Sen'Derrick Marks v. Dorrell Scott - YOU DECIDE 2009

In the continuing Colts need a DT saga, this installment of YOU DECIDE will discuss two potential 3rd Round selections.  There is a large group of fans who believe that the Colts, with Polian's draft history, will not spend a day one pick on a DT (or at least not a 1st Round pick).  As a result, the earliest the Colts might draft a DT is in the 3rd Round.  A lot of early mock drafts had the Colts choosing Sen'Derrick Marks at the bottom of the 2nd Round.  However, Marks' stock has been slipping and based on the scouting report below, he may have dropped into mid to late 3rd Round contention.  Dorrell Scott, on the other hand, has been seeing his stock rise, from a 4th or 5th Round selection up to a late 3rd Round selection.  Take a closer look at these two players and decide which player you would pick, should they be the only two players on the Colts draft list at the bottom of the 3rd Round.

Sen'Derrick Marks - Auburn

Draft Vignette
Draft Preview
Combine Video

6'2", 306 lbs.
5.00 40 Yard Dash, 4.76 20 Yard Shuttle, 7.83 3-Cone Drill
33 Inch Vertical Jump, 16 Bench Reps
34.5 Inch Arms

32 Tackles, 17 Assists, 10 TFL, 2 Sacks, 2 PD, 2 QBH, 1 BK

2007: Played through a hernia which required surgery at the end of the season.
2008: Missed the second half of the Vanderbilt game in Oct. with an ankle sprain...Sat out the Tennessee-Martin game in Nov. as a precaution (lingering ankle pain).
2009: Could not complete agility tests at the NFL Combine because of a hamstring strain.


Strengths: Short, squatty build with room for additional mass in his upper body and a thick lower body. Good leg drive to anchor and use of leverage to hold up against the run. Flashes good initial quickness off the snap to put the blocker in a defensive position. Quick, strong hands to disengage from defenders. Good arm extension to keep blockers' hands off his frame. Good lateral quickness and balance to provide an interior pass rush. Good short-area quickness to close on the ballcarrier. Flashes some explosiveness as a hitter. Willing in pursuit laterally and downfield.

Explosive one-gap defensive lineman with ability as a three-technique tackle. Bends his knees, plays with excellent pad level and shows an array of moves working to get off blocks. Fluid moving about the field, squirts through the small gaps of the offensive line and nicely redirects to the action. Displays good footwork moving laterally, quickly changes direction and fluid if asked to twist or stunt.

Sen'Derrick Marks flashes the ability to do everything the Colts look for from a DT.  At 6'2", 306 lbs. he can arguably fill either DT position for the Colts because he has the ability to stop the run and can push the pocket and flush out the QB.  Because Marks isn't too tall he can hold a pad level advantage against OL he faces and uses his hands effectively to keep OL off of him.  When he is at his best he can stun blockers, win hand battles and flash the lateral quickness to get after the QB.

Weaknesses: Not yet the sum of his parts as a player. Lacks the bulk and strength to handle anchoring against the double-team. Plays so low that he loses track of the ball. Seems to tire easily, despite being used as part of a rotation at Auburn. Struggled with ankle injuries as a junior. Elected to come out early despite a disappointing junior season and could be motivated by big NFL paychecks.

Inconsistent first-step quickness, and does not always explode off the ball. Controlled at the point and very slow to shed blocks once engaged at the point of attack.

The weakness that scares me away most is that he tires rather quickly.  The Colts roster is loaded with situational DTs.  Eric Foster/Keyunta Dawson can be effective in pure passing downs, despite their lacking size because they have speed.  Antonio Johnson may prove to be an upgrade for our DL against the run but isn't nearly as effective on passing downs as others on our roster.  Having a player who could possibly be effective in both aspects of the game but who does not possess the stamina to stay in the game seems fruitless.  If Marks had stamina problems at Auburn, where he was a part of a DL rotation, I worry about his ability to have the stamina to deal with bigger, faster, stronger NFL OL for big chunks of the game and over a longer season.  It is also concerning that he disappears for big stretches of the game, against college competition, and seemingly does not either show the concentration or maintain the ferocity to be a constant disruption on the DL.


