Colt Scout: LB Under the Gaze of Polian

What's so special about the college linebacker that Jerry Langton analyzes in today's report? Well, one of the Colts' top talent evaluators took an up-close look at him recently along with two other players that we'll identify this week to our Insiders.

Based on a report we received from one of our network contacts, Colts President Bill Polian was in attendance at the Virginia Tech/Clemson game last Thursday night. Here's one of the three players he undoubtedly took a good look at from that matchup. We'll reveal the other two this week along with Jerry Langton's analysis of each player.

Vince Hall
LB, Virginia Tech

Numbers:
6'0 (6002) / 238 pounds / 4.73 forty-speed (estimated)

2006 stats: 33 tackles, 38 assists, 6.5-30 tackles for loss, 2-21 sacks, 2 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble

2005 stats: 43 tackles, 69 assists, 8.5-25 tackles for loss, 3-16 sacks, 2-13-1 interceptions, 8 passes defensed

The player: If you only watched highlights, you'd think Hall was the next coming of Brian Urlacher. He busts up running plays in the backfield, gets to the quarterback and looks like a safety in zone coverage, getting his hands on a surprising number of passes. But if you watch the whole game, you can also see him over-pursue, bite on fakes and get engulfed by blockers. Hall's a good player most of the time, but an awesome player some of the time. He has a promising NFL future ahead of him, but will probably be drafted before he should because of his big plays and because few inside linebacker prospects are as fluid or natural in coverage. He's young (currently a junior at Virginia Tech) and coachable and could easily get better at his greatest weakness -- quick play diagnosis. While he's only ever played inside in college, many scouts project him outside in a 4-3. His best position would probably be inside in a 3-4 alignment, he could start there as a rookie.

How he fits: The Colts appear dedicated to Gary Brackett inside (he's signed through 2009 when he'll be 29), but could be looking for his depth or an eventual replacement in this draft. They will probably be in the market for an outside linebacker, but it's unlikely they'd spend a premium draft pick on a projection and, if he continues to show up highlight reels, Hall looks like he'll be drafted in the first two rounds.

Reminds me of: Barrett Ruud, the Buccaneers' 2005 second-round pick who has looked promising in the pros, but has yet to secure a starting position.


Photo: Getty Images/Doug Benc

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