In our last Summer Scouting piece, FRG analyzed the game of Shilique Calhoun, the talented underclassman defensive end from the Michigan State Spartans. This scouting breakdown will focus on one of the more experienced senior prospects at the position, Anthony Chickillo (Miami.)
Anthony Chickillo, Miami | #71 | 6040, 277lbs | Sr
-Entering 2014 season with 34 career starts;
-Has totaled 12.5 career sacks and 20.5 TFLs;
-Named Honorable Mention All-ACC in 2012;
-Was considered a 5 start recruit and a top-50 overall high school talent.
After doing some preliminary research on Chickillo, I was excited to pop in the tape to see where he was in his development as he enters his final season of college football. As a highly-decorated high school recruit and a veteran of 34 starts, I expected to see a player that could challenge for early-round consideration as we approach week 1. And while I think Chickillo is a nice prospect, I came away from my initial film study a tad bit underwhelmed.
Chickillo certainly possesses an appealing frame, as he presents as a big, thick defensive end who carries his 275+ frame very well. He’s not fat and looks like a guy who works hard in the weight room. In fact, I don’t think he’s quite maxed out regarding his weight, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he bulks up to the mid-280’s in the pros. The added weight won’t hurt him, as his game is based more on power than speed, and he’s likely to be a run-stuffer on the next level.
Athletically, Chickillo is a solid movement guy who certainly hustles from snap to whistle. While I think he’s a bit more of an active than effective athlete (moves quickly but ineffectively), his appeal on the next level will be his strength (both what he has now and what he’s likely to gain through the years.) Chickillo is a power player who possesses the kind of lower body strength to hold the point and create a legitimate obstacle in the play’s aiming point. He’s not the kind of quick-twitch guy that will consistently be able to penetrate or split the gap, but he’s not going to get pushed around easily.
Against the run, Chickillo possesses a skill-set and overall frame that suggests potential success as a defensive end in both a 43 and 34 scheme (especially if he adds more weight.) He fires out of his stance with good pad level, generating the kind of power through his hips that is needed to jolt and stun the offensive tackle enough to disrupt a running play’s design. He’s strong enough through his upper body and with his hands to shed the block and get in on the action as well. He’s not a great chase and tackle guy, but he plays with a high motor and finds himself in on plays that his athleticism would suggest he shouldn’t. Coaches will like that.
Against the pass, Chickillo is more of a trash man in that he’ll clean up and sack the quarterback based on pressure that a teammate or two have applied. He’s not a very gifted pass rusher, relying more on power and a panicked quarterback than on any well-developed rush move(s). And I don’t think he’ll evolve in this area beyond what we’ve already seen on tape. He’s 34 starts in and is what he is at this point (only 12.5 career sacks). That said, there are roles in the NFL for guys like Chickillo who is a throwback, “hit you in the mouth” type of defensive lineman. The fact that he isn’t a sack artist might cause him to slip a bit in the draft, but he’ll stick in the League.
Overall, Chickillo is going to be out-shined by a lot of the flashy pass rushers and more athletic defensive linemen that will be eligible for the 2015 NFL Draft. His draft value will be limited by his status as a 2-down player, but his scheme diversity should prevent any kind of massive free fall. Is he a first-round guy? No, not by any stretch. The only way he’ll get to that point is if he has some kind of a breakthrough year as a pass rusher, which as I’ve stated above, I highly doubt will happen. As we enter the 2014 season, Chickillo looks like a solid, early-to-mid Day 3 guy.
Additional defensive end Summer Scouting pieces: