Ross Blacklock, iDL, TCU

Interior Defensive Line Prospects Ross Blacklock, iDL, TCU

Posted in Interior Defensive Line Prospects
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Name: Ross Blacklock

Position: IDL

Height: 6’4

Weight: 305 lbs

School: TCU

Year: RS Junior

2019 Stats: 40 tackles (25 solo), 9 TFL, 3.5 sacks

Career Stats: 26 games, 67 tackles (39 solo),  15.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks

Ross Blacklock made his way to Fort Worth, Texas after a solid career at Elkins High School in Missouri City, Texas. Blacklock redshirted the 2016 season before bursting (literally) onto the scene as a RS FR in 2017 where he started all 14 games and totaled 27 tackles and 2 sacks. Unfortunately, Blacklock missed the entire 2018 season with an Achilles injury, but exploded back in 2019 with 40 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

Strengths

It must be the year of juiced-up interior pass rushers because much like some of his peers, Blacklock brings first-step explosiveness and tenacity from the one technique (1T) position. This translates to his lateral quickness, which was displayed often on tape given how many times TCU ran designed stunts for EDGE or LB to get an inside rush. Blacklock shows really strong penetration skills combined with strong hands, which adds some versatility at the next level where he should be able to play along the defensive line in a number of fronts.

[See All Our Scouting Reports at Ravens Draft Central]

He shows a good variety of pass rush moves, including a really nice push-pull on the inside where he was able to shed off blockers in 1-on-1 situations. Anchor appears strong against double teams and if he’s inside it will not be easy to double team him given his penetration skills. 

Best Trait: Explosiveness

Weaknesses

His tape can be a bit of a grind, but it’s not really his fault. 

This isn’t a major concern, but it does make it tough to project his read-and-react ability at the next level given how many designed plays he was asked to run, so this isn’t a weakness, but more a caveat for that specific trait. One weakness that did stand out was his tendency to turn his shoulders when facing double teams, which he saw a lot of playing zero tech on a three-man line that TCU would use in passing situations. His hands are strong and active, but did show some inconsistencies if a blocker got their hands on him. His explosiveness can cause him to have difficulties breaking down and staying low. There were plays where he made a great penetration and was in line to make a play on the ball, but he just wasn’t able to position his body due to his pad level.

Worst Trait: Consistently keeping body control through the rep

Ravens Fit

Blacklock’s ability to move up and down the defensive line is a great fit for what the Ravens like to do with their players. Their use of the racecar package and their tendency to slide EDGE rushers inside make Blacklock a great weapon to move from 3T to 1T on passing downs. He likely would fit well as a 3T in the Ravens scheme, which could move Brandon Williams over to 1T if Michael Pierce finds a new home. 

It’s an excellent fit for the Ravens that would just give Wink Martindale another weapon to deploy in a variety of ways.

Player Comparison

A less polished Gerald McCoy – As a prospect, McCoy was much stronger (3rd overall in 2010), but in terms of skillset there’s a lot of similarities. Blacklock, like McCoy, has a great blend of power and quickness combined with an outstanding motor. 

[All Our Draft Prospect Profiles at RavensDraftCentral.com]

Draft Grade

Top of Round 2

Blacklock will be in play at pick 28 for the Ravens. With more time spent reading and reacting he could have moved up into a top 20 grade, but without those reps on film, it’s hard to justify that jump. Blacklock’s ceiling is sky high and he has a pretty high floor too.

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Cole Jackson

About Cole Jackson

Cole Jackson has been an avid follower of the Baltimore Ravens for over a decade. Born and raised in Brockville, Ontario, Canada, Cole’s love for the Ravens was born and bred in following the playing style of Ray Lewis, which he tried to emulate in his own football career, (ultimately failing to do so). Cole graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Criminology before becoming a Policy Analyst with the federal government. Cole’s football career now involves being a columnist for RSR, yelling at others who are beating him in Madden and being a regular on the RSR forum where he is known as GreatWhiteNorthRaven. Cole has a knack for the team-building aspects of the Ravens, which includes player scouting, free agency and the draft. More from Cole Jackson
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