Scouting Report: Na'il Diggs

Scouting Report: Na'il Diggs
Na'il Diggs

Scouting Report:  Na'il Diggs

Diggs takes a major step toward holding off Johnson for his starting spot.

By Bill Smith

            Na'il Diggs took a major step forward in his struggle with Johnson for the starting LB spot for the Carolina Panthers.  Diggs started the 3rd preseason game against Washington and played very well.  His production should really help cement him in one of the starting LB spots.

Playing the run:

            The Panther's system employs a naturally aggressive style.  Diggs uses his experience to attack the run rather than let it come to him.  He is almost always part of the tackle and is very seldom standing beside the pile.  In the first half, he was part of 4 tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage.  On 4 other plays, he was part of the tackle a couple of yards beyond the line.  Even when the run goes away from him, he uses the proper angles to insure that if the tackle is missed, he gets the runner after a reasonable gain. 

            His awareness is also above average.  He recognizes screen passes and draw plays being set up and does his part to break up the play.  He then uses his athletic ability to prevent a gain.

            One area he has struggled with in past years was getting off a blocker to get to the play.  He is using his hands much better this year and prevents a blocker from grabbing and locking onto him. 

Playing the pass:

            His combination of speed and athleticism has always made Diggs good in pass coverage.  He is equally capable of zone or man coverage.  He has the speed to cover a RB in a deep in or middle pass.  He also uses his experience to blitz when he is released of his coverage responsibility because the RB or TE stays in to block.  He attacks and is able to avoid allowing the blocker to lock onto him.  He contributed to a defense that totally snuffed out the Redskins first team offense in the first half.

            He did not allow a completion to his receivers and assisted on generating the pressure that caused a couple of sacks.

Grade A+

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent.  He is a senior writer for  He has also published several novels on and edits
Tags: Buckeyes Football NFL Ohio State

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Ohio State 2018 Football Schedule

Jan 1st Rose Bowl v Washington
ESPN 5:00pm ET

Sep. 1 Oregon State Beavers
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH Noon ET

Sep. 8 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH 3:30pm ET

Sep. 15 at TCU Horned Frogs
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

Sep. 22 Tulane Green Wave
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Sep. 29 at Penn State Nittany Lions
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Oct. 6 Indiana Hoosiers (HC)
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Oct. 13 Minnesota Golden Gophers
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Oct. 20 at Purdue Boilermakers
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Nov. 3 Nebraska Cornhuskers
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Nov. 10 at Michigan State Spartans
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Nov. 17 at Maryland Terrapins
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Nov. 24 Michigan Wolverines
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Dec. 1 Big Ten Championship Game
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