St. Louis Rams 2010 Draft Report: George Selvie

Who is George Selvie, you ask? George Selvie was an first team All-American and Big East Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2007, and was one of the quickest and fastest DE's in college football history. (btw, "quick" has an element of suddenness to it, whereas "fast" refers to speed that can be built up).

Selvie's production fell off pretty dramatically after an ankle injury caused him to miss a couple of games, and quasi-freak (and first DE off the board) Jason Pierre-Paul arrived on his college team. Predictably, his draft stock  fell off pretty dramatically, too. But by all accounts he is a passionate player with a love for the game.

As a 7th round lottery ticket, the investment and risk is low. The payoff, should Spags be able to utelize him anywhere near as effectively in the NFL as he was in college, could be huge.

Obviously, as an All-American, George has shown the ability to be a very effective "speed" pass rusher. Often, the tradeoff athletes make for speed is a lack of size, and Selvie is no different. The NFL lists him at 6' 3" 252, which is nice NFL Linebacker size but definitely small for his Defensive End position.

It remains to be seen whether the Rams will ask Selvie to try out for OLB; after all, Spagnuolo is known for his eccentric but effective D-line combinations. Wherever they try him, Selvie does come with pass rush specialist's skillset, something the St. Louis defense definitely needs to bring from somewhere...anywhere...

[Update, 5/1/10: The Rams have him listed as RDE]

More opinions on speedy George Selvie below..

Scouts Inc take: Grade 49

Positional Rank: 18  (Drafted: 22)
(1 = Exceptional, 2 = Above average, 3 = Average, 4 = Below average, 5 = Marginal)

Pass Rush Skills: 1 Excellent initial quickness and ability to turn the corner. Stays balanced and does a good job of bending inside. Disruptive and flashes the ability to split double teams. Can get under offensive tackles and drive them back. Closing burst is a notch below elite bust still above average
Athleticism/Versatility: 3 Good-but-not elite athletic ability. Doesn't appear as fluid in space in brief looks at him dropping into coverage and we have concerns about his ability to move to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. At this point his best fit is clearly at defensive end in a base 4-3 scheme.
Versus the Run: 2 Though not a phone-booth player and he gets engulfed at times, Selvie has rare strength for his size and is stout at the point of attack. Establishes position and gets adequate hand placement. Plays with good leverage and flashes the ability to shed blocks in time to make plays. Closes quickly when scraping down the line of scrimmage. Quicker than fast and lacks elite range but has adequate range and a good motor so he makes plays in pursuit.
Instincts/Competitiveness: 1 Does an excellent job of anticipating the snap. Outstanding effort. Disciplined and does a good job of staying home when plays flow away from him. Tough and doesn't shy away from contact. Times jumps well and does a good job of getting hands up when he sees the quarterback start his throwing position.'s take: Grade 4.5

George has been the Bulls' most productive defender over the past four seasons. He's quick off the edge and has shown bursts of speed to close in on the football. He is a disruptive player who can penetrate the line of scrimmage as a run defender and pressure the quarterback. George can bend and close to the passer with great agility and balance and pursue from the backside to chase ball carriers. He possesses deceptive strength to collapse the pocket off the edge but is inconsistent holding the point vs. the run. George uses his hands well to leverage blockers and separate to the ball. His instincts, athleticism and motor make him and undersized end that should contribute as a pass rusher and on coverage units (special teams) as a rookie.

Strengths: Selvie was highly productive in college. He's a tough defender who plays bigger than his listed measurables and with a really consistent effort level. Possesses outstanding quickness off the ball and has good agility. Is a really instinctive performer who knows how to use his hands. Displays very polished pass rush ability. Durable.
Weaknesses:Selvie was able to hold up well in college but lacks bulk to hold the point of attack and be a really effective  run defender at the next level. Despite his initial quickness, he does not possess the great range you expect to see from a player of his size.


Sporting News take: Grade 6.0

Positional Rank: 12

Strengths: Shows an explosive first step and closing speed. Shows the speed to make plays near the sideline. Is a good athlete with the leaping ability to bat down passes at the line. Shows outstanding body control and balance. Anticipates the snap well. Is an explosive pass rusher off the edge. Shows great quickness and change-of-direction ability. Can dip his shoulder and close the gap to the quarterback in a hurry. Has a different gear when there's a chance to make a play. Causes a lot of fumbles. Plays with good flexibility and balance in the open field

Weaknesses: Lacks bulk and strength to hold up at the point of attack. Rarely wins as a pass rusher with power. Can be bounced or driven off the ball. Does not use hands well to shed blockers. Only makes plays vs. the run by shooting gaps. Lacks variety of pass-rush moves, and sack production dropped off the last two seasons.

Bottom line: Selvie was one of the quickest and fastest defensive ends in college football history. He is explosive but is really only a pass-rush specialist. He lacks bulk and can be stalemated by bigger offensive linemen. Once locked up, he is done. Selvie is best suited to play as an undersized end in a 4-3 scheme that puts more emphasis on speed, explosiveness and athleticism than size and playing strength. If he gets drafted by a team that uses a 3-4 scheme, he would have to make the switch to rush linebacker. Selvie is this year's version of Georgia Tech's Michael Johnson in 2009 -- he has received more hype than his production merits.

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