Derek Nicholson, OLB, Florida State

Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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Derek Nicholson, OLB, Florida State

Postby Pudge » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:35 am

Derek Nicholson
6-0/239 Florida State
4.79 Senior

Pros: A good pursuit player that has good burst and closes quickly when working downhill. Is a capable tackler with nice pop. Shows potential as a blitzer and does a nice job attacking the line of scrimmage.

Cons: Struggles at the point of attack and gets stuck in traffic. Lacks instincts and doesn't anticipate well. Whiffs at times in the open field. Despite speed and burst, is not that comfortable working in space and needs to do a better job on his zone drops. Lacks awareness there.

Overview: Nicholson is a fast guy that his burst and speed allows him to make up for a lack of instincts. FSU's leading tackler the past 2 years as a MLB. Will only be 21 in December. Younger brother of ex-Seminole A.J. Nicholson.

NFL Forecast: Probably is a better fit on the outside at the next level, but he could be a decent backup. But lacks the upside to be a starter in the middle. More than likely, he won't be a starter regardless, but has a bit more potential outside than inside. His speed and burst should give him multiple opportunities to stick because teams will try to develop that. But his lack of instincts could prevent him from sticking. But he'll be a valuable reserve if he can play on special teams.

ATL Forecast: Nicholson could add depth on the outside. He might be a dark horse candidate to potentially start at weakside linebacker down the road, but that will depend on if he develops a better feel for coverage. He'll need some time to develop, but if he can play on special teams and develops in coverage, might be a competent backup down the road.

Value: He's raw, but he has the athletic potential that might make a team draft him in the seventh round.
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