6’0” – 237 lbs. – 4.42
Rotated into the defense over twelve games as a true freshman, also contributing on special teams and finishing with a line of 30-3.0-1.0. Became a full-time starter the following year, posting back-to-back lines of 133-13.5-4.5 and 123-12.0-3.0 before declaring for the draft. Comes with a solid combination of size and bulk for a pro weakside linebacker; could just as easily be considered for a middle or inside linebacker spot. Butkus Award winner and two-time team captain who functions as the heart of the defense and who absolutely flies around the field. True sideline-to-sideline defender with a nonstop motor and plenty of speed; seemingly always around the ball. Heat-seeking missile who racks up a ton of tackles despite an average tacking radius; hit-and-wrap option who can help set the tone with big sticks. Quick to read keys and flow in the play direction; very rarely takes a false step or gets caught out of position. Gets up to top speed in a hurry and finds ways to storm into the backfield and blow up rushing attempts. Can wriggle between blockers or generate pop when taking on contact; plays with a low center of gravity and can absorb initial contact well. Uses his hands to slip blockers when working through traffic. Can chase down runners from the backside. Will shade over receivers in the slot from time to time but wasn’t used extensively in man coverage; tended to either spy the quarterback or drop into zone coverage. Has a good feel for screens and routes developing underneath and has very impressive plant-and-drive abilities. Has no problem carrying running backs out of the backfield and/or down the field on wheel routes. Ideal A-gap blitzer who also picked up 7.5 sacks over the past two seasons; times his rushes well and can find ways to squeeze through protection schemes and create pressure on the quarterback. Was arrested twice prior to attending college, once for having sex with an underage girl, so character off the field will require due diligence. The type of player that can immediately breathe life into a defense with his speed and ferocity; consequently, looks like a strong candidate to come off the board within the top ten picks to a team seeking to energize their defense with one of the most fearsome playmakers in this year’s draft class.