Dave-Te' Thomas Biographical Information

Body Structure: Has a squatty, adequate frame with marginal muscle mass, long arms, good hands, soft midsection, wide hips, adequate lower body thickness and needs to reduce his body fat. Needs to add more strength and bulk, but his frame is at maximum growth potential and that added weight would further reduce his adequate quickness.

Athletic Ability:  Adequate timed speed, good balance and short-area quickness, showing the loose hips needed when changing direction. Can accelerate into the backfield to disrupt the play and plays at a low center of gravity that he combines with his squat frame to slip under reach blocks, but fails to play with a consistent motor. Uses his hands effectively and gains leverage to jolt and stack blockers. Motor runs hot and cold and he needs to play with more consistent intensity. Basically a short-area type of player with limited long speed.

Football Sense: The type of player that when the light is on upstairs, he can be a very disruptive force that offenses must always account for. Goes long stretches where he disappears, and at others will simply battle until the whistle. Does show good instincts, but even though his short frame is an advantage to slip under reach blocks, he gets down so low in his pads that he fails to locate the ball in a crowd. Has a tendency to pop up out of his stance and "short arms", leaving his chest exposed, which sees him struggling to disengage. Enough short-area quickness to attack the backfield, but outside of twisting he has marginal pass rush moves.

Character: No off-field issues.  Many felt that he was not ready for the NFL and needed another year of school, questioning his motivation to enter the draft, knowing that he will go much lower than most draft experts predict.

Competitiveness: When his head is in the game, shows very good toughness and tenacity in his play. Tries to punish blockers every chance he gets, but seems to spend too much time trying to overpower his opponent than go after the play. Durability issues could bring up a medical red flag. Endurance in games is also suspect, as he tends to run out of gas, perhaps due to marginal conditioning.

Work Habits: Needs to be prodded to perform in the weight room and really lacks discipline in most aspects of his game, especially in preparation. The type of player that has yet to play up to his talent level, and based on his poor 2008 performances he surprised everyone with his decision to enter the 2009 NFL Draft. One look at his weight room figures and you get the indication that the training room has not been a big requirement for him.


Explosion/Pursuit: Has good short-area quickness, and at times his short, squatty frame becomes an advantage, especially when he uses it to avoid reach blocks. Gets off the line with good quickness, but his feet tend to die on long pursuits. Has the loose hips to work down the line and when he uses his hands to keep blockers off his body, he has a chance to get on the edge of a blocker and can keep advantage (only when he maintains his motor, though). Flashes explosive quickness on occasion, but needs to use it more consistently. Has good balance and does a good job of playing on his feet, but his failure to disengage quickly makes him get off the snap too late.

Strength at Point: Relies more on stoutness than quickness to win battles at the point of attack. Has adequate size, but possesses long arms to be combative at the line of scrimmage and working through trash. Lacks the hand strength to jolt offensive linemen backwards and get pressure on the quarterback. Will use his hands to engage and shed vs. reach blocks and can cross the blocker's face, but he's more of a one-gap type that will need flash to get off quickly, as he's certainly not going to beat his man with his marginal power and lack of technique or an array of moves.

Use of Hands: Uses his hands well to maintain leverage, is quick to engage and shed when he keeps his hands inside the frame. Does not really generate a powerful punch, but does get them involved and will work them to shed. Quick and active with his hands, but needs to punch and shed blocks with better force at the next level.

Lateral Pursuit/Effort: Shows good quickness and agility on the lateral move. Is best when playing in the short area, as he lacks long pursuit skills.

Tackling Ability: Collides with some pop in-line, but could breakdown and wrap up better when working in space. He is not a soft, sure tackler, resulting in a lot of missed opportunities working in space. Shows marginal strength to wrap up and punish ball carriers, and does not make enough plays because of his intent to combat blockers rather than avoid to attack the ball.

