His short distance burst are outstanding and only increases when he has a direct line of sight to his target. Upshaw has tremendous upper body strength and keeps his hands working as he’s constantly attacking.
Due to lack of height and upper body power, he’s an instant winner when it comes to leveraging for push. His quick burst can easily be seen when watching offensive linemen make mistakes and allow even the slightest of separations between them and Courtney. If they lose their grasp on him, he’s too quick through the space for them to regain control.
He has become too comfortable with looking for the open gap / space and tends to wait too long for the opening instead of battling for an opening. While the 6’1 frame gives Upshaw leverage, he still struggles to win these battles because he doesn’t have the ideal size to escape the grasp of a 6’6 behemoth. Also, as he shifts to look around for the openings, he tends to get out of position and gives ups outside containment.
- OLB, Alabama, Sr.
- Ht: 6’1
- Wt: 273
- 40 time: 4.79
The speed overall may not be there for Upshaw but the explosiveness is exciting. He’s a physical player when tackling and can win at the point of attack vs bigger linemen but teams will have to put him in position to win. I don’t like him as a 4-3 defensive end as he will be in the wheel house of the opposing team.
The 4-3 system will take away from his strengths. As a 3-4 OLB, it’ll give him the space to find room to manipulate the offensive tackles. He could win physical battles with tight ends as well. If I drafted Courtney, I would do so with the mindset that he’s a work in progress and that he would have to change his game. He can’t be a liability by being out of position and he can’t just wait for an opening.
Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports790.com. You can also catch Jayson on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew every Thursday at 10:30am ET. You may email Jayson directly @ email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock