Scouting Report: Nathan Proctor

Proctor picked the Hokies on national television.
Proctor picked the Hokies on national television.

Height: 6-3
Weight: 230
Projected Position: Defensive End

Rivals: 3-star, #31 OLB, #8 player in Maryland
247: 4-star, #227 overall player, #12 OLB, #4 player in Maryland
ESPN: 4-star, #86 overall player, #6 OLB, #2 player in MD
Scout: 4-star, #162 player overall, #9 OLB

Other Power 5 offers: 20

Nathan Proctor was one of the highest-rated signees of Virginia Tech’s 2017 class. In fact, ESPN rates him even higher than Devon Hunters. The Hokies had to win a big recruiting battle with Penn State and Maryland to get him out of the state of Maryland. He committed to VT on January 1 at the Under Armour All-American Game.

Proctor is the highest-rated of three defensive ends Virginia Tech signed on February 1. However, he’s an extremely raw player who isn’t as far along as a guy like Zion DeBose at this point in time. That doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t get there. It just means he’s on a different developmental track. Tech wanted him for a reason, and it’s because they like his long-term potential.

I’m going to show you Proctor’s junior highlights rather than his senior film, because I think they do a better job of highlighting his positive attributes while also showing you where he needs to improve.

Here’s what I like…

Speed and Explosiveness: Proctor was timed at a 4.68 in the 40 at a Nike event, with a 32.7 inch vertical. And remember, he hasn’t even seen a college strength and conditioning program yet. The athletic ability is there.

Snap anticipation: Proctor has a habit of getting off the line very quickly. Often he’s moving across the line of scrimmage before the offensive linemen even get out of their stance. He has perhaps the best snap anticipation and timing of any Tech defensive end signee that I’ve seen. I wouldn’t mind getting him on the field at the same time as Rico Kearney, who is very good at timing up the blitz.

Rapidly growing frame: According to Justin Fuente, Proctor added about 15 pounds between the end of the season and Signing Day. That’s a great sign, and he still hasn’t come close to tapping out his physical potential.

Hand usage: Proctor doesn’t have violent hands, but he does use his hands effectively enough to keep blockers from completely engaging with him. That being said, that won’t be as effective against stronger college offensive linemen.

Angles/containment: Proctor is pretty good at keeping containment, and he generally takes good angles to the football.

Coverage ability: I wouldn’t say that Proctor is great in coverage, but he does have coverage experience. Bud Foster can feel comfortable dropping him into the flat at times.

Proctor needs to add size and strength. Anybody can see that. It could potentially take him a year or two before he’s ready to contribute, simply because of physical issues. He also needs to work on his pad level. If he plays high before he adds adequate strength, he’ll be a guy who is easily moved off the ball.

Despite those issues, Proctor has many more positives than negatives, and his negatives can be overcome with time and physical development.

Bottom Line: Some guys are highly-rated because they develop physically at a very early stage (Devon Hunter). Others are highly-rated because they have a good frame, they can run, and they are projected to develop over the course of time. Nathan Proctor is the latter. He has a nice frame, and he’s already added about 15 pounds since his senior season ended. He’s a guy whose frame looks as if it will respond well to a college strength and conditioning program, with the right nutrition plan. The athletic ability is there. Proctor just needs the size, the strength,