Christian Ballard Scouting Report

NFL Draft > 2011 Prospects > DE > Christian Ballard

Christian Ballard Scouting Report

Position: DE
Conference: Big10
School: Iowa Hawkeyes
Year/Status: Drafted
Jersey Number: #46
Height & Weight: 6'5 - 297 lbs.
Drafted 4.9 in 2011 by MIN

2011 NFL Combine Results
40-Yard Dash4.80
Vertical jump31.5
Broad jump9'3
Three-cone drill7.54

2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:

Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa

Although his teammate -- defensive end Adrian Clayborn -- gets a lot of credit, Ballard is a very special player in his own right. Ballard can play anywhere along the line and is excellent against the run. He uses his strength to blow up running lanes, penetrate into the backfield and get his hands on the ball-carrier. As the draft approaches, some may argue he is the more NFL-ready prospect between he and Clayborn. Ballard's strength is simply understanding the game. He sticks to his assignment, very quickly reads plays and sniffs out misdirection very easily. He lacks brute strength and instead relies on quickness and good pass-rushing fundamentals. He deploys a well-balanced arsenal of pass-rushing techniques and uses his hands well in space. Though he struggles making tackles in traffic, he does have great tackling technique in wrapping his man.

Ballard gets off the line very quickly and attacks his blocker, always pushing to move upfield. Although he is physically imposing, he relies too heavily on athleticism and will need to strengthen his upper and lower body in order to beat out bigger NFL offensive linemen (especially in the run game). This lack of strength could be trouble for him if employed as a DE in a 3-4 defense.

Ballard only had one great year at the college level after being under the radar. Teams that like him will see his versatility and fundamentals, while those that don't will get caught up on his inconsistent effort in game tape.

Ballard projects as a mid-second third round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Last Updated Mar-29-2011 by Matt De Lima

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