Has good speed and range and shows ability to flow well to the ball in pursuit and when playing in space. Does a decent job filtering through traffic to come upfield and make stop at the point of attack. Is able to shoot gaps and make plays in the backfield. Willing to take on the lead blocker in the hole, and can win that matchup. Has a nice backpedal and gets nice depth on his zone drops. Has pretty good hips and speed to match up with receivers down the field. Will deliver a hit to the receiver over the middle to break up the pass or to the ballcarrier in run support. Shows some ability as a pass rusher, showing nice burst upfield when he puts his hand in the dirt on occasion. Uses inside move or swim move to beat the tackle off the edge. Plays with a high motor when defending the run or pass.
Doesn't play with great awareness. Gets caught out of position too often trying to shoot gaps and loses outside contain. Doesn't take great angles to the ball on the edge. Can't always close to make the stop in the backfield. Will try to run around some blocks at the second level. Bites on play fakes, and misses assignments in coverage. Doesn't show a great feel or awareness when he plays in space despite his speed and range. Whiffs on stops in the open field because he tackles too high, doesn't break down well and needs to do a better job keeping his feet. Bigger backs can bounce off his hits and needs to do a better job wrapping up.
Mouton is active and plays physical, and flashes the tools and skills to be a playmaker. But he is not as reliable there as you'd hoped. But it was clear this past year, he was one of the more talented players on the Michigan defense. He was a three-year starter at WLB, having his best season as a senior with 117 tackles, 8.5 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 picks, 3 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, and 2 recoveries. The previous two seasons he combined for 142 tackles, 9.5 for loss, 1 sack, and 2 picks.
Mouton has the potential to play in multiple schemes. He's probably best working at weakside linebacker in a 4-3, but with some development he does show the ability to also work at inside linebacker in a 3-4, and possibly play other positions in a 4-3. He is good when he can get upfield and can make plays in pursuit. But he's not as good at the point of attack, and doesn't play with great awareness. He flashes the athletic tools and speed teams want in a potential starter at the next level, but it's probably going to take him some time to develop into that role because of his lack of ideal instincts and awareness. If he can come in early and produce as a reserve and play on special teams, he'll have the chance to develop at the next level. Then by his third or so year, he should be challenging for a starting job and potentially winning it. He's not going to be a big-time playmaker at the next level, but in the right scheme that takes advantage of his skills, he can be a nice complementary starter. He has the skills and physical tools to be an everydown player at outside or inside linebacker, but needs time to develop them. He may wind up being a career backup, but should at least be pretty good there if he can continues to perform on special teams. If he does develop into a starter, we're talking more like an above average starter rather than a true impact player.
Mouton would add depth here in Atlanta and be a nice developmental option down the road. His speed and range, and potential to contribute in coverage could work at outside linebacker for the Falcons. He's not an ideal SAM linebacker but if he can add a bit of bulk and strength, he could play in that role. He would be an upgrade over someone like Nicholas because he should be better in coverage. Probably not as physical against the run, but his ability to get upfield and take on blocks could make him decent there. It's not an ideal role, but he could get by as a starter. But more than likely, he's a depth guy for his first year or two, and then can start to push for a starting role in year three. It's not a slam dunk that he wins it, but he has the potential to be a decent starter at either outside spot in Atlanta and at the very least adds depth.
Mouton is a nice mid-to-late round prospect that is ideal coming off the board in either the fourth or fifth round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 3.0
Pass Rush: 3.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.