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Justin Tuck DE Notre Dame Jr. 6í5 261
By: Robert Davis

Justin Tuck is classified as a senior, but he has the option of returning for another year if he chooses to do so. During his three seasons on the field, he has become one of Notre Dameís best playmakers on defense in the schoolís history. He is NDís all time sack leader(24.5 sacks) and single season leader(13.5, set last season). In his last two seasons as a defensive end(he played linebacker his first season), he has totaled 19.5 sacks, 120 tackles, and 33 tackles for loss. Tuckís cousin is Adalius Thomas of the Ravens.

Tuck is an explosive pass rusher on the football field. He may be the best pure pass rusher in this draft. He is a great athlete and can really get up field in a hurry. He has great agility, able to quickly change direction in his pursuit up field, and has the closing speed to get to the QB. As a DE, he appears to have the frame to add a few more pounds and not have it effect is athleticism. His freshman year at Notre Dame, Tuck made an impact as a linebacker, and switched to DE the past two seasons. For teams that play the 3-4, Tuck could have an instant impact as an OLB since he is just two seasons removed from playing that spot.

The biggest flaw in Tuckís game is the question around his size. He is the classic tweener at the next level. He is slightly undersized as a 4-3 DE, and that causes some questions about where he should go in the draft. If heís not going to be an every down player, a team is not going to waste a Top 20 pick on him.

Justin Tuck is going to be a big time pass rusher in the NFL. There are people that think he canít handle the beating of playing a 4-3 DE spot because of his lack of bulk, but I believe he is such a standout pass rusher, teams will be able to live with him being taken out of some running plays at times. He reminds of Jevon Kearse, and I believe he can have that type of impact in the NFL. I think teams are going to be blown away with his natural athletic gifts in workouts, and he may possibly hear his name called in the Top 25 of the draft. I cannot see him lasting any further than the mid point of Round 2 if he does indeed declare himself eligible for this years draft.

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