Iowa linebacker Abdul Hodge battled for the limelight
every week with teammate Chad Greenway. In the process, they became close
friends and were touted as one of the best linebacker tandems in the country.
But Hodge didn't want to join in the media speculation over whether Iowa's
linebackers or Ohio State's linebackers were the best in the country.
"The Big Ten is loaded with good linebackers," he said. "Ohio State has three good ones, we have a couple and Northwestern has one." Hodge is appropriately nicknamed "Hitman" and was a three-year starter for the Hawkeyes.
And while he and Greenway took turns flattening opposing ball-carriers, at the end of their senior year it was Hodge who won the competition for posted the most tackles with 158 to his credit. Greenway, an outside linebacker, is expected to be a first-round selection while Hodge, one of the top inside linebackers in the country, has been projected anywhere from a late first-rounder to a very high third-rounder.
A tenacious tackler, Hodge is worth a look from the Browns, who need both a 2006 starter and additional depth at the teams' two interior linebacker spots. While Greenway is likely to be off the board by the end of the first round, Hodge could still be available when the Browns pick in the second round, and will have to be considered along with other highly-rated inside linebackers such as D'Qwell Jackson.
OBR subscribers can listen to our 2-minute audio highlights clip from his press conference at February's NFL Combine and can enjoy some additional analysis from our network's draft experts:
Listen to Audio
Abdul Hodge analysis from TFY Draft Preview