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2015 NFL Draft Player Profile: Rice DE Christian Covington

Covington had 59 tackles and 4 sacks as a sophomore and was on just about every preseason watch list in 2014. Had he played a full season, he likely would have played his way into a 3rd or 4th round rating on most team's draft boards.

Christian Covington has been one of CUSA's top defenders.
Christian Covington has been one of CUSA's top defenders.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Covington, a redshirt junior out of Vancouver, BC is bypassing his senior year at Rice to enter the NFL draft. Covington, who missed seven games with a knee injury, decided to bypass his senior year and enter the draft despite not being able to participate in the draft combine.

Pros:

Covington, 6-3 300, shows great quickness for his size. He gets a good jump off the snap and gets up field quickly. Covington has long arms, which allows him to get off blocks easily to get to the ball carrier.

Covington consistently drew double teams in Conference USA and often dominated those teams that tried to block him with one player. He has good football instincts and he does not give up on the play. Covington has good awareness and will get his hands up to block passes if he can't reach the quarterback.

Cons:

The biggest negatives against Covington really aren't anything about the player himself. First, his level of competition was not always the toughest, so it was hard for scouts to see what they really had to look at. Second, he missed several games in his career, so Covington will carry injury concerns with him into the NFL. Finally, not being able to participate in the combine will hurt him most of all. The big man really needed a chance to show off his quickness and strength in front of the world.

Conclusion:

Despite missing seven games in 2014, Covington managed to finish with 20 tackles and 3 sacks. The 21 year old has little left to prove at the Conference USA level. Rice won the CUSA championship in 2013 with Covington as a key cog in the lineup. In 2014, the Owls dipped to 8-5, but they were 5-1 in games that Covington participated.

Without being able to show teams that he is ready physically, Covington is likely to drop slightly down most team's draft boards. Look for the big Canadian to slip to the 5th or 6th round.