O'Brien Schofield, OLB, Wisconsin

Scouting reports of outside and inside linebackers in the 2010 draft.
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O'Brien Schofield, OLB, Wisconsin

Postby Pudge » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:48 pm

Wisconsin Senior

242 at East-West
PROS: A high motor player that has an explosive first step off the edge. Has good closing burst on the ball and gives chase in pursuit. Has the speed to run with backs and tight ends. Shows athleticism and potential to move in space. Can make the stop in the open field.
CONS: Not asked to play much in space, and not natural there. Lacks a good counter move as a pass rusher and doesn't change direction well. Engulfed at the point of attack by blockers and tries to run around too many blocks. Doesn't disengage well once blockers get their hands on him.
OVERVIEW: Tore his ACL on the first day of the Senior Bowl practices, and subsequently dropped about 20 pounds between then and the Combine as he measured at 242 at the East-West Shrine game. A two-year starter at defensive end that had a productive senior year with 24.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks.
NFL FORECAST: Schofield's injury will disrupt his development as he's not likely to contribute much as a rookie. But before his injury, he looked like he could be a solid fit as a linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. He's not experienced working in coverage and space, but flashed good ability there the few times he did. His first step and motor means that he should be an effective edge rusher, although I'm not sure he has the pass rush moves and instincts to be a top guy there. More than likely, he'll be a guy that can give you 6-8 sacks per year. Before the injury, I would have thought he could impact right away as a situational pass rusher, and then by his second year be a capable starter once he gets used to playing in space. But now with the injury, that progress could be delayed by a year.
ATL FORECAST: He won't contribute much as a rookie because of the injury, and more than likely would spend the year on the PUP or IR. But he could compete with Nicholas for a starting spot in his second year. Because he is a good athlete with good speed, he has better potentail than Nicholas on the edge, especially in coverage matching up with backs and tight ends. He could push Nicholas for the starting SAM job and eventually win it. But more than likely he's a long-term option because of his inability to contribute much in his first two years as he's recovering from his injury and learning how to be an NFL linebacker. But he could be an upgrade.
VALUE: Before the injury, he had the potential to be a Top 50 pick. But with the injury, he's probably shouldn't go off the board before the fourth round because he won't contribute as a rookie at all.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

SPEED: 4.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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