Drafted: ROUND: 2 - Pick Number: 46 (DET)
Draft Profile: BioJosh Paschal was highly recruited out of high school after putting up impressive numbers at the pre recruiting college combine where he ran 4.75 in the 40, a top-rated SPARQ rating of 120.24, and a vertical jump of 39 inches. He opted to join Kentucky after turning down offers from Alabama and Ohio State.
As a freshman he made an immediate impact he played in 13 games and on 336 snaps had 9 tackles, 11 stops, 4 sacks, and 28 total pressures.
In 2018 Paschal was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and as a result underwent three surgeries, followed by ongoing monthly immunotherapy treatments. He missed the majority of the season while recovering.
He made an impressive return in 2019 and while playing on 427 snaps had 26 tackles and 26 stops, he also added 4 sacks and 11 total pressures as a pass rusher. His high level of play continued in 2020 where as a Junior he received an All-SEC Honorable Mention (PFF), a Fourth-Team All-SEC spot (Phil Steele), and was Semifinalist for the Witten Collegiate Man of Year Award after totaling 32 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 4 sacks, and a huge 30 total pressures.
In 2021 as a senior Paschal improved his performance further. Playing in 653 snaps he put up 38 tackles, 41 stops, 6 sacks, and 38 total pressures. He was awarded with a First-team All-SEC spot (AP, Phil Steele) and a Second-Team All-SEC from PFF.
Scouting Report: Strengths
- Excellent athlete who shows the ability to play all along the defensive line although he is an ideal fit as 3-4 DE
- Easily gains inside leverage by shooting gaps.
- Plays with a none stop motor who never gives up and gives it all on every play
- Plays with leverage at the point of attack whether inside or outside. Keeps eyes in the backfield when inside; moves linemen to either side with strong hands.
- Brilliant tackler who pretty much always wraps up and rarely misses
- Challenges inside with quickness and strong hands. Run-and-chase defender who can leave a mark.
- Has a quality swim move and bull rush that allow him to constantly pressure the QB
- Offers some versatility, rushing from a two-and three-point stance with the playing speed to stand up in space. Flashes strength as a bull rusher and his energy doesn't plateau.
- Powerful and explosive run stuffer who has put up elite defensive stats during his senior campaign
- Impressive lateral movement - is a major asset as an RPO defender
- Demonstrates the ability to generate excellent leverage disengaging from blockers
- Has a quick burst off the line and times the snap well. Good upper-body strength and length to lock-out his opponent and at least moderate lateral agility to slide inside or spill out to contain.
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- Lacks elite speed to bend and flatten off the corner with stiff hips and ankles
- Never out of a play, but can get out of control and work himself away from the action.
- Is not quite as bendy as you would expect to see in the top-level rushers
- Will need to develop a greater array of pass rush moves if he is going to excel at the next level - currently, he relies too much on power
- A little undersized for a traditional 3-4 defensive end - may need to get bigger if he is going to make a long term impact in the pros
- Has decent but not great speed and acceleration - struggles to beat tackles around the edge
- Stands up well against the run but is very pursuit-conscious and will take unneeded wide angles.
Scouting Report: SummaryJosh Paschal is an outstanding 3-4 defender with an impressive motor and elite strength at the point of attack which enables him to be incredibly effective as a run defender. Paschal's skills don't stop there, as he has proven to be a dominating interior rusher - whether it's getting to the QB or taking down the ball-carrier in the backfield. He however isn't a perfect prospect as he's undersized with less than ideal length and only decent overall explosiveness on the edge.
We consider Pascal to have a bright pro future who's likely to have an impact as a rookie and quickly develop into a good pro starter. Expect him to hear his name called in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
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