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2012 LB Rankings

April 13, 2012

Linebackers

Prototype in the NFL: Patrick Willis

Best In Class

Best Frame: Audie Cole                                Best Playmaking Skills: Luke Kuechly

Best Run Stopper: Bobby Wagner                 Best Motor: Luke Kuechly

Best Cover Skills: Zach Brown                       Best Pass Rusher: Mychal Kendricks

Best Hitter: Keenan Robinson                         Best Instincts: Lavonte David

Best Collegiate Stats: Luke Kuechly              Best Open Field Tackler: Lavonte David

1. Luke Kuechly Boston College #40 6’3 ¼ 242 Jr.

Comparison: Patrick Willis/Sean Lee

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

191

0

12

0

3

1

2010

183

1.5

10.5

2

3

0

2009

158

1.0

13

0

1

1

Combine: Extremely quick out of gates in 40 with a great time (4.58). Struggled on his 2nd attempt with an unofficial 4.78 after his first was a 4.50-the difference was technique. Had some tightness and very long legs which made him below average in four bag drill. Tight and below average in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill. Very tight in multi backpedalal drill. Below average in two dummy drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6032

242

31

9.75

4.58

27

38

1003

4.12

6.92

100

Notes: Had a dominant freshman year in ’09 (142 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception-returned 28 yards for a TD). Was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and ACC Freshman of the Year in ’09. He has a nose for the football and if he can gain some weight and make more impact plays, he very well could become a 1st rounder in the Paul Pozlusny mold. All American in ’10 as he led the nation in tackles (171) in the regular season, also having 10.5 TFL and 2 ints. Only BC player to record +300 tackles in his first two seasons doing it in his 23rd game. In the ’10 Fight Hunger Bowl vs. Nevada had a nice KR tackle (8:25 1st), stayed home on reverse holding play to 2 yards showing his discipline (6:26 2nd), had great extended int in zone against Kaepernick with 33 yd return showing speed, hands, and playmaking skills (12:42 3rd), had two plays where he avoided a blocker to make a tackle (8:10-2nd, 12:02-4th. I have him rated as a top 15 player in the 2011 draft if he was eligible 1/12/11. Enters the 2011 season ranked #9 on my Big Board and the #2 defender behind only Quinton Coples. In the 2011 Miami game he had a 7 yd TFL on end around that he read well and reacted even better too avoiding OL block and getting right to the angle not being juked by RB Lamar Miller-elite play (5:38 1st), immediate tackle on RB 1 yd short of first on 3rd and 9 dump off, hard tackle on TE after 7 yds but showed only above average speed-his one weakness is he isn’t a burner like a Zach Brown, incredible coverage on WR seam route with no separation 30 yds downfield getting pbu and nearly an INT-one of the better coverages by a LB I’ve seen this year (5:50 2nd), immediate tackle on 3 yd hitch by TE, good tackle for 1 yd on RB dump off, good coverage jumping on over the middle route and tipping ball yet somehow still caught, great INT reading QB and seeing the short in route getting extended hands INT like a WR would, elite anticipation and hands, then showed almost a RBs stiff arm to push WR away from him for final 20 yds to get 45 yd pick 6! Top 5 defensive plays all year (14:55 4th), great coverage getting hand on ball but bounced to WR for lucky catch of 8 yds across the middle. Top 10 1/21/12.

Tape: 2010 Fight Hunger Bowl vs.Nevada,

Overall: Luke joins the short list of players (Konz, Barron) who have been the #1 player at their position for multiple years. It’s a rare feat, and one even more rare for a true junior like Kuechly, that shows how dominant he’s been and how quick he was in making an impact out of High School. To walk onto campus and start as a freshman is tough enough but to earn ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and make +150 tackles in your first season is historic. He’s the only player in BC History to have +300 tackles in his first 2 years, his 15.9 tackles per game this season was highest average ever for a season in the NCAA, and he almost had the most tackles in a season in NCAA history losing out by 2 tackles in his 12 game season to a player who played in 14 games! Kuechly isn’t just a tackling machine, he’s statistically the greatest tackler to ever play college football. Yet while his speed, toughness, instincts, and perfect tackling technique allow him to rack up the tackles he’s a much more complete player as he’s one of the better coverage LBs in this draft with the speed (4.58 40), hands (7 INTs in 3 years), and playmaking ability (2 career pick sixes) to be an asset for a team in any situation. Non-pass rushing linebackers are similar to guards, safeties, and tight ends in that they are positions easily filled and therefore lack value. Yet Kuechly is the greatest LB prospect I’ve graded since Patrick Willis and looks like a future Pro Bowler who has no holes. He’s strong, athletic, tough, durable, instinctive, a playmaker, a great leader, and a hard worker. I’m not sure as a GM that I would ever sign off on using a Top 10 pick on a linebacker but that’s for the GMs to discuss amongst themselves as that’s the grade I’m giving him. Top 10 as my #1 LB who has the highest grade of any LB since Patrick Willis in 2007 4/10/12.

2. Mychal KendricksCalifornia #30 5’11 1/8 239 Sr.

Comparison: More athletic Colin McCarthy

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

105

2.5

14

0

2

0

2010

65

7

14.5

0

1

0

2009

71

1

6

1

1

1

2008

15

1

1

0

0

0

Combine: Shocked everyone but running an elite 40 (4.47). Fastest official 40 time by an ILB in last 12 years. Looks a little like Drake. Pointed out as the best in sideline to sideline drill by Willie McGinist but I didn’t see it. Misstepped in one part of drill but otherwise was quick and showed great explosion at the end in four bag drill. Spectacular smoothness yet double caught ball in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill-he’s smoother in his backpedal than a lot of DBs. Great again in multi backpedalal drill with nice, easy catch. Very good lean in two dummy drill. Very good 2nd time in two dummy drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

5111

239

31.63

 

4.47

24

39.5

1007

4.19

 

75.7

Notes: In the 2011 Stanford game he had a great delayed blitz off edge showing elite closing speed to get -14 yd sack (3:00 1st), good tackle avoiding pulling OG for 1 yd gain stopping RB in the hole, great blitz dodging RB’s block then showing again his elite closing speed to force hurried throw (1:45 2nd), solid tackle on RB on slick field almost falling and getting helmet ripped off but still holding on, great job timing snap count on run blitz on 4th and 2 shooting through line forcing FB to hit him and not get to lead and RB to have to cut immediately to ruin play for TO (13:30 4th), very good job avoiding OG on 2nd level in middle of field then another blocker cutting him to stay in play for tackle (4:20 4th), great closing speed on Luck scrambling for 1st diving for tackle to get 33 yds short (3:53 4th), This kid really impressed me as he was all over the field, has good strength (held his own when blocked by OL) to go along with his elite closing speed, and has tremendous heart battling Stanford for all 4 Qs. Big time sleeper who I see as a 4th rounder 11/21/11. In the 2011 Arizona St. game he had a fumble recovery that he returned +20 yds showing solid speed (5:34 1st), great TFL shooting through OT/OG gap right after snap to hit RB 1 step into his run (14:50 3rd), showed good speed catching RB on +40 yd run when he started on other side of OL (14:00 3rd), Pac 12 DPOY in 2011. In the 2011 Texas game he had a good rush off end getting around RB for pressure, very good speed closing quickly on QB David Ash when he saw him scrambling getting him for no gain (5:20 1st), good speed getting to end around before he got near the corner let alone turned it for 5 yd TFL (0:24 1st), solid tackle in hole for 2 yds, had trouble getting off OL block allowing 15 yd run right at him up middle, solid speed chasing Ash on edge but barely unable to catch him allowing 3 yd gain, outstanding tackle for no gain on WR screen avoiding TE block and planting WR as he caught the pass. I still love the kid but watching them in the same game I was struck by the sheer athleticism that Keenan Robinson showed that Kendricks lacks. He has a great burst and solid speed but just isn’t the elite athlete deserving of a 2nd round grade. Due to that he drops to the 3rd round but is still an outstanding player who is one of my favorites in this draft 12/28/11.

Tape: 2011: USC,Stanford,ArizonaSt.,Texas

Overall: Mychal has been one of my favorite players in this draft for quite awhile but who no longer can be considered a sleeper due to his historic Combine performance where he ran the fastest 40 time of any LB in the past 12 years (4.47) and looked like a DB in backpedal drills showing the best hips I’ve ever graded on a LB. He combines that elite speed, smoothness, and explosiveness (39.5 vert, 10’7 broad) with a strength and toughness that will allow a 4-3 team to play him at any position and even allow him to be an ILB in a 3-4 as there is ample tape of him stacking and shedding or slipping an OL’s block to make the play. In fact his ability to wade through traffic and still make the play is one of the best in this draft and any scout who considers him mainly a Will LB hasn’t done their homework as he’s versatile enough to play LB at any spot in either scheme. The one issue I had with him was his overall athleticism (funny right?) as at under 6’0 he isn’t the biggest guy and I thought he was a good but not great athlete. Obviously I was wrong as he tested out as the most athletic LB in this draft and showed that he does indeed deserve the elite LB grade I was considering giving him a few months ago. Early 2nd round as my #2 LB who has Pro Bowl potential and the versatility to play any spot in a 4-3 or even ILB in a 3-4 4/11/12.

3. Lavonte David Nebraska #4 6’0 5/8 233 Sr.

Comparison: Derrick Brooks

Stats: Big 12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

133

5.5

12

3

2

0

2010

152

6

12.5

0

0

0

JC

 

 

 

 

 

 

JC

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combine: 2nd team All American in 2011. Slipped a lot but was so fast in sideline to sideline drill that I had to watch it again-much faster than Brown. Good in four bag drill. Turned wrong way and had to restart in backpedal and turn drill. Not very smooth but very fast (slipped a bit again) yet dropped ball in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill-mixed bag for sure. Solid in multi backpedalal drill. Very tight in lean in two dummy drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6005

233

31.75

8.75

4.65

19

36.5

911

4.22

7.28

56.2

Notes: Bo Pelini calls him the most instinctive player he’s ever been around. Broke Barrett Rudd’s school record for tackles in a season (149-’03). Severely undersized player who has the size of a Cato June and will have to find a home in a 4-3 tampa style system that covers up their LBs. In the 2011 Wisconsin game had a very fast blitz going untouched up the middle for a 4 sec sack (12:30 1st), good job getting off OG pull block to make tackle a few yards later (2:51 1st), no rush vs. LT on blitz but kept with it and dove for sack on QB when he stepped up before LT could even react (6:12 2nd), very nice tackle on TE getting past multiple blockers to possibly save a TD (8:53 3rd), nice penetration but unable to tackle RB Montee Ball for TFL, great speed and a fast, hard hit on RB James White (12:33 4th). In the 2011 Ohio St. game had a nice TFL slipping TE block showing great speed to get there (13:42 1st), great quickness in hole hitting RB again behind line but fell fwd for no gain (11:12 1st), big hit on QB scrambling around awkwardly, outstanding strip of QB as he was falling to the ground-made me rewind the tape as it happened so quickly (8:00 3rd), had great quickness on back to back plays shooting into backfield for almost TFL on 1st play then a TFL on the 2nd play showing average strength as he was unable to tackle him the 2nd time just settling for getting him out of bounds (14:35 4th), great speed on blitz seeing the QB in trouble he made up a lot of ground quickly and hit him as he was throwing for income (11:22 4th). In the 2011 Penn St. game he had an amazing play on 4th and 1 at the end of the game to preserve the win as he bounced off a good OL block then shot through the hole on the other side of the line to hit the RB and push him back before help came so the play could come up inches short-a spectacular play! (1:55 4th). In the 2011 Iowa game he was all over the field both in coverage and run support with his cover skills actually being more impressed in this game. He had numerous pbu on ultra tight coverage on TEs and even had a FF after an offensive PI when TE threw him to the ground as he got up, caught up to the slower TE, and stripped the ball on the way down as he tackled him-Mathieu style. He is the ultimate playmaker and though I understand his size limits him to certain schemes and positions I just am really beginning to think he won’t just be a solid starter but will be a Pro Bowl Derrick Brooks type LB if put in the right spot:4-3 Tampa 2 WLB with a great DL ahead of him. 2nd round 11/25/11. In the 2011 South Carolina game he was beat on shallow cross by WR but dive tackled him FF that went OOB-old Derrick Johnson swing (14:55 1st), tackle 24 yd downfield as he was in man cov vs. TE, blocked by FB at POA allowing run by him, elite quickness through hole and solid strength hitting RB in backfield and holding him on goal line run at 1 yd line for no gain (6:35 1st), missed tackle on inside run but tripped him up enough eventual fall after 5 yds, elite speed covering RB in zone then when QB was in trouble he delay blitzed getting sack with nice take down in kill zone-elite tackler (2:20 3rd), good speed on delayed blitz as QB rolled to his side forcing quick throw, good 2 yd tackle in hole-showed again his underrated strength. Yes he has very poor size but I still love his quickness, instincts, hitting ability, playmaking skills, and cover skills. Also he time and again shows a solid ability to stack and shed so his size doesn’t impact his strength too much. Early 2nd round 1/21/12. Senior Bowl: Day 2: Pancaked RB Chris Polk on pass block drill. Day 3: 1×1: Beat bad on great move on inside route vs. RB Isaiah Pead, later showed great speed for no separation vs. Pead on wheel route. 11×11: Good TFL on Pead getting in backfield immediately. In the 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Got the start at SLB, no separation vs. TE Deangelo Pederson on shallow cross, no separation vs. TE Ladarius Green, good sure tackle in space vs. RB Terrance Gannaway for 2 yds on 3rd and 10, good crack block pealing off on PR to hit a guy trailing, good job staying strong vs. TE Brad Smelley forcing RB back inside and almost getting tackle, looked like a safety trailing WR out and gang tackling him-rare to see a RB get out to sidelines that quickly. Out of the 10 LBs (Wagner, David, Robinson, Michael-Johnson, Bradham, Brown, Davis, Acho, Spence, Cole) he was #2 as he showed elite speed in coverage and the strength, instincts, and tackling ability I’ve come to expect from him.

