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Upon Further Review- Romello Height

Upon Further Review- Romello Height

Lance Roffers
Welcome back to Upon Further Review, where I work to break down the film of games and players you want to see more of. In this addition, I take a look at recently committed Romello Height. Height is a bit of a mystery man, as he has no junior highlights available and is a projection from his LB position into a Viper role as a weakside defensive end in Miami’s scheme. What does he bring? How does he look? Find out more here.

The first thing that speaks to his athleticism is the fact that a top-15 team in the state of Georgia is using him as a WR on the edge. His team doesn’t throw a ton, but he is used as a red zone weapon, especially. (Far right WR)
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They use him as a gunner on kick coverage as well. This shot gives a good idea of just the size of his frame, with wide shoulders and plenty of room to add weight (#3). Really needs to fill those legs out to have a better anchor on run plays.
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He plays with his hand in the dirt for this defense as a WDE already (top of screen down lineman).
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It’s difficult to do it justice in this format, but on a play that stands out Height is crashing in as the QB escapes the pocket and Height is just jogging after him. It is honestly a very low-effort play and one that you have to wonder if he’s already gassed after playing every play thus far. I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt rather than jump to low-motor talk. #3 trailing the play here. He never does open it up and run on this play. Teammate JaQues Evans, who lists a Miami offer, delivered a big hit and recovered the fumble he created on this play.
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Makes a nice hands catch on 3rd down on the ensuing possession that is inches short. They go for it and get nothing.
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Getting bullied by a TE on this play. He has obvious length and raw tools, nice movement skills, but he is raw. He comes off-the-ball high, struggles to use his hands and length to keep blockers off of him, and really needs to learn to use leverage. There have been a bunch of plays in this play- all of them runs- and they ask him to be more of a crash/force edge player, so he isn’t being coached to do the things he will need to do at the college level in this defense. Needs to get tougher and have a higher motor against the run. RB goes right by him for a big 1st down on this play.
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I’d say it’s pretty apparent that he needs a ton of work on his technique. Gets blocked by a TE again, just completely stood up. RB goes around his edge as the TE blocks him downfield. Not a good look.
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Use his quickness to penetrate on a 4th down play. The TE absolutely tackles him (#8) and no call as the RB goes around the end. Type of play that can change a game. Essentially this is a turnover if they just call the hold like they should.
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he OL just obliterating a DE right at the goal line? That’s Height on the receiving end.
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Honestly, I have seen enough of him as a force player to know that’s not his game right now. He got mauled in this game (his team loses to the eventual state champion) against a physical rushing team. I’d like to see him against a more spread based team, so I’m switching to another game against Thomasville (his team wins this game). Hopefully I will get to see him rush the passer more, play with a better motor, use his leverage etc. because he quite simply did not play great in the game against Heard County.

First play Thomasville comes out in spread but then shifts into a wildcat look. Height does a nice job of attacking the correct shoulder of the puller and then comes off the block and makes the tackle. You can see the lack of mass showing up again as the RB carries him for four yards. (Not pictured)

Get to see him show some sort of burst and athleticism on this play. Jet sweep where Height first reads the QB so he squats down on the edge, then he turns on the speed and easily runs down the WR in the backfield and makes the TFL.
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The athleticism again shows up on the next play. Splits a double-team on the edge (past #53), the QB pulls the ball down when his first wasn’t there, tries to run. Height runs him down again.
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This is where a professional DL coach will really help Height. He easily has this edge if he’d chop the OL hands down so he can’t push him upfield. Instead he just uses speed and while he gets past eventually, he lets the QB step up who throws it deep down to the 1-yard line. Has such limited hand usage at the moment, it’s all upfield speed rush. Haven’t seen him do anything with an inside-counter either.
89519


Comes out of his stance straight up and square to the RT. Allows the OL to chop his hands down and control his wrists. Has enough speed to overcome it and still pressure the QB, which is a good thing because you can see that WR running free at the 30-yard line.
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Height is playing a hybrid role where he’s a force player who is supposed to protect the edge and hold his gap rather than attacking his gap and getting upfield like he will be asked to do more in the Miami system. On this play he uses a long-arm technique to shock the TE back. There is some natural power in his hands, he just needs a lot of mass and technique work to play at the ACC level (not uncommon). Right now he is stuck once a blocker gets to him and stops his initial momentum. He wants to strike-and-pull on most every rep that he’s tasked with playing the run.
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If I have a criticism of Height’s projection as a pass rusher, it is that I don’t see him really get low, flatten his arc, and run to the QB much. He is easily shoved off his spot because he’s way too tall and presents a full target to the OT. He needs to bend those knees and get low on this play and he’s got himself a sack. Instead he gets pushed out wide and the QB steps up. The edge player on the other side forces a fumble that the offense recovers on this play. Height is just getting past the RT here. If you’ve ever seen the drill where a DL has a hula hoop on the ground and tries to stay low and run around the hoop, that’s a drill that Height needs to fall in love with.
89523


