Two-Deep Analysis: LB Kevin Snyder

With spring camp over, is ready to look ahead to training camp with an in-depth, daily look at the depth chart. Going player by player, we break down the key players of training camp with an in-depth look today at outside linebacker Kevin Snyder.

Junior Kevin Snyder entered the spring as the top candidate to take over for NFL-bound Steve Beauharnais at middle linebacker. Snyder used his versatility in a handful of ways this spring. A key member of the two-deep in his first two seasons, training camp for Snyder is about preparing to take over as an every-down player.

Spring Performance -- Snyder had a quiet yet impactful spring by displaying his versatility to defensive coordinator Dave Cohen. Snyder was a defensive leader at both middle and weakside linebacker. Losing one of the best middle linebackers (Beauharnais) and weakside linebackers (Khaseem Greene) to the NFL, Snyder's value sky-rocketed even more with a steady spring.

Expected 2013 Role -- Snyder projects better as an outside linebacker, but his spot in the starting lineup depends on the development of younger linebackers in the system. Rutgers needs to find the best three linebackers to get on the field and Snyder and Jamal Merrell are clearly the top two. If any of the three young linebackers show the ability to step into middle linebacker, Snyder moves to the outside. If not, Snyder fills in at the MIKE.

Scouting Report -- Snyder is deceptively athletic and strong enough to compete against most defensive linemen in pass rush situations. He made his initial splash at Rutgers as a speedier pass rush option during a strong true freshman season and spelled Jamal Merrell as a sophomore. Snyder his hard-nosed, hard-working and cerebral at the linebacker position.

As a middle linebacker, Snyder has the leadership quality and smarts to man the position but needs to improve in shedding his blockers to close on the football.

As a weakside option, Snyder is not on the same level as Greene, but presents the solid tackling and impact ability to have plays funneled in his direction. Snyder can be move out of position by stronger tight ends and receivers in the run game and can improve his closing speed.

The Bottom Line -- Bringing experience and athleticism to linebacker, it is important to remember that Snyder has never been a full-time starter and his first training camp as one must be a strong performance. On a defense missing its veteran presence, Snyder goes from reserve to a leadership role.

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