TCU has a good opportunity to see three of its players drafted in the first round of Thursday night’s NFL Draft, with Jeff Gladney, Jalen Reagor, and Ross Blacklock.

You could argue Blacklock is the most talented of the bunch, as he’s much more polished than Reagor, and doesn’t have the size issues that Gladney does.

If Blacklock does start to fall to the second round though, should the Broncos target him and how would he fit with the team? Let’s take a look.


Burst is the name of the game with Ross Blacklock. He’s quick off the line, and his first step is incredibly twitchy. At 290 pounds, Blacklock has no business being as fast and nimble as he is in space.

He gives interior linemen headaches by finding a crease between two blockers and sliding through it before they have a chance to react. This led to him blowing up several plays before the quarterback or running back had a chance to react to the oncoming assault.

Blacklock’s feet aren’t the only thing quick about his game though. He also has fast hands that allow him to control the offensive lineman rather than the other way around. He’s able to quickly shed blockers and has the lateral quickness to get to and fill the hole the running back is trying to escape through.


The biggest red flag with Ross Blacklock is his injury history, as he missed all of the 2018 season with a torn achilles tendon. Other than that, Blacklock was entirely healthy for his college career, but a lower-body injury like that is concerning for a player who relies so much on first-step explosiveness.

Also, while Blacklock plays with incredible twitch and short-area quickness, he doesn’t do it consistently. His speed and agility don’t seem present on every play, rather he waits for the right moment when he can shoot the gap. That could potentially make him more of a rotational player.

The last big concern with Blacklock is that he struggles to absorb blocks and suck up opposing offensive linemen to open up pass-rushing lanes for the defense. He can get by his man just fine, but taking on blockers is an area he struggles in quite a bit.


A landing spot like Denver, where Blacklock wouldn’t immediately be required to be the starting defensive tackle and he could instead fill a more rotational role early in his career to allow him to thrive.

He could sit behind Shelby Harris for a season, while he continues to develop and learn the position at the NFL level, rotating in in pass-rushing situations, before taking over for Harris in 2021.

Draft Projection: Late first/Early second-round

Pro comparison: Jonathan Allen