Tape: 2011:Wisconsin,Ohio St.,Penn St.,Iowa

Overall: Lavonte David is one of the greatest WLB prospects I’ve ever graded. Now it’s important to put that into context as WLB is one of the easiest positions for a team to fill and teams regularly can find capable players in the latter rounds if only b/c those types of players can’t play for 3-4 teams (about half the league now) and 4-3 teams have a plethora of players to choose from. A team can find a half dozen undersized, speedy LBs in the late rounds who have great resumes and still are available because the position has such a lack of value. Yet David is still one of the best I’ve ever graded and therefore gets the best grade I can give for that position: early 2nd round. He’s fast, instinctive (Pellini calls him the most instinctive player he’s ever coached), strong, elite in coverage (one of the best cover LBs I’ve ever graded), and made numerous plays in 2011 that I had to rewind and watch again as I had never seen it before. In the right scheme he will be a Pro Bowler, he will average 150 tackles a season, and he will be one of the best players to come out of this draft. Yet with all of that being said I just can’t give the kid a 1st round grade as in the back of my mind I know a 4-3 team could take a guy in the late rounds (Brian Rolle for the Eagles just last year) and fill that spot capably. They wouldn’t have David’s impact but the team would still have their early round pick to use on a premium position and help other spots. David gets the shaft due to his scheme specificity but I’m expecting elite production from him at the next level. Early 2nd round as my #3 LB 4/7/12.

4. Bobby Wagner Utah St. #9 6’1 ¼ 235 Sr.

Comparison: Napoleon Harris

Stats: WAC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

147

4

11.5

0

2

0

2010

133

0.5

8

0

0

0

2009

114

0

7

1

2

0

2008

51

0

2

0

0

0

Combine: Didn’t do any position drills or even get measured? Eventually found out he was hospitalized with pneumonia.

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

 6012

235 

32.5 

9.88 

4.5 

 

39.5 

1100 

 

 

 

Notes: Big, thick looking LB who looks heavier than 232 lbs. Led WAC in tackling in ’09 and ’10. In the 2011 Auburn game he shed the OG and laid a nice hit on RB Michael Dyer for a 1 yd gain (0:30 1st), they line him up at DE at times like this where he flushed QB out of pocket and caught him from behind for 1 yd gain so no sack (14:03 3rd), and a great job not falling for the fake screen pass getting speedy RB McCalebb for 1 yd loss (11:40 3rd). Looked like the best defender in the game on either team showing good size, strength, and speed to go along with elite production. In the 2011 Ohio game he had poor gap responsibility allowing 7 yd run but reacting well to hi RB as he went down, very nice quickness getting off OL block and hitting RB in split second for 5 yd gain, solid rush vs. LT nearly getting edge but getting pancaked at end-close to a hold though, great strength unable to shed OL blocker as he was holding but tackling RB with only his left arm as he ran by for 1 yd gain (11:40 3rd), good TFL seeing the bobbled snap by QB and delayed blitzing easily closing ground and wrapping up quickly for -2 yds. You can tell Ohio knew they needed to block him as he had an OL or two in his face all game which limited his productivity. Everytime I see him I instantly see the NFL frame and movement that makes scouts drool. He is a tall, strong guy who has solid speed and should be a good SLB or MLB in a 4-3 or ILB in a 3-4 yet I do want to see his 40 time as it appears to be the only thing I worry about. He seems to have solid speed but is far from a burner so it will be important. 3rd round 12/18/11. Senior Bowl: Day 2: 11×11: Great coverage vs. RB Isaiah Pead out of backfield on short out for INC. Day 3: Terrible coverage vs. RB Chris Polk basically tackling him for PI. In the 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Was the backup WLB, great jumping INT getting nice enough drop to cover up 15 yd out by WR (2:30 1st), made special teams tackle on KR, continue to be impressed with the speed and quickness he displays in cov, easily cov TE Ladarius Green’s short out, good no gain tackle on inside run, no separation vs. Green in goal line route then jumped and batted ball away on throw to back of end zone saving TD-very tall and long armed (7:45 2nd), easy TFL on TE screen as it was slow developing and right in front of him but good strong tackle. Out of the 10 LBs (Wagner, David, Robinson, Michael-Johnson, Bradham, Brown, Davis, Acho, Spence, Cole) he was #1 and really improved his stock in my eyes as I was worried about his speed and cover skills. He can’t line up and play the top TEs man to man but he looked good in zone, not just speed wise but instincts and hands wise as his length was very noticeable and he had an INT and a PBU in the Senior Bowl Game. He again looks like a 3 down LB and jumps back into the 2nd round as his frame is spectacular. Was the MVP for the North team at the Senior Bowl. Missed Combine due to a bout of pneumonia that required hospitalization.

Tape: 2011:Ohio, Senior Bowl Practices and Game

Overall: Bobby is a player that currently is zooming up draft boards due to his elite postseason. No LB has had a better one as he looked like the best LB at the Senior Bowl in January and followed it up with an elite workout at his pro day where he put up jaw dropping numbers (high 4.4/low 4.5 40, 39.5 vert, 11’0 broad). Also Wagner has a body of work that shields him completely from any criticism that he’s just a workout wonder as he led the WAC in tackles 3 straight years (’10 was an iffy year where he led in tackles per game but not in overall) despite being double teamed regularly. My only issue I had with him was his 40 time and the possibility that he could struggle in coverage forcing him to be a 2 down LB but this postseason he emphatically answered that with a PBU and INT in the Senior Bowl and by running a 4.5 40. Now the only question is how high to take a tackling machine with long arms, good instincts, great toughness, an ability to stack and shed, and a guy who is faster and better in coverage than originally thought. His overall package makes me contemplate giving him the rare 1st round grade for a LB but in the end I don’t think he plays as fast as his 40 and him only having one career FF makes me give him an early 2nd round grade as my #4 LB 4/10/12.

5. Keenan Robinson Texas #1 6’3 1/8 242 Sr.

Comparison: Lance Briggs

Stats: Big 12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

98

1

8.5

2

0

0

2010

106

2

6.5

2

2

0

2009

63

1.5

4

0

0

0

2008

23

1

2

0

0

0

Combine: 2nd team Big 12 in 2011. Nothing but arms and legs showing very poor tightness in four bag drill-one of the worst. Below average in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill. Tight but solid for his size in multi backpedalal drill. Very tight in two dummy drill-arguably tightest of any LB. Tight again 2nd time in two dummy drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6031

242

33

9.75

4.79

27

35.5

1000

 

 

73.5

Notes: Had a thumb injury with bone coming through the skin in the Missouri game but put a soft cast on and kept playing the rest of the year. In the 2011 Texas A&M game he was all over the field showing not just speed but power and looking like an elite LB as he ruined countless plays with his penetration and hit guys hard numerous times. In the 2011 Baylor game he had an elite TFL showing his special speed as Acho was ahead of him on the play and he came out of nowhere to shoot by him and track down QB RG3 from behind (6:04 2nd), lined at MLB and avoided OL block to tackle RB on shovel pass for 5 yds, very nice maneuvering between OL to get tackle for 1 yd gain-great quickness in getting to spots. In the 2011 Oklahoma game he slammed RB Domonique Whaley out of bounds for nearly a PF, solid tackle for no gain plugging hole with good instincts and quickness. In the 2011 Cal game he got around OL to get in hole and help on TFL by teammate, good speed pressuring QB on rollout when he saw the play coming his way, good job slipping through OL to join in on gang tackle TFL-elite at slipping blocks, great TFL dive tackling WR screen as he caught it showing speed, timing, and aggressiveness (3:00 1st), blatant PI on short hitch-he’s an elite athlete and is tough too but doesn’t appear to be that disciplined or terribly intelligent, great jumping pbu in his deep zone drop nearly getting pick (1:26 2nd), hit WR juking him in the head for should be penalty but not called, great TFL holding edge vs. TE then shedding him and grabbing RB body slamming him into turf for strong tackle (1:04 3rd), looked noticeably more athletic than Mychal Kendricks as I got to watch them in the same game. Just another impressive performance from one of the most underrated prospects in this draft. He is tall, strong, fast, tough, aggressive, and productive making him a legit 2nd rounder 12/28/11. Senior Bowl: Day 2: 1×1: No separation allowed vs. RB Leenan Creer on option route-RB looked very slow though. 11×11: Good job going around TE Deangelo Pederson’s block for TFL right at him. Day 3: Took a little while but eventually got around RB Terance Gannaway for 4 sec sack in drill, very noticeable speed moving with TE on shallow cross. In the 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Got the start at SLB, bit on play action allowing TE to slip past him for 9 yds on quick out-did catch up to TE Brian Linthicum to make tackle, took on Brian’s block and threw him aside to crash down on inside run, shed Brian again on edge to crash inside to get gang tackle for no gain, good aggressiveness attacking block of FB Bradie Ewing but couldn’t disengage, no separation vs. Brian on 9 yd out in red zone for no throw, looked quicker than TE Emil Igwenagu on short turn around, good speed giving only small separation to speedy RB Isaiah Pead on a wheel route, very good job throwing aside Brian on edge to crash down and get no gain tackle on RB Doug Martin (14:10 3rd), good cov only giving slight separation on wheel route vs. Martin, was blocked well by TE Michael Egnew with run right at him allowing 13 yds, great strength holding ground in hole and taking on pulling OG head on to still make tackle on RB for 3 yds (11:03 4th), good hit on WR on crossing route getting him inches shy of 1st but refs gave it to them anyways-he clearly had forced a punt. Out of the 10 LBs (Wagner, David, Robinson, Michael-Johnson, Bradham, Brown, Davis, Acho, Spence, Cole) he was #

Tape: 2011: Spring Game,Oklahoma,Oklahoma St.,Baylor,Cal

Overall: Keenan has been one of my favorite players to scout this year as it’s rare to see a LB with his combination of height (6’3 1/8), strength (27 reps), toughness, ability to both take on and slip OL blocks, and overall athleticism (4.70 40, ’35.5 vert, 10’0 broad). Usually a player is either a run around undersized LB with great athleticism or a LB who is big and strong who takes on an OL head on. He can do both and do both extremely well as he’s just as adept when the play is run at him as he is when it’s run away from him. He doesn’t have great speed, he is a bit long legged and therefore might struggle in man coverage, and his collegiate production was good but not great so he doesn’t look like a future Pro Bowler but he’s the rare LB who could play any of the 3 spots in a 4-3 or could play ILB in a 3-4. I’m confident that 5 years from now Keenan will be a starting LB in the league and widely regarded as one of the better players at his position. Late 2nd round as my #5 LB who is still vastly underrated to me 4/7/12.

6. Zach BrownNorth Carolina #47 6’1 ¼ 244 Sr.

Comparison: Thomas Howard

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

105

5.5

13.5

3

3

0

2010

72

0

1.5

0

3

0

2009

47

0

4

0

1

0

2008

6

0

0

0

0

0

Combine: Ran a disappointing 40 (4.50) but was still a great time showing his athleticism and the expectations on his 40. Had 1.52 10 yd split. 1st team ACC in 2011. Very fast and smooth in sideline to sideline drill. Extremely smooth and kept his eyes up in four bag drill. Good hips and speed to go with an almost great diving catch but dropped it in backpedal and turn drill-very tough throw.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6012

244

33.25

9.5

4.5

 

33.5

908

 

 

