Draft analysts at the Falcoholic were pretty certain the Atlanta Falcons would snatch a defensive tackle in the first round, and probably double dip at the same position again in day two or three of the NFL draft. We were
wrong mistaken, and definitely no one expected the team to pass on Maurice Hurst at all, let alone three times.
The Falcons picked up their one and only tackle near the end of the third round: University of South Florida Deadrin Senat. He was not a big name, leaving even some draft folks to take a better look into Senat.
I’ll give you trusted draft guru Charles McDonald’s thoughts on Senat.
payne/vea have recorded athleticism that senat doesn't have, but he's better football player right now to me. we'll see how payne and vea progress because a lot of falcons fans were keyed in on those 2— charles mcdonald (a guy at the airport) (@FourVerts) April 29, 2018
senat pick makes me feel so much better about ridley— charles mcdonald (a guy at the airport) (@FourVerts) April 29, 2018
In fact, we have seen a good bit of very interesting stats on Senat.
#Falcons new DT Deadrin Senat improved every year at USF:— PFF ATL Falcons (@PFF_Falcons) April 30, 2018
Run Defense / Pass Rush Grades
2014 - 75.0 / 69.2
2015 - 78.8 / 74.2
2016 - 84.7 / 78.1
2017 - 86.7 / 80.1
#Falcons 3rd rd. pick DT Deadrin Senat was a beast vs. the run from week 5 on last season, his 14.0% run stop percentage led all NCAA DTs by 1.6%.— PFF ATL Falcons (@PFF_Falcons) April 30, 2018
^28 run stops in 200 run defense snaps, just 1 missed tackle
In retrospect, I had seen a few people suggest after the first few defensive tackles, the talent levels were similar. Jeff Schultz suggested the team felt the same way, and obviously missed out on the top defensive tackles. So at that point, Calvin Ridley makes for much better value.
On that note, lets look at some scouting reports.
SB Nation’s Blogging the Boys, suggested the Dallas Cowboys, drafting well before the Falcons, consider Senat in day two if they miss out on Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne. The Falcons, clearly, had no shot at those top two prospects. Here’s why.
Overall, Deadrin Senat is a solid two-down defensive line prospect that could help solve a little bit of the Cowboys’ concerns in the middle. The 6-foot-1, 305 pounder plays with great leverage and burst, allowing him to get into the backfield and prevent a play from happening before it even gets a chance.
Senat got a shout out from analyst Dane Brugler.
Question: Who is your favorite defensive line prospect people aren’t really talking about?
Brugler: On the interior, South Florida DT Deadrin Senat. Undersized but productive and will probably be available in the 4th-5th rounds.
We are seeing a few similarities with Grady Jarrett, but it looks like the Falcons weren’t OK with risking Senat drop much further. If he’s anything like Jarrett, that’s a great move.
Stat To Know: Deadrin Senat racked up 6 sacks in 2017.
The big knock on Deadrin Senat is his lack of height. At just 6’0 tall, Senat can get swallowed up by larger offensive linemen. His lack of height also prevents him from being a threat to knock down any passes or disrupt the passing lane. He is generally considered a two-down lineman who would likely come off the field in passing situations.
I have seen the two-down lineman listed in a bunch of scouting reports. I have also seen a number of analysts point out his impressive first step and ability to pressure the quarterback. I’m not sure which one is true, but we know Dan Quinn loves to sub in defensive ends in at defensive tackle on third downs. Expect Jack Crawford to be the regular in this spot, at least for now.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution likes Senat at the nose position.
He is strong at the point of attack and can play two gaps and fight through double teams. He has a high-motor.
NFL dot com draft analyst Lance Zierlein echoed these thoughts, and again reminds me of Jarrett coming out.
Senat (whose name is pronounced deed-RIN sen-KNOT) is a short and stout and active interior defender that earned his team’s Defensive MVP award as well as second-team All-American Athletic Conference section in 2016. His squatty frame will limit his scheme fit to 4-3 teams looking for a shade nose in all likelihood. Senat is strong and efficient with a big man’s game in a shorter man’s body. While he’s compact in frame, his arm length is decent and he has the hand quickness to win the initial battle to create a leveraged position. Senat’s postseason (including an impressive bowl performance) has a chance to really bolster his stock and push him up the board.
Zierlein suggests he will not provide a pass rush in the pros. I remain a bit skeptical that’s a fact, but if he is as disruptive as analysts suggest, it is hard to say he will be much of a drop off from Dontari Poe.