After being tabbed the #1 high school recruit prior to the 2015 season, Josh Sweat tore his ACL and dislocated his knee in just the third game of his senior year at Oscar Smith High School, who entered the year with state title aspirations as a Virginia powerhouse. Often times adversity will indicate who has your back, as they remain loyal and stick by your side regardless of circumstance. When Sweat tore his ACL, the Seminoles remained loyal and committed to bringing him into their institution.
Luckily, Sweat hasn’t suffered any major injuries since that catastrophic high school incident. However, he was “100% sure” he had re-torn his ACL in 2016 leading up to the Louisville game. But it was just a false alarm.
Since enrolling early in Tallahassee prior to the 2015 season, Sweat has made tremendous strides each season, inheriting an expanded role as each year rolled on. He’s always been a steady producer and holds a leadership style respected by his teammates. He’s not going to be the guy to get in your face in front of the whole team, but instead he prefers to go about business behind closed doors in a one-on-one environment.
As the #1 recruit in the nation of the 2015 high school class, Sweat doesn’t take football for granted. He was raised by the terms, “education first”, and in life after football he is very adamant about helping others, and placing their needs above his own. After watching a few interviews, it’s easy to tell Sweat is a standup individual, and he didn’t let all the high school hype go to his head.
A fascinating aspect while watching Josh Sweat, I couldn’t help but imagine Kenneth Faried with a helmet and a set of pads. Maybe it’s the flowy dreadlocks, but both bring tons of energy to their respective craft, with just as much athleticism to go around.
I guess with this piece, it’s now official, it’s scouting report szn! I hope you enjoy and be on the lookout for much more to come.
Late off the ball but still impressive rush from Josh Sweat. Love the stutter-chop-arm over combo. Stutter freezes RT & draws out his hands, giving JS ability to shorten corner with chop-arm over
Ideally would like to see him carry momentum better when cornering but still nice pic.twitter.com/ISgvhZuEfi
— John Owning (@JohnOwning) February 2, 2018
Name: Josh Sweat
School: Florida State
Draft Day Age: 21 (3/29/1997)
Comparison: Derrick Harvey
Positives: Freaky combination of size and athleticism. Energetic power forward who shows flashes of going hard in the paint. Grown man strength with the ability to overpower offensive linemen. Flashed a lethal get off on a handful of occasions. Limber edge setter who can get low and bend the corner. Nimble space eater with exceptional short-area movement skills. Operates well in close quarters. Improvises well on late pass rush moves with a high pop. Active off blocks. Shows good lateral agility and gap anticipation moving along the line. Provides late support in run defense due to continuous effort in pursuit. Long strider in pursuit of the ball carrier and moves quite well for his size with long, explosive strides. Displays follow-through on most reps. Experience working from the interior as FSU kicked him inside in sub packages. Will be a fresh 21 years old on draft day. Former #1 overall high school recruit. Steady, consistent production during college career. Never missed significant time during his college career. Quiet leadership style respected by teammates. Claims to have run a 4.46 40 yard dash in high school.
Negatives: Often stood up at the arch point and struggles to stack on rush following initial surge. Looks a bit stiff on wide rushes. Needs refinement to his pass rush repertoire with increased hand usage and less reliance on power. More of a waist bender, as you’ll often see him sport a wide base on engagement when rushing the passer. Shows stiffness and doesn’t appear to be a natural bender in his rush. Want to see him use his powerful mitts more on initial strike. Sometimes caught stalling on second effort. More reckless than sound as a tackler. Dislocated knee and tore ACL during senior year of high school.
Projection: Josh Sweat is your classic, 3rd down, “pin your ears back” pass rusher, with the potential to be much more than that. In a slim EDGE class, Sweat could be a prize value in the 3rd round range. You know there’s still some untapped potential to work with, so taking a flier on his potential in the middle rounds is fully endorsed here. While he has a ways to go in terms of technique and hand usage, the raw tools are there to be molded. His lack of bend hinders his ability as a pass rusher, but even then he’s good for a couple splash plays here and there. If Sweat can tighten up some of the loose screws, he has starting-caliber potential at the next level with a couple peak years. He can play in both primary base schemes, but I like him a little better in a 4-3 with his hand in the dirt.