PROS: He has a good first step and has the speed to make plays in pursuit. He shows nice recognition, playing contain on the edge and breaking down well in space to make the stop at the point of attack. He has a good motor and plays to the whistle. Has some experince working with his hand off the ground.
CONS: Doesn't have the edge speed to turn the corner and lacks the technique to do so. Can be stiff-hipped and not good when asked to change directions in space. Needs to take better angles in pursuit.
OVERVIEW: Sheffield is another undersized end for Troy like Brandon Lang. But he projects a bit better at linebacker because he lacks the size and his learning curve is probably going to be less.
NFL FORECAST: Sheffield shows the ability to play the run as a stand-up player and has the edge quickness to rush the quarterback. But where he struggles is when he's asked to go backwards and his poor hips will give him troubles in coverage. He's a good tackler in space, but isn't smooth when he's asked to run and chase the ballcarrier in space. He's not going to be a starter on the outside, but he can definitely fill a nice role as a backup for some 3-4 team. He's not really ideal as a situational pass rusher because he just doesn't have that great edge quickness to paly with his hand on the ground. The key to his success is being able to contribute right away on special teams. If he can do that, he'll be able to stick as a backup and be developed. Down the road he could be a nice fill-in player for a starter, but he'll be an average backup.
ATL FORECAST: He's not a good fit in Atlanta because he wouldn't add much as a situational rusher and isn't a natural option to play linebacker in the 4-3 scheme. He has enough ability as a pass rusher that the team might like his motor and try to stash him on the practice squad for a year like they tried to do with Brandon Miller in the past. But he won't stick much beyond that initial season since it's likely the Falcons could add someone else that would be an upgrade there.
VALUE: For a 3-4 team looking for a backup to develop, I would take him in the seventh round.
Scouting reports of outside and inside linebackers in the 2010 draft.
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