LB Germaine Pratt, North Carolina St.

6’3” – 240 lbs. – 4.57
Started his collegiate career as a reserve free safety, recording 62 tackles and intercepting two passes over his first two seasons with the team. Redshirted 2016 with a shoulder injury. Became a linebacker in his junior year, posting 69-5.5-0.0 with two interceptions without starting a game, and then enjoyed a highly productive senior campaign to conclude his career (104-10.0-6.0). Has solid height with a thick build and what looks like average length; may not really have the frame to carry much more weight. Defense typically uses two linebackers and he can play either spot; looks position/scheme versatile (inside in an odd front, Mike or Sam in an even front). Instincts are good and can often be found around the ball; however, can get a little bit aggressive/inefficient with his pursuit angles at times. Much stouter than his status as a former free safety would indicate; does a good job of taking on blockers and stopping rushing attempts between the tackles. Able to step into the gap, take on a block, and disengage in time to make a tackle. Plays with physicality and uses wrap tackling technique to bring down ballcarriers and help set the tone defensively. Able to sift through trash and find lanes to opposing runners. Lack of length is a limitation affecting his ability to keep blockers out of his pads and also his overall radius. Looks more comfortable playing downhill between the tackles than he does in space. Lacks recovery speed when caught out of position. A little bit limited in coverage; usage was typically restricted to short zone drops, without many snaps taken in man coverage or shaded over opponents in the slot. Shuffle technique looked clean, with enough athleticism to spot-drop. Looks good planting and driving on a spot in front of him. However, might struggle to match up in man coverage against most targets. Style of play is conducive to blitzing the A-gap, and picked up six sacks last season. Value in coverage may be somewhat limited, but is a good run-stuffer between the tackles who can read keys, flow to the ball, and take on blockers if necessary, with additional potential as an interior blitzer. Those skills should allow him to rotate into a defense in a two-down capacity, and possibly develop into an every-down player. Would fit well on a team like the Steelers.

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