57.5

Notes: A tall, extremely athletic player very much in the mold of Bruce Carter the 2nd round pick of the Dallas Cowboys. He has very good speed and agility yet poor instincts, technique, and strength making him probably best suited as a 4-3 WLB. In the 2011 Virginia game had poor gap assignment going too far outside to allow easy run inside (14:35 1st), solid job slipping TE block to make tackle after 5 yds (10:10 1st), poor tackle on RB missing him as he went too high but he showed great athleticism popping right back off after getting shucked and grabbing onto his legs (4:00 1st), poor job losing contain easily being blocked by RT as he took an inside angle allowing RB to get 33 yds (11:10 2nd), poor job getting caught in the wash on right sweep (12:55 3rd), incredibly fluid in coverage yet hit WR at 4 yds on 2nd and 7 and still allowed first down and then some showing his poor strength and tackling ability (12:30 3rd), and very nice job shucking RB in pass pro on his blitz yet unable to get to QB allowing scramble (11:10 3rd). In the 2011 Louisville game showed great speed seeing QB rollout and hitting him hard just after he threw on a sort of situational blitz (13:00 1st), good recognition of draw when on outside blitz to drop back inside to get tackle, good blitz getting to QB in 3 sec but only able to cause batted ball at LOS when he hit his arm going fwd, again had a free shot on QB on unblocked blitz yet couldn’t take QB down this time being juked allowing +10 yd play-poor tackler in the kill zone both on rushes and run support (12:30 2nd), jumped offsides on blitz trying to time the snap count, outstanding int in coverage dropping into zone and making a great read on QBs eyes to cut route and catch it with his hands looking like a TE (5:00 2nd), good speed on option toss in the flat corralling him for 2 yds (12:07 3rd), jumped offsides again on blitz trying to time snap count but not called (5:44 3rd). In the 2011 Clemson game he had a big hit in the flat vs. TE Dwayne Allen, had a speedy blitz hitting the arm of the QB nearly causing a fumble, good blitz going unblocked for 3 sec sack (11:00 1st), great blitz again going untouched for the rare 2 sec TFL hitting QB right as he was doing the read option (5:44 1st), showed his elite speed but also his poor tackling as he was 20 yds downfield almost as a S but when he came over to tackle the WR he missed taking out his own man allowing TD (1:15 1st), beat on 30 yd 9 route by WR Martavis Bryant (7:45 2nd), great coverage 20 yds downfield in coverage with pbu vs. Allen (2:20 2nd), elite coverage vs. Allen on 5 yd out forcing INC for punt (13:55 3rd), great coverage again in zone going after ball on 10 yd cross vs. Allen yet missing the ball he also missed the tackle. In the 2011 Missouri game he had missed tackle on RB spin move right in his hole, good job fighting off block to get to RB on off tackle run-elite speed-but again he missed the tackle going high, beat by TE Michael Egnew on 25 yd 9 route losing track of him, good speed tackling RB in flat for 2 yd gain but only barely hit him missing him mostly on juke in kill zone, late in zone on quick slant allowing 13 yd catch and run, elite play seeing dump off to RB in flat closing quickly and getting helmet to helmet hit heard in entire stadium with vicious hit for TFL-plays like that remind me why he is loved (8:20 2nd), solid physicality taking on an OL block-a rarity for him, missed tackle on QB in his hole again going high, very nice INT on tipped ball almost like catching a punt but missed judged it forcing a one handed tip of ball back to body to secure it (12:46 3rd), elite speed catching a fast QB like James Franklin easily from behind but only after +30 yds, very nice tackle for no gain showing good instincts to see outside run then shot past OL block to tackle RB before he could get blocked-his aggressiveness was nice to see as it is rare. Again I saw the same thing as he has elite speed and at times looks like a future Pro Bowler when he shows toughness, instincts, and aggressiveness. Yet he also has a penchant for missing tackles (I’ve seen at least 3 in every game of his I’ve scouted this year), doesn’t seem to go all out all of the time, and is bad at stacking and shedding or even slipping blocks. The ceiling is extremely high for him but I do wonder if he just becomes a Thomas Howard type who has elite speed but is nothing more than an average starter in the NFL. Late 2nd round 12/26/11. Senior Bowl: Day 2: Set North Carolina track record in the 60 meter showing elite burst and speed for a LB (6.72 in 2009). 1×1: Too aggressive for PI but did get pbu on short route vs. RB Terrance Gannaway. Day 3: Was worst in drill vs. RBs taking numerous moves and counters before getting around Gannaway. In the 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Got the start at WLB, run blocked easily by FB Bradie Ewing, hit QB after he slid for 10 yds for penalty-not called, good speed staying step for step with WR Brian Quick on shallow cross for 4 yd gain, good burst through hole but blocked well out of play by OG Tony Bergstrom-at end did come into pile and grab RB to throw him down but was way late to the play, very good play showing speed to get around Bergstrom’s screen block in space and breakdown to get tackle on RB Dan Herron in space for TFL (4:25 2nd), good speed beating OL to hole so he couldn’t be blocked and helping on no gain tackle, missed easy tackle in space with TE right in front of him as Michael Egnew spun away from him for YAC, solid trail play getting tackle 13 yds downfield, real dick move blowing up RB after play was over on screen that was INC-could have been penalty, no separation on wheel route vs. Ewing but he still made a spectacular catch. Out of the 10 LBs (Wagner, David, Robinson, Michael-Johnson, Bradham, Brown, Davis, Acho, Spence, Cole) he was #6 and was a real disappointment as he again showed great speed, great coverage, and the occasional wow play where he shot through a hole for a TFL but again he missed tackles, ran around blocks, and didn’t show much heart.

Tape: 2011:Virginia,Louisville,Georgia Tech,Clemson,Missouri, Senior Bowl Practices and Game

Overall: Brown is a player that has elite physical skills and if someone was to tell me that in 5 years he was one of the best LBs in the NFL it wouldn’t shock me. Yet he’s a huge risk for a team as well as he isn’t tough, isn’t strong, misses more tackles than any other LB in this draft, isn’t a leader, and seems to have a bit of an ego/attitude on him. His best attribute is his speed so it’s no surprise that he’s an elite defender in pass coverage as there is a lot of film of him getting 20 yd drops in his zone and making a pbu on a WR or TE in the deep middle of the field like a safety. That’s rare stuff and is the type of thing that makes me pause when giving his evaluation but at the end of the day I have to admit that I just don’t like him. He could be a great player in the NFL but I think that he and Coples were two of the bigger reasons why North Carolina underachieved in 2011 as they dogged it quite often and were highly talented underachievers who set a poor tone for their team. Brown’s coverage skills are some of the best I’ve ever graded, his speed is elite, and he has a frame to eventually be a 250 lb LB who can play in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme at basically any spot. Yet the things I question about him (toughness, heart, attitude) are rarely fixed so despite the fact that he has legit Pro Bowl skills I’m grading him only as an early 3rd rounder as my #6 LB since he’s such a boom/bust type pick 4/7/12.

7. James-Michael JohnsonNevada #52 6’1 1/8 241 Sr.

Comparison: Martez Wilson

Stats: WAC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

100

1.5

6.5

1

1

0

2010

88

2.5

8

3

0

0

2009

58

2

11.5

0

1

0

2008

48

1.5

12.5

1

1

0

2007

1

0

0

0

0

0

Combine: Very nice explosion out of 40 ending with a good time (4.68). Friendly kid with a huge smile. Below average in four bag drill. Below average in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill-just not very smooth. Fell down in two dummy drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6011

241

32.88

9.38

4.68

23

36

905

4.37

7.34

61.9

Notes: In the 2011 Southern Miss game he had a nice gang tackle for no gain shooting through line showing very good speed, too many false steps allowing 7 yd run not getting to edge in time, looked lost in coverage-doesn’t seem to have great instincts at anything actually, showed borderline elite athleticism on blitz-even there he seemed hesitant though, great TFL showing the promise he has as he read the WR reverse immediately and shot through the line showing his elite speed to hit him midway through the play for 11 yd loss-looked like a top 10 pick on the play (7:35 2nd), good job getting off OL and hitting QB hard on read option keeper for 5 yds, impressive speed staying off OL block to push QB out of bounds 15 yds downfield on other side of field, same thing showing good speed but hesitation for 5 yd tackle on off tackle run by sideline, good hit on RB dive tackling him before OL could get to him and block him on off tackle run for 4 yds, very good TFL checking responsibilities in zone then racing up when he saw QB scrambling to get -3 yd loss-has elite speed for a guy his size as it just keeps surprising me (10:06 4th). He’s a big, strong, fast NFL caliber LB who has below average instincts, takes too many false steps, and seems to hesitate a lot. There were some plays where he just attacked and looked like an absolute stud (1st round talent type) but other times he just looked confused or wasted his speed by being unsure. He has an extremely high ceiling but definitely some bust potential and will probably need to be a backup for awhile but he has as much talent as LB Zach Brown does, if not more due to his better size, and Brown has a top 15 grade on many boards. 3rd round who could zoom up if he wows in the postseason 12/24/11. Senior Bowl: Day 2: 11×11: Good strength holding off C Mike Brewster’s 2nd block and making tackle in hole on inside run-shows he can definitely be a 3-4 ILB. Game 3: Good coverage on FB Bradie Ewing’s inside route getting nice jam at LOS then trailed okay. In the 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Got the start at MLB, good speed starting right but easily getting back left on counter run for 5 yd tackle after teammate Cole missed it, good job wading through traffic to get near TFL made by DT, very good speed getting to end around forcing duck down slide by RB/WR Chris Rainey on edge, good speed getting depth to take away seam route by TE, good job taking RB out of backfield as I’m pretty sure he wasn’t assigned to him but reacted quickly on the fly. Out of the 10 LBs (Wagner, David, Robinson, Michael-Johnson, Bradham, Brown, Davis, Acho, Spence, Cole) he was #4 as he continued to impress me with his big frame, tackling ability, and speed. He has below average instincts but I constantly am marveling at how a guy with his frame can run that fast.

Tape: 2011: Southern Miss, Senior Bowl Practices and Game

Overall: Johnson is a physical specimen who at 6’1 240 has elite speed to go along with good tackling ability and the strength to battle with OL in the phone booth. In fact it can be argued that he’s right up there with Zach Brown for the prize of most athletic LB in this class as he’s a bit slower but bigger, stronger, and a more sure tackler. Unfortunately he also has some of the worst instincts in this class so a lot of his athleticism is negated and he has some bust potential as linebackers without instincts often are the first to fail in the NFL due to the complexity of offenses. I still like him as he has the frame to add a little weight and could play MLB or SLB in a 4-3 or ILB in a 3-4. His size/speed ratio is elite and I would be willing to take a gamble on him after the first two rounds as he has Pro Bowl potential and I think a lot of his issues can be solved with time and experience. Early 3rd round as my #7 LB who has elite physical skills but is held back by poor instincts 4/12/12.

8. JK Schaffer Cincinnati #73 6’0 1/8 237 Sr.

Comparison: Rocky McIntosh

Stats: Big East

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

114

4.5

13

3

3

0

2010

111

3

9.5

2

1

0

2009

100

1.5

5.5

0

3

0

2008

12

0

0

1

0

0

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6001

237

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes: 2nd team Big East in 2010. 1st team Big East in 2011. Was team’s special team ace in 2009 with 12 tackles. In the 2011 Rutgers game he had a TFL in pile throwing down RB showing strength, nice job in coverage jumping up to tip ball on post pass (13:17 1st), solid speed on blitz and a great hit on sack forcing punt and easily could have been a fumble as he walloped him (1:18 1st), no separation vs. TE DC Jefferson on +15 yd seam route for INC, great job shedding pulling OG for tackle on RB but barely unable to keep him from getting 1st down on 3rd and 1, dove for INT nearly getting it on deflected pass, great hit in the hole for no gain showing good instincts and strength, good cleanup sack with his teammate causing it but missing in kill zone-penalty negated sack (9:35 3rd), had another sack on blitz showing good speed and strength to get through initial block (5:45 3rd), great run blitz hitting RB in backfield right after handoff for -5 yds (5:24 4th). The kid has everything but size as he is strong, tough, instinctual, is good in coverage, and has solid speed yet at 6’1 227 he is basically stuck as a WLB in a 4-3 and that position is one of the easiest to fill on the team. 5th round 11/19/11. 1st team Big East in 2011. In the 2011 Vanderbilt game he had a great TFL shooting through OL hitting RB right after handoff for 4 yd loss (11:20 1st), good speed on rush forcing scramble then good hustle tracking QB down for 7 yds, good speed getting to corner ahead of QB on designed run and laid nice hit on him, threw blocking TE to ground on run play, strong tackle throwing RB to ground after 6 yds but average speed pursuing him, good diving attempt at pbu nearly getting it-very solid in coverage. Again he popped out to me on film as he is tough, physical, fast, instinctive, and productive. If he was 240 lbs he would be a 3rd-4th rounder but due to his scheme specificness he stays as a 5th rounder 1/3/12.

Tape: 2011:Rutgers, Vanderbilt

Overall: Schaffer is a LB that I’ve been a big fan of all year and a guy who gets a late push due to his pro day where he proved to NFL teams that he can add weight to his frame. All year I saw a tough, instinctive, physical LB with good movement skills and great production whose only red flag was that he weight 227 lbs. That size would have forced him to only play WLB in a 4-3 and scheme specific guys like that (think Brian Rolle last year) are rarely drafted very highly. Yet either by luck or from the advise of his agent he added 10 lbs this offseason and at 6’0 1/2 237 lbs, while benching 26 reps, he now has shown teams that he can play any of the LB spots in a 4-3. I worry a bit about the weight as he didn’t run his 40 or do quickness drills so a team can’t be sure the 10 lbs is good weight but at the very least it shows that his frame can hold more weight and that’s half the battle right there. I said before that Schaffer’s production, toughness, tackling ability, and movement in coverage made him a 3rd rounder that dropped to the 5th due to lack of size so now that he has NFL caliber size I’m putting him right back into the 3rd round as my #8 LB and a big time sleeper 4/6/12.

9. Noah KellerOhio #47 6’0 5/8 242 Sr.

Comparison: Barrett Ruud

Stats:

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

116

1

8

3

1

0

2010

26

1

1

1

0

0

2009

154

2

9

2

1

0

2008

104

1

5

1

1

0

2007

37

1.5

2.5

1

0

0

Pro Day: 3/8/12

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6005

242

 

 

4.63

28

37

1000

4.44

 

 

Notes: Has 3 seasons of +100 tackles and is a 4 year starter. Only played in 3 games in 2010. QB of the D making all of the calls. In the 2011 Utah St. game he avoided RB block flowing quickly to the WR screen for TFL, good job penetrating before C could get out to block him getting tackle in hole for 1 yd, good instincts flowing to ball for no gain tackle-has elite instincts, great job hitting RB despite having to get through a pile for him on 1yd tackle, good speed on option getting sucked inside but getting out to RB to push him out of bounds after 12 yds, good strength taking on RB Robert Turbin head on yet not allowing an extra yard pushing him back, missed tackle in the hole allowing 12 yd TD by RB Michael Smith, great quickness off OL block forcing RB outside and tracking him down for 4 yd tackle-is everywhere tonight and is actually looking better than more heralded LB Bobby Wagner on the other team, solid wrap up of RB in hole forcing punt. His instincts and ability to avoid OL is elite and he seems to have very solid strength and speed making me hesitantly give him a 5th round grade. The only reason it isn’t higher is he isn’t a big hitter and seems smaller than the 245 lbs he is listed at. If he weighs in at his listed values of 6’1 245, with his instincts, speed, and production I might move him up into the 4th round area. If he comes in lower it will force him to be a WLB, scheme specific LB and his grade will drop to the late rounds 12/18/11. 5th round 1/21/12.

