6’2″ – 232 lbs. – 4.65e
Played in thirteen games as a freshman, leading the team in special-teams tackles and serving as a rotational pass-rusher on the outside. Reprised those roles as a sophomore, then transitioned to the inside and became more of a full-time player as a junior, a role he reprised as a senior. Tall, long-limbed defender who carries his weight well but is a little bit thinner than your typical Alabama linebacker. Typically lines up at middle linebacker, but also takes snaps on the outside or even as an edge rusher out of both two and three-point stances. Has a desirable temperament which is well-suited to the position. Very energetic, physical linebacker who serves as the emotional leader of the defense. A plus athlete who can make plays from sideline to sideline and who is patient and disciplined when reading his keys. Very effective at working his way through traffic to flow to the ball. Quick, active hands allow him to prevent opposing linemen from getting into his pads, and flashes the explosiveness to jolt opposing blockers off-balance on contact. Has the suddenness to avoid being engaged by opponents on his way to the ball, flashing the ability to sink his hips. Stacks and sheds better than size would indicate. Pretty reliable hit-and-wrap tackler who doesn’t shy away from contact, although bigger backs are capable of churning out yards after contact before he’s able to bring them down. Sometimes struggles to bring down opponents when he engages them up high. Can contribute in coverage or as a rusher on passing downs. Drops into zones and is also responsible for man coverage on opposing running backs as they release out of the backfield; has enough athletic ability to contribute in the same capacities at the next level. Looks comfortable carrying opposing tight ends across the middle of the field when pattern-matching. Good feel for screens developing. Also a surprisingly effective pass rusher because of his active hands and quickness. Has the fluidity to bend around the edge, and was also asked to blitz from the inside. Some teams may want him to add additional bulk, especially those running odd defensive fronts, but otherwise has the temperament, diagnostic ability, and athleticism to develop into an every-down starter at the next level. Those traits, combined with his two years of starting experience in college football’s most professional program, should allow him to come off the board within the first forty picks or so.