David Pollack Vitals
40 Time: 4.81
Scout.com Draft Ranking: 14th overall, 3rd at position
Projected draft slot: Mid first round
Pollack possesses tremendous motor, outstanding quickness, and great anticipation. He's a playmaker.
Pollack may have hurt his draft status without any drill in question. He had the shortest arms at 30.5 of any defensive linemen. Teams place an emphasis on arm length because it helps ward off offensive linemen while pursuing a quarterback. An offensive lineman with five inches in reach over Pollack could disable his ability to turn up the field. This and Pollack's lack of overall size may hurt his draft position.
An intense defender that goes hard and plays like a man possessed. Pollack is an outstanding pass rusher who is also effective off the line of scrimmage in space. His size limits the number of schemes he can play at the next level
Pollack finished his college career at Georgia with an SEC-record 47 sacks, fourth all time in the NCAA. His playmaking skills are unquestioned, he played for four years at one of the top schools in one of the premiere conference in big-time college football. So why is his draft position in such question?
The dilemma that the Redskins and the other teams who might be shopping for a defensive end in the draft face is the one that has faced football teams since a scout first picked up a tape measure and a stop watch: Do we select based on what we see of a player on film, how good a football player he is or do we do it on the basis of the measurables, the height, weight, wingspan, 40 time, bench press and so on?
On the basis of what's on film, Pollack would almost have to be a top-10 pick, one of the first defensive players selected. He was a one-man wrecking crew at Georgia, a force to be reckoned with. Combining great instincts with excellent preparation, he anticipated the play as well as anyone. On top of that he's a leader and is by all accounts a high-character guy.
On top of that, he makes big plays, huge plays. He broke onto the radar screen of many fans in the second game of his 2002 sophomore season when he made the play that won the game against South Carolina. Pollack got the lineman's Grand Slam—sack, strip, recovery, and touchdown—after he beat a double team and leapt over another blocker to get to the stunner Gamecock QB in the end zone. In his final game as a Bulldog on New Year's Day, he made a similar play, getting a sack, strip and recovery against the Wisconsin quarterback to stop a late drive and preserve a 24-21 Georgia win.
But instincts and motors and character can't be quantified and sometimes players possessing such traits will slide down in the draft in favor of players who may not have appeared in many highlight reels over the course of their college careers but who, according to the things that scouts can measure, have better physical tools to succeed in the NFL.
It is that quandary that the Redskins could face when their first selection comes around on April 23. Should they take Pollack based on what they've seen on film and hope that he'll overcome his physical limitations at the next level? Or should they look at the spreadsheet, pass on Pollack and risk seeing him go to a division opponent and spend the next six years crashing into the Redskins backfield?
Pollack on Pollack
Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. It's all about who's willing to pay the biggest price to be successful.Others on Pollack
The best thing I can say about David Pollack is he's a football player. He's not this fancy-schmancy kid who's going to talk and not back it up. He plays football, he plays with emotion, he finds ways to make things happen on the field. He is a football player. That's the best compliment I could give any player."
--Jacksonville linebackers coack Broan VanGorder, Pollack's defensive coordinator at Georgia.
He could push around those 300-pounders in college because they weren't as physically and mentally mature as linemen are here. He's going to get engulfed by some of these tackles. He's going to have to learn different ways to get off the edge because he's not going to be a guy who is going to go right by you with a quick first step.
--an NFL scoutFit With Redskins
Pollack could be the big-play defensive end that the team has lacked since the heyday of Mann and Manley in the mid-1980's. He certainly fits Joe Gibbs' ideal of a player who possesses a great work ethic and solid character.