Controls a blocker and comes off to attack a RB here. Unfortunately, he gets run over on this play and the RB gets out past the 30-yard line. The guy trying to block him with the long hair here gets up and is telling him about. too. Rough look.
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He is a jogger (with the understanding he plays both ways and plays special teams). This is the second game I’ve seen this now. He’s on the backside at the 25-yard line here. Just jogs on this play and never does turn it on. The QB gets stood on this play, spins out of it, runs down the LOS and eventually gets tackled. If he runs hard he could get a hit on the QB but he never gets close. The kid on the other side of him is Steven Linton and he signed with Syracuse. A nice player that Romello Height is already clearly better than as a Junior rather than a Senior. I give that information for context on the fact an edge rusher on his team going to a fellow ACC team clearly isn't as good as Height.
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They confused the opponent on this play. They lined Height up inside next to the big boy at the top. He stunts around the LT and gets a strip-sack. Our coaches will teach him to rip or chop and propel as he comes around the edge on a play like this so the LT can’t recover and push him wide. The LT is Grant Conger, a 3-star OL with offers to some decent G5 teams. The TE that he has been going against quite often is Payten Singletary, another 3-star kid with some decent G5 offers.
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They flip Height to both side quite often. He is moved all over the place but has never dropped into coverage on any play that I have watched of him in these two games. He’s rushing against the RT on this play and he has him beat. This is the moment he needs to get low, flatten out his rush arc and bend towards the QB. He stays way too high and it makes it easy for the RT to just man handle him past the QB spot. RT is Tevin Rayford, now enrolled at FAMU. Height is dripping with natural tools but is as raw as an onion on the field.
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This is the best pass rush rep I’ve seen from Height to date. He initially knocks the RT’s hands, gets low and under the counter punch the RT tries, sticks his outside foot in the ground and flattens that arc back towards the QB. With this posture right here he has a low more leverage to stay on track when the RT tries to push him wide. He hits the QB’s arm as he throws on this play and forces an incompletion.
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Height is taking over this game right now. This RT has no chance against Height and they start to double him. He splits the double team and forces the QB to get rid of the ball. The LT for Thomasville is much better than this RT and has essentially shut out Linton from that side. I mention that to indicate the fact he’s playing real talent against this OL and is producing.
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He is definitely a talented athlete. High points this ball and gets a 1st down on the boundary as a WR.
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This is a 4th down play. The RT is going to have serious nightmares about Romello Height as he simply can’t block him. Even this is awkward hand use from Height but his first step is so explosive he is past the RT at this juncture and use his inside arm and natural length to keep the RT off him. QB steps up, Height closes from behind, forces another fumble.
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Thomasville doesn’t score again and Dublin pulls away late. Excellent game by Height against two OT’s who will play division-1 football. The LT is a nice solid 3-star player and the TE is as well. A good litmus test for Height and he had three sacks, two forced fumbles, caught several passes, played special teams. You can forgive him for being a bit of a jogger on backside rushes.

Why he will be good:
  • Length allows him to control blockers
  • Athleticism is above-average
  • Productive without a lot of refinement allows for upside
  • Natural pass-rush skills
  • Focusing on only defense should allow motor to play up

Where it could go wrong:
  • Raw technique needs an overhaul from base-to-hands
  • Hasn’t shown natural bend around-the-edge consistently
  • Run defense is just average
  • Motor runs hot-and-cold
  • Lacks the mass necessary to play at P5 level and will need to work hard to add good weight

Overall
Height is a player who played against excellent competition in the state of Georgia on a large school roster (62 players). Even with that excellent competition and large roster sizes, he was good enough to play essentially every snap for his team (offense, defense, special teams) as a junior. The first game I highlighted against Heard County, that team won the Georgia state championship. Once he gets to college and has the opportunity to focus all his time on solely the weakside DE position, he will hopefully improve his play motor and backside pursuit.

