When Joey Ivie’s name flashed upon the screen to announce he was the Cowboys first of their three seventh round picks, most of Cowboys Nation wondered, “who is this guy?”
Only starting 10 games his entire collegiate career, all coming his final season, Ivie went relatively unnoticed during the 2017 NFL Draft process. But after diving into his film, I came away relatively excited about what he could bring to training camp.
Well, about as excited as you could be for a 7th round defensive linemen joining a team with a plethora of defensive tackles and strong-side ends already.
Joey Ivie is the definition of an effort player, Getting by on his extremely high motor and “try hard” mentality, Ivie was able to flash on film at times despite his lack of snaps. Finishing the season with 26 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and a forced fumble, Ivie certainly got the most out of his minimal playing time.
Ivie’s best quality, besides his effort, are his hands. Showing the ability to strike offensive linemen back with his quick and efficient punch, Ivie’s quick and active hands helped him to be serviceable as an interior pass rusher.
At 6’3″ 300 pounds, I expected Ivie to be a lumbering type of player, especially after checking out his less-than-average Pro Day athletic testing numbers. Surprisingly, Ivie displayed adequate athleticism on the inside.
Joey Ivie is a high effort, quality character guy, but he has some clear flaws on film. First, when faced with double teams or powerful interior offensive linemen, Ivie stood almost no chance. To often he was moved off the line of scrimmage or completely taken out of the play.
Lacking the ideal length of an NFL defensive lineman, Ivie’s short arms are only made more ineffective by his high pad level and narrow base.
Simply put, Joey Ivie does not have the explosiveness that you want out of your defensive lineman at this level. He relies too often on his effort and upper body, but does not show the proper technique or lower body strength to anchor in the run or win as a pass rusher consistently enough.
Joey Ivie is a Rod Marinelli guy, and it can be seen on film. The effort, tenacity, and grit that he plays with are admirable, and make him worthy of a look during training camp.
Unfortunately for Ivie, he lacks the length, athleticism, and overall play strength to make it at the next level. In the end, I expect Ivie to be a causality of the numbers game in camp, as the Cowboys try to keep their returning defensive line in tact, adding just rookie defensive end Taco Charlton.
However, Rod Marinelli obviously had a hand in this pick being made, and if Ivie can take to Marinelli’s coaching and show enough during the preseason, he may find himself on the practice squad this season.