Run Defense: Can flash to drop his hips, hit on the rise and stack thanks to his squatty frame, but he tends to play too high and this results in him getting washed out of the play. He He shows good knee bend to get leverage, but must use his hands better to shed.

Pass Rush: No real pass rush moves and needs to learn how to shed blocks once engaged. Strictly a bull rusher with adequate quickness. Shows better push than pocket collapse strength, but can drive it home to the quarterback if he gets an edge on the blocker in one-on-one battles, showing enough short-area foot acceleration to close the deal. His problem is stamina, as he will simply run out of gas after a big play in long pursuit and be a non-factor the rest of the game.

Closing on the QB: Has a good burst to close in the short area, but his feet seem to go dead when he has to deliver in long pursuit. When he gets a free lane, he can flush the passer out, but he needs to show more urgency on stunts. When he stays low in his pads, he can flash to clear the offensive lineman and finish on the passer.

Instincts/Recognition: Has better instincts when he works at locating the ball rather than combat the blockers. Loses focus and concentration at times, but when he escapes reach blocks he is quick to see the scheme and react, as he is usually headed right for the ball then. When he gets too low in his stance, he will dip his head too far down and lose sight of the play.

Compares To: CLAUDE WROTEN, ex-St. Louis -- Marks is one of the draft's biggest enigmas. When his motor is running, he is a good force to be reckoned with, but there have been too many times that he shows up for games with just a gallon of gasoline in his tank. He lacks great size or strength and the only thing consistent about him is his inconsistency. Durability is another issue, but it all goes back to the weight room. Based on his strength numbers, or lack of, this is a boom or bust player with minimal upside.

Again, Thomas points out wavering concentration and limited stamina.  For me, these two factors are deal-breakers for a DT drafted in the early to mid rounds of the draft, which will certainly be used to compete for a starting spot.  Players who lose sight of the ball, lose concentration, play inconsistently, don't work hard to stay physically fit, disappear for long stretches and lack the stamina to play a significant number of plays each game for a full season are not worth a pick.  Finding guys like that is easier in UDFA and carry UDFA-like value.


Dorrell Scott - Clemson

Draft Vignette
Combine Video

6'3", 312 lbs.
4.92 40 Yard Dash, 4.84 20 Yard Shuttle, 8.28 3-Cone Drill
30.5 Inch Vertical Jump, 29 Bench Reps

39 Tackles, 10 Assists, 7.5 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 PD, 10 QBH

2007: Limited in August camp with a high ankle sprain...Left the Chick-fil-A Bowl after he suffered a right knee sprain from a chop block vs. Auburn.
2008: Missed most of the Florida State game and the entire Duke game with a knee sprain suffered vs. the Seminoles


Positives: Prototypical frame for the position with room for an additional 10-15 pounds of bulk.  Flashes impressive initial quickness off the snap for a player his size.  Good balance and can redirect his charge to close when open lanes are presented.  Quick hands to deflect the blocker's initial hand punch.  Has some rush technique, including an impressive rip.  Can get his hands up to create obstacles in the passing lane.  Can close running lanes due to his size.  When playing with leverage, has the leg drive to hold up at the point of attack and flashes the ability to split double-team blocks.

Large, athletic interior lineman that can be a dominant force on the front line. Strong, tough to move off the line and holds his ground against blocks. Displays good quickness off the snap, works his hands to get free and shows a fluid change of direction. Possesses excellent movement skills.

Dorrell Scott is an intriguing DL prospect.  He has the size and leverage to be a hole-plugger in the running game and the athletic ability to get into the backfield if he is presented with an opportunity to slip past his blockers.  He has the ability to split double-teams and is difficult to push off of the ball.  His frame indicates he could take on more bulk and not lose much of his explosion off the ball, becoming a true NT for a team like the Colts.  I would say that Scott is amongst handful of players coming into this draft who would be IDEAL as a Colts NT... and the Colts have already shown interest in him.