Tape: 2011:Utah St.

Overall: Noah is one of the biggest sleepers in this Draft as I’ve yet to hear a peep about him despite having three +100 tackle seasons and a pro day that showed he’s actually a very good athlete. His pro day was incredibly important as he’s not just fighting the small school player stigma but the white linebacker stigma which naturally makes people assume he’s unathletic. Yet it’s hard to argue a guy with a ’37 vertical, 10’0 broad, and 28 reps is unathletic, especially considering future 1st rounder Luke Kuechly’s numbers are eerily similar (’38 vertical, 10’3 broad, 27 reps) and his performance was considered one of the best at the Combine. If Noah was coming out of Alabama he’d be considered a 2nd rounder and the media would be talking incessantly about his instincts and how he’s just a tough, well coached football player who can start for a team for 10 years. Yet he’s coming out of Ohio so there isn’t a mention of him and he wasn’t even invited to the Combine, a bad omen for where a player is expected to be drafted. I still think he’s a major sleeper and his pro day put to rest any worries I had about him being under 240 lbs (I thought he might weigh in lighter than he’s listed) or his overall athleticism so I’m moving him up from his 5th round grade to a late 3rd round grade as I still expect him to start for an NFL team for 10 years due to his toughness and instincts, even if he didn’t go to Alabama. Late 3rd round as my #9 LB 4/4/12.

10. Nigel Bradham Florida St. #13 6’1 7/8 241 Sr.

Comparison: Na’il Diggs

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

86

2

9.5

1

2

0

2010

97

5

5.5

0

0

0

2009

93

2

5.5

0

1

0

2008

29

0

1

1

0

0

Combine: Long armed kid with a very ripped upper body. 1.65 10 yd split. Honorable mention ACC in 2011. Good in sideline to sideline drill. Extremely quick but showed some tightness in hips but did drill wrong at one point in four bag drill. Tight hipped and double caught ball in backpedal and turn drill. Probably the most ripped LB here. Solid in two dummy drill nice lean. Had the longest arms of the 29 LBs at the Combine.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6017

241

33.75

10.5

4.64

24

37

1001

4.37

7.18

86.7

Notes: Has an NFL type SLB body. Plays MLB for Florida St. and does seem to have good instincts but looks more like a SLB in my opinion. Has very nice speed and gets a good drop in coverage. In the ’10 Chick Fila Bowl vs South Carolina gave up a 53 yd rec to Marcus Lattimore (13:55 1st), had a nice stack and shed on a running play directed right at him (10:52 2nd), and almost had a sack on a quick blitz (0:45 2nd). Looks like an athletic, instinctive player who should be a solid SLB in a 4-3 D. 4th round as of now 1/1/11. In the 2011 Oklahoma game he had a great diving INT on ball QB was hit while throwing (0:48 1st), PF in red zone after TFL for really stupid play that hurt them tremendously, PF on him grinding his helmet into the TE’s body after the play for a really dumb penalty getting OU’s offense out of a 3rd and long! In the 2011 Clemson game called for blatant hold on TE Dwayne Allen on out and up (12:07 3rd), allowed 7 yd dagger route on 3rd and 5 vs. Allen, good tackle in the phone booth holding his ground and hitting RB for 1 yd gain on 1st and goal from the 2 (3:35 3rd), facemask trying to tackle WR Sammy Watkins in the flat on a 0 route. In the 2011 Notre Dame game he had good coverage in middle zone reading QBs eyes and jumping for ball to bat ball on middle pass for deflected INT by teammate (9:23 1st), good hit on 3 yd tackle of draw play, solid 4 yd tackle in hole, good hit on special teams tackle of KR, elite TFL shoving off WR block and clobbering RB for 1 yd loss on 2nd and 1 on toss left (8:30 3rd), solid 3 yd tackle in hole holding off OL blocker to keep spot in hole, great catch on pass bulleted right into his chest when he was in zone coverage (14:10 4th), great coverage with tight cov on WR after 5 sec for pbu (11:40 4th). By far the best game I’ve scouted of his as he had an INT, a pbu, and a few TFL. Previously I had a 4th or 5th round grade on him as I saw him as just a solid LB type who wouldn’t produce impactful plays for a team but he had two in this game. I tentatively am moving him back into the 3rd round 12/29/11. Senior Bowl: Day 2: Small separation vs. FB Chad Diehl on short out but was dropped-hard hit right after ball got there. Gave separation and YAC to RB Vick Ballard on short out. Day 3: Good aggressiveness on bull rush vs. Gannaway and got him off balance allowing him to toss him aside in drill for sack. In the 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Backup MLB, good instincts and very noticeable speed chasing down QB Russell Wilson on naked bootleg for TFL-was a horse collar tackle but not called and the speed to narrow the gap in no man’s land was very impressive (0:08 1st), good tackle in space vs. RB Isaiah Pead for 7 yds on 3rd and 10 forcing FG, borderline PI but tight cov for pbu on short dumpoff vs. RB Dan Herron, nice flow to sidelines easily getting there before Herron to help contain for 2 yd gain, gave separation for 5 yd out to Herron out of backfield-strong hard tackle once he got there. Out of the 10 LBs (Wagner, David, Robinson, Michael-Johnson, Bradham, Brown, Davis, Acho, Spence, Cole) he was #5. I love his physical skills as he’s big, strong, and fast but his instincts still are average at best and he’s a little robotic. Late 3rd 2/15/12.

Tape: 2011: Spring Game (injured), Clemson,Boston College,Florida,Oklahoma, Notre Dame

Overall: Nigel is a player with 1st or 2nd round ability who flashes to that level at times but more often plays like a mid rounder due to his below average instincts and inconsistent play. At a chiseled 6’2 with long arms (’33 ¾), speed (4.64 40), and explosion (’37 vert, 10’1 broad) he’s an imposing guy who can lay the wood on one play and be an asset in coverage the next. Yet he never had 100 tackles in any season of his career, occasionally misses tackles, has had a few games where I barely noticed him (inconsistent), and misreads plays at times. Overall he’s a highly talented player whose best fit is as a SLB in a 4-3 or as an ILB in a 3-4 where a team gives him simple assignments and doesn’t force him to read keys too much. He does have the speed to play WLB if a team needed but MLB isn’t a good fit for him. Late 3rd round as my #10 LB, with a higher ceiling than most with this grade due to his borderline elite measurables 4/7/12.

11. Miles Burris San Diego St. #9 6’2 246 Sr.

Comparison: Chad Greenway

Stats:

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

77

8

19.5

0

0

0

2010

79

7.5

18

4

0

0

2009

58

1.5

6

0

0

0

2008

19

0

1.5

0

0

0

Combine: Average in sideline to sideline drill. 1st team MWC in 2011. Fast in four bag drill. Tight but solid with nice catch on ball behind him in backpedal and turn drill. Solid in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6020

246

31.88

9.88

 

31

37.5

1001

 

 

76.5

Notes: Led the team in both tackles and sacks. Had 19 TFL in ’10 which was 9th in the country. Tall and fast OLB who has the body to fit perfectly in a 4-3 scheme. He wrecked havoc all night vs. Navy in the ’10 Poinsettia Bowl making a TFL on the 2nd play. First team All Mountain West in ’10. Diagnosed a reverse and laid a nice hit on the WR for a TFL of 8 yards. I’m a big fan of his as he has good speed and strength to go along with great size. Right now I have him rated as a 4th rounder, but he is unlikely to leave early for the ’11 Draft 1/3/11. In the 2011 Louisiana-Lafayette game he had a good rush getting off RB block quickly to pressure QB as he threw, solid tackle on 2 yd run in the hole, good bend on speed rush getting low on LT for 4 sec sack but ball thrown, solid speed getting outside on quick toss vs. small, speedy back shedding TE blocker and throwing RB down by the neck-RB hurt on play (5:40 2nd), solid tackle on draw getting around OL quickly, poor speed on pitch forcing pitch by QB but showing inferior speed allowing edge to RB (10:22 3rd), good hustle on 10 yd tackle coming from other side of field, good rush around LT hitting QB on curl around as he threw it forcing INC, good rush off edge going untouched to QB but missing in kill zone, good rush just pushing away RB on pass pro to hit QB as he threw for INC. He doesn’t appear to have the pure speed you really want at the 4-3 WLB spot so needs to weigh in close to 240 to show he can play MLB, SLB, or ILB. At a legit 6’3 he has the frame to carry more weight and I still see an NFL future for him but he was somewhat quiet in this game and didn’t look as fast as I remember. 5th round 12/19/11.

Tape: 2011:Louisiana Lafayette 2010: Navy

Overall: Burris is a player I like a lot as he’s tall, svelte, tough, and has a solid burst making him just intriguing enough to warrant a look as a 3-4 OLB but whose best fit probably is as a SLB in a 4-3 or as an occasional rushing ILB in a 3-4. His production speaks for itself as the past two years (156 tackles, 15.5 sacks, 37.5 TFL, 4 FF) he’s been one of the most productive LBs in the entire country and showed at the Combine he has NFL athleticism. Out of 29 LBs he was 2nd in reps (31) showing strength and 4th in vertical (37.5) showing explosion. He opted out of the 40 and quickness drills making me wonder if my notes from the Louisiana Tech game where he looked slower than I remembered are a valid complaint but as an ILB in a 3-4 or as a SLB in a 4-3 I think he should be a very capable starter. His frame, strength, toughness, and burst are all NFL caliber and I think he has a little pass rush ability in him as well so if he goes to a team that uses a variety of blitzers he could shine even more. An underrated player due to his small school status but a guy who can do a variety of things and shouldn’t drop too far due to his rare size for a LB. Early 4th round as my #11 LB 4/8/12.  

12. Demario Davis Arkansas St. #23 6’2 235 Sr.

Stats: Sun Belt

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

69

3

10

0

1

0

2010

63

1

3.5

2

2

0

2009

82

3

7.5

4

1

1

2008

17

0

1

0

0

0

Combine: 1st team Sun Belt in 2011. Very tight but showed explosion in sideline to sideline drill. Solid in four bag drill. Solid in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill. Tight in lean in two dummy drill. Had arguably the most underrated combine in the LB group as out of 29 LBs he was 1st in reps (32), 2nd in vertical (38.5), 2nd in broad jump (10’4), 7th in shuttle (4.28), 11th in 3 cone (7.19), and 4th in the 40 (4.61) to go along with a good frame at 6’2 235.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6020

235

32

9

4.61

32

38.5

1004

4.28

7.19

81.9

Notes: 1st team All Sun Belt in 2011. In the 2011 Northern Illinois game he had good TFL wading through OL to hit RB hard knocking his helmet off (10:20 1st), solid speed nearly getting fumbled snap, pancaked by C Scott Wedige on 2nd level, elite 3.5 sec sack showing speed on inside stunt from outside going unblocked to QB and laying him out (4:51 3rd), good read blitz hitting QB hard as he threw it. He impressed me in the game as he is a tall, strong, fast LB who could possibly gain a little weight and be more than just a 4-3 WLB. 7th round 1/9/12. Senior Bowl: Day 2: Very good job filling hole on inside run getting good hit on RB. In the 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Was the backup MLB, hit hard by OG Will Blackwell but got off block to help on tackle of inside run, good instincts and hit squaring up and knocking RB Vick Ballard on 4 yd run on edge, good diving tackle on no gain inside run-gang tackle, got caught up in trash at LOS allowing big run up middle by RB, made special teams tackle on KR, good cov nearly getting pbu on short turn around by TE Deangelo Pederson but ball completed for 6 yds, good aggressiveness hitting RB in hole when he was going out to get into route then kept going and went straight to QB for pressure forcing errant throw. Out of the 10 LBs (Wagner, David, Robinson, Michael-Johnson, Bradham, Brown, Davis, Acho, Spence, Cole) he was #7 and just barely beat out Emmanuel Acho.

Tape: 2011:Northern Illinois, Senior Bowl Practices and Game

Overall: Demario is a player who has steadily grown on me as he impressed me in their bowl game, then was solid and showed he belonged at the Senior Bowl, and capped it off with an elite Combine. His Combine was where he made most of his money this season as he was tested out as one of the most athletic LBs in this draft with elite strength (32 reps-1st among 29 LBs) and explosion (38.5 vert-2nd, 10’4 broad-2nd) to go along with very good speed (4.61) and solid quickness. The athleticism transfers on film too as he was strong filling the hole in the run game but also fast in coverage. At 6’2 235 a team could leave him at his weight and play him at WLB or bulk him up to play MLB or SLB in a 4-3. Even 3-4 teams could draft him and use him as a nickel LB as a rookie and by his 2nd year he could easily weigh 245-250 lbs as his frame was noticeably skinny and could support that weight. His small school status could cause him to have to sit as a rookie but I’m no longer sure of that after watching him at the Senior Bowl where he outplayed Acho, Spence, and Cole who all came from bigger schools but looked smaller and/or slower than Davis. He looks like a tough, instinctive, athletic LB who could be a steal due to his small school status if it pushes him down on draft day. Early 4th round as my #12 LB 4/11/12.

