During his time with the Spartans, Calhoun was pivotal to their success as they competed for Big Ten titles and even made a couple Playoff appearances. The proud New Jerseyan was named to three consecutive All American teams as he terrorized opposing QBs – this past season he racked up 14.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. A team captain, you have to respect a guy like Calhoun who returns to school for his senior season citing the want to cap off his career with a National Championship. Calhoun brings tons of potential to the NFL, but will he be able to unlock it?
Name: Shilique Calhoun
College: Michigan State
Class: Senior (RS)
Projection: 3rd Round
Comparison: Kalimba Edwards
Strengths: Looks the part for a hand in the dirt pass-rusher with the height and length teams look for. He has good initial burst off the line and can take advantage of lesser athletes. Jolt defenders with his hands. Can hold his spot, shed his defender and make chase. A hustler. Good second effort when plays break down and actively looks to pursue down the field. Has worked on his moves and counter-moves and shown improvement. Effective spin-move. Strong practice habits. Well known in the program for having a positive and energetic personality that his teammates gravitate to. A very hard worker who has come a long way.
Weaknesses: Could stand to add more weight to his frame as he is a bit undersized. A highly functional and coordinated athlete but not an overwhelming physical talent. Doesn’t generate much movement with his bull-rush and can easily get washed out by double teams. Lacks strength in his lower body and overcompensates by pushing with his upper-body. Can be pushed into playing high and loses all leverage. Not always alert and can get too involved in his individual match-up and miss plays. Still has a lot to learn and hone with pass-rushing. I would like to see a little more toughness or vinegar to his game. Old rookie.
Outlook: Calhoun brings some interesting qualities to the table with his size, athletic ability, and his effort. The question for a lot of people is where you peg his ceiling and effectiveness as a starter. Some people will project him as a 10+ sack edge rusher in the mold of Adewale Ogunleye but I project him as being a similar player to Kalimba Edwards who had similar size, speed off the snap but also played high and had a tendency to wear down. I would put Calhoun as an early third round selection but may be drafted sooner due to lack of edge talent in this draft.