The Duke Blue Devils haven’t had a pass rusher drafted to the NFL since Chris Combs in 2000. This year, they have a genuine chance of sending two players to the pros. Duke edge Chris Rumph II heads to the 2021 NFL Draft as one of the most productive playmakers that the program has ever seen. Can he translate that to hearing his name called in Cleveland?
Chris Rumph II NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: EDGE
- School: Duke
- Current Year: Redshirt Junior
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 244 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Chris Rumph II Scouting Report
Positives: Solid college pass rusher who lacks size and strength for the next level. Plays with good pad level, works his hands, and bends off the edge. Flashes athleticism, collapses down the line of scrimmage in pursuit, and works to get involved in the action. Gets a lot of momentum going up the field and shows speed off the corner. Gives effort defending the run.
Negatives: Displays marginal quickness and lacks a great first step. Undersized, lacks strength, and gets engulfed at the point or taken from the action by a single blocker.
Analysis: Rumph was a solid pass rusher for Duke and turned in some incredible plays, but he does not project all that well to the next level. He’s a situational pass rusher who can be used out of a three-point stance or standing over tackle, but Rumph comes with limited upside.
Chris Rumph II Player Profile
Rumph heads to the 2021 NFL Draft looking to be the second family member to make their living in the league. His father — of the same name — is currently a defensive line coach for the Chicago Bears. Rumph was a college linebacker who enjoyed a well-traveled college coaching career before breaking into the NFL with the Houston Texans.
Defensive skills clearly run in the Rumph jeans. In his first season as a starter for Buchholz High School, Rumph II helped lead the team to a state playoff appearance. The extremely productive pass rusher logged 102 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, and 13.5 sacks as an outside linebacker.
Ranked as the 80th outside linebacker in the 2017 class and a three-star recruit, Rumph held early offers from Vanderbilt, Mercer, and App State. He also entertained local offers from FIU and UCF before committing to Duke prior to his senior season.
The soon-to-be Blue Devils edge rusher was even more prolific as a senior. His 18 sacks and 21 tackles for loss earned him first-team All-State honors in addition to being named the Large School Player of the Year.
Chris Rumph II’s college football career at Duke
Despite his stellar career at Buchholz, Rumph redshirted as a freshman. The Duke edge rusher made good use of his year away from the field and emerged as a dynamic threat in 2018. He earned first-team Freshman All-American honors after recording 25 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 2 quarterback pressures despite starting only one game.
In that one start — against Georgia Tech — Rumph recorded 4 tackles for loss. In doing so, he tied a Duke-freshman record that stood since 1998. He also earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors for his performance. It would be the first of two games in his career where he would secure 4 tackles for loss.
The second came in 2019 against Middle Tennessee State. The outing would be just one of several standout games as Rumph asserted his dominance on ACC offenses. Although he did not start a single game, he earned third-team All-ACC honors as he racked up 47 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and 11 quarterback pressures. His 3.5 sacks against the Miami Hurricanes earned him ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors.
The Duke edge saved his best for last as Rumph became a full-time starter and team captain in his final campaign for the Blue Devils. Despite the disruption of the 2020 college football season, he started 11 games and led the team with 12.5 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. He tied the conference lead for sacks and earned second-team All-ACC merits in the process. Following the season, Rumph declared for the 2021 NFL Draft, leaving with the third-most sacks in program history.
Chris Rumph II’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Despite his obvious prowess as a pass rusher, Rumph’s NFL projection is unclear. He lacks the size of a traditional defensive end but doesn’t own the experience as a full-time outside linebacker. His best fit would be with a team that disguises their defensive formations and utilizes his athletic ability.
As a result, teams like the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins make the most sense for the Duke edge rusher. If he were to transition to outside linebacker permanently in the NFL, then the New York Giants, Chicago Bears, or Denver Broncos can be interesting landing spots.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.