Height offers a lot of potential in the fact he is a long athlete with a good frame, lots of room to add mass, and he has experience playing other positions that require bend and change of direction skills (wide receiver).

There are clear deficiencies to his game at this point. His hand usage is non-existent. His pass rush is completely fly upfield and try to wreak havoc at this point and he will need to learn an inside counter-move to keep OT’s honest. He will need to improve his flexibility and show an ability to flatten his angle as the QB moves off his mark. He will need to gain a lot of strength and he is quite thin and lithe at the moment.

Despite all of these deficiencies, he showed a penchant for being a playmaker and won battles against three-star blockers in both games. The production without a lot of technique shows a player who has a wide-range of outcomes. He could develop hand usage, improve his motor, gain flexibility, keep his plus athleticism as he fills out and become a terror on the edge. He could also struggle to string pass-rush moves together, continue to rely solely on speed around the corner, and struggle to add good weight. Combine that with struggles playing the run and the downside is to be a backup who contributes on passing downs and special teams.

Because of the risk involved with his profile I believe he accurately rated as a high three-star prospect with upside for more (one site rates him as a 4-star and that makes sense if they’re higher on the potential). Similar playing style/player profile as Javon Nanton on the low-end and Andrew Williams on the high-end.
 

Comments (67)

On the smaller size?

he is on the smaller side, he has a great frame to put on weight, but he is still 6'5 no more than 220lbs. You saw Chantz get muscled at the opening being 6'4 238lbs, and he was probably the smallest DE out there. And I'm comparing him to the average college DE, obviously he is big as **** compared to the average person :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: .
 
Kids are getting evaluated for technique earlier and earlier. In 90s recruiting, we were lucky to get HS Senior clips. Interesting change in the industry and something to keep an eye on as we potentially overlook late bloomers.
 
i respect lance, but yall take his analysis as gospel and then act as if a guy can't improve .... he has the raw tools, once he's one a weight program, has good coaching, and is a full de ... he'll get better

If I read a guy say I can be a second-day NFL draft pick if I work hard to gain technique (something every single HS player in the nation needs to do), I’d think that guy was pretty dang high on me.

The reality is that most high school prospects would have a similar write-up from me. Because so many of them have to learn and develop their craft or are projections to another position.

When I do these, I do so with the understanding that if a guy develops into a starting DE that is one heck of an outcome. If he’s a good backup, he’s probably hit where he should be, and if he stays several years and doesn’t contribute it’s a bad take.

I’m almost certain that’s not what happened here and we have added a productive player.
 
Kids are getting evaluated for technique earlier and earlier. In 90s recruiting, we were lucky to get HS Senior clips. Interesting change in the industry and something to keep an eye on as we potentially overlook late bloomers.

This is also his junior tape. He’s got an entire year of development before he even steps on campus (and that’s if he enrolls early).
 
If I read a guy say I can be a second-day NFL draft pick if I work hard to gain technique (something every single HS player in the nation needs to do), I’d think that guy was pretty dang high on me.

The reality is that most high school prospects would have a similar write-up from me. Because so many of them have to learn and develop their craft or are projections to another position.

When I do these, I do so with the understanding that if a guy develops into a starting DE that is one heck of an outcome. If he’s a good backup, he’s probably hit where he should be, and if he stays several years and doesn’t contribute it’s a bad take.

I’m almost certain that’s not what happened here and we have added a productive player.

i respect your analysis, but what disappoints is when people read it and suddenly start bashing guys or calling them a reach, as if what they are in your report is what they'll be forever and disregard the opportunity at improvement ...
 
This is also his junior tape. He’s got an entire year of development before he even steps on campus (and that’s if he enrolls early).
That is true. And frankly, if we are going to take a 6’4, 215 lbs, very athletic but raw talent, it should be at the WDE/OLB position. The only thing that slightly bothered me from your analysis of his JR was the criticism of his motor. But given he played both ways, I can understand getting a little burnt.
 
i respect your analysis, but what disappoints is when people read it and suddenly start bashing guys or calling them a reach, as if what they are in your report is what they'll be forever and disregard the opportunity at improvement ...

I try very hard to give an honest take on them without my opinion overall mucking up the waters.

Perhaps it’s all perspective but I would’ve been pretty excited reading this if it were me. Dude makes plays and is a heck of an athlete who plays everywhere for a team that went deep in GA playoffs. When he focuses on one position he has the tools to be a pass rushing terror.

Most recruits don’t profile as Joey Bosa and that’s ok.
 

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