Colt Scout: OLB Tramaine Billie

Jerry Langton kicks off a new feature, highlighting his first of two players weekly that Colts fans should keep an eye on during the upcoming collegiate season. He'll even tell you why he believes they'll get consideration when the team reloads its roster in 2007.

The Colts evaluate talent all year round, and so will ColtPower with our new Colt Scout feature. Most of these articles will be exclusively for our ColtPower Insiders, so that as they watch college football this season, they'll have even more fun, focusing on players that are likely being evaluated by the Colts' pro scouting personnel. And we'll track their progress through the season, the Combine, pre-draft visits and draft day with an Insiders-only page that lists them for easy reference throughout the year through draft day. Enjoy this new, unique Colts feature exclusively from ColtPower.

Tramaine Billie
OLB, Clemson

Numbers:
6010, 205 pounds

2005 Stats: 50 tackles, 43 assists, 5.5-28 tackles for loss, 1-12 sacks, 2 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble, 1-0-0 fumble recovery, 1 blocked field goal, 8 special-teams tackles

The Player: Billie was born to play football. When he's on the field, he has the same kind of effect Bob Sanders had when he was at Iowa — not only does he make a lot of big plays, but the other members of the defense look to him as an inspirational leader.

Billie sniffs out ball carriers like a bird dog and uses his speed, strength and excellent hand usage to get at him. A smashing hitter who'll make lots of highlight reels as a pro, Billie plays recklessly, but you'll rarely catch him overpursuing in an effort to lay the lumber. Fearless and determined, Billie routinely goes after tight ends and pulling guards in order to bust up running plays.

Not quite as polished in pass coverage as he is in the ground game, Billie nevertheless takes deep drops and shows outstanding range and nimble feet. He has been using his rare catch-up speed to cover up for occasional lapses, and while that may work in the ACC, it could be a problem in the NFL. A bright kid, he'll be expected to learn the nuances of the game.

Although his size and workout numbers would make it seem as though Billie is better suited to play safety or even corner, it should be noted that he's had his best success with the Tigers while playing strongside linebacker, routinely taking on players 100 pounds heavier than he is.

How He Fits: Most teams would probably want to shift Billie to safety, but I think the Colts would probably keep him at linebacker, although they'd most likely want to shift him to the weak-side. He'd probably need a year of seasoning before he became a full-time contributor, but he'd more than earn his keep on special teams.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Ian Gold, a second-round pick by the Broncos in 2000 who has been a top starter throughout his career.


(AP Photo/LM Otero)

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