6’1” – 245 lbs. – 4.70e
Three-year starter at linebacker who has also taken some snaps at running back, starting one game there as a freshman. Typically lines up on the strong side of the formation, but will move to the weak side on occasion. Somewhat uncommon physical profile; looks a bit squat with a slightly thick build and shorter limbs. Explosive if not quite natural mover who accelerates quickly downhill and has speed in pursuit, appearing faster as a junior than he did in his sophomore season; that explosiveness extends to his hands, where he flashes the capacity to jolt blockers and disrupt receivers near the line of scrimmage. Not afraid to mix it up in the run game; can withstand contact and avoid ceding ground. Can work his way through trash and avoid getting washed down the line. Has a good motor and on-field temperament; passionate and violent without losing track of his responsibilities. Sometimes gets preoccupied with taking on blockers and loses track of the ball. Forceful tackler who can help set the tone defensively. Often works in zone coverage against opposing receivers and tight ends, where his ability to jam helps him remain in position to make a play; may not be long or athletic enough to be an elite cover man, but has been given some diverse coverage responsibilities at the college level. Exhibits the ability to change directions smoothly, but needs to be more consistent with his technique, especially the backpedal. Instincts versus the pass are average to above average, losing track of opponents on occasion; may be a bit better in man coverage, where he has shown the ability to stick with backs and tight ends down the field. Sometimes employed as a rusher and has the type of temperament which allows him to disrupt the interior offensive line. A physical linebacker with some versatility; has the thick build and strength required to play the run, but is also fast enough to line up in the slot against opposing receivers and tight ends in coverage, staying on the field in passing situations. Doesn’t have the gracefulness of movement of some top linebacker prospects and isn’t a tackling machine, but plays a demanding defensive role effectively. Best fit is probably on the strong side in a four-man defensive front. Covers well enough to potentially become an every-down player, but stock may be hurt by the fact that many teams take their strongside linebacker off the field in sub packages.
Games watched: Southern California (’14), UNLV (’15), Virginia (’15)