Pros: Shows decent speed and ability in pursuit. Is a nice edge pass rusher with a nice first step and ﬂashes burst to turn the corner. Has good strength and shows some potential at the point of attack. Adequate in zone coverage. Capable tackler and can make stop in the open field.
Cons: More of a straight-line rusher that can't consistent turn the corner on the edge. Needs to do a better job getting off blocks. Contribute little in coverage. Lacks ideal speed to make plays sideline to sideline.
Overview: A four-year starter at outside linebacker, but never had more than 3 sacks in a season. Was suspended for this past year's bowl game vs. Nevada.
NFL Forecast: Covington fits best in the 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker. But his lack of size and the fact that he doesn't have elite pass-rushing skills makes him a long shot to sticking there. And while he doesn't fit as well there, he probably stands a better chance at sticking as a SAM guy in a 4-3 scheme. The fact that he's a tweener between those two schemes makes him a long shot at sticking in the NFL. Maybe he can go north to Canada and have some success as a rush end. But he'll be hard-pressed to stick in the NFL unless he gets bigger to play as a reserve in the 3-4. Regardless, he lacks the upside to be a starter, and would mainly just be a special teams player anyway. A 4-3 team that likes its' strongside linebacker to rush the QB would be the best fit for him.
ATL Forecast: Covington has a chance to land a reserve spot for the Falcons at SAM linebacker, but only if he really had a strong impact on special teams right away. Otherwise, he's a guy that is just practice squad fodder for a year or two until the team gets a more athletic and better fit for the scheme.
Value: His tweener status makes drafting him not a good idea. But some team should try to bring him to camp.
Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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