Kavell Conner, OLB, Clemson

Scouting reports of outside and inside linebackers in the 2010 draft.
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Kavell Conner, OLB, Clemson

Postby Pudge » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:44 am

Kavell Conner
Clemson Senior

PROS: Has good speed and shows good closing burst on the ball in pursuit. Has a nice nose for the ball. Is a capable drag-down tackler that does a good job wrapping up. Shows burst as a blitzer working up the middle or coming off the edge. Not afraid to take on fullback in the hole.
CONS: Can be tentative at times taking on blockers and not great at shedding blocks. Doesn't play with great instincts or awareness, getting sucked up by play fakes. Needs work in coverage. Misses stops in the open field because he doesn't take great angles to the ball, and gets juked by quicker ballcarriers. Not a strong tackler.
OVERVIEW: Is a better run defender than in coverage, but not great there. Two-year starter at WILL linebacker that was very productive leading team in both years with a combined 236 stops. Also had 14 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 4 passes defended.
NFL FORECAST: I would call him a capable run defender, but not a great run stuffer. He's an active player that is productive, but not sure he is an impact defender on the next level. With talent around him and in a scheme that asks him to flow to the ball, he could be a competent starter. But he's not a guy that teams would consider an asset and probably could only keep his job for a year or two. He's the type of player that becomes a journeyman after his first contract is up. He'll be a better backup than starter, and I think the fact that he's not very good in coverage will be a key factor in holding him back. He's not bad there, but probably just barely competent for an NFL linebacker. I suspect his NFL career will be similar to that of Nick Greisen, who was a competent fill-in starter for a few years in the middle of his career. But after leaving New York after his fourth year, he's just bounced around the league more as stopgap depth and special teams journeyman.
ATL FORECAST: Connor can provide some depth on the outside, pushing hte likes of James and Adkins. But he shouldn't be considered a legit option to replace Peterson on the outside. He's more a guy that the team is looking for to add some depth and be a potential upgrade over James and/or Adkins. But more than likely, unless he shows himself to be a special teams wiz like Larry Izzo, he's not going to last more than three or four years in Atlanta.
VALUE: He's a nice late round option for teams looking for depth at WLB. Probably the earliest he should go off the board is the sixth round.
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