STRENGTHS - Vellano consistently is around the ball and making/impacting more plays than expected. Naturally instinctive, Vellano consistently reads and reacts to the play quickly, which helps him play faster than his timed speed. When he has a path to the ball carrier he has surprisingly good speed to make plays in pursuit. He flashes good, aggressive hand use to jolt blocker and stay free. By sheer effort and determination, Vellano gets some pressure on the quarterback. When he gets close to the quarterback/ball-carrier, he has a good closing burst to finish the play.
WEAKNESSES - A classic "tweener" who lacks the explosiveness, speed and athleticism to be effective rushing the quarterback from a defensive end alignment. At the same time, he is not a naturally big man and lacks the playing strength to be effective versus OL blockers. With just an adequate first step off the ball, Vellano lacks the burst to shoot gaps and get backfield penetration. While he at times uses his hands well to jolt blocker to stay free, if OL gets ahold of him he is slow to shed and can be tied up and eliminated from the play. He is just a try hard pass rusher and lacks any real variety of pass rush moves to consistently defeat pass blocker and pressure the quarterback. He ends up on the ground way too often, which is a sign of limited athleticism.
SUMMARY - A highly productive and competitive defensive lineman, Vellano was a productive player at Maryland. He is in a tough spot as he is under-sized for a 2-Gap defensive tackle, but lacks the explosiveness off the ball and athleticism to be effective as a 1-Gapper or as a defensive end. Most effective when he uses his quick hands to punch OL to stay free before they can get ahold of him. The trouble is that he is under-sized and lacks great initial quickness, which will allow the quicker and more athletic OL in the NFL to get ahold of him and tie him up too easily. Overall, I do not expect Vellano to be drafted before the late rounds, if he is selected at all, and will need to greatly improve his playing strength and consistency with hand use to develop into more than a defensive tackle who is fighting to make the roster as the last DT every season.