If you were building an NFL nose tackle in a lab, the mad scientist would come out with BJ Raji. A mountain of a man, huge legs, wide base and overwhelming power. He's got a big time explosion at the snap, and is all but impossible to block one on one. For a man one Diet Coke away from 340lbs he shows quick feet, nice agility and good use of his hands to shed blockers. Does a nice job on backside pursuit, and can run players down. He's a rock solid tackler, and does a decent job working the pass rush with a couple of effective moves. I suppose if he's got a downside it centers around his effort. Dudes that weight 340lbs will have lapses in effort and conditioning. I get that. He's going to have those same issues in the NFL. One technical fault of his game is that he does at times lose the play, and gives up. He's got to get it in his head, you don't stop on a play regardless.
Raji looks to be a lock for a top 10 pick at this point. He's the best interior defensive lineman in the draft by a pretty wide margin, and his ability to play either a NT in the 3-4 or the 4-3 makes him really valuable. I think he's better suited to play a 3-4 NT role due to his height and ability to work through the double team, so look for a team like Green Bay who's implementing the 3-4 this year, to give Raji a long look.
Reminds me of: Casey Hampton
Big wide body, a little on the squatty side, and impossible to block when he puts out max effort. Like Hampton his strength is run stuffing and collapsing the pocket, and is rather agile for his girth.
Red Flags: None
Scouting Report written by Curtis Popejoy