Position: Defensive End
Gregory possesses outstanding quickness and agility off the LOS & when blitzing from the ILB spot. Routinely blows by slower interior OL while showcasing the ability to play with great leverage & balance vs the run. Beats OL to the inside primarily with exceptionally quick feet & outstanding coordination to stay low & keep his balance in traffic. Has excellent COD ability on misdirections & in the read/option game. Athletic specimen.
Section Grade: 7.6
Pride / Quit
Despite having a narrow frame & being a little underweight, RG is a hard-nosed player who is always fighting & clawing with blockers. He is a true snap-to-whistle guy who is noticeably bigger & stronger than he was in 2013. He still needs to add 10-15 pounds (which his frame can handle) but his improvement from ’13 to ’14 is a testament to how hard he works in the weight room. He has posted 115 total tackles, 17.5 sacks, & 24.5 TFL in just 2 seasons of D1 football (JUCO). RG lines up primarily at RDE in Nebraska’s 4-3 but will switch to LDE & ILB in blitzing situations.
Section Grade: 7.7
Learn / Retain
Instinct / Reaction
RG is extremely versatile & shows the capability to learn multiple positions by lining up at both DE spots in Nebraska’s base 4-3 & at ILB when the defense switches to a 3-4 look. His reaction time is impeccable due to his exceptional athleticism, closing speed, & recognition skills. Aside from one ugly misdirection play vs Rutgers where he gets fooled, RG’s instincts to the ball have been outstanding on counters, traps, & the read/option. He reads & reacts quickly & has the combination of speed/strength to beat blockers in both facets.
Section Grade: 7.5
Strength / Explosion
Gregory has a thinner framed body and may not be suited for a 4-3 DE unless he adds more weight (10-12 pounds). As a 3-4 OLB, he wont have to add as much weight & has a prototypical body. Suffered a broken leg in 2012 while a JUCO player & has suffered a couple small, nagging injuries in Lincoln (knee, leg) missing a total of 3 games in his career. He is an explosive athlete in both his upper & lower body. When he times the snap right, he not only has tremendous burst out of his stance but he keeps an incredibly low pad level for being 6-6. He beats OL in the pass rush with a combination of leverage, foot quickness, fast hands, & a well-developed array of moves. He holds up at the POA far better than expected considering his lack of sand. Fires his hands & violently sheds blocks. Can get overrun by bigger/stronger OL when they get their hands on him due to a lack of weight.
Section Grade: 7.3
7.5 Read & React
Does a great job of keeping eyes on the ball even when engaged. Excellent reaction time due to burst & instincts.
6.5 Initial Quicks
Has a great burst on blitzes & when he times the snap but routinely (at least 4-5 times a game) is a second late getting out of his stance 3-point stance at the snap. Unsure why he hasn’t corrected this issue.
6.5 Play Strength
Uses his long arms to lockout & hold at POA. Very strong extension/press to create separation when a blocker gets into his body
8 Use of Hands
Consistently fires his hands into blockers, holding up well against OL, blows up TEs & backs with ease. Has a devastating inside swim move.
7.5 Shed Blockers
Sheds blockers with a purpose, sometimes can get locked on but more often than not wins with a combination of physicality, strength, & speed at POA.
6 Run at Him
Doesn’t have a very strong base, needs to add some weight but does a very good job holding up at POA despite lack of sand.
8 Pursuit / Range
Does an excellent job of pursuing backside due to a great motor, has exceptional speed & burst to track down ballcarriers laterally & from behind.
Solid tackler who meets ballcarriers angry & violently
8.5 Closing Burst
Best trait. Long, muscular legs get to top speed extraordinarily fast
6.5 Power Rush
Has destroyed TEs with the bullrush but can struggle vs bigger/stronger OL when they play with balance.
8 Speed Rush
Rare ability to get skinny on the inside rush, possesses an excellent inside swim move to go along with ability to get an impressive bend around the edge.
