NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
- Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
- 6-foot-2, 279 lbs.
- Upshaw surprisingly weighed in at 279 lbs at the Alabama Pro Day, 6lbs heavier than he weighed at the NFL combine. He says he feels “250″ thanks to workouts he’s been doing, but wanted to come in under 270. Reportedly ran a 4.77 40 yard dash.
- N/A 40-yard dash
- N/A 20-yard shuttle
- N/A 3-cone drill
- N/A broad jump
- N/A vertical jump
- 22 bench press reps
- 32″ arm length
- 9″ hands
News & Notes:
A two-year starter for the Crimson Tide, Upshaw notched 17 sacks and 31.5 tackles for loss in those two seasons. He played both defensive end and linebacker, with primary responsibility to get after the quarterback. Upshaw consistently was at his best in big games – doesn’t shy away from the pressure.
What they’re saying about him:
Frank Cooney (CBS Sports): “Alabama coach Nick Saban predicts Upshaw can play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense or “put his hand in the dirt and play defensive end” in the NFL. Based on his play in college, regardless of where Upshaw lines up, he will probably wind up in a quarterback’s mug. Used as an edge rusher, sometimes as the Tide’s so-called “Jack” linebacker and sometimes as an end, Upshaw thrashes blockers with great hand and arm action and shows ample speed and agility to find his way into the offensive backfield. He has instincts beyond that of a pure pass-rusher, with an uncommon awareness for draws, screens, counters and reverses. Although he was not asked to drop into coverage often at Alabama, he has a fluid athleticism that may allow him to adapt to such a demand.”
National Football Post (Wes Bunting): ”I like him as a 34 outside backer who can play on the strong side, take on linemen at the point and also rush the passer. He’s at his best attacking downhill, using his strong hands to disengage and always is around the football. Looks like a year one starter to me at the next level with scheme versatility.”
NFL Combine: “…due to his size, strength, and play against the run, Upshaw has late first-round talent. Look for him to pair with a pass-rush specialist opposite of him at outside backer in a 3-4 scheme where he can set the edge, work against tight ends and be a heavy run defender.”
- Upshaw is what I would call a “violent” pass rusher. He punishes blockers in his path towards the QB.
- While not a speed rusher, he closes very quickly on the QB once he has beaten his man.
- Shows very good ball awareness and reacts quickly to misdirection.
- Holds the edge well in the running game, even against much larger blockers.
- Moves fluidly enough to play at 3-4OLB, as long as he keeps his weight under control
- Doesn’t always give full effort to the whistle in pursuit. Pulls up too soon, in several instances.
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.