04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Colts picks: 5/136 - Josh Chapman, NT, 6-1, 316, Alabama...Chapman suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee on Oct. 1. An outstanding talent who will push for a starting job if healthy. - The Sports Xchange
Chapman certainly would be higher on everybody's list, but he had surgery on Jan. 17 to repair a torn ACL. The injury actually occurred in an Oct. 1 game against Florida. But he played through the season before getting the surgery.
Ironically, the importance and ability of this stout nose tackle was perhaps most dramatically demonstrated in Alabama's Nov. 19 game, the only one he sat out, when Georgia Southern took advantage of his absence and rushed for 302 yards. Although Chapman did seem less than 100 percent during most of the 2011 season, scouts took special note that he played injured.
Previously, one of the questions about him was whether he had the dedication to be the best he could be. And when he is healthy, his best is impressive.
Chapman is a short, stout, strongman who is especially good against the run. He plays with a powerful base and uses his strong arms and hands to discard blockers.
Pass rush: Possesses at least average burst off the snap, but lacks the lateral agility and closing speed to be a consistent pass rush threat at the NFL level. Uses his excellent weight room strength to shove his opponent upfield and can disengage with quick hands and a reasonably effective swim move (either arm). Good effort.
Run defense: Clearly his best trait. Has a short, stumpy build so he typically wins the leverage battle. When he does so, Chapman can be tough to move, even showing the ability to handle double-teams. Excellent weight room strength translates well onto the field. Good stack and shed defender. Alert defender who recognizes the trap block and possesses enough quickness to beat his opponent to the spot. Lacks the sustained speed to chase down ball-carriers, but puts good effort into his lateral pursuit.
Explosion: Has an explosive initial punch to push the offensive lineman back onto his heels. Can generate a big hit when he gets moving. Not an explosive athlete, overall, despite his gaudy weight room numbers.
Strength: Violent hands and good upper body strength to hold up inside versus the run. Flashes some explosiveness as a hitter. Can rag doll ball-carriers, tossing them to the ground easily.
Tackling: An effective drag down tackler due to his upper body strength. Lacks the lateral agility and balance to handle quick ball-carriers in open spaces. Appears to have only average arm length. As such, ball-carriers too often are able to shield him with a stiff-arm and run away from him. Shows good effort in lateral pursuit to the tackle box, but tires quickly and doesn't show enough effort to follow downfield.
Intangibles: Has struggled with conditioning at times over his career. Possesses a good motor, however, and will pursue to the sideline and downfield. Possesses excellent weight room strength. Was the team's strongest player as early as his redshirt freshman season, owning a 480 pound bench press in 2008. He left Alabama benching closer to 580 pounds, according to the Alabama strength and conditioning staff and has a 630-pound squat when healthy. Played most of the 2011 season with a torn ACL which required postseason surgery.