Sobo's Players #8: LB JoLonn Dunbar

Is a high-effort middle linebacker worth taking a chance in a the later rounds?

JoLonn Dunbar, LB, Boston College

Sobo Sez: Undersized but feisty middle linebacker who was the leader of a very good Boston College defense this past season, who was was named a team captain when only a junior and a first-time starter, indicating how much his teammates thought of the defender. 

As a senior, Dunbar was a major part of a unit which led the country at stopping the run for most of last year's campaign.  His stature, at 6 feet even and 231 pounds, belies the toughness with which he approaches the game.  It should be noted that some of his size limitations were hidden due to the fact the Golden Eagles had monstrous run stuffers protecting their middle linebacker over the past two seasons. 

During his career at Boston College, Dunbar's production outmatched potential with 269 total tackles in 25 career starts. Injuries were an issue, as he was never able to complete an entire season as a starter. For example, an ankle injury hampered his play for a stretch of his senior campaign.

Athletically, Dunbar does not automatically jump off the screen.  His overall speed and agility are average,  posting forty yard dash times in the high 4.8's, as well as a 4.45 short shuttle and 7.05 three cone drill.   Dunbar numbers might not leap off the page, nor is he the most physically talented player on the field at any given time, but he is a natural athlete - this is a linebacker who was recruited as a running back.  

Dunbar could be a special player: a linebacker which displayed a nose for the ball leading to four touchdowns throughout his defensive career, a playmaker who relied on his instincts, attitude, and guts to get the job done.

 Good enough for NFL teams to give him a look at a late round prospect.

Tom Marino, NFL Scout: High effort guy.... stats better then athletic ability, range and speed would indicate...  Has position savvy but is not point strong. Dunbar lacks lower body strength and range and is not a big hitter. Limited use of hands... limited coverage potential

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