clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Colts Offseason Scouting Report: Defensive End Al-Quadin Muhammad

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We are now in the dull period for being an NFL fan as we enter the post-draft time period of the offseason. While most people are looking ahead to the 2019 NFL season, I decided to take a step back and really evaluate the talent on this Colts’ roster. Over the course of this offseason, I will be going back through the roster and putting together scouting reports and film rooms of some of the more unheralded players on this roster.

The next player we are going to look at in this series is defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad. Muhammad was acquired off waivers from the New Orleans Saints last season and ended up playing over 500 snaps for the Colts in 2018. He put together a fairly solid season for a player on the backend of the roster who was forced into playing time due to injuries.

In this piece, I will provide my scouting report of Muhammad while also looking at some film to add some context to my notes.


Background

Size:

6’3” 253 pounds

Measurables (Combine):

40 Time: 4.88 / Bench Press: 22 Reps / Vertical Jump: 30.5 inches / Broad Jump: 117 inches / 3-Cone: 7.25 seconds

Career Stats (College):

60 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks, and 1 forced fumble in 2 seasons at Miami.

Career Stats (Pro):

29 total tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 1 sacks, and 1 pass deflection in two years played in the NFL.


Scouting Report

My scouting reports will be in the same style/format as the Anthony Arena Draft Guide that we put together this offseason. I will be looking at how these players grade out in each trait, their best positional fit, and a two-three year outlook on their career.


Pass Rush

Muhammad shockingly had more pass rushing snaps than run defense snaps for the Colts last year (according to PFF) despite being billed as more of a run stopping defensive end. As a pass rusher, he does flash some potential. His technique is surprisingly good, as he has a wide array of moves that he uses to beat offensive lineman. He had excellent performances in the five games against Texans and Jaguars in 2018. Going forward, though, he needs to improve upon his consistency and put together better performances against top tackles. He really struggled when facing above average tackles last season.

Despite only registering one sack last year, Muhammad flashed potential as a pass rusher. Here, he sets the tackle up outside before spinning back inside for the hit on Blake Bortles. He finished 5th on the team in terms of pressures and hurries in 2018 (PFF), so he did put together some good performances. If he can be more consistent, I do like his upside as a pass rusher for the Colts.


Run Defense

This is the area where Muhammad really played well last season. He earned playing time down the stretch over promising players such as Kemoko Turay due to his ability in this area. He sets a nice hard edge and pursues runners relentlessly. He is also an excellent tackler as he missed 0 tackles on the season despite playing over 500 snaps. He does need to improve his awareness and do a better job at staying home on motions and draws, but for the most part, he does his job very well in the run game.

This play is a good example of what he brings in run defense. He moves down the line to his gap and sheds the blocks of both the guard and the tackle. After getting through the line, he gets his head up and pursues the running back. He brings down the back for a big loss on the play. If Muhammad has a route to making the roster going into 2019, it is certainly through his strong run defense.


Athleticism

Muhammad may not be an _elite_ athlete, but he is very solid in this area. He has decent bend around the corner that allows him to fight through blocks and get pressure. His long speed is actually pretty good for a player his size, and he is able to run down players that would typically beat bigger ends around the corner. His athleticism also allows him to excel on the stunts and twists that the Colts run fairly often in their 4-3 defense.

On his lone sack of the season, he shows off his athletic ability. He comes around on the stunt play and accelerates through the line with great burst. He flies past the center, and the tackle is unable to turn around and make the block on the backside. He then tracks down Watson for the sack on the play. He is not nearly as athletic a player as Tyquan Lewis or Turay, but Muhammad does show good burst and speed on film.


Awareness

This is my biggest area of concern with Muhammad. He finds himself out of position too often on the backside, especially when there is motion or a reverse to his side. There were multiple plays where a cut back, reverse, or draw are to his side of the line left him way out of position. Those plays are very difficult for an end, but he does need to do a better job of forcing the action back inside where the help defense is waiting.

Here is an example of one of those plays. Muhammad crashes inside hard on the initial action to the left. The Cowboys obviously did their homework as the Redskins did this exact same play earlier in the season to his side for a big gain as well. I’d certainly like to see Muhammad learn from some of these mistakes and play with a bit more discipline going into 2019 with the team.


Technique

As I mentioned earlier, Muhammad's pass rush technique is actually very good for a player who didn’t record many sacks. He has many moves in his arsenal, from a spin move to a very good long arm move to even a hesitation move. He is very confident with these moves and does win with them pretty easily. His technique in run defense is also very good, as he sets a strong edge with a good base and hand placement. Overall, his technique is a strength in his game. Building consistency and eliminating the bad plays is the next step in his game, as I have mentioned before.

This clip shows off some of his pass rush technique. He puts together a good combo on the left tackle as he hits a nice hesitation step on the edge before clubbing over the arms of the tackle to get the pressure. He has a fairly developed move set that certainly surprised me when watching his film. If he can do that for a full game rather than in flashes, the Colts may have a real solid player here.


Motor

Muhammad has a red hot motor that he uses on almost every play he is on the field. Whether it is a run to the other side of the field or a pass thrown away from him, he is almost always turning and running towards the ball. On plays to his side, he rarely gives an inch, and fights through contact in pursuit of the ball. Effort is all over his film and he flies around the football field.

This is an example of how he fights to the ball when the play comes to his side. Muhammad takes on the tackle on the edge and does a good job of resetting the edge. He does his job on the play, and forces the running back to run backwards and to the outside. He doesn’t stop there, though, as he sheds the block and pursues the back until he is on the ground. This is an excellent rep for a defensive end and I love the pursuit to the ball at the end.


Positional Fit

The best fit for Muhammad is as a strong side defensive end in a 4-3 defensive scheme. His role with the Colts going into next year is likely going to be Jabaal Sheard’s main backup and rotational player. From that strong side spot, he can focus on playing the run as his main duty then rushing the passer against the right tackle if he is on the field for passing downs.


Future Outlook

Muhammad is a good, young player who put together a very solid season in 2018. He has a lot of upside and potential and should make the team as a depth rotational piece. If he can improve his consistency, conditioning, and awareness, he can absolutely be a starting defensive end in the NFL. Until that day though, he is likely just a depth player along a defensive front. The battle between him and 6th round rookie Gerri Green should be interesting to watch this offseason as they are both high upside players who could make an impact as a depth player.