Justin Zimmer

Ferris St
Defensive Line #48
6’3″ 303

justinzimmer
Zimmer is a size-speed guy with ridiculous production at the Division 2 level.

Good:
– Weight lifting strength
– Explosive, first step quickness, short area quickness
– Production – career stats: 26 sacks, 48.5 TFLs, 216 tackles, 9 FFs (20 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 6.5 TFLs, 2 FFs vs Michigan Tech 2015)

Bad:
– Level of competition (D2)
– Short arms
– Gets a little too high when moving laterally

Notes:
– 3x Academic All-American
– Wins at DT and DE. Might not be long enough to play DE
– Regional combine: 4.89 forty, 33 inch vertical, 46 reps of 225 (YouTube video)
– Strong rip, arm over

Disclaimer: I wasn’t able to find full games so I had to rely on Zimmer’s Hudl highlights.

In what I’ve seen, he absolutely dominated the competition at the Division 2 level with ridiculous strength and incredible athleticism for someone his size. His career production and individual game production was so outrageous for a defensive tackle it’s almost laughable.

Zimmer looks like he might have short arms which would help explain his bench press numbers. I also noticed that he seems to stand up on contact which he was able to get away with at that level. I’m also hesitant on prospects that dominate because of their strength. It’s easier to overwhelm guys in college, especially at the D2 level, but it’s rare that you will be able to consistently toss lineman around and out of your way in the NFL. That being said, he’s also an exceptional athlete and has pass rush potential from the interior so he could be a very impactful player as a situational rusher early in his career with the hope of developing into a full time starter.

I would of course prefer to see full games before drafting him but based on some of the traits I was able to take away from the highlights, I would consider him a mid round pick. Not many people get drafted that highly when they weren’t invited to the combine, but with the types of numbers he was able to put up at the regional combine he’s going to be on teams radar at the beginning of the 4th round. Its a bit reckless without seeing his consistency, but I’m comfortable he can be an impact interior pass rusher.

**Update: I was able to get a hold of some game tape so I watched Michigan Tech 2015 and Texas A&M Commerce 2015.

Zimmer consistently made an impact on nearly every play. When he wasn’t making the tackle he was pushing the pocket, occupying double and triple teams, or batting down passes. He looked too quick and strong for the tackles he faced, and much too quick for interior lineman. His motor is always running hot and he has a pretty good feel for counter moves. My only real concern remains Zimmer’s arm length which did seem to effect him getting off blocks in the run game. This occurred most often when he was facing power blocking schemes. When teams tried to reach or trap him, he cause a lot of disruption because of how quickly he gets depth in the back field. I think he would limited to the interior rather then playing on the edge. If teams are able to get past that he could be an impact situational pass rusher on the inside because of his explosiveness and strength, with the hopes of developing into an every down player.

Round Value: 4-5

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