Prospect: Keeshawn Silver
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-5, 255 pounds
Position: Defensive End
School: Rocky Mount (N.C.) Rocky Mount Senior
Committed to: North Carolina
Projected Position: Defensive Line. Silver has the chance to play anywhere along the defensive front with his size and athleticism.
Frame: A long, muscular and wiry 6-foot-5 has developed into a more filled out version in the last year. He can stand to add as much weight as desired at the next level, dependent on position and role within the defense.
Athleticism: Silver is a gifted athlete with untapped potential at his size. He showcases this all over the football field, as a traditional defensive end, stand up talent and part time tight end with success as a steady blocker and pass catcher. He’s also a productive basketball player, averaging about a double-double against very good prep competition. The versatility is founded upon great length, improving size and elite body control. Silver is a balanced athlete despite the rare frame who can run well for his size.
Instincts: The elite length and increased strength makes Silver a weapon when rushing the passer or coming off of blocks. He extends and plays with power against blockers, redirecting with relative ease. He is at his best coming downhill and pressuring from the edge with some bend and a scary dip move en route to the passer. He is an aware athlete able to time up passing lane disruption, too, showcasing his coordination and quickness.
Polish: A prospect improving each time he’s seen, Silver is coming off of his best season in registering 20 stops behind the line of scrimmage in 2019. He looked to have shifted from somewhat of a finesse edge defender to one who could win with power as well as speed and quickness. He is using his hands more often outside of the extension game and holds his own at the point as well as against the read-option look that most offenses have incorporated.
Bottom Line: Silver’s best football is well ahead, a scary thought for offensive coordinators in the ACC. He looks like the type of trench prospect who could impact all three downs from a multitude of alignments with his combination of length and athleticism. As he incorporates more into his pass rush technique he will project as a true sack threat even on the defensive interior down the line. The year to year jump he made from his sophomore to junior campaign was one of the most impressive nationally in the class of 2021.