Negatives: Not consistently the sum of his parts.  Inconsistent use of hands.  Too often comes off the snap high and struggles with leverage.  Can negate his own strength and get knocked off the ball.  Doesn't use his height and hands often enough to deflect passes at the line of scrimmage.  Requires an open lane to close and rarely makes plays on his own.  Inconsistent effort.  Seems to tire easily and may have to be used as part of a rotation to be effective.  Struggled with a knee sprain as a senior.

Has only a short area burst of speed and more of a plugger than a lineman who makes plays behind the line of scrimmage. At times, too easily locked up at the point by lesser opponents. Looks poorly conditioned.

The tape on Scott shows him getting into the backfield often, but all highlight films do that for players at their respective positions.  What is clear is that Scott would likely be an immediate upgrade over what we currently have on the team and, with work could improve on his hand-play, leverage, and conditioning.   What we don't know at this point is what kind of work ethic he has and whether it would be a struggle to get him to do what needs to be done to improve and be a productive starter at NT for the Colts.


Dave-Te' Thomas Biographical Information

Body Structure: Has good size for a defensive tackle and the quickness to play defensive end, but will need to add more bulk if lined up at the nose guard position in the NFL.  Has room to carry at least another 15 pounds without it impacting his above-average foot speed. He has a solid upper-body frame with good hip width but shorter than ideal arms.

Athletic Ability: Very good initial quickness and timed speed for a player his size, but labors considerably coming out of his stance, looking too lethargic attacking blockers at the point. Shows good balance to make plays on the edge, but lacks the flexibility and burst to accelerate to the ball on outside running plays. Has marginal-to-adequate lateral agility and change-of-direction skills. Used in a line rotation, but tires late in games, when you can see a drop off in his play. Shows good feet and body control, but is best when he is kept operating strictly in the box, as he will run out of gas when having to run long distances.

Football Sense: Doesn't show the quick-twitch athleticism you might expect and can be lethargic coming off the snap. Lacks a good feel for leverage, as he does not show consistent low pad level. Also lacks stamina, an area that must improve or he'll be relegated to reserve duty in the NFL.

Character: A well-liked teammate who overcame early "homesickness" to start his last 38 games, but his work ethic is questionable. When the coaching staff change took place during 2008, he needed a "dressing down" by his position coach to light a fire under him. Not considered a team leader and there are questions about his lack of production.

Competitiveness: Scott's motor runs hot and cold. A non-factor late in games. Will play like a bull in a china shop for several series before taking the rest of the day off. If he tires, he seems to want to be on the sideline rather than the field. Whether he has the mental toughness to play the game at the next level is open to question. When his motor is running, he is a good competitor who pursues. Needs to develop a mean streak. Could otherwise be a candidate for a move to offensive guard, to take advantage of his balance, foot speed and strength.

Work Habits: Appears to have good focus in the weight room, but despite good lifting totals, he needs to greatly improve his stamina. A team-first player who is liked by his coaches, but he is just not the type that will produce on a consistent level.


Explosion/Pursuit: Impressive timed speed should help him get off the ball, as he shows good balance and the ability to power through gaps. Not a quick-twitch type. Flashes adequate initial quickness, but is inconsistent with his second move once he breaks free from blocks. Uses his arms effectively to split the gaps, but seems to lose some body control on the move.

Strength at Point: Has impressive weight room numbers, but his playing strength doesn't always reflect that strength. Not an effective two-gap type, as he gets too high. Has to be moving in order to be effective and he has above-average hand strength, but he needs to play with his pad level down. When he comes off the ball in a high stance, blockers immediately attack his exposed chest, driving Scott off the line. Even with his thick lower body, he fails to anchor, especially vs. double teams (does not sit well). Can generate a strong hand punch, but his placement and usage are lacking. Needs to get more active with those hands in order to be able to stack and control.

Lateral Pursuit/Effort: Ran his shuttle well, yet on the field, he looked very robotic moving in space. Can flash a good twist or spin move, but will give up and take plays off when his lack of stamina comes into the picture. Has marginal change-of-direction agility, looking clumsy as he narrows his base on the move (fails to keep his feet).  Shows intent and effort in pursuit, but is best when he is around the ball in the short area.

