2015 NFL DRAFT
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Sen`Derrick Marks

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 306 | College: Auburn
 
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Overview

Many people were surprised when Marks made his announcement before New Year's that he was leaving the university, forgoing his senior year to enter the 2009 NFL Draft. What was expected to be a banner season for the junior and possible national championship aspirations for the team went up in smoke early in the 2008 campaign as Marks and Auburn struggled throughout the season.

Marks was injured early in the year, suffering an ankle injury vs. Vanderbilt in the sixth game, but also had problems with his feet, shoulder and hamstring. Poor conditioning also played a factor. When it was announced that Tommy Tubberville was stepping down as the Tigers' head coach, the decision to leave the team became easier for the youngster.

"I just feel good about it," Marks said. "Once a man makes a decision, and he feels solid about it, he's going to feel solid about it. So I don't think there's too much that'll change my mind on what I've decided."

Marks filed paperwork to the NFL advisory committee following the season, but didn't wait for it to return before making his decision. Instead, Marks made the most of his time with family. "It was tough," he said. "I knew I wasn't going to get much (advice) in what way to go. They were going to say it was my decision, and whatever I choose, they're going to support it. "I just prayed about it, and for some reason, I just feel good about this decision. I think it's the best way to go."

Before the season ended, Marks said he would trust coaches to guide him in his decision. However, Marks said he didn't receive such guidance. "When I was talking to all the coaches, it seemed like they didn't want to say one thing or another because it would seem like they were saying it because they're not going to be there or saying it just on behalf of the university," Marks said. "Neither one of them gave me (advice) on whether to leave or stay.

"I just talked with (Tuberville), and he gave me all the advice he can. I said, 'Coach, do you think I should go or leave?' He said he really didn't want to tell me. Either way, he just told me to make the right decision and think it over a lot and do what's best for you and your family, so that's what I did."

At Vigor High School, Marks helped his team reach the first round of the playoffs, as he recorded 81 tackles and 17 sacks as a senior. The three-year starter posted 87 tackles and 11 sacks as a junior, leading the squad to the Class 6A state quarterfinals. He also lettered three times in basketball, averaging 15 points per game. He was not a highly recruited prospect during his prep playing days. Tuberville noticed him why recruiting another player at his school. Once he saw Marks dunk a basketball, he offered him a scholarship on the spot.

Marks enrolled at Auburn and played in the team's first three games of the 2005 season. He recorded one solo tackle before the coaching staff decided to redshirt him. He returned to claim the right defensive tackle position in 2006, earning freshman All-American third-team honors. He collected 38 tackles (26 solos) that included 3.5 sacks and 11 stops for losses, as he also recovered three fumbles.

As a sophomore, Marks was named All-Southeastern Conference second-team. He posted a career-high 43 tackles (20 solos) with a pair of sacks and nine stops behind the line of scrimmage. He started all 13 games at right defensive end, playing the entire season with a hernia that required surgery after the season.

Marks played in 11 games in 2008, moving back to his more natural right tackle position. He missed half of the Vanderbilt clash and sat out the Tennessee-Martin game because of an ankle sprain. He would finish with 32 tackles (15 solos), 10 stops for losses and a pair of sacks, earning All-SEC second-team honors from the league's coaches.

Analysis

Positives: Short, squatty build with room for additional mass in his upper body and a thick lower body. Good leg drive to anchor and use of leverage to hold up against the run. Flashes good initial quickness off the snap to put the blocker in a defensive position. Quick, strong hands to disengage from defenders. Good arm extension to keep blockers' hands off his frame. Good lateral quickness and balance to provide an interior pass rush. Good short-area quickness to close on the ballcarrier. Flashes some explosiveness as a hitter. Willing in pursuit laterally and downfield.

Negatives: Not yet the sum of his parts as a player. Lacks the bulk and strength to handle anchoring against the double-team. Plays so low that he loses track of the ball. Seems to tire easily, despite being used as part of a rotation at Auburn. Struggled with ankle injuries as a junior. Elected to come out early despite a disappointing junior season and could be motivated by big NFL paychecks.