Rarely makes any errors, with the exception of an ugly misread on a misdirection vs Rutgers. Appeared lost.
Section Grade: 7.3
6.5 INITIAL QKS
8 PLAY SPEED
6.5 PLAY STR
Section Grade: 7.2
Overall Grade: D 7.4
Has an incredibly long frame (with room to add weight) paired with exceptional athleticism. Dynamic pass rusher off the edge. Wins with several effective moves, particularly inside moves when he crosses the OL’s face. Has an elite combo of agility/explosion/coordination that is very hard to stop. Also has the ability to keep his feet firing & get a sick bend around the edge. Generates power with his hands that he uses to jolt OL & keep them off his body in the run game. Keeps blockers off his body with long arms, often using one arm to stack while keeping eyes on the ballcarrier so he can react. Has a keen awareness for cut blocks, avoiding them using his long arms & excellent coordination. Attacks whoever is blocking him while keeping his pad level very low. Plays with a very high motor & will risk his body to make a play.
Has a narrow frame & lacks a lot of sand so he can get pushed back when he doesn’t win the leverage game. Needs to add some weight (10+ pounds) regardless of the position he plays in NFL as well as add some strength in his lower half. Hasn’t gotten the chance to drop back in coverage so he will need to show that he can before the draft. Is late out of his stance at the snap on average 4-5 times a game.
Gregory primarily plays RDE in Nebraska’s 4-3 base defense in a 3-point stance. He sometimes will stand up & switch to LDE, DT, & ILB in a 3-4 look, where he typically will blitz from very effectively. Is a former JUCO player who has 50 total tackles, 7 sacks, 8.5 TFL, 1 FF, & 2 blocked FGs in 2014, a year after bursting onto the scene in 2013 (his first year of D1 football) with 10.5 sacks/16 TFL.
RG is a freakish athlete who has tremendous size with a narrow but muscular body-type. He has long arms & aggressive hands that he uses to maintain separation at the POA to locate the ball. Surprisingly aggressive & physical when shedding blocks, rarely getting overpowered off the LOS, but it does happen from time to time due to lack of sand. Excellent in pursuit where his high motor & outstanding speed really get to shine. He’s an explosive tackler who meets ballcarriers with an attitude and wraps up consistently. He is noticeably late out of his stance in every game I watched, usually 4-5 times each tape. This is hard to figure out why and since it still happens frequently late in the year, is somewhat disconcerting. Despite occasionally being late off the snap, Gregory is a very well-developed pass-rusher who wins in a variety of ways. He consistently keeps his pad level low out of his stance which enables him to dictate the outcome more often than not. His coordination and foot fire allow him to get OL off balance which sets up his array of moves. RG is very skilled with his hands and has a nice rip, spin, swim, and bullrush capabilities. He loves crossing the OL’s face and can get skinny on the inside where most of his sacks have come by way of his swim move. His closing speed/short-area burst is impeccable and he made a play vs Miami that summed this up well where a RB attempted to cut him off of play-action. Gregory was standing up on the right side as the QB hiked the ball & faked a handoff to the RB, who after the fake immediately went for RGs’ knees. RG used his incredible quickness/agility to juke the RB out, leap over him, regain his traction almost instantly and throw the QB down for a sack. He made it look effortless & put on full display his athletic prowess. Despite playing ILB in the 3-4 several times each game (where he was a very effective blitzer, beating slower OL with his excellent speed/agility) there wasn’t enough tape to see him turn his hips and cover. This will be an area that gets tested at the Combine & his pro day. Overall, the way Gregory is used at Nebraska translates almost perfectly to the NFL. The difference is he is best suited as a 3-4 OLB not a 4-3 DE, at least initially, due to the need to add more weight. He is scheme versatile with the ability to be used as a queen on a defensive chess board in the front 7, lining up virtually anywhere and having an impact from day 1.
Pro Comp = Aldon Smith