6’1″ – 224 lbs. – 4.59
Team captain who has been starting for the past three years. Undersized linebacker with sideline-to-sideline range and execllent intangibles/leadership skills. Despite his size, play style is more of a between-the-tackles, downhill type than someone who flows sideline-to-sideline. Has the short-area quickness and footwork to slip past some opponents, but also takes on blocks better than anticipated when playing between the tackles, with active hands and good extension. Generates some pop on contact, especially when he lines up opponents in space. Fast enough to carry backs out of the backfield and match receivers on crossing routes in zone. Surprisingly effective blitzer who times his rushes well, shows impressive contact balance for his size, and closes fast when he finds a lane; picked up 15.5 sacks over the past three years, with escalating production. Plays aggressively, which leads to false steps when working against misdirection/play-action, negating his athleticism. Loses track of defenders in zone coverage too often. Lack of coverage experience on special teams might limit his early snaps relative to some of the other linebackers in the class, but has the makeup/athleticism of someone who could become an asset there. Has dealt with some injuries in school, which could be a concern given his lack of ideal size. Draft status will depend on how much teams fall in love with him during pre-draft interviews/background, but looks like more of a third-day pick based on his game tape alone.