Oklahoma State Senior
40: 4.80 (estimated)
Likes to mix it up vs. the run, and is physical and powerful at the point of attack. Does a good job meeting and beating the lead blocker in the hole. Shows some power as an interior blitzer up the middle and does a good job working downhill and attacking the line of scrimmage. Shows good instincts, takes good angles to the ball. Does a good job staying parallel and not overpursuing in pursuit. Gets good depth on his zone drops, and can read the QB and break up the pass. Does a good job keeping things underneath on short, crossing routes.
Lacks ideal speed and range in pursuit. And doesn't cover a lot of ground in space. His effectiveness as a run defender declines when he's asked to play in space. Lacks the hips and burst to really match up in man coverage at the next level.
Has a squat, thick build and specializes in defending the run. He's an enforcer that you want playing as close to the line of scrimmage as possible. He led team with 133 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks. He missed all of last year with a torn ACL. He was a starter in 2008 with 90 tackles, 4 for loss. Also had 11 pass breakups and 4 fumble recoveries in his two years combined as a starter. He played quarterback as a senior in high school.
Lemon has the potential to be a nice two-down thumper in the middle. He'll be limited by how effective he can be in coverage, but flashes enough awareness to think he can be a factor in zone coverage with more development. Perhaps his experience playing quarterback means that's he's better there than another player with similar athletic tools would be. His best fit is playing inside in a 3-4, where he could play beside a good middle linebacker and attack the line of scrimmage, take on lead blockers, and free up that guy to make more plays. I think he has the potential to be an effective starter, but it'll depend mainly on how competent he can be in coverage. But at the very least he should make a good reserve in a 3-4 scheme. His upside is probably at best being an above average starter beside an all-pro MLB like Ed Hartwell was in Baltimore.
Lemon is a similar type of player as Lofton in that he's a physical run defender that is limited by speed and range. While Lofton was never known as a burner, he probably has better speed and range as a run defender than Lemon. But Lemon probably would be a slight improvement over Lofton in coverage, but not to a degree where one would think he could beat him for a starting job. But he could make a nice backup for the Falcons in the middle, although the Falcons would probably be smarter trying to make him into a SAM linebacker if they wanted to get him on the field. There, he could push Stephen Nicholas, but probably not be an upgrade. But more than likely, he'd be a good backup but be limited as a starter in a 4-3 scheme like the Falcons employ since he'll be asked to make a lot of plays in space.
For a 3-4 team looking for a TED linebacker that can beef up their run support, he is probably worth a fifth round pick, although probably wouldn't be a reach at the end of the fourth round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 4.0
Pass Rush: 2.5
Scouting reports of the linebackers in the 2011 Draft.
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