Two-Deep Analysis: LB Quanzell Lambert

With spring camp over, ScarletReport.com 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 linebacker Quanzell Lambert.

Linebacker Quanzell Lambert took a step back in his development with a high ankle sprain early in his first Rutgers training camp. Initially pushing for time as a true freshman, Lambert spent his first semester on the practice squad to prepare his body for spring camp and two starting positions up for grabs.

Spring Performance -- Lambert played multiple positions in spring with defensive coordinator Dave Cohen looking for the best place for the former Timber Creek standout. Lambert worked behind starters at both middle and outside linebacker. He also spent time at defensive end in pass rush situations. Lambert struggled to break out from the pack but displayed an unexpected level of versatility.

Expected 2013 Role -- Lambert is a middle linebacker at heart, but with Steve Longa's strong spring, his 2013 role may be elsewhere. Lambert can be a contributor in pass rush situations at defensive end in the same way Steve Beauharnais did. Rutgers needs depth inside and out at linebacker and Lambert could contribute in multiple ways with training camp set to play a key role in how reps shake out.

Scouting Report -- At 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, Lambert has great middle linebacker size and could grow into a defensive end should he shine in pass rush situations. Lambert brings the leadership and football smarts needed to play middle linebacker and is an explosive downhill player. He can get to the line of scrimmage quickly, shed blockers and does well in reading defenses and getting to the running back. He did not miss a lot of tackles in high school and it was not an issue for him as a freshman on the practice squad.

Lambert's speed to the edge needs improvement. Sideline-to-sideline speed is essential to the success of the Rutgers defense for middle linebackers and has been an issue in the past. Lambert is athletic, but has to get quicker in his footwork and speed to the outside.

Resting up from a high-ankle sprain and multiple high school injuries, Lambert should be 100 percent from training camp and ready to show improvements in his speed.

The Bottom Line -- Lambert pushed for immediate time pre-injury and is one of a handful of talented young linebackers expected to help replace Beauharnais and Khaseem Greene in 2013.


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