13. George Iloka Boise St. #8 6’3 5/8 225 Jr.

Comparison: Taylor Mays

Stats: MWC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

PBU

INT

TD

2011

58

0

3

1

1

0

0

2010

63

0

3

1

5

2

0

2009

48

0

2.5

0

5

1

0

2008

62

1

5

0

6

4

0

Combine: Looks like a LB. Ultra long arms. Solid backpedal but tight on turn (not as bad as I expected) in backpedal, turn and run drill. Very high again but isn’t that bad in backpedal, turn and run drill #2. Very poor in backpedal but solid catch on backpedalling corner route drill. Worst backpedal of anyone in turns on backpedalling corner route drill. Messed up in wheel route drill and did it again. Looked even worse the second time eventually falling down going for ball-worst yet in wheel route drill. Looked poor in T step drill. Double caught ball on flat route drill. Nice diving catch in multi catch drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3Cone

1 yr %

 

6035

225

34.25

4.66

20

34.5

1004

4.03

7.03

96.2

 

Notes: 3rd team All American in 2011. In the 2011 Georgia game had a strong hit on RB Isaiah Crowell knocking off his helmet on outside run and showing good speed crashing down hard (5:00 2nd), no separation on 9 route vs. WR Tavarres King. In the 2011 Arizona St. game he had a big hit of RB in the flat on dump off connecting as he caught the ball (12:10 1st). Last few games of the year he played CB. Senior Bowl: Day 2: 1×1: Bad coverage on dig route vs. WR Gerell Robinson for huge separation, much better coverage on press cov vs. Robinson forcing tough catch with little separation on curl-previous play was off so maybe he’s solely a press guy. 11×11: Great job catching up to TE on 15 yd out and making diving INT. Day 3: Gave huge separation vs. TE Emil Igwenagu on in route-good speed catching up with him but bad change of direction skills. Never noticed him in the 2011 Senior Bowl Game. He was very solid in the practices getting an INT and making some solid tackles yet is just so big he still struggles at times in coverage. Out of the 6 safeties he was #2 (Smith). Moved him officially to LB after watching him at the Combine struggle in position drills and after noticing that his best year of his career statistically was in 2008 (6 PBU, 1 sack, 5 TFL, 4 INT-all career highs) when he was only 202 lbs. He added too much weight during his career and at 6’4 225 he’s really just a LB so it’s time everyone stopped fooling themselves.

Tape: 2011:Georgia,Arizona St., TCU, Senior Bowl Practice and Game

Overall: George is a player that most still have at safety yet I’ve moved to LB b/c just like Hightower moving from LB to pass rusher, the switch changes a big, slow guy into one of the fastest, most athletic players at their new position. Iloka goes from a 225 lb safety who is too tall and tight hipped in coverage to a slightly undersized LB with the frame to add a lot of weight and still keep his 4.66 speed which is very good for a LB. He goes from a liability in coverage to an asset in coverage with his frame being the biggest thing as at nearly 6’4 he could continue to add weight and move from a WLB in a 4-3 to eventually being a SLB where his long arms would be a huge asset in redirecting tight ends and stacking and shedding OL in the run game. As a safety George was more polished but had limited upside as very few of the tall safeties have worked out well long term, yet as a LB he’s a raw player with elite upside who I now am very high on. His conversion should also be a success as he’s a hard worker with elite character and has added +20 lbs in his 4 years in college so adding another 20 during his NFL career shouldn’t be difficult. 4th round as my #13 LB who is a WLB in a 4-3 scheme initially but has the frame to be a LB at almost any spot in a few years 4/8/12.

14. Tank Carder TCU #43 6’2 3/8 236 Sr.

Comparison: Rufus Alexander

Stats: MWC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

70

0

4.5

0

2

2

2010

61

3.5

9.5

1

1

0

2009

89

2

10

1

1

1

2008

9

0

1

0

0

0

Combine: Very quick with smooth hips in four bag drill. Good with solid catch in backpedal and turn drill-smoother than I expected. Incredibly smooth in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill. Solid in two dummy drill with nice lean.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6023

236

31.5

9.13

4.69

19

34.5

1001

4.18

6.89

71.2

Notes: Mountain West DPOY in 2010 and 2011. An extremely emotional player. Makes a lot of the audibles for the defense. In the ’10 Rose Bowl vs. Wisconsin had a big hit on the QB on blitz just after he threw (3:51 1st), avoided Gabe Carimi on 2nd level block to shoot through gap for a big hit and TFL (5:06 2nd), avoided Peter Konz 2nd level block for short gain tackle (1:30 2nd), good TFL on slow left sweep that he caught from behind as he was unblocked (10:40 3rd), great hit and sack on untouched blitz showing great speed and hitting ability (7:15 3rd), great hit on QB when he scrambled out of pocket for 2 yd run (12:12 4th), had play of the game with batted ball on 2 point conversion attempt (2:00 4th). Carder in my opinion is one of the 5 best LBs in the nation already (Greg Jones and Luke Kuechly are the only ones for sure ahead of him at this point). His blend of speed, strength, emotion, instincts, and playmaking ability are very rare. I am comfortable giving him a 1st round grade as he was unblockable against the best OL in the country and won numerous one on one battles against Konz, arguably the best C in the country, and Carimi, arguably the best LT in the country. 1st round 1/20/11. Enters the 2011 season ranked #23 on my Big Board. In the 2011 Baylor game got caught in wash allowing +10 yds after previous run went for 13 yds (12:10 2nd), solid speed and okay hit on WR screen but play appeared stopped when he got there (5:40 2nd), picked wrong hole allowing RB Gannaway outside for another big run (1:46 2nd), and a nice job slipping OL block on outside run to make tackle for 1 yd gain (14:12 4th). He had a surprisingly quiet and often times ineffective game missing holes and never being seen in the passing game. In the 2011 Louisiana Tech game he had a nice hit on WR screen just after he caught the ball for INC and near fumble, looked slow in coverage and slipped a few times in 1st Q, solid coverage in back of end zone forcing INC, decleated on blind side hit, good read of WR screen getting to it quickly and hitting WR as he caught ball ruining play but didn’t wrap up so teammate got TFL-not sure if he is injured and playing through it or what but he looks slower and kind of gimpy, good strength on blitzes getting bull rush on OL, solid delayed blitz getting to QB quickly to force throw away, not juked by WR in space on WR screen for TFL of 1 yd. In the 2011 East-West Shrine Game he had a very nice TFL shooting through hole and bringing down small RB Davin Meggett (11:04 1st), quick in coverage, good speed shooting hole again but barely missed TFL allowing 6 yd run, allowed separation on seam route vs. TE Chase Ford for first part of 70 yd catch and run-rest was safety’s fault, good jumping attempt at pbu on too high seam route (if lower like it should have been would have been tipped), good read of RB Tauren Poole out of backfield but average speed allowing separation for 10 yd catch and run, good attack of sweep barely missing TFL but still forcing RB OOB for 1 yd gain, no separation on seam route vs. TE Emil Igwanagu, good burst through line but missed TFL in kill zone with RB cutting away from him-lacks great speed, again good burst through line but missed TFL-looked like he tripped this time. Out of the 12 LBs at East-West Shrine Game he was one of the best at #2 (Kaddu). 4th round 1/22/12.

Tape: 2011: Baylor,Boise St.,Louisiana Tech 2010:Wisconsin

Overall: Tank has been a player I’ve enjoyed scouting the past two years but is also a player that I admittedly was way too high on last year as I focused too much on his toughness, instincts, and tackling ability and didn’t notice his average athleticism or average stats. That second part is surprising to me because when you watch Tank it’s hard to see how he doesn’t have multiple +100 tackle seasons under his belt yet he somehow doesn’t even have one. Some will blame his average supporting cast but I actually have been a fan of quite a few Horn Frog defenders over the years so that complaint won’t find a home here and I think it’s due to the fact he just isn’t that fast. Whether it was in the Baylor, Louisiana Tech, or East-West Shrine Game he often looked to be a split second too slow to make a tackle and just wasn’t as effective as I initially thought he was. Yet while I no longer think he’s a top LB I do see him as a future starter in the NFL as he has the frame to play any of the 3 spots in a 4-3 and his instincts, smooth hips, and sure hands are a big asset in the passing game (4 career INTS with 3 returned for TDs). He won’t be a star but he’ll be a hard working, blue collar type who should be a solid starter for a long time. 4th round as my #14 LB 4/8/12.

15. Ronnie Thornton Southern Miss #56 6’1 5/8 247 Sr.

Comparison: Tressor Baptiste

Stats: C-USA

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

111

1

8.5

1

2

1

2010

61

1

6

1

0

0

2009

110

2

10

2

0

0

2008

4

0

0

1

0

0

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6158

247 

33.13 

9.63 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes: In the 2011 Houston game (CUSA Championship) he had a nice tackle in hole for 1 yd gain showing strength and instincts attacking run, big hit on RB in the flat-nearly a decleater type, great leaping INT on pass across the middle showing good instincts and great hands-returned it 20 yds for TD (2:50 4th). In the 2011 East-West Shrine Game he had got the start at WLB, shows good speed in pursuit, good depth on his drop in zone but poor job spacing allowing middle cross-mainly CBs fault, great instincts sniffing out RB screen and unloading on RB Tauren Poole as he caught the ball for INC (4:30 2nd), very good speed catching up to TE after giving initial separation, missed tackle in hole on RB, good 2 yd tackle in hole fighting big RB Alfred Morris and pushing him back for no YAC. Out of the 12 LBs at East-West Shrine Game he was one of the best at #3 (Kaddu, Carder). I really was impressed by him as he had great speed for a guy his size. Highly underrated player. 5th round 1/22/12.

Tape: 2011:Houston, East-West Shrine Game

Overall: Ronnie is a player that I wasn’t able to scout as much as I would have wanted but in both of the games I saw of his he stood out as a tremendous athlete for his size. He reminds me of a poor man’s James-Michael Johnson as LBs who weigh nearly 250 lbs aren’t supposed to be as fast as he is and he actually showed solid instincts and ball skills making him more than just an athletic freak. He and Demario Davis are small school players who looked and tested out as legit LB prospects but who both are likely to be drafted in the mid to late rounds which will set themselves up as possible steals. Thornton is getting even less publicity than Davis and looks like an athletic starter as he has the size and speed to play any of the 3 spots in a 4-3 as well as ILB in a 3-4. 4th round as my #15 LB who looks like a future steal due to his small school status 4/9/12.

16. Travis Lewis Oklahoma 6’1 3/8 253 Sr.

Stats: Big 12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

84

1

4

2

1

0

2010

109

1.5

5.5

0

3

0

2009

108

1

9.5

1

1

0

2008

144

3.5

12

1

4

0

Combine: Didn’t do any position drills.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6013

253

32.5

9.25

4.88

22

36

1002

 

 

64.6

Notes: In the ’10 Fiesta Bowl vs. UConn he had a pbu that was nearly a pick 6 when he jumped a hitch (1:56 2nd). Didn’t notice him on film as much as normal but still think he will be a quality WLB in a 4-3 scheme whenever he leaves. 3rd round 1/14/11. Returning to school for 2011. In the 2011 Texas game he let Whittaker break tackle on inside run allowing 13 yd gain, okay tackle getting wrong hole then sliding back to get RB after 6 yds. In the 2011 Baylor game he showed elite coverage for a LB going step for step vs. WR Kendall Wright on dig nearly getting INT (6:31 1st). Broke his toe in preseason and it slowed him down but he played through the pain. In the 2011 Iowa game he had a very good blitz up the middle plowing over FB for TFL (7:26 1st), easily blocked on inside run by OL on 2nd level, good strength jarring LT Riley Reiff on 2nd level block holding ground, very good 3 sec sack bursting through middle of OL and dodging two blockers to get hand on QB and wrap him up in kill zone (1:30 1st), quick tackle on RB on dump off. He clearly is their 3rd best LB as Tom Wort has been far more productive as well as is stronger and more instinctive while Corey Nelson is far and away the best athlete of the LBs. Lewis was overrated in my opinion going into 2011 and despite improved toughness and strength I would argue he’s even more overrated now. 4th-5th round area 12/31/11. Late 4th 1/21/12.

Tape: 2011:Florida St.,Texas,Oklahoma St.,Iowa

Overall: Travis Lewis’ draft scout has fallen off a cliff this season and for good reason as he was a late 1st or early 2nd rounder in quite a few mock drafts early in the year despite marginal size, productivity, and athleticism. I had a 3rd round grade on him last season and it continues to drop as he’s added much needed weight and strength to his frame but at the cost of his quickness and speed which were his biggest assets. This transformation can be seen as his production each year has actually gotten worse as his career high in tackles, sacks, TFL, and INTs all occurred in his freshman campaign. Yet while Lewis has been drastically overrated for awhile he still looks like a future starting LB in the NFL and due to his injury status this offseason and the fact he’s coming off his worst season he actually could be somewhat of a steal. At 6’1 250 lbs he no longer has great quickness but does have the size allowing him to play the Mike or Sam LB spots which to me are more valuable positions than the Will position which he was at before. He also has a knack for making the big play as few LBs have as many INTs (9), sacks (7), or played in as many big games as Lewis. I thought before that he was overrated as an early round pick as I only see him developing into an average starting LB in the pros but he now has a mid to late round grade by most scouts and that actually makes him a bit of a steal as I still see him developing into an average starting LB. Don’t expect great things but he’s instinctive, a good tackler, experienced, and has a knack for making the big play when the opportunity presents itself. As a MLB or SLB I think he should be a solid starter for many years and is a 4th rounder as my #16 LB 4/6/12.

