Originally Posted by Mat'hir Uth Gan
That's for DEs. DTs are a different story and it helps to have shorter arms because it's a power game. 32 inch arms is not short for a DT.
I disagree on this point MUG....Paea got knocked for his "short arms" a couple years ago (32")...that's when I started thinking alot about it. When it comes to Defensive Lineman, it's all about beating an Offensive Linemane one-on-one. This comes down to:
- For both DT's and DE's athleticsm is a combination of foot speed (3-cone, forty), strength (bench press), and vert. The Defensive Lineman has to be faster, and stronger than the Offensive Lineman he faces...or else he will rarely win a on-on-one matchup. I look for fast 3-cones, and DT's who can push up 225 lbs. more than 30 times. A forty about 5.0 is good, and at least an average vert for his position group.
2. Physical Dimensions
- Arm length is very important for a DT, moreso than for a DE. Whereas a good DE has the footspeed to run around an Offensive tackle, or juke, spin move...a DT is heftier and generally has less footspeed. With longer arms a DT can prevent himself from being controlled out of the play by an Offensive Lineman. A DT with good height (~6'5") can hold more mass than a shorter guy without it affecting his athleticism. It's like a boxing match, where a taller opponent with longer arms will beat a short, short-armed opponent every time (Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson, Klitscko bro's). Short-armed DT's are rarely stand-out players in the NFL.
- This is self-explanatory. A superior DT will have a variety of moves, great hand-fighting skills, and show consistent effort on every play. A player who takes plays off (for whatever reason), won't have as much production as he should. Production is a very important factor when I look at DT's. Have they consistently produced at the college level? Have they shown improvement every year, or have they leveled off?
In conclusion, having longer arms benefits a DT, while having shorter arms (32") is not optimal. NFL scouts will definitely knock a guy down at least 10-15 spots for having 32" arms (Stephen Paea, Mike Martin).