The third generation Hurricane, Anthony Chickillo had a solid, yet unspectacular career, making 170 tackles with 15.5 sacks, 25.0 stops-for-loss and five fumble recoveries while starting 47-of-50 games at right defensive end. He began his career with 38 tackles and five sacks, starting the final nine games on the 2011 schedule. He was in on 45 hits and four sacks as a sophomore, followed by 46 stops and 7.5 hits for losses as a junior. This season, he managed three sacks among 41 tackles while starting all 13 contests.
More was expected when this coveted recruit joined the program. Chickillo has good strength and is improving use of hands to stack and control the offensive tackle, but he struggles with leverage, at times, especially as he tires, perhaps because he appeared to be out of place performing as a 280-pound run-stuffer, rather than the 245-pound edge rusher he was expecting to be when the coaches first lured him to Miami in 2011.
At the heavier weight, too often, Chickillo would stand up rather than move forward as the game goes on, negating his power. He has very good hand and arm strength to drag down ball-carriers as they attempt to run past him, along with a good initial burst off the snap. He flashes a quick first step to cross the tackle's face and good flexibility to get under the pass blocker's reach to get the advantage. He also displays an impressive spin move back inside to compliment his speed rush, along with capably using his long arms and leg drive for the bull rush.
This season, Chickillo showed that he can flash quickness to get an edge on a blocker, but is not a sudden type and does not play with consistent quickness, making it improbable a team will look at him as an outside linebacker (added bulk also negated that idea). He has adequate balance and athletic ability. He comes off the ball smoothly, but at 280 pounds, he lacked suddenness and was late off the snap at times. He uses his arms well to get into the blocker’s chest, but is more effective when coming off the edge isolated. He does have adequate sustained speed, but doesn’t generate the explosion you would expect.
Now, Chickillo’s scouting analysis takes a bit of a twist, as the assessment above was based on how he had to perform within the Miami system that was not designed to high-light his attributes. That Anthony Chickillo, the five-star recruit that was coveted by over fifty major colleges – that was the player scouts saw all week at the East-West Shrine Game, sort of giving his analysis a “before and after” effect.
The slimmed-down 267-pound version emerged under a simple one-week event with Hall of Famer Mike Singletary running the East team at the Shrine practices. While he is still not an elite athlete, he did not struggle to quickly change directions at the East-West practices like he did at a heavier weight for Miami. However, he showed that he is an instinctive player a relentless motor, demonstrating good snap anticipation and a surprisingly quick first step off the snap playing in the 265-pound range.
Chickillo has an average blend of straight-line speed and power, as he shows good balance when bending the edge, but he does show some tightness in his hips and torso. He has very quick hands and improved his effectiveness with rip and club moves, as he had good success getting under offensive tackles and driving them back into the quarter-back's lap. He also had a knack for knocking the ball loose when got to the quarterback in practice and then did it again during the game.
At a lower weight, Chickillo showed valid lower body strength and good upper-body power (later had 27 on the 225-pound bench press test at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine) that let him play with good leverage. He demonstrated goo in-line tackling technique and remained disciplined in attempts to maintain outside containment. Every chance he god, the Hurricane was pursuing hard from the backside and made every effort to finish plays in pursuit.
Chickillo also proved that he could be a powerful tackler who will finish if he approaches the point of attack in good position, but the more he was in space, the less effective he became as a tackler. While opinions seemed to vary on where his future pro position is, he just seems to lack ideal athleticism to make the move to outside linebacker in most 3-4 schemes, but he might be stout enough to handle bigger blockers as a defensive end in a 4-3 base defense.
Anthony Chickillo NFL Scouting Combine measurables
6-3/267 (4.79 forty)
33 1/2-inch arm length
10 1/8-inch hands
34.5-inch vertical jump
114-inch broad jump
7.17 3 cone drill
4.25 20 yard shuttle
Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.
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