Who Is This Guy?
Shilique Calhoun is a pass rusher from Michigan State University. As a senior in 2015 Calhoun helped lead the Spartans to a Big 10 Title and earned his third consecutive spot on the All Big 10 Team. A former basketball standout in high school, Calhoun became one of the best players in all of college football during his time at Michigan State. At 24 years old, Calhoun is a little bit older than most players entering the NFL Draft, but he is also a far better talent than most.
Calhoun has a lot of strengths. He is a highly effective and productive pass rusher. Calhoun started to stand out as a sophomore and in his last three years in college was able to record over 125 quarterback pressures and 26.5 sacks, including 10.5 sacks his senior year. He has the production that NFL teams are looking for. He also has natural pass rush ability. He displays the quickness and explosion to beat tackles around the edge and also shows the ability to beat tackles inside with double moves and a combination of hand use and quickness. Calhoun is better against the pass than he is against the run, but he shows great play recognition against both, a trait that was on display against the quick pass Oregon offense early in his senior campaign. Calhoun also shows versatility in where he rushes the passer from, having the ability to rush from either side of the line or even stunt to the inside on occasion. He shows great explosion off the ball when he knows it is a clear passing situation. He also was a 2 year captain at MSU and one of the most respected players to come through their program in some time. In addition to being a leader, having outstanding production, and showing natural pass rushing ability, Calhoun showed out at the NFL Combine. He stands 6'4'' and weighs over 250 lbs. While he did not excel at the 40 yard dash (the most overrated drill for defensive lineman) he did impress in both drills that test a players quickness (the most underrated drills for defensive lineman), the 3 cone drill and the 20 yard shuttle. Beyond showing off his quickness, he also showed his explosion, posting a 35'' vertical.
Calhoun doesn't have a ton of weaknesses. He sometimes get bottled up by bigger offensive lineman in running situations, so he could add some strength to help himself compete against the behemoths in the NFL. Like most edge rushers, Calhoun isn't making a big difference on every single play, down in and down out, again this could be helped by adding some functional strength. He certainly isn't the best tackler in the world, something he will need to improve on at the next level. At 24 years old, Calhoun is 1 to 3 years older than most draft prospects, so some scouts and coaches could view that as a negative as he may not have as much room to grow his game as a 21 year old prospect.
Is He A Fit With The Jags?
Calhoun is certainly not a fit for the Jags with the fifth pick as he is a border line first rounder. He doesn't have the elite status that others do, despite being widely considered a Top 5 pass rusher in this years class. If Calhoun is available in the second round the Jaguars shouldn't hesitate to nab him. I also wouldn't be upset if the Jaguars trade back up into the bottom of the first round if Calhoun is there. He is an ideal LEO and at his best when he is allowed to tee off against the quarterback. Calhoun's combination of size, speed/quickness, and natural pass rush ability make him a very attractive LEO candidate. He is a proven and productive pass rusher that has several different pass rush moves, including a spin, a speed rush, and a great inside move. He has good play recognition and is considered one of the best leaders in all of college football. The Jaguars would be lucky to add him to the mix with Dante Fowler as a true LEO. If Calhoun does get drafted by the Jags he will likely be an impact player in year one and could be one of the more productive pass rushers on the team in 2016.
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