Draft prospect: Justin Tuck

Packerreport.com resumes its preview of collegiate prospects that may be available when the Green Bay Packers are on the clock in the upcoming NFL Draft. Today, we feature defensive end Justin Tuck, who was Notre Dame's leading pass rusher the last two seasons.<p>

The Packers are seeking a defensive end to complement Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. Tuck is projected as a late first round, or second-round selection. With three of the top 58 picks, the Packers will have their eye on Tuck on draft day.

Here is more on Tuck from Scout.com and NFLDraftScout.com on Tuck:

Ht: 6-5

Wt: 268

40 time: 4.61

Year: 4Jr

Bio: Tuck had a breakout year in 2003, setting the school single-season record with 13 1/2 sacks, adding 73 tackles, three forced fumbles and 19 stops behind the line of scrimmage. However, in the season finale vs. Syracuse, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, undergoing surgery in December. The injury would sideline him for 2004 spring drills.

In 2004, Tuck faced constant double-team coverage and did not match his lofty statistics from the previous season, as he still had some problems with his knee, which eventually prevented him from playing vs. Oregon State in the Insight.com Bowl. He concluded the season with 47 tackles, six sacks and 14 stops for losses.

Tuck holds the Notre Dame career-record with 24 1/2 sacks, topping the previous mark of 22 1/2 by Kory Minor (1995-98). For his career, he totaled 164 tackles (113 solo) with 43 stops for losses of 210 yards, four forced fumbles and seven pass deflections. His 43 stops behind the line of scrimmage broke the previous school all-time record of 42 by Anthony Weaver (1998-2001).

Positives: Terrific athlete who is a disruptive force up the field. Breaks down well playing with leverage, rarely off his feet and tough to move from his angle of attack. Good technician who works his hands throughout the action to stay off blocks. Explosive, flashes on the scene and a sudden defender. Quick if asked to twist or stunt, immediately changes his angle of attack and displays speed pursuing from the backside. Fast off the edge and has a burst bearing down on quarterbacks. Effective run defender who strings plays out to the flanks. Squares and wraps up tackling. Displays the ability to drop off the line of scrimmage and play in space.

Tuck has a developing frame with good muscle development, but still needs to increase his strength to combat the larger defenders at the pro level. He shows good quickness off the ball, along with above-average hand usage and lateral agility to slip blocks. He has very good agility and balance to play on his feet.

Negatives: Lacks bulk and disadvantaged going up against big bodied linemen. Must improve his strength, as he gets wired in blocks or has difficulty disengaging from opposing tight ends. Analysis: After an outstanding sophomore campaign when he looked like a dominant defender, Tuck struggled as a junior last season. Would have been better off staying in college and becoming a potential top-ten pick in 2006, but possesses the underlying skills to be a productive and disruptive NFL defensive end.

Up next: On Tuesday, packerreport.com will take a closer look at Troy State linebacker Demarcus Ware.

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