17. Sean Spence Miami #31 5’11 3/8 231 Sr.

Comparison: Jon Alston

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

106

3

14

1

0

0

2010

111

2.5

17

2

0

0

2009

36

3

6.5

0

0

0

2008

65

2

9.5

1

1

1

Combine: Looked very small and had a poor time for his size (4.71). Good but below average for his size in four bag drill. Solid in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill-again though for his size not great. Average overall but below average for his size in multi backpedalal drill. Solid 2nd time in two dummy drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

5113

231

31.5

9.25

4.71

12

33.5

911

4.28

7.46

46.5

Notes: #21 on ESPN 150 for 2008. Had a great year in ’10 (101 tackles, 17 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 2 FF, 6 pass breakups) and finally lived up to the expectations I have had for him for years. Has elite speed for a LB which, coupled with great production this year, makes him a top notch WLB prospect. Has very poor strength and looks more like a DB than an OLB so his speed might not be as elite as I advertised when viewed as a size/speed ratio but does have very good instincts. Suspended 1 game, along with 7 other Miami players, for accepting gifts and cash from a booster. Kiper says he is the most athletic defensive player on the team. Has been a big hit with coaches and teammates as he has been mentoring the younger guys to stay out of trouble. In the 2011 Boston College game he had a nice tackle in the hole slipping OL block to get 2 yarder, 1 yd tackle avoiding 2 OL to make play-great instincts too going straight to the spot with no wasted steps, very good speed on TFL seeing the RB was breaking it outside and meeting him on edge for loss (8:27 1st), pancaked by OL showing his small stature, solid 2 yd tackle in hole showing toughness taking RB head on, good 1 yd tackle getting to hole immediately. 3rd round 1/21/12. Senior Bowl: Day 2: Missed jam on RB Leenan Creer allowing wide open route for big gainer in drill. Looked undersized tackling RB Terrance Ganaway getting him down quickly but looking much smaller. Day 3: Surprised me by taking Ganaway head on and pushing him back then disengaging for sack in drill. 11×11: Never found ball on sweep run play looking around well after RB broke LOS, looked small in phone booth getting a shot by OT James Brown.  In the 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Backup WLB, elite speed shown catching up easily to FB Bradie Ewing on short out for no throw (0:08 1st), good wade through traffic getting 2 yd tackle on outside run, gave separation to TE Emil and showed only above average speed which is pretty bad considering he’s so small.

Tape: 2011:BostonCollege

Overall: Sean was a very highly rated player out of HS who was looking like a bust until 2010 when he put up a very nice season. I expected him to build on that and cement his status as a top WLB for this draft yet in 2011 he had a good but hardly great season and after his Senior Bowl and Combine performance I’m very underwhelmed about his chances as a pro. At under 6’0 and around 230 lbs he basically is the size of a safety and if you compare him to the strong safeties taken in the first two rounds in previous drafts you’ll see that Spence really isn’t very athletic for a guy his size. A 4.71 40 is an average time for a LB but at his weight is a below average time, his 12 reps were the 4th worst of the 29 LBs at the Combine, and his 33 ½ vertical ranked only 18th out of the 29. It all paints a picture of an average athlete who I think gets away with being considered an elite one due to his highly publicized High School career. Also at 231 lbs and with a frame that isn’t likely to add much weight he’s very scheme specific and will have to play WLB in a 4-3. One of the most important jobs a Will LB has is to be a top notch cover guy as they cover RBs and TEs one on one in some schemes and are often the playmakers in zone schemes yet Sean’s resume has a big hole in it for a WLB with only 1 career INT. That’s a surprising stat for such an “athletic” guy who has good instincts which furthers my argument that Spence is really just a mid round pick that’s still being overrated due to his HS accolades. I like Spence’s instincts, his sure tackling ability, his polished understanding of how to fill holes and not have wastes steps, and his speed which is good though highly overrated. Yet he’s small, isn’t nearly as athletic as many consider him to be, had no impact in the passing game in college, and was a late bloomer making me think he’s simply a mid round LB who plays one of the least valued positions on the field (WLB). 5th round as my #17 LB 4/8/12.

18. Josh KadduOregon #56 6’3 239 Sr.

Comparison: Darryl Blackstock

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

50

6.5

9.5

0

0

0

2010

32

2.5

6.5

0

0

0

2009

21

1

4

1

0

0

2008

5

0

0

0

0

0

Combine: 1st team Pac-12 in 2011. Long armed and legged thin player who was tight and poor in four bag drill. Very tight but you could see the quickness so an interesting blend in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill. Below average in two dummy drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6030

239

33.38

9.63

 

20

34

911

 

 

55.8

Notes: In the 2011 LSU game had a coverage sack as LT tried to chop block him and he recovered to get QB at 6 sec (3:28 2nd). A tall, strong NFL looking player who plays OLB for them. Has very thin legs and is the rare top heavy 230 lb guy. In the 2011 Wisconsin game (Rose Bowl) he was rarely on the field making me think he was a situational player, he lined up mostly on edge off RT and showed good strength holding edge. Athletic guy but not a playmaker. Free Agent 1/11/12. Impressed at the practices for the East-West Shrine Game. In the 2011 East-West Shrine Game he had got the start at SLB, juked by RB Tauren Poole having him right in his sights allowing 15 yds instead of no gain, strong push of WR OOB cleaning up play, good initial job setting edge then got pancaked by TE Bruce Figgins (13:10 1st), blocked by TE Chase Ford, poor technique but good speed keeping with TE on dig route, good jam of TE Evan Rodriguez at LOS ruining route, good physical battle with Figgins on edge-couldn’t disengage on inside run away from him, big hit on PR being 2nd guy down and when PR juked first guy he stuck him hard (6:50 3rd), good speed in coverage again going after sideline curl route, beat on seam route by speedy TE Emilk Igwenagu, blocked well by Figgins unable to disengage on inside run, shed after 2 sec Ford’s block helping on tackle on run at him, good job holding ground vs. Ford but couldn’t disengage getting in on tackle right at end, no separation vs. Figgins on 9 route for INC, blocked initially by Rodriguez on edge on inside run but then threw him aside showing superior strength, good tackle for no gain on 3rd and 1 crashing quickly from edge on inside run, perfect coverage on 9 route vs. Chase Ford for INC. Out of the 12 LBs at East-West Shrine Game he was the best at #1.

Tape: 2011: LSU,Arizona St., Stanford, UCLA,Wisconsin

Overall: Josh is a player that I completely discounted when I saw him on film yet who really grew on me this postseason as he was allowed to play his natural position of SLB and not play out of position as a DE. At 6’3 239 with long arms (33.38) he’s nothing but arms and legs which fits the SLB position where he can press a TE at the line of scrimmage and still have the speed to cover them downfield. He has some pass rush ability (9 sacks the past 2 years) and could be sent at times as an extra blitzer but his best attribute is his coverage ability as he regularly blanketed TEs at the East-West Shrine Game and looked like at worst that he has a career as a nickel LB. I’ve done a 180 on him and now think he should be a solid SLB in a 4-3 or could be bulked up, still very skinny, and play ILB in a 3-4. Either way his combination of coverage skills, tackling skills, trailing ability, and pass rush production make him an intriguing middle round pick. 5th round as my #18 LB 4/11/12.

19. Danny TrevathanKentucky #22 6’0 237 Sr.

Comparison: Jamar Chaney

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

143

3

12

5

4

0

2010

144

2

16

4

0

0

2009

80

0

4

2

0

0

2008

5

0

0

0

0

0

Combine: Didn’t do any position drills or 40 or quickness drills I think due to injury.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6000

237

32.5

9.5

 

18

31.5

903

 

 

33.2

Notes: Led the SEC in tackles in 2010 with 130 tackles, also had 16 TFL and 3 sacks! Dramatically improved in ’10 from a quality starter to an All SEC player. Only has average speed for such a small guy as seen in the ’10 Compass Bowl when he couldn’t chase down the Pitt QB (14:35 2nd), nice QB pressure and hit causing a wide open TD to be just short (13:22 4th), and had a great hit on RB that was already wrapped up as he body slammed him into the turf (1:42 4th). I already grade him as a 5th rounder but he’s sure to return 1/9/11. In the 2011 Western Kentucky game he had a nice tackle for no gain (8:40 1st) but missed a few tackles against RB Bobby Rainey. 6th round 1/21/12.

Tape: 2011:Western Kentucky

Overall: Danny is a highly productive player who isn’t as fast as people give him credit for but is a much bigger hitter as he’s a squat guy that on tape looks small but at 6’0 237 is actually a pretty thick player who can lay the wood. He’s not big enough to play ILB in a 3-4 but in a 4-3 I think he could play any of the 3 positions with Will and Sam being his best fit due to size and role. Watching him on tape I saw more of a late round guy but after checking his stats I was very impressed with his big play ability as any player can accumulate a lot of tackles on a bad defense but his big plays the past two years of 5 sacks, 28 TFL, 9 FF, and 4 INTs puts him in elite company. His Combine measurables weren’t impressive (‘31.5 vertical is DL level) but even in spite of this I think he’s highly underrated as he seems like a LB who can do a little of everything and is more than just a high tackles guy. As a mid round pick for a team in a 4-3 I think he could play MLB or WLB and be at worst an average starter but possibly more than that due to his variety of skills. 5th round as my #19 LB 4/6/12.

20. Jerry Franklin Arkansas 6’1 242 Sr.

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

101

3

10

0

0

0

2010

100

6.5

13

1

0

0

2009

94

1.5

5

0

3

0

2008

81

1.5

3

1

2

0

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

 6010

242 

 

 

4.69 

 

37.5 

1003 

 

6.98 

 

Notes: Led team with 93 tackles along with 12.5 TFL and 6.5 sacks in 2010. Big guy who looks more like a DE than a LB. 2nd team SEC in 2010. In the ’10 Sugar Bowl vs. Ohio St. had an inexcusable play getting scared vs. Terrell Pryor and not hitting him allowing a TD showing lack of toughness, motor, or heart (11:49 1st), had a good pressure on speed rush showing very nice speed (8:56 1st), shed block from Justin Boren for TFL on Herron (14:35 3rd), great stack and shed vs. Jake Stoneburner to get Pryor for no gain on QB run (0:49 3rd), and couldn’t catch Pryor on two key 4th quarter scrambles (7:22, 6:12). I am very bothered by the play which he quit on and it will affect his grade but he also did show great strength and run stuffing ability for a LB and looks very transferrable to the NFL as a SLB in a 4-3 or as a MLB in a 3-4 with some pass rush ability. He looks like a 3rd rounder who I am downgrading to 5th due to the horrible play 1/18/11. In the 2011 Texas A&M game had a trail tackle for 2 yds which was nothing special and it was the first time I noticed him at all (12:50 2nd), solid tackle in hole vs. RB Christine Michael for 3 yds (7:53 4th). In the 2011 LSU game he had a huge hit on the blitz up the middle just after he threw the ball, had great coverage on seam route vs. TE forcing back shoulder throw for INC. In the 2011 Kansas St. game (Cotton Bowl) he had solid speed getting out to option forcing cutback and TFL by teammate, not aggressive at all on QB run up middle being content to weak tackle him in the end zone, solid 6 yd tackle on option. Once again he looked athletic, unaggressive, and lacked instincts. Free Agent 1/18/12. In the 2011 East-West Shrine Game he got the start at MLB, textbook tackle getting to edge and hitting RB Tauren Poole for no gain-threw him down at end of play, good wade through OL to get RB Davin Meggett for no gain, solid gang tackle of RB in backfield-DL made play, good cov on crossing route picking up WR bumping him and running with him to cover him well. Out of the 12 LBs at East-West Shrine Game he was one of the best at #5 (Kaddu, Carder, Thornton, Marshall). His athleticism really jumped out at me but I still have trouble liking him as I watched too many games where he didn’t look tough or have an edge which I want from my LBs. Moving him up to 7th round 1/22/12.

Tape: 2011:Texas A&M, LSU,Kansas St. (Cotton Bowl), East-West Shrine Game

Overall: Jerry is a player I’ve been down on for awhile ever since I saw an embarrassing lack of heart and toughness in the 2010Auburn game. In that game he did a Mike Jenkins business decision when Terrell Pryor was racing down the field at him as he held up and let him walk in for a TD. It’s only one play and over a year ago but to me it showed his character as no team wants a finesse LB but that appears to be what he is and what he always will be. Yet Jerry is quite an athlete for a finesse LB as he ran a 4.69 40, had an elite 37.5 vertical, and an elite 10’3 broad at his pro day so at 6’1 242 he has the size and speed to play any of the 3 LB positions in the 4-3 and probably would be big enough to play ILB in a 3-4. His stats and measurements are of a 3rd or 4th round talent but I’m leaving him as a later round guy as I just don’t like his toughness or the way he plays the game. Late 5th round as my #20 LB who is an underachiever and deserves the label of finesse linebacker 4/9/12.

21. Cornelius ArnickTulsa 6’1 1/8 234 Sr.

Comparison: Less athletic Nate Irving

Stats:

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

159

2.5

6.5

0

1

0

2010

116

5

9

0

4

1

2009

53

1

3

0

0

0

2008

28

2

3

2

0

0

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

 6011

234 

 

 

4.80 

 15

30.5 

 907

4.46 

7.15 

 

Notes: Had 2 sacks and 2 ints vs. Hawaii with 1 going back 54 yards for a TD and the other going back 52 yards to setup an easy TD. 1st team C-USA in 2011. 3rd in nation in solo tackles. In the 2011 BYU game he had a great sack getting cut by RB and bouncing up incredibly quickly for sack (6:10 1st), good reading QB designed run diving at him missing tackle but getting up quick to hit him hard for TFL when he cut back, nice hit on TE on slant cutting him in half. He probably won’t get drafted b/c he is a bit undersized and plays for a weaker conference but he has NFL written all over him as he is strong, fast, makes plays, and is productive. 5th round 1/4/12.

