Pros: Is a solid tackler with pop. Works well against the inside run and does a nice job attacking the line of scrimmage. Has potential as a blitzer.
Cons: Gets caught in traffic and struggles to get off blocks. Not great when you run directly at him. Lacks quickness and awareness in space to really be a factor in coverage.
Overview: Copper is a tough, effective college linebacker in the 3-4. He makes a lot of tackles because Appleby is the one that takes on the blockers and funnels plays towards him. Former walk on that managed to be a three-year starter. Will turn 25 in September.
NFL Forecast: Copper might be able to impress a 3-4 team as a potential inside linebacker, but his future at the next level will be determined by his special teams ability. A 3-4 team could keep him as a backup for those reasons, but he lacks upside to really be anything more than an average backup. He's too physically limited and one-dimensional to really be developed as a starter. He'll be the type of guy that keeps his job because of his special teams play, not because he brings a whole lot to the defense. Teams may like him because of his toughness, but that's about it. More than likely, he'll have trouble sticking in the NFL.
ATL Forecast: Copper isn't a good fit in Atlanta because he'd struggle in the 4-3 scheme. There are much better options out there defensively that could probably do just as good a job on special teams.
Value: He's not worth a draft pick because of his lack of upside, but a 3-4 team should bring him to camp.
Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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