Compares To: CLAUDE WROTEN, ex-St. Louis -- Marks is one of the draft's biggest enigmas. When his motor is running, he is a good force to be reckoned with, but there have been too many times that he shows up for games with just a gallon of gasoline in his tank. He lacks great size or strength and the only thing consistent about him is his inconsistency. Durability is another issue, but it all goes back to the weight room. Based on his strength numbers, or lack of, this is a boom or bust player with minimal upside.

Scouting Report

GENERAL REPORT: GRADE: 5.54

Body Structure: Marks has a squat, adequate frame with marginal muscle mass, long arms, good hands, soft midsection, wide hips, adequate lower body thickness and needs to reduce his body fat. He needs to add more strength and bulk, but his frame is at maximum growth potential and that added weight would further reduce his adequate quickness.

Athletic Ability: Marks has adequate timed speed, good balance and short-area quickness, showing the loose hips needed when changing direction. He can accelerate into the backfield to disrupt the plays and plays at a low center of gravity that he combines with his squat frame to slip under reach blocks, but fails to play with a consistent motor. He uses his hands effectively and gains leverage to jolt and stack blockers. His motor runs hot and cold and he needs to play with more consistent intensity. He is basically a short-area type of player with limited long speed. GRADE: 5.5

Football Sense: He is the type of player that when the light is on upstairs, he can be a very disruptive force that offenses must always account for. The problem he has had throughout his career is with consistency. He goes long stretches where he disappears, and at others will simply battle until the whistle. He does show good instincts, but even though his short frame is an advantage to slip under reach blocks, he gets down so low in his pads that he fails to locate the ball in a crowd. He has a tendency to pop up out of his stance and short arms, leaving his chest exposed, which sees him struggling to disengage. He has enough short-area quickness to attack the backfield, but outside of twisting he has marginal pass rush moves. GRADE: 5.6

Character: Marks has no off-field issues, but has still to develop consistency and maturity in his play on the field. Many felt that he was not ready for the NFL and needed another year of school, questioning his motivation to enter the draft, knowing that he will go much lower than most draft experts predict. GRADE: 5.8

Competitiveness: When his head is in the game, Marks shows very good toughness and tenacity in his play. He tries to punish blockers every chance he gets, but seems to spend too much time trying to overpower his opponent than go after the play. His motor and intensity are too inconsistent and his durability issues could bring up a medical red flag. His endurance in games is also suspect, as he tends to run out of gas, perhaps due to marginal conditioning. GRADE: 5.5

Work Habits: The coaches reserved judgment on Marks. He needs to be prodded to perform in the weight room and really lacks discipline in most aspects of his game, especially in preparation. He is the type of player that has yet to play up to his talent level, and based on his poor 2008 performances he surprised everyone with his decision to enter the 2009 NFL Draft. One look at his weight room figures and you get the indication that the training room has not been a big requirement for him. GRADE: 5.3

ATHLETIC REPORT: GRADE: 5.88

Explosion/Pursuit: Marks has good short-area quickness, and at times his short, squatty frame becomes an advantage, especially when he uses it to avoid reach blocks. He gets off the line with good quickness, but is more of a between the tackles type of player, as his feet tend to die on long pursuits. He has the loose hips to work down the line and when he uses his hands to keep blockers off his body, he has a chance to get on the edge of a blocker and can keep advantage (only when he maintains his motor, though). He flashes explosive quickness on occasion, but needs to use it more consistently. He really doesn't have any secondary moves to defeat blocks, so if the offensive lineman gets hold of him he struggles to get free and impact plays. Marks has good balance and does a good job of playing on his feet, but his failure to disengage quickly makes him get off the snap too late. GRADE: 5.8

