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Daelin Hayes

Preseason Scouting Notes: Daelin Hayes, EDGE, Notre Dame

Redshirt Senior | 6’3″ 260 lbs | Belleville, Michigan

 

A savvy edge rusher who possesses a sturdy frame, high football intelligence and power as a rusher and run defender

 

Overview:

Daelin Hayes came to Notre Dame as a 4-star recruit and stepped into the Fighting Irish locker room as a contributor as a freshman. Hayes has appeared in just over 40 games in his career thus far, most recently suffering a torn labrum that sidelined him for a majority of his senior season. With this injury, he would ultimately decide to use his available redshirt in 2019 and come back as a graduate in 2020. Hayes typically lines up in a stand up 7-tech position in even fronts and slides inside to a standing 2-tech spot when his team goes to odd fronts in Brian Kelly and Clark Lea’s gap rush heavy scheme.

Strengths:

– Hand strength at POA shocks the chest and shoulders of tackles and guards
– Initial pass rush moves (Bull rush, outside fake, spin and rip specifically) give OL problems
– Wraps up ball carriers and QBs with sufficient strength, effort and technique
– Savvy ability to slither through gaps and catch OL off guard
– Motor runs hot
– Reads ball fakes, option plays and OL adjustments well
– Able to disrupt plays from distance with above average length and power
– Sets the edge and occupies blockers with maximum effort and discipline

Areas to improve:

– Lacks agility to make plays in open space or 1-on-1
– Shows next to no coverage ability in limited reps
– No pass rush plan after primary move. Shows no ability to counter the OL set and reset his positioning with a new move
– Limited flexibility allows for little bend around the edge
– Block shedding leaves a lot to be desired. Has the hand strength and impact but prefers to control blockers rather than stack and shed and make a play
– Insufficient first step burst off the line
– Not a particularly nasty finisher. Leaves some physical play out on the field

Injury concerns:

– 2016 Separated shoulder senior year of high school (missed most of the season)
– 2018 Stinger (missed VT game)
– 2019 torn labrum suffered week 4 (missed rest of season)

Projection:

Although he rarely played with his hand in the dirt on the edge, Hayes projects best in such a role at the next level as a weak side 5- or 7-tech. Along with his rather average athleticism, his minimal pass rush plan will stunt his development at the next level, lowering his ceiling and appeal to teams. With Hayes’ experience in a versatile role, teams may like his ability to potentially move around the formation. As of now, he looks to be a mid-late Day 3 selection with a possibility of being a PFA.

What to watch in 2020:

As a redshirt senior and coming off a season ending injury, Hayes will look to continue his hot start from 2019. He will need to further develop his pass rush plan past his initial move as well as refine his hand usage while shedding blocks after the POA. With such big areas to improve, can he string together consistent performances over the course of a season? Hayes has the prototypical size for an edge defender but should he pack on some more pounds, a possible move to more of a 5-tech spot would fit his play style much better.