Prospect: Corey Lemonier, DE, AuburnCorey Lemonier

Height: 6’3⅜”

Weight: 255 lb.

Athleticism:

  • Significant burst to close with high top end speed to pursue
  • A twitchy athlete with quick reactions to what he sees and encounters
  • Shows impressive balance through contact, handled chips and doubles well as a pass rusher
  • Not an ultra-flexible pass rusher, hips can be a bit stiff trying to bend the corner
  • Has a rather lean frame, especially in the lower half, strength follows suit

Intelligence/Effort:

  • High energy level player with a to-the-whistle motor
  • Consistently a half step slow off the ball, struggles to anticipate snap counts
  • Shows an understanding for gap discipline as a run defender who can set a solid edge
  • Ball aware player who picks it up early and leverages it well

Pass Rush:

  • Pass rush style translates well, initiates first contact on pass blockers before working laterally with speed
  • Lacks a power rush to set up combo moves, can get stoned by quick-footed offensive tackles as a result
  • Has a quick lateral step to get past blockers after his initial punch, speed & quickness reliant
  • Developed rip move to the outside on a speed rush, but otherwise lacks a significant repertoire of pass rush moves
  • Hits quarterbacks up around the shoulders and occasionally late, prone to roughing the passer calls
  • Rakes through the arms of quarterbacks, causing a high number of fumbles to go along with sacks
  • Redirects quickly to the movements of a mobile quarterback, very aware of his pocket discipline

Run Support:

  • Is never locked up by blockers, creates space for himself naturally
  • Doesn’t shed blocks at the rate he should base on space created, will benefit from a move to a wider alignment or standing up in a 3-4
  • Struggles to match the strength of offensive tackles at the point of attack when asked to anchor them directly
  • Gets turned by blockers when they get into his frame, lacks the functional strength to hold up consistently at the line
  • Plays laterally down the line against edge runs with aplomb, strings plays out patiently before shedding
  • Prone to missing tackles occasionally by playing high and only getting arms to a ball carrier, limiting total contact

Technique:

  • Far more effective operating in space when allowed to use more of his natural athleticism
  • Hands not as heavy or active as they need to be, can become a patty-cake guy who wants to run past blockers
  • Doesn’t have trouble with pad level despite stiffness of his upper body
  • Always keeps feet moving on contact and drives them well, plays into relentlessness as a rusher
  • Nimble feet when asked to drop into coverage and changes directions smoothly, provides potential for a move to outside linebacker

Overall:

Corey Lemonier’s fortunes seemed to follow those of his team as junior.  By all accounts he had a disappointing season, failing to progress the way talent evaluators had hoped.  He notched 9.5 sacks as a sophomore but only 5.5 as a junior, .5 of which came in his final eight games.  At this point in his career, he’s still living on natural ability and youthful exuberance.  That’s not all bad.  At some point, he needs to start developing technical skills with his hands to add variety to his pass rush arsenal.  Lemonier may actually be underrated at this point despite his deficiencies and lack of development as a junior.  Let’s face it, it’s tough to grow as a player on a team that is as poor as Auburn was this year.  The struggles of the team can wear on you and affect the general consensus of you as a prospect.  Lemonier is also better suited to be utilized from a position of space, which wasn’t where he was utilized with the Tigers.  He has the kind of feet you look for in a 3-4 outside linebacker and the explosive speed you look for in a defensive end in a wide 9 scheme.  Lemonier is not that incredibly far off from a guy like Barkevious Mingo, in that the production didn’t match the talent but the hype is there due to athletic ability.  Because of his athletic prowess and high motor, Corey Lemonier should be drafted in the second round.

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