Strength at Point: Marks relies more on his stoutness than quickness to win battles at the point of attack. He has adequate size, but possesses long arms to be combative at the line of scrimmage and working through trash. He just lacks the hand strength to jolt offensive linemen backwards and get pressure on the quarterback. He can be a force when he plays up to his potential, but lacks great intensity in his play. He will use his hands to engage and shed vs. reach blocks an can cross the blocker's face, but he's more of a one-gap type that will need flash to get off quickly, as he's certainly not going to beat his man with his marginal power and lack of technique or an array of moves. When his head is in the game, the offensive line will usually shift its blocking schemes and double-team him. When he keeps his pads low and uses his hands, he can generate good leverage. GRADE: 5.3

Use of Hands: Marks uses his hands well to maintain leverage, as he is quick to engage and shed when he keeps his hands inside the frame. He does not really generate a powerful punch, but does get them involved and will work them to shed. He is quick and active with his hands, but needs to punch and shed blocks with better force at the next level. He spends so much time battling blockers, that he sometimes forgets to locate the ball. At the X's, when he reverts to keeping his hands outside his frame and popping up out of his stance, it results in problems attempting to disengage. GRADE: 6.3

Lateral Pursuit/Effort: Marks shows good quickness and agility on the lateral move. His motor and intensity are inconsistent, but he is best when playing in the short area, as he lacks long pursuit skills. He has enough agility to make plays down the line and shows a quick short-area burst in pursuit, but needs to do this with more consistency to compensate for adequate top-end speed. GRADE: 6.5

Tackling Ability: Marks collides with some pop in-line, but could breakdown and wrap up better when working in space. He will collide and wrap in the limited areas and will finish off the quarterback, if he gets the chance, but he is not a soft, sure tackler, resulting in a lot of missed opportunities working in space. He shows marginal strength to wrap up and punish ball carriers, and does not make enough plays because of his intent to combat blockers rather than avoid to attack the ball. GRADE: 5.5

Run Defense: Marks can flash to drop his hips, hit on the rise and stack thanks to his squatty frame, but he tends to play too high and this results in him getting washed out of the play. He gets bounced around the double-team activity quite a bit, having his only success when he lowers his pad level. He does keep his feet moving down the line and has the flexibility to give good short-area chase, but will lose acceleration on long pursuits. He shows good knee bend to get leverage, but must use his hands better to shed. GRADE: 5.6

Pass Rush: Marks has no real pass rush moves and needs to learn how to shed blocks once engaged. He is strictly a bull rusher with adequate quickness. Until he can generate better rip, hump and club moves, he might be better served as a tackle than an end. He shows better push than pocket collapse strength, but can drive it home to the quarterback if he gets an edge on the blocker in one-on-one battles, showing enough short-area foot acceleration to close the deal. His problem is stamina, as he will simply run out of gas after a big play in long pursuit and be a non-factor the rest of the game. GRADE: 6.2

Closing on the QB: Marks has a good burst to close in the short area, but his feet seem to go dead when he has to deliver in long pursuit. When he gets a free lane, he can flush the passer out, but he needs to show more urgency on stunts. When he stays low in his pads, he can flash to clear the offensive lineman and finish on the passer. GRADE: 6.1

Instincts/Recognition: Marks has better instincts when he works at locating the ball rather than combat the blockers. He loses focus and concentration at times, but when he escapes reach blocks he is quick to see the scheme and react, as he is usually headed right for the ball then. He has good athletic ability and intelligence, but for some reason he is so determined to punish the blocker that he can't always find the ball in time and will generally see the play go right by him. When he gets too low in his stance, he will dip his head too far down and lose sight of the play. GRADE: 5.7

Compares To: CLAUDE WROTEN, ex-St. Louis -- Marks is one of the draft's biggest enigmas. When his motor is running, he is a good force to be reckoned with, but there have been too many times that he shows up for games with just a gallon of gasoline in his tank. He lacks great size or strength and the only thing consistent about him is his inconsistency. Durability is another issue, but it all goes back to the weight room. Based on his strength numbers, or lack of, this is a boom or bust player with minimal upside.

