40: 4.75 (estimated)
A hard-hitting enforcer in the middle that does a good job getting downhill and closing on the ball. Best when he can attack the line of scrimmage and is able to take on and beat offensive linemen in the hole. Fills running lanes and shoots gaps to make plays in the backfield. Breaks down well and solid open field tackler. Shows nice instincts vs. the run and decent range to make plays in pursuit. Shows some ability to get depth in zone coverage.
Lacks ideal speed and range when playing in space. Struggles to change direction and doesn't have a great feel for moving in space. Has questionable hips and struggles in man coverage, especially when working against the back or tight end in the flat. Doesn't make very many plays outside the hashmarks and less effective when he's not playing near the line of scrimmage. Will get caught out of position at times, biting on play fake or misdirection. Will overpursue and give up cutback lanes when in pursuit outside the hashes.
Bynes appeared like a rangier defender as a junior, but looked much more like a one-dimensional run defender as a senior. He was a three-year starter. As a senior, his production dipped a bit vs. the run, as he had 73 tackles, 5.5 for loss, 1 sack, 3 picks, and 5 pass breakups. As a junior, it was 104 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 sack, 1 pick, and 8 breakups. He's a good run defender, but struggled to make plays outside the hashmarks and away from the line of scrimmage, where he became an ordinary defender. But when he can attack upfield and stay in the middle of the field, he's an impact defender vs. the run.
Bynes is a solid run defender that will probably fit best in a 3-4 scheme because of his limited potential in coverage. He's not bad in coverage, but he's never going to be good there where he can make plays in man coverage. If he can improve in zone, he'll be more effective there. He wouldn't be completely miscast in a 4-3 scheme at MLB, where he could be a similar player as Curtis Lofton. But like Lofton, he's a guy that can be exposed in coverage and when you get him in space. He's got a good nose for the ball. He'll be at his best in a 3-4 scheme if he can play beside a rangier, faster MLB that will allow him to be more of an upfield attacker. He can be a capable starter in the right scheme, but I'm not sure he's going to be a dynamic playmaker because he's not going to get a bunch of sacks or make plays in coverage. But for a team that wants a tough filler in the middle of the defense vs. the run, he can be solid in that role. I think he can be a nice presence on the inside like a Channing Crowder that is a good complementary starter that will make his presence from time to time, but won't be consistent enough playmaker to be a force in the middle. Put him beside a player like Karlos Dansby or Patrick Willis, and you'll get a solid complementary starter. As far as his development goes, I think he can push for time right away, but he's probably best sitting on the bench for a year or two and get more comfortable playing in coverage before he's a trustworthy starter. In a 3-4, his potential is somewhere between a Tim Dobbins and Channing Crowder. And in the 4-3, he's likely to be a Kirk Morrison-type.
Bynes doesn't bring anything to the table more than Lofton does. He would be a nice backup and potential replacement starter down the road if the Falcons chose not to re-sign Lofton after next season. But he's not an upgrade and would more than likely be a career backup.
For a 3-4 team, Bynes would make a solid third round pick because of his ability to be a solid complementary starter. But for a 4-3 team, he's more in line with fifth round talent because he's fairly one-dimensional.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 4.0
Pass Rush: 2.0
Scouting reports of the linebackers in the 2011 Draft.
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