My favorite Sleeper DT - Joe Vellano Maryland

Discuss your thoughts about anything draft related. Mocks, College and Pro. Knock yourselves out!!! LANGUAGE RATING: PG-13

  • He wasn't invited to the combine. I am almost 100% certain he won't be drafted. I doubt he'll be a Seahawk. And I'm reasonably sure he won't catch on in the NFL with his size and athleticism, but you have to love his intangibles. Even if he doesn't make it in the NFL, he'll be the greatest DT in CFL history.
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  • I love this guy, has a non-stop motor and is naturally strong. Makes me think of a poor man's Justin Smith/Sheldon Richardson hybrid.

    He had 94 tackles in 2011 from the DT position! And that was on a 2-10 team. That was in a 4-3 defense but they changed DCs in 2012 and switched to the 3-4.

    Against WVU he tackled their RB from behind in this video:

    And here he is talking about the prospects for the 2012 season

    From CBS Sports:

    "12/12/2012 - 2012 COACHES ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM: DT-Joe Vellano, Maryland, 6-1, 285, Sr., Rexford, N.Y. (20), has been selected First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (Coaches selection) for the 2012 college football season. This year, for the first time under the auspices of the ACC, the league's 12 head football coaches voted for an All-ACC football team.
    Despite playing with lingering injuries for much of the season, Vellano managed to make 61 tackles, 14.0 for a loss, and six sacks. The senior ranked fourth in the league with 1.17 TFLs per game and seventh with 0.50 sacks per game. - Maryland football

    More Joe Vellano News
    It's not often that defensive linemen get near triple digits in tackles, but Vellano came close last season, totaling 94 stops as a junior in 2011.
    A naturally strong and powerful player, he also plays smart and disciplined, getting the most out of his ability while trying to live up to his family's legacy. Vellano, who was also recruited by Penn State and Boston College, committed to the Terps the moment he was offered a scholarship, the same institution where his father starred at defensive tackle. In fact, the Vellanos are the first father-son All-America combo at the same school in ACC history.

    After redshirting, the younger Vellano was an injured back-up in 2009 before becoming a starter as a sophomore in 2010. He started all 25 games the past two seasons at defensive tackle, but will move to defensive end as Maryland transitions to a three-man front in 2012.

    Vellano is a productive player because of his nonstop motor, quickness off the snap and hard work as the coaching staff raves about his dedication on the practice field, in the weight room and in the film room. And if he can build upon his All-American season from last year, look for Vellano to be a riser leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft. --Dane Brugler"
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  • Just found this blip on him too from sbnation Eagles fan

    "Joe Vellano - DE/DT - #92 - Maryland - 6'2" / 290

    Easily one of my favorite players in the draft; #72 for Maryland on the field (that's him in the article cover photo), but #1 in the hearts of Terps fans everywhere. While versatile due to extensive experience as a 4-3 DT and 3-4 DE, Vellano won't be sexy in terms of NFL measurables, and I'll be surprised if he runs better than a 5.0 in the 40. For those reasons, he's underrated (especially his quickness) and undervalued, but I guarantee you won't find a guy in college football who plays harder and with a better motor. It's not uncommon to see Vellano run down a screen pass from behind or blow it up around the line of scrimmage because of recognition and pursuit (think Stephen Bowen in the second Eagles/Skins game this season). Profiles as a late round pick who'll earn a roster spot in training camp and then work his way into a team's defensive line rotation. A supremely fun player to watch and root for, trust me. I was in the stands for the season opener in 2011 against Miami when Vellano rumbled, bumbled, and stumbled a fumble recovery 30 yards for a touchdown at the end of the first half, so I'll always have that lasting impression."
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  • Still pushing my guy here :D

    In this video he takes out Geno Smith and the RB and both limp down the field. However, Stedman Bailey catches the pass anyway...
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  • He sounds similar to Sweezy in that he may be a diamond in the rough and may convert to guard in the NFL. I hope someone takes a flyer on him.
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  • He's got Kelly Gregg/Mike Devito written all over him. I could see him carving out a nice little niche in the league and sticking around for a while. I love his highlight video. Don't know why he's not getting any more hype actually. Must be the anti-Italian DT sentiment that's run rampant in the NFL for decades haha
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  • Russell Wilson has taught us that a contagious work ethic and attitude is far more valuable than any measurable because it not only motivates you to exceed your own potential, it motivates your teammates to exceed their potential.

    I like this guy, the tape and results speak for themselves.
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  • Every player has a certain amount of talent that they bring to the table.

    The most talented DL in the world isn't necessarily the best because he may not work the hardest.

    That said, the hardest working DL in the world isn't necessarily the best either because he may not be the most talented.

    If you watch him play, he works extremely hard on every play, but doesn't have that raw talent that every great player needs. He could make an NFL roster and may even be a situational player, but he doesn't have the talent to make him a special player at the next level (IMO of course).

    I believe he is fairly close to his ceiling. Especially if what you guys are saying about his work ethic is correct.

    One of the things to keep in mind is that as you get into the later rounds teams start looking for guys with more raw talent that they can coach up. I think it's possible that he gets drafted, but more likely he goes as an UFA. He'll probably get picked up to fill a roster spot and get cut before the season. Reasoning being that he isn't competing for a starting spot and doesn't have an overly high ceiling.

    Specifically for the Seahawks, I think that both Howard and Scruggs are better players then him which makes it very difficult for me to think the Seahawks would take a shot on him.

    His ceiling isn't high enough to justify a draft pick even though he isn't an overly raw player.
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