IB GREG BLAIR, CINCINNATI

6’1” – 244 lbs. – 4.87

POSITIVES:

  • Height, bulk, and speed are all adequate for a middle linebacker in a 4-3 defense.
  • Flows to the ball pretty well, range is solid and doesn’t overrun his pursuit angles.
  • Diagnostic skills in the run game are sound, doesn’t take too many false steps.
  • Does a nice job of playing off of blocks in the run game despite his lack of bulk.
  • Strong enough to tackle runners with his arms when he’s a bit out of position.
  • Has had some production as a blitzer, usually on disguised delay rush attempts.
  • Played in the slot regularly, looks decent when working as a short zone “robber”.

NEGATIVES:

  • Was a bit more of a compiler than someone who made splash plays consistently.
  • Smaller than you’d like from a potential inside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive front.
  • Restricted inside in 4-3; lacks the size for “Sam” ‘backer, speed for “Will” ‘backer.
  • Has a bit of build-up speed but isn’t a player who demonstrates explosive burst.
  • Range was adequate at the college level but may be exposed by NFL’s speed.
  • When he lets blockers into his pads, can be sealed or driven out of gaps vs. run.
  • Footwork and technique in zone are a bit sloppy at times; has average instincts.

SUMMARY:

After a Combine performance in which Blair’s physical and athletic tools graded out as only average, he may be facing an uphill battle to be drafted, as his tape is more suggestive of a priority free-agent or late-round pick as it is. That said, he plays the run fairly well, with solid instincts and range and the ability to prevent opposing blockers from getting into his pads. In the passing game, however, he’s more inconsistent, demonstrating the ability to cover short routes when lined up in the slot but also having some trouble anticipating plays there and allowing his technique to get a bit sloppy at times. In order to make it at the pro level, he’ll have to carve out a niche on special-teams, with his only defensive value coming as a reserve middle linebacker in 4-3 fronts; he’s hardly an ideal option for teams with base 3-4 defenses and lacks the speed to play on the weakside and size to match up against tight ends in 4-3 defenses. An overachiever, but more of a practice-squad option at this point.

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