LB Chase Hansen, Utah

6’3” – 222 lbs. – N/A
Comes from a family with an extensive football background. Served a mission and will be 26 years old as a rookie. Played in two games as a quarterback and seven as a safety during his redshirt freshman season, then sustained a season-ending injury. Started all thirteen games the following year, almost exclusively at strong safety, and put together a productive year (90-7.5-1.0, 3 INT, 9 PD, 3 FF). Started eight games the following year, again ending the year with an injury (51-2.5-1.0, 1 INT, 2 PD), then transitioned to the rover position this past year (114-22.0-5.0, 2 INT, 4 PD). Tall player with a strong build and long arms. Versatile player who did a little bit of everything for the Utes; looks like a linebacker, runs like a safety. Might be best when he’s able to play downhill; very energetic player who gets up to speed very quickly and flies around the field, making plays from sideline to sideline. Racked up a ton of tackles for loss this past season. Does a pretty good job of reading keys, especially for a first-year linebacker, and looks pretty comfortable working through trash to get to the ball; could be a little more patient, which is the other side of his aggressive approach to the game. Capable of chasing down runners from the backside. Explosive into contact, with good closing burst and effective wrap tackling technique to wrangle ballcarriers in the open field; can help set the tone defensively. Closes well as a quarterback spy when he finds an open lane. After transitioning to linebacker, coverage duties were fairly limited (mostly short zones when he wasn’t rushing/spying the passer). Not the most natural backpedal but has quick feet to drop into zones and looks comfortable keeping crossing receivers in front of him and closing to make quick tackles. Does a good job of reading the quarterback’s eyes, with good plant-and-drive skills to undercut routes. Wasn’t asked to play much man this past year but has the physical/athletic tools to intrigue in that capacity. Teams were able to get him to bite on play-action by taking advantage of his aggressiveness. A very impressive player who offers a unique combination of size, speed, energy, and versatility, but whose draft stock will be inhibited by concerns about his age and about his health, having sustained two season-ending injuries with the Utes. Ultimate draft stock will depend on how heavily teams weigh those in his evaluation, but has starter-caliber tools.

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