6’2″ – 253 lbs. – 4.77
Spent his first two seasons as a reserve, then entered the starting lineup as a junior and put together two highly-productive campaigns to conclude his collegiate career, culminating in being named his conference’s defensive player of the year this past season. A true every-down linebacker who can play the run, rush the passer, or drop into coverage; typically plays on the strong side. Also takes some snaps with his hand in the dirt. Has adequate height, bulk, and length, although weigh-ins will be important in order to confirm that his official size is accurate, as they are on the borderline of what is acceptable for his position. Has a desirable on-field temperament. Rangy, high-motor linebacker who can pursue sideline to sideline. Flows well to the ball, with good vision to locate. Has plus athleticism, with top-end speed which is good but not elite. Physical at the point of attack. Anchors better than his size would indicate. Willing to mix it up with opposing offensive tackles and demonstrates the active hand use to shed blocks and chase ballcarriers. Able to set the tone defensively as a tackler; maximizes his length, but radius is just adequate because of relatively short arms. Lack of length can also let opposing linemen into his pads at times. Able to sink his hips and use his suddenness to penetrate as an edge rusher. Effective inside move to beat opposing tackles on the outside. Also works in a swim move and a spin. Has the agility and balance to dip his shoulder and bend back to the quarterback. Uses his hands well. Exhibits the balance to stay on his feet when being blocked low. Has extensive coverage responsibilities. Does a lot of work in zone, but can also carry running backs and tight ends into the flats or up the field on wheel routes, or defend screens. Explosive plant-and-drive to close on targets when working in zone coverage or spying opposing quarterbacks. Overall feel for zones is just adequate; can lose track of opposing receivers. May lack the size to cover inline tight ends in man. Did a little bit of everything at the college level, with one of the most complete games among this year’s front-seven prospects. Fits very well into the modern game, and value on all three downs should allow him to come off the board before the end of the draft’s second day. Could potentially play outside in either defensive front.