Former Ole Miss defensive end Marquis Haynes had a damn fine career in Oxford. The Jacksonville, Fla. native wrapped up his time in the red and blue, finishing with 172 total tackles, 47.5 tackles for loss, 12 forced fumbles, and 32 sacks, breaking the record of 26.5 held by resident psychopath, Greg Hardy.
But, now it’s on to the next level and Haynes has been labeled as a bit of a tweener. No true position. Not big enough. Not strong enough.
Well. Folks seem to have changed their tune about Grand Marquis after seeing him in practice down in Mobile, Ala. for the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
#Ole Miss pass rusher Marquis Haynes impressed the heck out of me today. Strong for his size. Explosive player.— PewterReport (@PewterReport) January 23, 2018
9) OLB Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss - Athletic and beastly 233, reminded us of Telvin Smith when he weighed in +15 pounds or so.— RosterWatch (@RosterWatch) January 23, 2018
Whew what Marquis Haynes did to Alex Cappa on a pass rush rep. Marquis Haynes moves up the list of 'watch soon'— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) January 24, 2018
Is that good? Okay, just checking.
Granted, being Ole Miss fans, we’ve seen the Chucky Mullins Award winner do this for four years. But, now everyone is starting to see it for themselves live and in person. WLBT sports director Chris Hudgison caught up with Haynes after practice and talked with him about how he felt things went.
Here's a glimpse of @OleMissFB LB/DE Marquis Haynes at Senior Bowl practice today. I'll have more on the Chucky Mullins Award winner at 6pm & 10pm @WLBT, 9:30pm @Fox40News #HottyToddy pic.twitter.com/YCc8wGZtkV— Chris Hudgison (@ChrisHudgison) January 23, 2018
Where does he fit in?
The ability is there. He has the speed, the burst, and the moves arsenal to make it, but where will he play in the NFL? It’s a league built around the passing game now and edge rushers are always in demand. Always. Haynes can be a handful for offensive tackles because not only can he get by you, but his length can help him fend off bigger, stronger tackles.
He’s done it a number of times at Ole Miss. Look at what he did to Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson in 2016.
Marquis Haynes has added a really nice power element to his pass rush this fall. Proved he could get edge last year. Now using combo. pic.twitter.com/q4j7QR8oZE— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) September 20, 2016
This isn’t going to happen every time in the NFL, it’s just physics. But his speed is his best asset and that has been and will be on display for years to come. Here he is blowing by former Texas A&M Aggie and current Cincinnati Bengals’ left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi.
Ole Miss EDGE Marquis Haynes plants his foot and bursts upfield, bending the edge and turning the corner well to get after Kyle Allen. pic.twitter.com/heWT6YXVov— Riley Auman (@junioraumanac) August 1, 2017
Quick, elusive, and strong rush ends/outside linebackers who can get after a quarterback are needed more than ever in a league that on any given day you can be lining up against 6’5, 245-pound Cam Newton or 6’5, 240-pound Ben Roethlisberger. Not only do general managers and head coaches need guys who can neutralize these big, physical signal callers, but they need guys who can also bring them down once they arrive in the backfield.
There have been talks of him possibly playing linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, using his athleticism and speed to get after the quarterback in passing situations and/or drop back in coverage to cover tight ends, defend screens, or spy a back out of the backfield.
Yeah, he can do that, too.
Ole Miss DE Marquis Haynes lined up over A&M WR with a TFL. Versatile. https://t.co/1yaVncITsp— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) November 15, 2016
Marquis hovers around 6’3 and 233-pounds and can really run (4.5-4.6 range) but he could really make some money in a defensive scheme that potentially uses him as a change of pace guy in passing downs and third down, get after the quarterback scenarios. In a phonebooth, he can make you miss, and he’s proven that this week in Mobile.
Recorded South team pass rush 1 on 1s, will try to clip some for y’all later on.— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) January 23, 2018
Marquis Haynes, Isaiah Wynn among those who looked good.
Where is he projected to be drafted?
Right now, most see him going in the fourth round or so. RotoWorld is thinking he will “go either at the end of day two or the beginning of day three.” This seems about right. The frame, as stated above, isn’t your prototypical build but the intangibles and motor is there plenty. Now, where does that put Haynes?
As of 2017, NFL teams that regularly incorporate the 3–4 defensive alignment scheme as a base include the Packers, Raiders, Rams, Steelers, Ravens, Cardinals, Colts, Chiefs, Jets, Redskins, Broncos, Titans, Texans, and Bears. So, yeah, there are plenty of landing spots for Haynes.
As long as Quis finds the right fit and stays healthy, he can certainly have a solid career in the NFL chasing quarterbacks and haunting left tackles with his speed off the edge. And no matter where he ends up, the way he has worked his tail off in the weightroom and in the film room, he should be A-OK once he gets to the league.
Go get ‘em, fam.