The San Francisco 49ers invested their first round pick in Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead, which means it is time to learn more from our Oregon blog. Rusty Ryan from Addicted to Quack took a few minutes to provide some thoughts on Armstead. Also if you missed it this weekend, check out David Neumann's film breakdown of Armstead. Thanks to Rusty for taking a few minutes to talk about Arik Armstead.
Armstead came out of high school as a standout lineman and basketball player. He elected to play on the defensive side of the ball rather than the offensive and played on the basketball team for a couple years before pursuing football as his lone sport. Armstead was a terrific player out of high school and had solid years at Oregon.
His athleticism is one of the first things you notice. He's tall and quick. He has strong hands and can shed blocks.
The scheme his last year at Oregon really didn't do him any favors. The Ducks rarely blitzed, really ever, and settled for a 3-man rush the extreme majority of the time. This left Armstead to get doubled and limited production. Armstead also 2-gapped a lot so wasn't able to make ton of plays but in theory freed up linebackers to make plays.
At times I thought Armstead took plays off. He played high when rushing the passer and often was able to make plays on sheer athleticism alone.
There's the potential though that shown through very often and probably why he decided to go pro and got a high draft pick. He showed he could blow-up a Michigan State offensive line. He showed that he could seal the edge, shake off blockers, and make plays on running backs.
The biggest things I'd watch for when you see Armstead practice and get reps early on is how well he plays every down, how low he can keep his hips, and how he does being covered by only one lineman.
At first I see him as a contributor with a few things that he does really well. While he refines techniques and develops moves outside of the bull rush he'll be used as a situational player when in a 3-4. I think he could easily see time in a nickel setting as one of the down linemen taking up space and freeing up linebackers to make plays, like he did at Oregon.