LB Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington

6’0” – 230 lbs. – 4.56
Played in all but one game over his first two seasons with the Huskies, then started eight of thirteen games played as a junior before becoming a full-time starter this past year and enjoying an extremely productive campaign. Undersized middle linebacker for the Huskies; height and bulk are on the borderline of what teams look for at the position, although he did play behind a lot of three-man lines and has proven durable over the course of his collegiate career. Plays with sound instincts, ending up around the ball about as much as could be expected given his physical and athletic endowments. Has adequate athleticism to pursue toward the sidelines, chasing down ballcarriers on stretch plays and tosses. Short-area quickness and ability to slip through small gaps is more impressive than top-end speed. Can get frozen in the hole and struggle to recover against more elusive backs. Not one of the most physical enforcers in the draft, but has enough sand in his pants to hold up reasonably well against opposing blockers and doesn’t shy away from contact. Flashes the hand speed to shed before opponents get into his pads. However, will take some indirect routes to the ballcarrier when playing downfield in order to try and avoid opposing blockers. Brings a little bit of pop into contact but has a radius which is limited by his lack of length. Runners have been able to grind out additional yardage with their leg drive after making contact with him; lacks stopping power when he engages high. Was able to force four fumbles this past season. Stayed on the field on every down for the Huskies. Most of his coverage drops come into shorter zones which allow him to keep backs and tight ends in front of him and plant-and-drive on the ball; doesn’t have the type of physical profile to carry most tight ends down the seams in man coverage. Some usage as an A-gap blitzer but doesn’t appear to have many counters if engaged. Temperamentally well-suited to a special-teams role. Doesn’t leave much to the imagination: a smart, instinctive linebacker who racked up a ton of tackles at the college level but who might have a somewhat difficult time of it at the pro level because of borderline size and athleticism that is probably above-average but hardly eye-popping.

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