Scout's Take: OLB Patrick Nkwopara

Scout.com gives an in-depth analysis on the abilities of OLB and Texas commit Patrick Nkwopara.

Patrick Nkwopara

High School: South Grand Prairie

High School Position: MLB

Projection: WLB

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 200

Synopsis: Nkwopara is an early commit to Texas. He committed back in February before giving himself a chance to attract other programs. At the high school level, he plays MLB but he will scoot over to one of the outside backer positions for the Longhorns.

STRENGTHS

Closing Speed: Of all the players that I have viewed this year, none close on the football faster than Patrick Nkwopara. Once the ball is declared, he goes after it, bursting passed should be tacklers from his own team to stop the ball carrier before they get to the LOS. QBs that get happy feet and like to run out of the pocket are in constant danger of him coming from [what seems] out of nowhere to make the sack. He doesn't give scrambling QBs a chance to get rid of the ball with accuracy. He can go sideline to sideline with ease. When he is in pursuit of the football, he makes players look as if they are standing still.

Change of Direction: Nkwopara plays with great body control. If he is in flow of the ball and it [the ball] redirects, he can stop on a dime and redirect with it [the ball]. Although he is redirecting, it takes him very little time to get back to full pursuit speed. He is great laterally but he can also go from an open up run when trying to get to his pass defense landmark to a full out pursuit of the QB on a busted play just as well.

Aggressiveness: Nkwopara is always in attack mode. He gets after the ball. He is like a heat seeking missile. When he locates the target, he goes in to destroy.

Pass Coverage: Has all the skill sets nessecary to be a good pass defending LB. He is fast, has fluid and flexible hips, changes direction well and possesses good instincts. He can cover slot WRs and because of is height, coaches will try to match him up against bigger TEs. This wold be a mistake because they would not be taking into account his explosiveness and jumping ability. He is no liability in the pass game.

WEAKNESSES

Size: He is only 5-10 200 pounds and because of his height he gets swallowed up at times by OLs blocking at the second level. He has good disengaging skills but in college the OLs will have better feet and strength and they will be able to latch on and stay on. His size is the prime reason he is bumping out to the OLB position instead of playing MLB like he does in high school.

OVERALL

Nkwopara is one of the fastest LBs in the class. Once he knows where the ball is going, he reels it in. He has a high octane motor and plays sideline to sideline relentlessly. Once he gets to the ball he lays the wood. He is a quintessential OLB-fast, rangy, non-stop motor, good against run but just as good against the pass, and he is aggressive.



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