Keith Randolph Jr. NFL Draft 2024: Scouting Report for Illinois DL
BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IJanuary 23, 2024

LAWRENCE, KS - SEPTEMBER 08: Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Keith Randolph Jr. (88) before a college football game between the Illinois Fighting Illini and Kansas Jayhawks on Sep 8, 2023 at David Booth memorial Stadium in Lawrence, KS. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6’3″


HAND: 9 3/4″

ARM: 32 1/2″

WINGSPAN: 80 3/4″







— Good size and frame for an interior defender and appears to have long arms.

— Quick to get his hands up against the run and has the strength to get extension versus offensive linemen.

— Solid at plugging up his gap against guards and is hard to move with one-on-one blocks.

— When taking on blocks from the side, he has the strength to fight back against pressure to avoid getting washed inside.

— As a pass-rusher, can catch offensive linemen leaning with an arm-over move.


— Not quick-twitched or a good athlete for the position, limiting his pass-rush arsenal.

— Slow and laborious off the ball, limiting his penetration and ability to collapse the pocket when bull-rushing. Also has poor pad level.

— Lack of agility and initial quickness will result in him getting cut off on the back side of zone runs.

— Has a habit of narrowing his base and standing up out of his stance, which can cause him issues when taking on double-teams or combo blocks.


— 10 G, 49 TOT, 1.5 SK, 4.0 TFL, 1 PD


— Born Sept. 1, 2001

— 3-star recruit in the 2019 class, per 247Sports

— Injuries: 2021 (Knee, missed 2 games), 2023 (Ankle, missed 2 games)


Keith Randolph Jr. is a solid run defender who can plug up his gap. He has impressive upper-body strength to lock out offensive linemen, and he appears to have long arms to maximize the amount of extension he gets on blocks.

He also has decent block recognition to redirect his eyes and hands against down blocks. Combined with his strength, that helps him fight back against pressure and avoid getting washed inside.

However, Randolph blends in more than he stands out. He doesn’t make a ton of impact plays, as he went from 13 tackles for loss in 2022 to only four this past season. That’s partially due to a lack of agility to make tackles outside of his gap. He’s more of a space-eater than someone who is going to wreak havoc in the backfield.

As a pass-rusher, the Illinois product is limited due to a poor get-off that reduces the effectiveness of his bull rush and subpar movement skills. He has a decent arm-over move that allows him to take advantage of offensive linemen who have bad technique, but he lacks a go-to move that he’ll be able to win with in the NFL. Illinois often took him out of the game in passing situations.

Overall, Randolph would be a good fit as a 4i- to 5-technique in odd fronts for a team that is looking for depth on its defensive line and a run-stuffer.

GRADE: 5.8 (Backup/Draftable — 6th-7th Round)




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