Habakkuk Baldonado 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Native of Rome, Italy
- Played three seasons of football in Italy before moving to Florida and playing one season. In that season, he collected 83 tackles, 30.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. He also caught nine passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns.
- Has a background in swimming, MMA, and soccer in addition to football.
- Scheme tendencies: Even front
- 2022 projected role: Starting DE
Pros: Habakkuk Baldonado delivered a highly-productive 2021 campaign for Pittsburgh (12 tackles for loss, nine sacks) despite his unique background that only saw him play one season of high school football in the United States. He has impressive stride length up the arc and good length, offering the makings of a power/compression style rusher. While the effectiveness is questionable, Baldonado keeps his hands busy and attempts to string together counters. He has good linear athleticism and plays with good effort. Has been utilized in both a two- and three-point stance and while he lacks explosive get-off, his footwork out of his stance is clean. Baldonado is a flashy run defender and he showcases the ability to set firm edges and maintain outside leverage.
Cons: Habakkuk Baldonado has some likable tools but it’s clear that everything is still coming together and he is a work in progress. His rush plan is robotic and predictable while lacking a natural sense for reading the set of his blocker and understanding how to attack the pocket. The timing and deployment of his rush moves are poorly calculated. Baldonado battles through tightness when attempting to corner the near hip of offensive tackles—he struggles to reduce his upper half and offers considerable surface area for blockers to get their hands on him. In addition, his lower half is tight and he struggles to carry speed and remain balanced through tight turns. Blockers’ hands live on his frame and he needs to become more effective at clearing his hands by developing more technique and hand combating skills in addition to finding more grip strength. His contact balance is overwhelming and finding more core strength while playing with better leverage and bend is critical for him to reach his ceiling and find consistency.
Habakkuk Baldonado NFL Draft Scouting Report by Joe Marino