40: 5.10 (Campus)
PROS: Can get position vs. the run and can seal off linebacker on the backside pursuit. Does a nice job blocking on the move, able to pull and block downfield, hitting his assignments fairly consistently. Has potential as a cut blocker. Has decent technique, able to get his hands up into his set. Shows some ability to adjust to the inside counter move. Shows mean streak.
CONS: Has inconsistent pop off the snap as a run blocker and won't get much push. Needs to take better angles. Has slow feet and struggles matching up with speed off the corner. Needs to learn how to use his outside hand to deliver punch and ride defender wide of passer. Opens up his stance too early and doesn't always show ability to adjust in space. Plays with poor base and fairly easily bull-rushed. Needs to add bulk and get stronger.
OVERVIEW: Linkenbach is overmatched on the left side, but he faced some pretty good pass rushers this year, and held his own at times. There is enough ability that with some adjustments he could play on the left side at the next level, but he needs extensive work there. He started 3 years at left tackle for a total of 40 games. Played right tackle as a sophomore, but was limited to 3 starts in 11 games due to a leg injury.
NFL FORECAST: If Linkenbach bulks up, it should help him a lot, particularly in improving his ability to defend the bull rush. I believe the base line technique is there that with more size and some polish, he can play left tackle in the NFL. Not to a high level, but competently enough that he can get by as a backup that could be a decent short-term stopgap for a few games. But he probably projects better as a right tackle, and the added bulk should help him there as well. He should put on another 10-15 pounds. He could play inside, particularly for a team that likes to pull a lot because he does that well, but I think he's definitely too tall and thin at this point and would need to bulk up a lot more in order to get by inside. I think he can stick on the next level as a reserve tackle, but he's going to need work. He'll never be a top run blocker which is why he won't even be a starter at right tackle. But his athletic limitations will be less exposed because he'll face less speed. But he could easily face more power there, which he also struggled with. And he's a player that is going to have to sit on the bench for the better part of two or so years before you can expect him to contribute, and even then it's probably as a swing tackle on par with someone like Kirk Chambers.
ATL FORECAST: Linkenbach I would compare with Garrett Reynolds, and while he might be a bit of a better interior prospect than Reynolds, I don't see them as being a lot different. Both are tall blockers that need to fill out their frame, and their lack of ideal footwork and athleticism limits them to backup roles on the outside. I think Reynolds is probably more physical. So Linkenbach could push for a practice squad spot, but there's probably only room for one of them on the roster, and I suspect Reynolds will have the advantage in earning that.
VALUE: For a team looking for a developmental backup tackle, he would make a decent sixth or seventh round pick.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.