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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: EDGE Charles Snowden

  • The Draft Network
  • January 6, 2021
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Virginia EDGE Charles Snowden is impossible to miss when watching the Cavaliers’ defense over the last three seasons. Not only has he been a productive and versatile playmaker, but his tall, long, and gangly frame jumps off the screen. Snowden has rare length for the position and he moves well given how tall he is. His blend of mobility, length, and processing skills makes him a good zone coverage defender, effective pass rusher, and slippery gap-shooter. While there is technical work needed with his hand usage, his ability to keep separation from blockers, slip through gaps and use his length to impact throwing lanes in coverage makes him an appealing defender. Snowden won’t be a fit for every defense and those that incorporate hybrid fronts from a 3-4 base are the ones that should be interested in Snowden. There’s no question he needs to add bulk and functional strength, but his toolbox is quite full of traits that could make him an effective 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level. 

Ideal Role: Developmental outside linebacker that is used in shallow coverage drops and to slash gaps.

Scheme Fit: 3-4.


Written by Joe Marino 

Games watched: North Carolina (2019), Clemson (2019), Florida State (2019), Clemson (2020), NC State (2020), North Carolina (2020), Miami (2020) 

Best Game Studied: North Carolina (2020) 

Worst Game Studied: NC State (2020 

First-Step Explosiveness: Snowden has smooth and fluid get-off, gaining good initial depth with his first step. He is slippery through gaps and part of this is a credit to how he uses his initial step to create those angles. Snowden is sound when it comes to snap anticipation and releasing out of his stance. 

Flexibility: Snowden has become slick at reducing his wiry frame and executing some dynamic turns when cornering the outside edge track where his feet catch well outside his frame. With that said, Snowden is high-hipped which leads to leggy backpedals and some elongated transitions when working in space. Overall, Snowden is loose and fluid for his body type.

Hand Counters: He’s capable of winning with first contact, placing his hands, playing with extension, and keeping opponents away from his frame. He’s a touch underdeveloped when it comes to activating his hands and deploying pass rush moves, much less stringing them together with consistency and hitting combinations. There are flashes, but there’s still work to be done. If he can develop more hand technique, it would be a wonderful complement to his length. 

Length: Snowden has insane length and he generally does well to use it, especially as a run defender when he can’t afford to let blockers into his lean frame. He features a massive tackle radius and routinely finishes outside his frame, increasing his margin for error when it comes to angles. His length is also an asset in coverage drops, where he can really affect throwing lanes with his ability to extend. 

Hand Power: Snowden doesn’t have pillows for hands but he won't be confused as a heavy-handed defender. With that said, when he does win with first contact, he does a great job of maintaining his hand fit and playing with extension. Snowden lacks the pop in his strikes to consistently clear hands from his frame with his swipes. 

Run Defending: There’s no question that Snowden’s lean and narrow build is not ideal for setting the edge and squeezing gaps in the NFL. With that said, I appreciate how he incorporates his length to keep blockers away from his frame to give him his best chance to defend the run. There is still a need for him to add mass and strength or else he will be a gap-shooter against the run at the next level. 

Effort: Snowden executes with terrific effort and urgency on every rep. I love the way he is willing to compete with blockers that have nearly a 100-pound advantage on him. His pursuit effort never disappoints. 

Football IQ: Snowden is an intelligent football player that has good spatial awareness. He processes plays quickly and has timely responses. On coverage drops, Snowden sharply reads the backfield and gets his long arms in throwing lanes. There is still room for technical growth as a pass rusher, but his toolbox is intriguing. 

Lateral Mobility: Snowden has sufficient lateral mobility but he is high-hipped and leggy, which leads to some segmentation. He struggles to maintain leverage when working laterally and in his pedal. His length helps overcome some of that. 

Versatility: Snowden is likely a 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level and isn’t likely a fit for 4-3 teams as a defensive end. From a standup position, Snowden has appeal in zone drops as well as rushing the passer. His length and processing skills help him make plays against the run. 

Prospect Comparison: Alex McCalister (2016 NFL Draft, Philadelphia Eagles) 


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Joe Marino: 72.5/100

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