West Virginia Senior
PROS: Is a capable tackler that does a nice job at the point of attack. Is a smart, tough defender that doesn't make mistakes. Gets decent depth on his zone drops and works well on short zones when he can keep things in front of him. Able to read quarterback and break up the pass over the middle. Is effective in man coverage when matching up against slower backs and receivers.
CONS: Lacks speed and burst to make plays in space and outside the hashmarks. Lack of athleticism is apparent when he's working in space. Lacks ideal awareness when working in zone coverage. Doesn't have great upfield burst to be an impact blitzer. Will get sucked up in traffic and has trouble getting off blocks.
OVERVIEW: Productive player when he was on the field that played inside linebacker mostly in West Virginia's 3-3-5 set. Battled shoulder injuries throughout his career, having missed most of the 2008 season because of it. And he also had issues with it as a senior, but still appeared in 12 games, recording 68 tackles, 6 TFLs, 2 sacks, and 7 passes defended. His best year was as a sophomore where he had 107 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 1 sack and 1 pick.
NFL FORECAST: I'm concerned about his nagging shoulder issues and obviously team doctors would have to determine if it could cause long-term issues. BUt if he can stay healthy, he can be a nice TED linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. He is able to work in coverage, although he's not going to be able to match up with NFL-caliber players there, and will have to be limited to work mainly in zone coverage. I think he has the potential to become a starter in the 3-4, although he won't be great there because he's not going to make many impact plays. But could be a decent stopgap for a few seasons. But more than likely he'll spend his career as a reserve that has to impact on special teams.
ATL FORECAST: He would only stick in Atlanta based on his ability to play on special teams. He offers very limited upside to play MLB in the 4-3 scheme because he's not very big or powerful, and is limited in coverage.
VALUE: For a 3-4 team, he might make a decent sixth or seventh round pick assuming the shoulder injury isn't an issue going forward. Otherwise, he should go undrafted.
Scouting reports of outside and inside linebackers in the 2010 draft.
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