For every SEC and Big Ten superstar standout, there are dozens of small school players hidden away in small towns all over the country wanting to get the attention of scouts and get their names on big boards around the league. Enter Slippery Rock’s Garrett de Bien.
de Bien has been a solid contributor and vital part of The Rock’s defensive line rotation since his freshman campaign in 2017, becoming a full time starter in 2019. In his full first season as a starter, de Bien was second on the team in sacks (4.5), and had 8.5 tackles for loss (via Rock Athletics).
Slippery Rock has had a number of players get invited to NFL camps and few who have found success in the league. Former Vikings, 49ers, and Falcons guard Brandon Fusco dawned the Green and White from 2006-10; The NCAA all-time leader in sacks Marcus Martin spent his legendary four year career with The Rock; And most recently, Lions running back Wes Hills spent his final season with Slippery Rock after transferring from Delaware in 2018.
de Bien is looking to become the next in that line of Slippery Rock grads who get their shot in the NFL. If he can improve as he has in each season thus far, he could find himself in a camp next summer. Let’s take a look at what he brings to the table.
Initially on the play, even though the left tackle is able to make de Bien stumble, he still has the outside leverage and gets around him on the second effort. After the fake give, the running back comes over to protect the blind side of the quarterback, who in turn begins scrambling to his right. de Bien powers through the block with ease, gets around the right tackle who is engaged with the opposite defensive end. A defensive back makes an attempt to bring down the quarterback, who spins out of the tackle before de Bien finishes the play with a sack. His pursuit from one side of the field to another, all while breaking free from blocks and using his determination and speed to make the play is admirable and something that NFL scouts will notice straight away.
This play is a simple read option. The give to the running back was very well done by the quarterback, and the goal was to get de Bien to bite and pursue the quarterback, leaving only the safety between the running back and the end zone. de Bien doesn’t bite, though, and makes a beautiful tackle on the running back behind the line of scrimmage. de Bien’s focus and discipline combined with his strength turned what could have been six points into a two yard loss.
This is a very simple play off the edge, but effective nonetheless. A simple speed rush by de Bien gives him immediate leverage over the right tackle. His speed off the snap gives him the angle on the outside to avoid serious contact from the tackle and gets him into the backfield, applying pressure and giving himself a QB knockdown.
This is a pass rusher’s dream; untouched on the play action. de Bien doesn’t bite on the play action and keep shis pursuit locked on the quarterback. The tight end coming across the line looks as if he was meant to get a piece of de Bien to slow him down, but runs right past him without making any contact. The quarterback turns around into the arms of de Bien for an easy sack.
This is pure power and strength from de Bien. He bullrushes his way through the left tackle and gets the strip sack, all while being draped by the tackle. He is able to get enough leverage to get his right hand free and strip the ball.
de Bien has a quick first step and a unique combination of high football IQ, strength, and speed. If he has an even more impressive season than he did in his junior season and stands out from all other pass rushers in Division-II, he could hear his name called as a late round pick or have his choice of where he would like to sign as an undrafted free agent.