Production is rarely linear in football. However, in general, it’s good for prospects to enter the NFL trending up. When they regress after peaking early, it’s often seen as a red flag. Oregon state edge rusher Hamilcar Rashed Jr. was seen as a potential Day 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft after his redshirt junior season. But coming back as a senior in 2020, he underwhelmed. Where has Rashed’s winding path led him, and where does he fall on the draft board now?
Hamilcar Rashed Jr. NFL Draft Profile & Senior Bowl Measurements
- Position: Edge Rusher
- School: Oregon State
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’3 1/8″
- Weight: 254 pounds
- Wingspan: 82 7/8″
- Arm: 33 3/4″
- Hand: 10 1/8″
Until 2020, getting sacks wasn’t a problem for Hamilcar Rashed Jr. In his junior year at Cesar Chavez High School in Laveen, Arizona, Rashed had 20 sacks in just nine games. As a senior, he logged thirteen quarterback takedowns and carried a reputation as a pass rusher into the recruitment process.
Rashed’s production was off the charts, but at the time, Rashed wasn’t completely developed yet physically. The edge rusher measured in at just 6-foot-2, 206 pounds. Thus, he carried a three-star designation, and interest was relatively hard to come by at the Power Five level. Nevertheless, Rashed received two enticing offers from Nebraska and Oregon State. He chose to sign with the Beavers and enrolled the following year.
Hamilcar Rashed Jr.’s career as an Oregon State edge rusher
Rashed aimed to bolster Oregon State’s pass rush, but until he could grow into his frame, he had to wait. Rashed didn’t play in 2016, instead redshirting to focus on his development. He managed to see the field in 2017, but it was a similarly uneventful year. Although Rashed played in 12 games, he only logged six total tackles, mostly playing in garbage time and on special teams.
In 2018, Rashed moved up the depth chart and became a starter on the edge, starting ten of twelve possible games. He only managed 2.5 sacks, but he made an impression behind the line of scrimmage regardless, with 12.5 tackles for loss, three pass deflections, and a forced fumble.
Rashed’s breakout and the regression that followed
At this time, Rashed started to refine his fully-developed physical form, and in 2019, he reaped the rewards of that development. Rashed exploded in his redshirt junior season, amassing 62 total tackles, 14.0 sacks, and 22.5 tackles for loss. Rashed earned first-team All-American honors from a number of media outlets. He was also a consensus selection for the first-team All-Pac-12 team.
With his breakout season, many thought Rashed could have entered the 2020 NFL Draft. Yet, Rashed chose to stay in college for another year. It was a decision that ended up costing him. Amidst injuries and inconsistent play, Rashed fell off a statistical cliff, logging just two tackles for loss and no sacks. He still received honorable mention as an All-Pac 12 selection, but his reputation as a draft prospect took a definite hit.
On December 22, Rashed made a decision he perhaps should have made a year ago. The Oregon State edge rusher announced his intent to forgo the NCAA’s extra season of eligibility and enter the 2021 NFL Draft.
Analyzing Hamilcar Rashed Jr.’s 2021 NFL Draft profile
There’s still an enticing upside with Hamilcar Rashed Jr. In an NFL that increasingly values pass rushers, he at least has the physical tools to find a role early on. Above all else, Rashed is an impressive athlete, with exceptional explosiveness, twitch, and flexibility at the line. He has room to play more controlled with his traits, but he has the initial burst to get around the edge and the lateral suddenness to get linemen off balance.
Rashed also has good length at 6-foot-4, 245. This length allows him to get his hands on linemen early, and while he’s still very much a work in progress with his hands, he’s flashed the ability to use quick, powerful swipes to open up lanes for himself. Additionally, he uses this length to disrupt the passing lane when in position, as evidenced by his six career pass deflections.
Rashed isn’t quite as enticing as a run defender, but there’s still potential, in the same vein as his pass rushing skill. Rashed’s length helps him set an anchor, and when he’s free of contact, he has the explosiveness and pursuit speed to close in on ball carriers from behind. When he wins quick on rushing reps or is left unblocked, he has the pace to bring down the running back behind the line.
Where does Hamilcar Rashed Jr.’s profile suffer?
While his upside can be easy to gravitate to, Rashed has many questions to answer in the coming months. After his production explosion in 2019, Rashed almost fell off the map entirely in 2020.
He only logged 23 tackles in seven games, 2.0 tackles for loss, and a pass deflection. Tony Pauline reported that Rashed often looked disinterested in 2020, and his failure to capitalize on his final collegiate opportunity could be viewed as a red flag. That’s something he must correct at the Senior Bowl.
Additionally, Rashed’s game isn’t without its flaws. The Oregon State edge rusher has room to add weight to his frame. While his arms are long, his frame is relatively slim. This can impact his ability to win with power. Against bigger tackles, he can be handled fairly easily. Further refinement of leverage and hand usage can mitigate that to an extent. However, if Rashed doesn’t add weight, he might be limited to a pass rushing designation in the NFL.
Hamilcar Rashed Jr.’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Given the value placed on pass rushers in today’s NFL, Hamilcar Rashed Jr. possesses the toolset required to generate interest in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s fast and explosive, and he has long arms to help disrupt offensive rhythm. However, Rashed’s game is far from complete. His massive dropoff in 2020 will have teams wondering why he disappeared. They’ll also ponder whether or not that will have NFL implications.
Rashed had Day 2 upside after last season. However, he played himself out of that range in 2020. He more closely resembles a Day 3 pick now, as Tony Pauline reported more than once. Due to his upside, early Day 3 seems like a greater possibility than late Day 3, but he’ll have to check out with teams off the field and convince them that his 2020 regression isn’t a sign of things to come.
Any schematic or team fit?
In terms of fit, Rashed is best utilized as a 3-4 outside linebacker. There, he’ll be able to play standing up and explode out of his stance. He’ll also have a bit more space to work with. Rashed meshes best with teams that need pass rushing help or depth at the outside linebacker spot. Squads like the Titans, Broncos, Bears, and Buccaneers could all be good suitors on Day 3.
Rashed should be able to carve out an NFL career as a pass rushing specialist. The real question is whether or not he can maximize his pass rushing skill set, and whether or not he can become a three-down defender. Rashed will have a chance to answer those questions at the next level, but for now, his main priority is selling teams on his potential again and convincing them he’s worth the investment.