Name: Tim Settle
Position: Defensive Tackle
School: Virginia Tech
The frame is the first thing that jumps out about Settle. He is a massive man, even after shedding a few pounds last season. Settle has the length to maintain extension, the bubble butt to hold his ground and the effective overall mass to hold up against NFL interiors. He could stand to lose a bit of the belly, but so long as it does not hurt his conditioning (which it has at times), it is not necessarily a detriment.
Settle is strong in every way it matters. His thick lower body allows for constant leg drive and explosion while his upper body strength gives him a ferocious punch and ability to move bodies. If Settle gets beat, it is almost always because of technique; he is rarely overpowered.
If not for his massive frame, Settle could pass as a defensive end. He has that level of burst out of his stance, that ability to change direction, that dip to get the edge on his blockers. Settle can also play along the line and pursue the ball carrier when the play goes away from him. Simply put, men Settle’s size are not supposed to move the way he does. His combine numbers do not jump off the page, but he has game quickness that is difficult to quantify.
Of course, all of this is contingent with one thing: his conditioning. His playing weight is acceptable when he has the wind to stay on the field and maintain his quickness. But as games progress, Settle, at times, loses a step due to poor conditioning. The work ethic to improve in this area could be the difference between a Pro Bowl-caliber career and a quick flame out.
Settle wins the line of scrimmage off the snap. He fires low and hard, controlling his man until he can find the ball. As a two-gapper, he has the awareness and power to maintain control, find the ball and shed quickly. But he can also explode through the gap to get immediate penetration. Settle’s motor is both an asset and a weakness, as it means he both never quits on a play and occasionally gets out over his skis. He is constantly in motion, making him a chore to block. But he also ends up on the ground a hair too often. Technique-wise, Settle relies mostly on strength and motion, so double teams and down blocks can get him off his rhythm. These are all coachable weaknesses, however.
Settle has all the tools to be a good pass rushing tackle: the length to maintain separation, the power to drive and the quickness to make some moves and get the edge. Variety is one of the most important assets of an NFL pass rusher and Settle has it. His power and size make him a good bull rusher on their own. He can get penetration just by staying low and driving his man back into the quarterback’s lap. But Settle also uses his quickness and a good swim move to get into the backfield. On several occasions, Settle showed a quick shake-and-bake move to put the opposing guard on skates, then threw a hard punch to get him on the ground. He also found success working out of several techniques: everything from 1-technique to 4i. This is a good sign as it will allow him to find playing time in all sorts of situations at the next level.
One look at Settle may compel one to think he is a pure nose and nothing else. But Settle actually has a lot of potential as a 4-3 3-technique. He has the quickness and play style versatility to shoot gaps, play two-gap or penetrate as a pass rusher. And he can do it from anywhere on the line. As long as he betters his conditioning habits, Settle has the upside of an every down tackle at either spot.
The Vikings are all right at defensive tackle for 2018 as far as starters go but they are hurting for depth. Settle provides multi-positional talent who in a year or two could become an every down guy, and a darn good one at that. He currently has a second round grade due to his inconsistent technique and questions of work ethic. But talent-wise, he has one of the higher all-around ceilings of this year’s defensive tackle class.
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