by J.T. Toth
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Arkansas, Edge, John Morgan III
Name - John Morgan III
Pos - Edge
Team - Arkansas
HT/WT - 6’2” 270 lbs.
Home - Upper Marlboro, MD
John Morgan III played on both sides of the ball at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. He was dominating on defense and was considered one of the top defensive linemen in Maryland. Rivals ranked Morgan as the no. 1 strong-side defensive end in the state. His athleticism allowed him to be the team’s starting tight end as well. After compiling 8 sacks as a senior, Morgan was selected to play in the Maryland Crab Bowl All-Star Game (Washington, DC vs. Baltimore). After receiving several offers, the 3-star defensive end eventually committed to the University of Pittsburgh.
Morgan played in 3 games as a true freshman, preserving a redshirt and totaled 1 tackle against Virginia Tech. In 2019, he saw his playing time rise as a reserve defensive end, playing in 13 games for the Panthers and finishing with 14 tackles, 4 TFL, and 2 sacks. In 2020 as a redshirt sophomore, Morgan played in all 11 games in a reserve role once again. He made the most of his limited action for the Panthers, collecting 13 tackles, 7 TFL, and 4 sacks.
Morgan became a regular in Pitt’s rotation in 2021 and saw his numbers improve across the board. He played in all 14 games and made his first 3 starts at defensive end. He set career highs in tackles with 27, tackles for loss with 6.5 and sacks with 5.5. In 2022, Morgan continued to be used more as a rotational player and not as a starter for the Panthers. He played in 12 games, making 5 starts and racked up 19 tackles, 5.5 TFL, and 2.5 sacks. At the end of the season, Morgan decided to enter the transfer portal and eventually signed with Arkansas to continue his football career.
At Arkansas, he played in 11 games in a rotational role and tallied 15 tackles, 4 TFL, and 2 sacks for the Razorbacks. At the end of the 2023 season, Morgan announced he is entering the NFL Draft.
John Morgan III moves fluidly and has great lateral movement. He is relentless in pursuit, and can chase down the ball carrier up and down the line of scrimmage. He has a solid, stout build and plays low off the snap.
Morgan has the capability and skills to line up in different positions and be a force. He is a hard worker with a non-stop motor that lasts deep into ball games. In one-on-one battles, he does an excellent job of using his hands to shed blockers and in the run game, Morgan shows an ability to anchor down and not be moved by linemen.
However, he is a bit undersized for an edge rusher in the NFL. His strength is there, but he will struggle against the longer reaches of the NFL tackles. He lacks the elite speed to get around the corner as an edge rusher and most likely projects to a rotational, depth defensive lineman. His arms are shorter than the average defensive lineman and he will have issues with offensive linemen getting into his chest and controlling him. With his motor always running hard, he can run himself out of plays at times and his angles in pursuit are not always the cleanest.
A good pro comparison to John Morgan III in Draft Nation’s eyes is Victor Dimukeje. Dimukeje was a 6th round pick out of Duke by the Arizona Cardinals in 2021. Dimukeje is undersized as an edge rusher who has been moved between different spots on the defensive line and has played some linebacker. He had a solid season this past year with Arizona and seems to be settling into the NFL.
Explodes low off snap
Skill set for edge
John Morgan III is an undersized edge rusher who most likely will be used in a rotational role to help fill in for injuries on the defensive line. He has some upside if a team can afford to be patient with him as he acclimates to the pro game.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 6th or 7th round