OVERALL GRADE: 5.84

--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas

Career Notes

Marks started 37 of 40 games during his Auburn career, as he had a string of 35 consecutive starts snapped when he missed the 2008 Tennessee-Martin contest … Recorded 114 tackles (62 solos) with 7.5 sacks for minus 35 yards, 30.0 stops for losses totaling 101 yards and 10 quarterback pressures … Recovered four fumbles, caused two others and deflected seven passes … In the 2007 New Mexico State game, he became the first Auburn player to have and interception and fumble recovery in the same game since 2005.

2008 Season

Marks earned second-team All-Southeastern Conference recognition from the league's coaches and honorable mention from the Associated Press … Started eleven games at right defensive tackle, missing the second half of the Vanderbilt clash and then sat out the Tennessee-Martin contest, ending his string of 35 consecutive starts … Recorded 32 tackles (15 solos) with two sacks for minus 7 yards and a pair of QB pressures … Ranked second on the team and tenth in the SEC with ten stops for losses of 34 yards.

2008 Game Analysis

Louisiana-Monroe … Back at his familiar right tackle position, Marks posted four tackles (2 solos), as he twice stopped tailback Frank Goodin on third-down runs for losses totaling 2 yards … The Tigers held ULM to 220 yards in total offense … Head to Head Competition: OG #65-Brett Thompson.

Southern Mississippi … Marks followed with four tackles (3 solos), as he captured tailback Damion Fletcher in the backfield twice, good for losses of 5 yards, as the Tigers limited USM to just 27 yards on 37 rushing attempts … Head to Head Competition: OG#76-Wesley Housley.

Mississippi State … The right tackle was in on just three tackles (2 solos), but one stopped tailback Anthony Dixon for a 3-yard loss … The Auburn defense gave up only 116 yards, including 30 yards on 38 carries … Head to Head Competition: OG#53-Anthony Strauder.

Louisiana State … Marks had his best game of the season, registering seven tackles (3 solos) … He slipped past massive 380-pound offensive guard Herman Johnson twice to sack QB Andrew Hatch for minus 6 yards … Head to Head Competition: OG#79-Herman Johnson.

Tennessee … Marks tackled tailback Arian Foster behind the line of scrimmage and assisted in sacking QB Jonathan Crompton for a 1-yard loss, as the Vols passer managed just 67 yards on 8-of-24 passing for the day … Head to Head Competition: OG#75-Anthony Parker.

Vanderbilt … Had two tackles before leaving in the first half with an ankle sprain.

Arkansas … Marks was not expected to play due to his ankle sprain, but heavily taped, he went on to record five tackles (4 solos) … Despite his ankle injury, he chased down QB Casey Dick on a 23-yard bootleg during the Razorbacks' game-opening series … He also blocked a PAT attempt in the third quarter … With 1:23 left in the game, he stopped tailback Michael Smith for a 2-yard loss … Head to Head Competition: OG#72-Grant Cook.

Alabama … The junior defensive tackle, playing in his final college game, came up with three tackles, including a 5-yard stop for a loss on a late third quarter draw play, taking down tailback Glen Coffee … Head to Head Competition: OG#78-Mike Johnson.

2007 Season

Recipient of the team's Eddie Welch Attitude and Effort Award on defense by the coaching staff … Shifted to right defensive end, starting every game, despite playing most of the schedule with a hernia that required surgery after the season … Still finished with a career-high 43 tackles (20 solos), adding two sacks for minus 15 yards and nine stops for losses of 35 yards … Registered seven quarterback pressures … Deflected three passes and had an 8-yard interception return … Caused and recovered a fumble … Also blocked two field goals.

