Pros: Has good strength and nice pop as a tackler. Does a nice job attacking the line of scrimmage. Is able in pursuit and shows some comfort in space. Is effective in zone coverage and does nice job sitting back and reading the QB.
Cons: Lacks speed and is not going to make plays outside the hash marks. Gets caught in traffic and struggles to get off blocks at the point of attack. Too often beat by the fullback when defending the inside run. Doesn't always wrap as a tackler and needs to get better there. Is slow in his zone drops and lacks the hips and quickness to be effective in coverage. Will take some poor angles, over pursue, and doesn't have ideal instincts.
Overview: Palmer is a capable run defender at the college level, but lacks the speed and athleticism to project well at the pro level. A four- year starter that missed some time at the beginning of 2005 with an injury. A relative of former NBA player Isaiah "J.R." Rider.
NFL Forecast: Unless he can impact on special teams, I see him not sticking long in the pros. He's just a backup with minimal upside as a starter. I don't see him lasting more than a year or two in the pros, mainly as a camp body. Just too limited an athlete to really project well. He could play in either the 3-4 or 4-3, but he is not an impact player in either.
ATL Forecast: Palmer at best would be an average backup that can help on special teams. But if he was asked to fill in as a starter for Lofton in the middle, he'd struggle mightily. He'd be hard-pressed to make the Falcons roster at all.
Value: Palmer isn't worth drafting. Some team should bring him to camp to see if he can stick as a special teams player though.
Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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