Well everyone, we’ve arrived. Bowl season is drawing to a close as we inch closer to the National Championship in Nawlins and I fight off the football withdrawal induced shakes. But alas, the end of bowl season does signal the beginning of a beautiful new season; Draft Szn.
Now, as a CFB junkie and a diehard Jets fan, I am very well conditioned to believe that football season just ends right around New Years. HOW-EVA, all it has meant for me the last few years is that it’s time to start digging into some college tape, and boy is there no shortage to choose from. Indecisive as I am, I always struggle with where to start. But, luckily for me, I managed to stumble ass backwards into some Miami Ohio Redhawks Defense tape and it occurred to me that the MVP of that Redhawk Defense was none other than friend of the progrum and legitimate NFL prospect Doug Costin. So, we’re gonna take a look at some tape from Miami’s game against Ohio State this year. Not only is it the best competition Doug has faced in college, but it’s also the only tape I was able to acquire, perfect!
Before we dive into the tape, let’s take a quick look at some stats to build a better picture of Doug as a player, though I would like to note the biggest part of watching film is finding the traits and characteristics that don’t show up on the box score.
So, Doug is a 6’2″ 295 lb Defensive Tackle. The TFL’s indicate good disruptiveness in the run game but I won’t pretend the numbers are eye popping because that’s what tape is for. Building on that, we’ll see from the tape that he primarily plays as a 4-3 DT on either side of the formation, but he also definitely shows good versatility and took snaps as a 0, 1, 2, and 3 tech tackle*(I will include a small chart at the bottom of this blog explaining D line techniques because I want this to be as informative as possible but basically a 0 tech means the DT is lined up right over the centers nose, with the 1 being over the guards inside shoulder, the 2 his nose, 3 his outside shoulder, and so on and so forth down the line). Now while I have openly stated I will never slander a friend of the progrum, he doesn’t really have the size needed to play the nose in the NFL so he’s probably best suited as a 4-3 DT but I could also see a coach thinking he can convert to a 3-4 interior DE.
So now that we have some background, let’s dive in. For the record Doug is #58 in white, I don’t have fancy video editing software (yet, plz @ Mookie and demand he pay for it) so you’ll have to use those eyes a little bit.
Now, this play might look a little familiar because I tweeted it out when I started looking at the tape from this game. This is the exact kind of play I was alluding to earlier that’ll never show up on the box score, but showcases some of Doug’s abilities. One of the first things I noticed watching his film is how dominant he can be in the run game. He demanded a lot of double teams and made OSU scheme around him and was still rarely taken out of the play. Here he absolutely staunches OSU Left Guard Jonah Jackson (Senior Bowl invitee and likely day 2 NFL Draft prospect) at the point of contact and drives him straight backwards, closing the cutback lane and ensuring the play was blown up.
This time, Doug lines up on the other side of the line over RG Wyatt Davis (5 star Sophomore). He initially gets blown off the line and chipped by the pulling RT, but shows great recovery to plant that left leg and drive to reset himself. Works through the block to get involved in the run stuff and blow up the play. Great motor and great hips to stay with the play here and again shows us that to completely take him out of the play completely is going to take a tremendous amount of effort.
Sack lunch. Doug sells the immediate shift left and then stunts back across to the other side of the line. Great pursuit and fights through contact to get the sack. Uses his hands very well coming back outside to toss the LT (yes I know he was already beat) and finish the play. Also a good clean high IQ hit, had a free run and probably could’ve lowered the shoulder and lit Fields up but instead wraps him up for a nice, clean, sure tackle.
This play is a little tougher to see because of the angle (blame the Buckeyes) but Doug is lined up over the RG again at the 3 tech on his outside shoulder. You’ll see watching his film that while he may not have elite quickness, he’s good with deception. The guard bites like a fish on the first step outside and Doug rips the spin move back inside. Luckily for the Buckeyes, JK Dobbins was there to clean up and managed to give Fields just enough time to get the throw away, but this is good interior pressure and demonstrates some of that possible value as an interior pass rusher as either a 4-3 DT or 3-4 DE on top of his clear value in the run game.
More good pursuit, the more tape you watch the more you notice Doug seems to have a good nose for the ball and plays through the whistle. He starts lined up over the LG who immediately moves up the field to set up the screen. He takes a little shot from the LT coming back across and as soon as Fields gets that ball out, we see him plant, turn, and pursue the ball, eventually getting involved and laying a big hit on the receiver. A lot of guys probably give up on that play after the ball gets out but it’s encouraging to see good instincts and pursuit like that from a guy who plays in the trenches.
Another classic “doesn’t show up on the box score” play. Doug lines up over the LG and we see him use a similar first move to the one that set up the spin where he takes a good first step inside, gets his man to bite, and then instead of spinning he just explodes around him bach outside. He couldn’t get home for the sack but drew a hold on the play and negated a touchdown for OSU. All the more evidence that if he can polish some of his pass rush skills, Costin could be a real disruptive player at the next level.
Now, this is a tough play but at the end of the day it’s still good tape. Doug lines up over the RG in the 3 tech again and the DE stunts over him. Doug is doing his job and occupying 2 members of the O Line when he’s able to get inside leverage on the tackle and bend around the edge. This is a great, great play for him but you gotta make that tackle at the end of the day. Fields is extremely elusive and Doug show’s a litany of talents in just getting to him here but you gotta finish this play.
More excellent run support. Draws a double team as the 3 tech DT but keeps his legs moving well and fights through 2 blockers to get involved in a gang tackle.
So, my final takeaways are as follows, and yes I understand this is one game of tape but I’d like you to understand I watch way too much MACtion and was plenty familiar with Doug before this breakdown. He is clearly very disruptive in the run game and at least to me at his best when playing as the 4-3 3 tech Defensive Tackle, though his versatility and ability to make plays at different positions on the line is a huge plus. He isn’t the most polished pass rusher in history but the potential is clearly there and some work on adding a few interior rush moves could make him problematic for defenses to deal with at the next level. Very good strength, base, and pursuit. Ultimately, I think Doug is going to make an NFL team very very happy they spent a late round pick on him and I think he could make a decent impact as a rookie as a rotational piece in the right system.
And there ends film breakdown number 1. I will include the D Line Technique breakdown right here for anyone interested in learning more about defensive alignments, but overall I hope this was some enjoyable content. I have a decent trove of film so if there’s anyone you’d like some more info on or you’d like to see some tape of give me a buzz @harry__mac on twitter and I’ll do my best to accommodate you. Conversely if you have complaints or disagree with me, shove it up your ass and take it to someone who cares. Shout out Doug for being a friend of the progrum and best of luck with the whole draft process.