2007 Game Analysis

Sacked QB John Parker Wilson for a 4-yard loss, adding two tackles and a hurry vs. Alabama … Registered four tackles, three solo in the Georgia clash … Had one of his better games of the season vs. Louisiana State, recording five stops including two tackles for losses of 13 yards, including an 11-yard sack of QB Matt Flynn … Recorded three pressures vs. Kansas State and posted a career-high 10 tackles in the South Florida game, as he also blocked a South Florida field goal attempt in the third quarter … Collected five tackles vs. Mississippi State, including one stop for a loss … Added three tackles, including one for a loss, as he had a fumble recovery and an 8-yard interception return that he returned to the 2-yard line to set up an Auburn score vs. New Mexico State, becoming the first AU player since Karibi Dede in 2005 at Arkansas to notch an interception and a fumble recovery in the same game … Had four tackles and a team-high two stops for losses of 10 yards along with a blocked field goal attempt vs. Florida … Made three tackles and 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

2006 Season

Marks received Freshman All-American first-team honors from Rivals.com and third-team recognition from The Sporting News … Also named Freshman All-Southeastern Conference by the league's coaches … Took over right defensive tackle duties, starting all thirteen games … Recorded 38 tackles (26 solos) that included 4.5 sacks for minus 13 yards, one pressure and eleven stops for losses of 32 yards … Caused one fumble, recovered three others and deflected two passes.

2006 Game Analysis

Started his first career game and posted 1.5 sacks, a pass break-up and three tackles vs. Washington State, as he also forced a Tray Rutland fumble in the second quarter that was recovered by Karibi Dede … Posted three tackles for the second straight game and had a sack vs. Mississippi State … Added three tackles and a 6-yard sack vs. Buffalo, followed by six hits (3 solos), including one for a 3-yard loss in the South Carolina clash … Delivered five tackles in each of his next two games - vs. Arkansas and Florida … Collected 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. Mississippi and was in on four tackles that included a stop for a 3-yard loss vs. Georgia … Tallied five tackles and a stop for minus 6 yards vs. Alabama … Added another five tackles with 2.l5 stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl.

2005 Season

Saw action vs. Mississippi State, Ball State and Western Kentucky before Marks was red-shirted … Had one solo tackle vs. Ball State.

Injury Report

2007: Played most of the season with a hernia that required surgery after the season.

2008: Missed the second half of the Vanderbilt game (10/04) with an ankle sprain … Sat out the Tennessee-Martin contest (11/08) as a precaution (lingering ankle pain).

2009: Could not complete agility tests at the NFL Combine because of a hamstring strain.

Agility Tests

Campus: 9'6" broad jump … 4.76 20-yard shuttle … 7.83 three-cone drill.

Combine: 5.0 in the 40-yard dash … 1.67 10-yard dash … 2.88 20-yard dash33-inch vertical jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times … 34 1/2-inch arms … 10 5/8-inch hands.

High School

Attended Vigor (Mobile, Ala.) High School, playing football for head coach Kerry Stevenson … Helped his team reach the first round of the playoffs, as he recorded 81 tackles and 17 sacks as a senior … The three-year starter posted 87 tackles and 11 sacks as a junior, leading the squad to the Class 6A state quarterfinals … Also lettered three times in basketball, averaging 15 points a game.

Personal

Sociology major … Son of Elaine Marks and Matthew Winston … Born 2/23/87 … Resides in Mobile, Alabama.

 
 
Latest News
04/28/2009 - QUOTE TO NOTE: "No, I wouldn't be expecting one right now. But when I go in and handle my business I know I will be expecting one similar. Man, Albert broke the bank, didn't he?" -- Second-round pick Sen'Derrick Marks on whether he expects his rookie contract to be like the man he is replacing, Albert Haynesworth, who got $100 million from the Redskins.

04/28/2009 - A closer look at the Titans' picks: Round 2/62 -- Sen'Derrick Marks, DT, 6-2, 308, Auburn...Marks' play tailed off his junior year at Auburn after a strong sophomore campaign. That was due to him playing on two high ankle sprains, a tribute to the toughness that attracted the Titans. Marks has the quickness to be an inside rusher and should be a good fit for defensive line coach Jim Washburn's system.

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