Tackling Ability: Has the strength to deliver crunching tackles, but his effort is inconsistent. Strong enough to lock up the runner and can generate good pop as a tackler, but he tends to narrow his base often coming off the snap, which lets blockers wash him out as he loses leverage. When plays are directed at him, he is adequate to hit and wrap, doing a decent job of stopping the rusher on contact. On the move, he will overextend and grab, which prevents him from getting proper knee bend or using his hands effectively to get leverage.

Run Defense: When he stays low in his pads and gets a wide base, he flashes power and the ability to get to the ball. Seems to be more combative with his hands when working around the pile, using rip moves to jerk the blocker out of the way to hit the runner with impact. When he hunkers down, he generates the strength needed to gain leverage. When his motor is running, he can be tough to handle when closing, as he has the ability to jump around blocks.

Pass Rush: Despite good timed speed, he's lacking suddenness and short-area burst. Has to beat the blocker with his initial move or is washed out of the action. Has a good spin move, but when he gets too high, he reverts to a lot of thrashing around and fails to stay in the rush lane. Can push the pocket, but has the moves to get off and finish. Quick swim move allows him to get gap penetration, but he often plays too tall, preventing him from generating much of a bull rush.

Closing on the QB: Needs to improve his stamina. Has the timed speed to get to the pocket, but often gives up on the rush when his first move fails. Can make plays behind the line of scrimmage due to a decent explosive burst, but when he has to run the loop or pursue long, he loses site of the quarterback, and doesn't have the acceleration to close.

Instincts/Recognition: Has marginal recognition skills when it comes to blocking schemes. Washed out of the play too often because he is late to locate moving blockers. Doesn't really look combative fighting off double teams, despite having the foot speed to avoid when on the move. Much slower to react on outside running plays, possibly because he knows he doesn't have the feet or balance to pursue. In the box, he is good at locating the ball and will get his hands up and show awareness on passing plays, but lacks consistency and timing to deflect too many low throws.

Compares To: WILLIAM JOSEPH, Oakland -- Scott lacks Joseph's tall frame, but both are classic underachievers who might entice some scouts with athletic ability. When he puts the pads on, it's a different story. You might expect his strength to allow him to hold his ground at the point but he stops his feet and can be ridden out. In pursuit, he will generally overextend and lose balance, as he keeps his base too narrow. He gets a good push and shows a decent swim move to gain initial gap penetration, but he is more of a finesse type than power-oriented pass rusher, leading to minimal production in attempts to get to the quarterback. He lacks technique and stamina, but he has athletic talent to be worth a look at the tail end of the draft, and not in the early rounds as some experts target him. If all else fails, a team could try him at offensive guard to take advantage of his strength and athletic skills.

Unfortunately, Dave-Te' Thomas exposes some of Scott's core weaknesses.  Not unlike Marks, he is inconsistent in effort and lacks stamina.  He also struggles with the technical aspects of his game, could improve his hands, footwork, balance/leverage and play up to his physical ability.  Scott would need time to develop, need coaching to improve his technical game, and need conditioning and agility work to be more effective rushing the passer.


Both Marks and Scott have their share of weaknesses which would be exposed if they were thrown into starting roles on the DL.  Marks is probably a bit quicker, with more burst and explosion to potentially create more pressure up the middle.  Scott is probably a bit stronger in run support.  Both players tire near the end of games and would need to be rotated to stay effective.  Neither player will be good in long-pursuit and will be winded for much of the remainder of the game if they give chase.  Scott is a little larger with more room to grow into a gap-filling NT so long as he keeps his pad level down and doesn't allow OL to get their hands into his chest.  Marks is a little quicker and, if his motor and conditioning issues could be resolved could provide the Colts more size and speed from the NT than they've traditionally had.  If these two players are the only ones available in the 3rd Round for the Colts selection, which player would be best?



This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

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