Biography: Two-year starter awarded All-American and All-conference honors last season with totals of 45 tackles/17 tackles for loss/8.5 sacks. Junior numbers included 52/14.5/7.
Positives: Explosive college pass rusher with potential at a number of positions in the NFL. Breaks down well, bends his knees and plays with leverage. Works his hands throughout the action, strong and displays the ability to defeat blocks. Jolts opponents with a violent hand punch, displays solid movement skills and is fluid getting down the line of scrimmage. Quick out of a three-point stance, displays a variety of moves and rarely gets knocked off his feet. Immediately locates the action and displays good awareness. Easily alters his angle of attack, bends off the edge and possesses natural pass-rushing skills.
Negatives: Does not show great speed in backside pursuit or the ability to chase ballcarriers down from behind. Struggles dropping off the line of scrimmage in coverage.
Analysis: Upshaw was one of the nation's most feared pass rushers the past two years, and he consistently made plays behind the line of scrimmage. While projected to outside linebacker by many, he may lack the pure speed and movement skills in reverse to consistently stand up over tackle at the next level. Upshaw may be best as a one-gap defensive end, as his game is more power than quickness and speed.
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