Tape: 2011:Oklahoma, BYU

Overall: Arnick has been a small school sleeper of mine the past two years ever since I saw his two INT game in their bowl game in 2010. Yet despite elite productivity the past two years (275 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 15.5 TFL, 5 INT, 1 TD) he’s likely to go undrafted as he had a pretty poor pro day with small school prospects needing top level measurements to convince scouts they can play in the NFL. His poor vertical (30.5), broad (9’7), and 40 (4.80 which is more like a 4.85-4.90 when adjusted) all point to a below average athlete which really hurts his stock. Yet Arnick looked fast on film and his production speaks for itself so I’m keeping a mid round grade on him despite the fact it’s unlikely he gets drafted. Early 6th round as my #21 LB 4/10/12.

22. Brandon Marshall Nevada #33 6’1 3/8 242 Sr.

Stats:

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

102

2

7.5

1

0

0

2010

63

1

8

1

2

0

2009

61

1

9.5

1

0

0

2008

33

2

8.5

0

1

0

Combine: Solid in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill. Solid in multi backpedalal drill but dropped tough ball over his head.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6013

242

33.75

10.38

4.81

28

30.5

900

4.09

7.05

71.2

Notes: In the 2011 East-West Shrine Game he was blocked well by TE Chase Ford, good job getting around TE Bruce Figgins block immediately on edge but run inside, solid coverage reading shallow cross and picking up WR, set edge vs. Figgins stringing sweep out for 1 yd gain, good 3 yd trailing tackle on sideline edge run showing speed, good drop in cov reacting well to slant to get hand on it for pbu to WR. Out of the 12 LBs at East-West Shrine Game he was one of the best at #4 (Kaddu, Carder, Thornton). 6th round 1/22/12.

Tape: 2011: Southern Miss, East-West Shrine Game

Overall: Brandon Marshall was a player that I didn’t notice in my 1 game of Nevada I scouted but possibly due to my focus being on his teammate James-Michael Johnson. Johnson is the bigger, stronger, faster player but Brandon looks to be an NFL caliber LB in his own right and really impressed me both at the East-West Shrine Game and the Combine where he showed himself to be a bigger, strong LB with solid athleticism. He is below average in speed and explosion so he could be only a 2 down LB but is worth a later round pick as his combination of skills should allow him to fit in somewhere on a defense. 6th round as my #22 LB 4/9/12.

23. Austin JohnsonTennessee #40 6’1 ½ 241 Sr.

Comparison: Scott McKillop

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

81

1

5

0

4

0

2010

44

0

3.5

1

1

0

2009

FB

 

 

 

 

 

2008

0

0

0

0

0

0

Pro Day: 3/16/12

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

 6014

241 

30.5 

9.5 

4.72 

25 

30.5 

810 

4.38 

7.32 

 

Notes: FB then OLB for team moving to MLB in 2011. Isn’t the biggest guy and probably fits better on one of the OLB spots in a 4-3 but might be strong enough to be anywhere. In the 2011 Florida game he showed very good speed running down RB Chris Rainey from MLB spot on left sweep catching him at LOS for 1 yd gain (4:10 1st), looked incredibly slow trying to cover Jeff Demps out of the backfield on short dump off he took 27 yds (3:21 1st), missed tackle on Trey Burton in space in the flat allowing 1st down on 2nd and 7 (2:30 1st), pass int in zone coverage going for pbu but getting there just a step too early-very close to not (1:30 1st), and a nice pbu on zone coverage stepping in front of quick slant showing good awareness (1:15 2nd). In the 2011 Georgia game he missed TFL on RB who spun off for 3 yds, showed speed on blitz up the middle hitting QB at 3 sec as he threw it (1:30 1st), big hit on Crowell at goal line for no gain (9:00 3rd). In the 2011 Arkansas game he showed amazing cover ability intercepting a pass 33 yds downfield acting like a safety and showing outstanding hands grabbing it in a smooth motion albeit double catching it (2:10 1st). 7th round 1/21/12.

Tape: 2011:Florida,Georgia,Arkansas, LSU

Overall: Austin is a blue collar, hard nosed football player who overcomes his average athleticism with strength, toughness, and instincts so it’s no surprise when I found out that some teams had him do FB drills at the Tennessee pro day. He played the position in ’09 at Tennessee then moved to OLB in ’10 and MLB in ’11 playing well at each spot as he’s a versatile player who is very much into the team concept. He confuses me with his cover skills because at times he has looked slow and downright bad in coverage yet other times he has been +20 yds down the field getting PBUs and INTs. Overall I think his athleticism is slightly below average but I think he should be able to make up for it with his instincts and hustle. He should be an average starter at LB or FB and a guy that every coach wants on their roster. 6th round as my #23 LB 4/9/12.

24. Jerell Harris Alabama #5 6’2 ¼ 239 Sr.

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

29

0

3.5

0

0

0

2010

24

0

1

0

0

0

2009

3

0

0

0

0

0

2008

3

0

0

0

0

0

Pro Day: 3/7/12

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

 6022

239 

32.75 

9.75 

4.70 

 

34 

908 

4.51 

7.40 

 

Notes: He has a tall, thinner body for a LB sort of looking like a stacked safety. Makes sense as he bulked up from 215 lbs as a freshman to 242 lbs. In the 2011 LSU game #2 he had a nice attempted pbu on slant forcing high throw that was caught, solid hit of QB scrambling for 7 yds, good speed easily handling option play to his size forcing pitch and hitting RB Michael Ford for TFL, solid 4 yd tackle of WR Odell Beckham on bubble screen-beat by juke but strong grip carried him down. It’s amazing that he’s the 4th best LB on the team but still possibly drafteable but I think that’s the case with him. 6th round  who could move up with a nice postseason 1/9/12.

Tape:

Overall: Jerell is an interesting player to watch to see if he gets drafted as rarely do backups get taken in the NFL Draft, Bill Nagy in the 7th round for Dallas last year and Matt Cassel by the Patriots are two examples that come to mind, but his game film and pro day measurements make him look like an NFL caliber LB prospect. He’s unlikely to go too high in the draft as his overall stats are very poor (rarely on the field as he was the team’s #4 or #5 LB) and his measurements were solid but hardly amazing. Yet when I watched him he looked fast, strong, and had an NFL frame so I’m keeping the later round grade I had him at the end of this season. 6th round as my #24 LB 4/9/12.

Adrian Robinson Temple #43 6’2 250 Sr. Is a DE for the team. Isn’t very tall but is strong and feisty which I like. I don’t think he has the burst to be a 3-4 OLB and would actually consider moving him to SLB in a 4-3 or MLB in a 3-4. In the 2011 Wyoming game he had a good rush doing a fake spin then going back outside for 4 sec sack but missed in kill zone, decleated QB on INT return, good tackle in space vs. mobile QB grabbing him when he tried to cut back for 1 yd gain, good TFL again not being juked by QB in space-very emotional player who came up screaming after the stop on 3rd and 2, solid rush on inside move that wasn’t blocked and got 5 sec co-sack (9:15 3rd), easy TFL on screen that was stopped so RB stupidly went backwards and right to him for 10 yd loss. 6th round as my #25 LB 4/7/12.

26. Chris Marve Vanderbil #13 5’11 5/8 242 Sr.

Comparison: Kirk Morrison

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

91

2.5

8.5

1

1

0

2010

80

2.5

8

0

0

0

2009

121

1

7

3

0

0

2008

105

3

6.5

4

0

0

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

 5115

242 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes: In the 2011 Cincinnati game he had okay speed on sweep right with average tackle, solid tackle for 1 yd in hole, good 3 yd tackle in hole-strong, solid 4 sec sack lining up as DE and beating RT with inside move-no burst so not a rush threat in NFL (11:10 3rd), good tackle on RB Isaiah Pead in open space not falling for jukes-is a very sure tackler, solid speed pushing QB out for TFL on QB designed run near sidelines. A strong LB with solid speed and who is a sure tackler. He wasn’t anything special but he looked NFL caliber to me and considering he is a battle tested starter from the SEC I wouldn’t hesitate to take him with a late round pick. 6th round 1/3/12.

Tape: 2011:Cincinnati

Overall: Chris is a thick, strong, instinctive, experienced LB who was a 4 year starter in the best conference in the nation and right now looks to be pretty underrated for the skills he brings to the table. The issue with him is speed as he didn’t look that fast on film, wasn’t invited to the Combine, and I can’t find his 40 time at his pro day anywhere so he might not have run. Against the run I don’t worry too much about it as he has great instincts but do admit that he could be taken advantage of in pass coverage so he appears likely to be a 2 down LB, and a player possibly best suited to play ILB in a 3-4. Chris has some holes in his game and is never going to be a great LB but right now is slotted as a late round pick and any team getting him that late will be pleasantly surprised how tough, instinctive, and experienced he is as I expect him to be an average starter or very good situational LB. 6th round as my #26 LB 4/9/12. 

27. Tahir Whitehead Temple #2 6’1 ¼ 233 Sr.

Stats:

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

70

5

13.5

4

0

0

2010

56

2

7.5

2

1

0

2009

30

0

4.5

1

0

0

2008

 0

0

0

0

  0

  0

Combine: Average in four bag drill. 2nd team MAC in 2011. Solid in multi backpedalal drill but dropped easy ball.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6012

233

32.38

10.25

4.7

21

37

1004

4.37

7.14

73.9

Notes: In the 2011 Wyoming game he was blocked by OL but got off and had nice hit on RB downfield showing hustle, missed TFL when he shot through blocks on WR pass ruining play, poor close on WR dump off in flat allowing him to by him on sideline for 10 yds, good hit on QB as he was going down-then had words with him, good speed to get quickly to RB on screen as he was catching it and strength on the big hit (11:40 3rd).

Tape: 2011:Wyoming

Overall: Tahir is a player I noticed a little bit in their bowl game but who really impressed me after I broke down his stats and his Combine measurables. At 233 lbs it’s likely he’ll be forced to be a WLB in a 4-3 initially but at 6’1 he has the frame to add weight. His speed (4.7), strength (21 reps), and explosion (’37 vert, 10’4 broad) all are NFL caliber and his stats (7 career FF) show a big hitter who plays stronger than his weight. I like him as a late round guy, especially for a team that plays a 4-3, and think he has the versatility to eventually play any of the 4-3 LB spots. Late 6th round as my #27 LB 4/12/12.

28. Audie Cole North Carolina St. #42 6’4 1/8 246 Sr.

Comparison: Frame unfortunately not the game of Brian Urlacher

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

108

5.5

12.5

4

0

0

2010

86

5

10

2

1

0

2009

73

3.5

8.5

1

0

0

2008

9

0

0

0

0

0

Combine: Honorable mention ACC. Slow in sideline to sideline drill. Has a long pony tail ala Barbie Carpenter. Below average in four bag drill. Slow but nice hands catch in backpedal and turn drill. Below average in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill-just is slow and a little tight, also dropped ball. Below average in two dummy drill as he ran into 2nd dummy.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6041

246

32.75

10

4.81

15

35

906

4.29

6.96

74.3

Notes: Has a tall frame that already has about 240 lbs on it and could add more if needed. Long hair coming out of helmet. In the 2011 Louisville game he had good hustle getting tackle 53 yds downfield, looked slow much of the first half when grading him, okay tackle on WR after he broke CB tackle but more pushed him out of bounds than wrapped up, poor speed trying to get to bubble screen allowing WR down sideline for 15 yds when many get him after 5 yds (13:10 2nd), hesitated but then raced to inside run getting TFL but RB was already bogged down, no rush or explosion when lined at DE, good strength pushing aside RB blocking him but poor speed chasing down QB allowing him to get edge on scramble for first down-dive tackled him and FF but they recovered, poor speed in zone coverage, solid hit on 3 yd tackle right in his hole-even on this I saw poor lateral quickness as he just looks slow even when the play is right at him, easily blocked by OL when they get their hands on him-shows no burst, slipperyness, or pure power, missed tackle in space on WR allowing YAC, good instincts and hard hit on 4th and 1 on edge for TFL and TO-best play by far (2:15 2nd), juked in space again by a WR for YAC and decleated when chasing after him-just looks slow on nearly every play! (5:10 3rd), solid 5 yd tackle on inside run, solid speed getting pressure on QB hitting him as he threw for INC when he rolled out to flat, had 5 sec coverage sack going wide around RT for it (1:10 4th). I am very disappointed in this kid as I just don’t see what all the buzz is about. He is a very tall, well built LB who has a frame that can add weight but that’s really his only positive as he is easily blocked by OL, isn’t fast, doesn’t appear to be that instinctive, and has no short area burst or elite tackling skills. I am very much the opposite of the scouting community that has this kid as a 3rd-5th rounder. He looks like a Free Agent to me 12/27/11. Senior Bowl: Day 1: 11×11: Good speed getting out to TE for short gain tackle. Day 2: Good rush vs. RB Dan Herron getting around him with semi swim move. Day 3: Good speed keeping up with RB Doug Martin on wheel route but completed b/c of good throw. In the 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Got the start at WLB, bad missed tackle on RB Vick Ballard in the hole when he had him dead to right, good tackle in space vs. WR Jeff Fuller to force FG, blocked by FB Alfred Morris in space on end around, nice drop in coverage but poor hands as a ball went right through his fingers for a would be pick-was high but barely above his head so very catchable (0:27 2nd), solid job plugging hole on short run, looked slow getting to edge allowing RB to beat him there then hit hard and took worst of it vs. RB Lennon Creer (0:02 3rd). I continue to see a slow, tall player who just doesn’t look good for me. His frame allows him to add weight and he could be a 2 down LB in a 3-4 D but that’s about it to me. 7th round as my # LB 4/8/12.

