Has good speed and range when playing in space and working in pursuit. Has good closing burst on the ball and is able to wrap up and deliver hit to ballcarrier. Can make the stop at the point of attack. Shows some ability to work in zone coverage, able to keep things in front of him and make the stop after the catch. Has good burst and speed upfield to shoot gaps on the blitz.
Not that big and it shows when he's trying to make a tackle in a one on one situation. Tries to run around blocks too often, and struggles to beat the lead blocker or shed blocks at the point of attack. Doesn't show a lot of awareness when working in coverage, and doesn't have great hips in man coverage. Has a tendency to draw flags when working in man coverage. Doesn't play with great instincts and misses too many assignments in coverage. Needs to take better angles in pursuit.
Paysinger has the speed and range you like to see in pursuit. But he's average in man coverage and limited vs. the inside run. He plays ILB beside Matthews in Oregon's 3-4 scheme, but is probably better suited to playing WLB in a 4-3 scheme at the next level. He'll make the occasional play here and there, but just as prone to giving it up as well. His production dipped a bit each year in terms of tackles and TFLs, going from 95 and 12 as a sophomore starter to 76 and 6.5 by the time his senior year rolled around. Although part of that is due to the emergence of other playmakers on their defense. In 3 years as a starter, he combined for 252 tackles, 26.5 for loss, 6.5 sacks, 2 picks, and 19 pass breakups.
Paysinger I think can be a solid backup at the next level. I think he has enough talent to be a starter, but I don't think he'll be an impact guy or a guy that is a long-term option for most teams. He has the ability to play in a 4-3 and 3-4, which should help keep him in the league. But I think he's better fit in a 4-3 where he can play in space and use his speed to his advantage. He's just not big or physical enoguh at the point of attack to really like his chances in a 3-4. He'll have to bulk up, and even then I think he'll just be an average run defender. And in that scheme, he'll fit best in a scheme that is going to drop him in coverage a lot. What really hurts him going forward is the fact that I don't think he's going to be more than average in coverage, and he's not a guy that can make up for it as a pass rusher or run defender. Down the road, particularly after his rookie contract he can be an average stopgap starter, but more often than not his team is going to be trying to upgrade over him with better playmakers.
Paysinger can add depth here in Atlanta and fit as a WILL because he can play in space and run and hit. But because he doesn't do a great job filling against the run, he'll only be an average starter at best. He projects much better as depth for the Falcons, where you think with time and development, he could potentially fill in for all 3 positions, but again he'd be best playing WLB. If he can produce on special teams then he'd be worth keeping around after his rookie contract, but if not, then he'll likely walk without ever really making an impact in Atlanta.
Paysinger is a nice depth option that I think a 4-3 team would be comfortable taking in the sixth round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 2.0
Pass Rush: 3.0
Scouting reports of the linebackers in the 2011 Draft.
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