2015 Draft Spotlight: Oregon DE Arik Armstead

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As the 2015 NFL season officially kicked off last Tuesday, pro prospects continued with their work, each trying to prove their worth to NFL general managers and coaches. Among the many college stars projected to be off the draft board on April 30 in Chicago is Oregon's defensive end Arik Armstead, who is leaving the Ducks after an impressive three-year career, highlighted by a 2014 season that included 46 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

"You're going to get a guy with pass-rush ability, who can also stop the run," Armstead said about his skills. "I'm a versatile defensive lineman, who is going to go out there and work as hard as possible. I have the mentality to be great. My style of play is physical; I start off everything that I do by being physical up-front. You have to be physical in the trenches to get the job done."

Among those evaluating Armstead's progress as he continues on his path to the draft, NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein provided the following assessments:

Strengths

"(Armstead) improved by leaps and bounds from 2013 to 2014," Zierlein said.

Other takeaways from Zierlein:

Armstead has elite size and the capability to add more bulk to his frame. He has upfield explosiveness, with an ability to get good arm extension to control offensive linemen, along with above-average tackle radius, credited to his length and quickness.

His athleticism was showcased as early as 2012, when he joined Oregon's basketball team after the football season.

Areas to Improve

"(Armstead's) power-based pass rush (has) very little production to show for it over his time at Oregon," Zierlein said.

The 6-foot-7, 292-pound defensive star would benefit from better hand technique, perfecting reliable counter moves and establishing better position to finish against opposing linemen. 

NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock ranks Armstead as the fourth-best interior defensive linemen in this year's draft.

  1. Leonard Williams, USC
  2. Danny Shelton, Washington
  3. Malcom Brown, Texas
    4. Arik Armstead, Oregon
    5t. Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma
    5t. Eddie Goldman, Florida State

When asked to describe his entire draft process, the former Oregon star didn't need long to respond.

"It's going to be the best experience of my life, thus far," Armstead said. "It's everything I've been waiting for; it's a dream come true."

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