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How We Scout The Interior Defensive Line Positions | NFL Draft | Football Scouting and Analytics

Scouting the interior defensive line position in the NFL requires evaluating a player's size, strength, athleticism, and technique.


Below is a list of critical components we use to grade the IDL position during the NFL Draft process. Every IDL receives a grade on a scale of 1-10 for each of the below components during the scouting process. Once each player component is graded, we attach a final grade to indicate where the player stands before entering the NFL Draft, and then we attach a ceiling grade based on future potential.


Here are some key factors to consider when scouting an interior defensive lineman:

Size and Strength: An interior defensive lineman needs to have size and strength to hold their ground against powerful offensive linemen. This includes their ability to generate power at the point of attack, maintain leverage, and shed blocks.


Athleticism: An interior defensive lineman needs to be athletic enough to move well and adjust to the speed and quickness of ball carriers. This includes their ability to move laterally, recover quickly, and execute proper footwork and hand placement.


Pass Rushing Ability: An interior defensive lineman needs to be able to get to the quarterback and disrupt the passing game. This includes their ability to generate pressure, penetrate the offensive line, and use a variety of pass-rushing techniques.


Run Stopping Ability: An interior defensive lineman needs to stop the run and limit the yardage gained by ball carriers. This includes their ability to maintain gap control, stuff the run, and pursue ball carriers.


Technique: An interior defensive lineman must have good technique to execute their assignments effectively. This includes their ability to use their hands and feet effectively to engage and shed blockers, maintain leverage, and finish tackles.


Football IQ: An interior defensive lineman's football intelligence is important to make quick decisions and adjustments on the field. This includes their ability to recognize offensive formations, diagnose plays, and communicate with their teammates.

Durability: An interior defensive lineman's durability is important, as they will be taking a lot of hits on the field. This includes their ability to stay healthy and recover quickly from injuries.


When scouting an interior defensive lineman, it's important to evaluate all of these factors and the player's overall performance on the field. It's also important to consider the team's specific needs and whether the interior defensive lineman's skills and attributes match the team's defensive system and style of play. Additionally, it's important to consider the interior defensive lineman's penalties and mental mistakes, as these can be a liability for the defense.

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