursuer when the opportunity presents itself to sack the quarterback. Plays extremely physical and knows how to get low when bull rushing. Does a nice job against the run. Shows a willingness to take chances in order to make a play. Often compared to the Steelers’ James Harrison, Price plays with a similar frame and playing style. Was very productive at Pitt. Even notched a five sack performance against Louisville in 2015.
Has really struggled to stay on the field, missing the majority of two seasons due to a litany of injuries including a torn pectoral. While he had a solidly productive senior year, it was reported that he was limited during the East-West Shrine game with an apparent injury. His draft stock will likely center on his injury status and whether doctors believe he can hold up against the rigors of the NFL.
On the field, Price is more of a quick-twitch athlete rather than possessing true long speed. Needs to improve flexibility, looking a little too stiff. Appeared to lack endurance and seemed exhausted at times. Will need to do a better job learning to bend around the edge.
The comparisons to Harrison are definitely real, in terms of his playing style and production. His ability at the NFL-level will likely be limited, due to his stiffness. He will be more appealing to 3-4 defensive fronts and will likely start as a situational rusher early on. If he can stay healthy and continue to develop, he has the potential to be a solid NFL starter.