Strengths: Strong, mobile, good pad level, quick reflexes, active feet and hands.
Weaknesses: I’ll want to see how he takes on guys closer in size.
Like logs in a fire, Michigan keeps stacking up defensive linemen into its rotation of the future. With Deron Irving-Bey in the fold, Michigan has six defensive linemen in this class alone.
Deron is, in my opinion, in the upper echelon of those commits alongside Corey Malone-Hatcher and James Hudson. He has great size already, plenty of strength and a good amount of athleticism and mobility to make him effective in space.
Like many linemen, he can continue to improve across the board - I think some practice could make his get-off at the snap of the ball pretty deadly, and I’ll also want to see how he can handle assignments and eating up blocks against bigger guys as opposed to just teeing off on high school running backs - but still, the talent level is definitely there. It’s just a matter of practice.
At the end of the day, he’s a play-maker and a pass rusher for a 280-pound defensive tackle, and that’s a great thing to have. He’ll only continue to get bigger, better, and stronger as he gets into a college training program, and I’ll be surprised if he’s not in the two-deep at the very least by the end of his second year.
Player that he could turn into: There have been a lot of great defensive tackles coming through Ann Arbor over the last few years, but I’m most reminded of Willie Henry, who is now with the Baltimore Ravens. Deron Irving-Bey has the same kind of athleticism in a heavier frame, but will hopefully go without some of the dumb penalties that Henry was known for.