6-2/244 Boston College
Pros: Is a capable run stopper that does well when he's attacking upfield. Can make plays in pursuit. Has a bit of an edge and some pop as a tackler. Shows some quickness and is adequate at the point of attack. He breaks down well in space and does a nice job making the stop in the open field.
Cons: Doesn't have great footwork or hips when he's working in space. Doesn't change direction well. Needs to improve his zone drops and lacking in coverage. Not that physical and is not a great blitzer. Needs to improve at the point of attack, and will miss some stops there and doesn't shed blockers well.
Overview: Francois has a bit of mean streak in him and is a capable run stopper. But when you ask him to do other things, he doesn't shine as well. Started this past year because of injury to Brian Toal, but outperformed Toal. Leaves BC with only 14 career starts.
NFL Forecast: He has some potential to play in a variety of schemes. I think his weaknesses would be hidden less as a MLB in the 4-3 or as an inside linebacker in the 3-4. He can play on the outside in the 4-3 at either spot, but probably a better fit as a SAM than WILL. More than likely, Francois is not going to make an impact as a starter or major contributor on regular defense. His future more than likely rests on special teams. But he might be able to develop into a competent utility reserve for a 4-3 team. He's just too limited in coverage to really like his chances to be anything more than an average two-down player.
ATL Forecast: He could push for a spot on the bench if he can stick on special teams. But more than likely, he's just a practice squad type player that would probably be replaced inside three years by a more athletic player with more upside. But he could be a decent backup for the Falcons.
Value: Lacks a starter's upside. Probably should go undrafted, but might be able to sneak into the late seventh round.
Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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