Carolina Panthers could draft YaYa Diaby
- Edge Rusher | Louisville Cardinals
YaYa Diaby is an interesting case study. He was a three-year starter at the University of Lousiville, and while he was able to generate consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks to the tune of 14, 18, and 19 hurries respectively in those seasons, he only had one season (2022) with more than two sacks.
However, it was a legitimate jump in production, as he amassed 10 sacks in 2022.
Diaby earned a 9.86 RAS score. He has the build of a modern-age edge rusher, at 6-foot-3 and 263 pounds with ridiculous arm length measuring in a smidge under 34-inches.
As if his 4.51-second 40-yard dash wasn’t impressive enough at more than 260 pounds, his 10-yard-split time was 1.51 seconds. This demonstrates Diaby's burst and get-off.
The former Cardinal shows up on tape with starting caliber strength and bend. Bend is a word you’ll hear often when talking about the premiere pass rushers in the NFL. That ability to move suddenly with full body control, getting under linemen, and literally bending around blocking attacks is a trait every coach wants to see from their edge players.
So, if he’s so strong, fast, and imposing, why isn’t he a top prospect? The lack of production is one talking point. However, maybe more crucial to projecting success at the next level, is his lack of arsenal when it comes to rushing the passer.
If Diaby is to reach his full, sky-high potential in the NFL, he’s going to need to add more moves to his pass-rushing repertoire, as well as improve on his play defending the run. As for where he’s being slotted to be taken in the draft, I’d be comfortable saying he lasts through the second round, with the possibility he could even last until Day 3, which represents a ton of value for the Carolina Panthers in this scenario.
Often, you’ll see NFL teams select players with the intent of betting on traits and developing the refinement under the guidance of the best coaches in the game. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see that come to fruition with these four prospects.