Tape: 2011:Louisville, Senior Bowl Practices and Game

Overall: Audie is a player that would be in undrafteable status if not for his elite frame (6’4 1/8 246). He’s a slow player with average strength who lacks instincts and just rarely looked NFL caliber. I’m not a fan of his at all but admit that as an ILB in a 3-4 he has the frame to add weight and be a 2 down run stopper who can take on OL like that scheme requires. In a 4-3 I have no interest in him but in a 3-4 I like him as a late round project type that can be bulked up. Early 7th round as my #28 LB 4/7/12.

29. Emmanuel AchoTexas #18 6’1 5/8 238 Sr.

Stats: Big 12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

117

3

14.5

1

0

0

2010

81

3.5

10.5

1

1

1

2009

45

2

9.5

2

1

0

2008

6

0

0

1

0

0

Combine: Pulled his hamstring at end of 2nd 40.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6015

238

33

10

4.73

24

35.5

910

 

 

65.9

Notes: In the 2011 Baylor game he showed good speed to get to edge vs. RB Terrance Gannaway yet trying to get off block he had a bad facemask, blocked easily by OT allowing +25 yd run right at him, showed very inferior speed to Robinson on TFL as he was trailing QB RG3 and Keenan just shot past him to make the tackle, cut blocked by OL allowing big hole again for Gannaway to run right by him in, poor gap control allowing huge hole again to his side then showed bad speed unable to gain on Gannaway for would be 10 yd tackle instead turning it into a 25 yd gang tackle-doesn’t have good instincts or speed. I’m not really sure why this kid has been ranked so high as to me he looks like a free agent with good size and height but poor instincts, speed, and tackling ability. FA 12/7/11. In the 2011 Oklahoma game he was beat on shallow cross by WR Jaz Reynolds showing very poor speed, very bad play looking like he was in slow motion trying to get around blockers on TE screen allowing big play (8:47 2nd), good blitz up middle showing speed and forcing INC. In the 2011 Cal game he had a good gang tackle getting quickly off OL cut block to get back into play, good job slipping OL block to get 4 yd dragging leg tackle, solid 5 yd tackle in hole but again kind of dragged down RB, very nice diving tackle shooting through OL for TFL-one of the best plays I’ve seen him make but nothing that special, great diving pbu on short dump off nearly getting int, solid sure tackle for 4 yds wrapping up low at ankles-it is a pretty weak way to tackle but he’s consistent with the form so expect this at the next level as well as he won’t be a big hitter at all. Senior Bowl: Day 2: 11×11: Good job getting around OL blocker to shoot gap but RB bounced it outside, missed RB on run right at him up middle for big gainer. Day 3: Great swim move RB Alfred Morris in drill for super quick sack-good technique. 11×11: Good job running right by C Ben Jones 2nd level block to go after RB. In the 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Got the start at MLB, very bad read as MLB going wrong hole and not even seeing where the RB was even after the play was over (13:05 1st), blocked by OG Kevin Seitler at 2nd level allowing 9 yd inside run, good battle staying on feet vs. feisty OG Johnnie Troutman to keep gap responsibility, no separation on short route vs. RB Chris Polk, good job taking on FB Bradie Ewing and getting off him for 5 yd gang tackle inside run, blocked easily by OL allowing 12 yd run right at him, sniffed out screen immediately and right next to him causing INC, good strength hitting OL in hole then adjusting to cut by RB to get off him and make tackle 6 yds downfield. Out of the 10 LBs (Wagner, David, Robinson, Michael-Johnson, Bradham, Brown, Davis, Acho, Spence, Cole) he was #8 but barely lost out toDavis as they were very close. He actually performed better than I thought he would as he had some good plays but I still hate his instincts, he misses far too many tackles, and he’s an average athlete at best. He’s improved in my eyes but now is a late rounder instead of a free agent.

Tape: 2011: Spring Game,Oklahoma,Oklahoma St.,Baylor,Cal

Overall: Acho is a player I’ve thought was highly overrated all year long yet he’s improved throughout the year and after having an okay Senior Bowl and a good Combine he moves out of his undrafted free agent grade he had much of the year and into the late rounds. I still think he has poor instincts, is average in coverage, misses too many tackles, and is too easily blocked by OL but his combination of measurables at the Combine (4.73 40, 24 reps, 35.5 vert) was better than I expected and he should be a solid backup in the NFL with an outside chance to start down the road. Early 7th round as my #29 LB 4/7/12.

30. Najee GoodeWest Virginia 6’0 1/8 244 Sr.

Stats: Big East

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

87

5

14

1

1

0

2010

47

3

8.5

1

0

0

2009

11

0

0

0

0

0

2008

12

0

0

0

1

0

Combine: 1st team Big East in 2011. Average in sideline to sideline drill. Below average in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill. Solid lean in two dummy drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6001

244

31.88

9

4.64

 

35.5

909

 

 

50.9

Notes: In the 2011 East-West Shrine Game he wasn’t quite quick enough to get TFL after cutting inside on outside run-good attempt though, good speed in coverage, TFL jumping on FB who covered up fumbled snap-in their immediately, missed tackle on RB screen getting hands on him but went by, gave separation to TE Kevin Kroger then missed trailing tackle allowing YAC, didn’t get tackle but again slipped OL block and went after RB-good movement and attacks the play, poor job containing run missing RB Bobby Rainey on cut allowing 9 yd outside run, blocked right before he could get TFL but good recognition and speed attacking RB screen helping blow it up, very good instincts sniffing out RB screen and slipping OL block to hit RB hard as he caught ball for 5 yd TFL (10:02 4th),    Out of the 12 LBs at East-West Shrine Game he was middle of the pact at #7 (Kaddu, Carder, Thornton, Marshall, Franklin, Lindsey). 7th round 1/22/12.

Tape: 2011: Clemson, LSU,Pittsburgh

Overall: Najee is a linebacker with good stats and good Combine measurements who didn’t impress me too much with his game film as he always looked a tad too slow to react to plays and often missed making the play by a split second. In the NFL that split second will be even bigger as everyone is even more athletic and I suspect he’s a LB that will be a career backup. Yet as a late round flier type I like him as, like I said, he does have good stats and measurements so is worth taking a shot on once the value of the pick gets low. 7th round as my #30 LB who has the physical skills and track record to possibly develop into a starter down the road but who I personally am not a huge fan of due to his game film 4/11/12.

31. Ryan Baker LSU #22 5’11 3/8 232 Sr.

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

64

1.5

3.5

0

0

0

2010

87

7

11

1

0

0

2009

16

1

1

0

0

0

2008

16

0

0

0

0

0

Combine: Tripped on 40 so redid it. Looked bad on 40 again, 1.56 10 yd split. Tripped a 3rd time on 40? Quick feet in four bag drill but hit a bag and had eyes down. 2nd team SEC in 2011. Solid with nice catch in backpedal and turn drill. Solid in two dummy drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

5113

232

31

9

4.88

30

34

905

4.35

7.21

44.7

Notes: Small, compact LB with good speed who looks like an unversatile WLB in a 4-3. Had 6 sacks in the regular season, tying for the team lead. In the ’10 Cotton Bowl vs. Texas A&M had good unblocked blitz hit and pressure on QB Ryan Tannehill forcing an incompletion (0:27 1st), had an easy sack and nice hit as his delayed blitz between the LG and LT wasn’t picked up by the RB (7:48 3rd), and personal foul during pick 6 costing his team points-though the game was already over (3:02 4th). In the 2011 Mississippi St. game had a very nice sack getting chopped and flipped over by RB yet bouncing up instantly to get the sack (5:38 4th), hit QB when not picked up on 3 sec throw (5:10 4th). Has bulked up a bit for this season and appears to have outstanding speed and strength making him still probably too short to be anything other than a 4-3 WLB but maybe not as unversatile of a prospect as he was in 2010. In the 2011 Arkansas game he had a PF on a late hit of the QB. In the 2011 Georgia game (SEC Championship) he had PF on hit on player not even around the ball after the whistle blew, had another PF this time on a RB coming out of the flat who he decleated with ball in the air downfield to WR-an extremely dirty player. In the 2011 Alabama game #2 he had tight cov on 4 yd out by TE Brad Smelly knocking him OOB immediately, great speed on blitz off edge nearly for 2.5 sec sack but QB moved and he flew right by in kill zone (2:33 1st), tight cov on 8 yd out by Smelley but again allowed it-in this game these completions are big, beat by 3 yds on 9 route vs. Smelley barely unable to catch ball for would be TD, great speed reacting to short out from backfield by WR and clobbered him when he extended for catch on overthrown ball, allowed 4 yd out to Smelley, pancaked by LT Barrett Jones on run blitz. 5th-6th round on talent that drops to 7th round due to PF issues and some understandably could make him undrafteable 1/21/12.

Tape: 2011: Oregon, Mississippi St., Florida, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama 1, Alabama 2

Overall: Ryan was already in my doghouse due to his shady behavior in numerous games in 2011 as he had a few PFs called on him and could easily have been flagged for a few more. Now he’s coming off a Combine performance where he not only weighed in lighter than I expected (232 lbs) but ran much slower (4.88) and was surprisingly average in the quickness drills (14th and 12th out of 29 LBs in shuttle and 3 cone respectively). I still liked his tape as he looked strong and aggressive, with his 30 reps at the Combine the sole bright spot at the event, yet he no longer looks like a mid round talent and in the end just barely keeps a drafteable grade. 7th round as my #31 LB 4/7/12.

32. Darius Fleming Notre Dame 6’1 5/8 245 Sr. In the 2011 South Florida game he lined up at DE, stacked the OT, and nearly got a nice TFL but missed (2:05 2nd). In the 2011 USC game had a nice stack and shed of RT for impressive TFL (10:35 4th). In the 2011 Florida St. game he had good coverage on short out by WR right next to WR, noticed him a few times on strong bull rushes but that was about it as he had a very quiet game. I keep holding off giving him a grade as I rarely see him but after 3 ND games this year I can’t say I noticed him too much ever which essentially means he isn’t worth my time. Late round pick 12/29/11. Free Agent 1/21/12. Combine: Average in sideline to sideline drill. Average in four bag drill-solid for his size as a bigger LB. Kind of slow but overall average in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill. Good lean in two dummy drill. His measurements were average to below average except for his reps (27) and his quickness drills where he was in the top quarter. I could see him being an average starter in a 3-4 scheme as an ILB due to his size and average athleticism for that size but otherwise I don’t see much use for him. Of course Mayock loves him, as he does every ND player, but his mention of him as a 3-4 OLB prospect is absurd to me. 7th round as my #32 LB 4/8/12.

33. Gerald Gooden Purdue #2 6’3 251 Sr.

Stats: Big 10

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

36

3

9

2

1

2

0

2010

35

1.5

4

1

2

0

0

2009

35

4

7

0

0

0

0

2008

13

1

3

0

0

0

0

Pro Day: 3/9/12

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6030

251

 

 

4.83

14

31

902

 

 

 

Notes: Redshirted in 2007. In the 2011 Illinois game he showed great snap anticipation barely not being offsides to turn corner quickly on RT for 4 sec sack (9:12 1st), went against LT Jeff Allen and feigned upfield speed rush quickly shooting inside for would be 4 sec sack but QB tossed it to RB as he was falling down (11:47 3rd). Arrested but not charged in off field incident the week before the bowl game. In the 2011 Western Michigan game he looked solid in coverage on zone blitz dropping out but showed only average speed,  average athleticism reacting to option to his side allowing corner easily, good mobility on zone blitz again dropping into coverage reading QB’s eyes and getting INT on dump off over the middle to TE returning it 10 yds-again limited speed (12:41 2nd), solid hit on QB scrambling from spy position-PF when he did a bowling move after the nice hit, good hands getting INT on tipped ball basically catching punt but showed stupidity holding ball out so poorly that when he was hit it was easily knocked away resulting in TO (3:55 3rd), solid speed on rush from LB spot getting 3 sec sack and FF for TO that ended the game but not b/c DT fumbled the ball back to them (6:00 4th). He had a nice play in coverage and showed his potential as a 3-4 OLB but just doesn’t have the pure speed, strength, aggressiveness, or productivity to warrant anything more than a late round grade. 7th round 12/27/11.

Tape: 2011:Illinois,Western Michigan

Overall: Gooden is a player that flashed at times on film but after studying his numbers (3 years of very similar production), pro day measurements, and film looks to be a backup 3-4 OLB with special teams potential. He’s a hard worker with solid speed and good size but lacks the burst, sack numbers, or long arms to be anything more than a below average starter as a 3-4 OLB. In fact his best fit might be as an ILB in a 3-4 or a SLB in a 4-3 as his pass rush skills just don’t warrant more than a look in the NFL. I’m giving him a late round flier grade as a 7th rounder as he has solid athleticism to go with a good frame but is definitely a tweener coming from DE who I don’t think can even move to 3-4 OLB and will have to make the even bigger switch to ILB or SLB. 7th rounder as my #33 LB 4/1/12. 

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