Texas A&M defensive lineman Demarvin Leal is a textbook “Workout Warrior,” as they are called in the world of scouting.
There is no question he will “check all the boxes,” and put on a show at his pro day when he is running around all the little orange cones. There is no question he will rise to the occasion when all NFL eyes are on him.
Notice how his sack level sky-rocketed this season, compared to his 2019 (2) and 2020 (2.5), but now he is closing in on the draft, he has 8.5? Leal played in most every game in 2019 and 2020 just like he did in 2021.
My encouragement to every NFL team, every general manager and every scout, turn on the game film and don’t get sucked in.
Leal takes at least 75% of the plays off on film and then every once in a blue moon when it’s easy, he flashes and turns it on.
It amazes me he is a consensus first round pick. Sure, he has the size and he can put together an awesome “highlight tape,” with a handful of plays, but doesn’t anyone in the national media watch game film anymore?
If Leal is this lazy looking in college games, I can not imagine how lazy he will look with an NFL-sized bank account.
The three biggest things Leal was going for him is his size, brute strength, and his versatility. However, don’t fall in love on the first date. He would project to being a solid 3-4 (three defensive linemen and four linebacker) end if he played like he cared. The word “potential” does not apply to guys like this. He is what he is and he will not suddenly start playing like the game matters to him at the NFL level.
Guys like Demarvin Leal are the reason why 53% of first rounders are busts historically.
#8 Demarvin Leal 6-foot-4, 290 pounds
2021 game film reviewed: LSU, Ole Miss, Arkansas
Note: Recently arrested for possession of marijuana.
Grade: 5th round league grade (not on my draft board). Lacks developmental upside.
Bust Rate: High
Possible destination: Bengals, Raiders, Cowboys or Patriots
Versatile and sluggish defensive linemen who has the tools, but takes a majority of the plays off. Thick build with big bubble and powerful lower. Moves around to all the different positions on the line. In pass rush situations is slow off the snap. Has rigidity and is not explosive at the point of attack. Most of the time dances around and wastes space. Once in a blue moon he will flash ability to power drive and bull rush. Has the brute power to get movement. Flashes fast swim (twice) and spin (twice). Flashed burst. Often does not show much fight and gives up too easily. Neutralized a lot. Majority of the time he gets handled. On a rare occasion he ends up at the right place at the right time and will turn it on when it’s easy, lined up right in front of him and he has a clean shot. I was very unimpressed with him as a pass rusher. Limited area run defender who can crash down laterally and parallel once in a great while. Most of the time he did not put forth a whole lot of effort, was slow reacting and inconsistent at using hands and shedding blocks. Seemed very disinterested against the run. Got moved off the ball and handled way too easily for a man who shows this kind of physical strength. A soft football player who will get a team beat.
The recent arrest just adds to fuel to this scouting report. Character plays a huge role in the evaluation process and while smoking marijuana has become as common as chewing bubble gum in our society, it’s not that he allegedly had marijuana on him that is the most troubling part of this. The most troubling part is the poor judgement Leal showed this close to the draft.
It’s just another piece to his puzzle, and his draft profile is not looking good as we head towards the 2022 NFL draft.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.