6’1” – 227 lbs. – 4.65e
Appeared in thirteen games as a freshman, primarily on kick coverage units, a role which he reprised over thirteen games the following season. Started one of thirteen games the following season, at weakside linebacker (injury replacement for Kwon Alexander.) Became the team’s leading tackler as a senior after replacing Alexander on the weakside. Plays weakside linebacker for the Tigers, with their most common defensive front being a sub package featuring just two linebackers. Undersized with a muscular build, although he compensates somewhat with good leverage; nonetheless, will be restricted to playing on the weakside in even fronts, with little value in odd base defenses. Athletic player who’s at his best when allowed to play downhill; however, effort wanes with distance and isn’t a true sideline-to-sideline player. Recognition skills leave something to be desired; takes plenty of false steps, getting fooled by play-action and misdirection. Consequently, looks best given simplistic responsibilities, such as blitzing off the edge (four sacks as a senior.) Works through trash better than he takes it on; lacks the strength to anchor when engaged, although his ability to shed blocks is better than anticipated when he extends his arms into contact rather than using his body. Overruns too many spots and struggles to break down in the open field. Poor tackler who acts as more of a projectile, especially around the sidelines, and lets too many opposing ballcarriers through his grasp; doesn’t generate much force, unsurprising given his size (however, has a reputation as a special-teams hitter.) Will defer tackling responsibilities to teammates in the area. Runs well enough to cover, but typically has basic short-zone responsibilities, exhibiting questionable awareness; may be better with simple man-coverage duties on halfbacks and H-backs. When targeted, showcased soft hands and good ball skills. Has extensive special-teams experience, the area where he initially made his name, and looks likely to follow a similar trajectory at the pro level. However, may struggle to develop into more than that, as his athletic ability is mitigated by his poor instincts and inability to consistently make tackles when given the opportunity. Has some potential as a man coverage specialist, where his frame and movement skills are adequate for defense on running backs and H-backs, and which would simplify his responsibilities. Probably unlikely to draw much interest before the third day, although he seems like the type of player who’d benefit from the pre-draft process.
Games watched: Alabama (’15), Eastern Michigan (’15), Florida (’15)