Cowboys Select Bradie James

Linebacker Bradie James played his last college football game in Dallas and will begin his pro career there. The Cowboys chose LSU's two-year team captain with the 103rd overall pick of the NFL draft, the sixth pick of the fourth round.

James was moved to inside linebacker for his senior season with the Tigers, but he projects as an outside backer in the NFL. He played on the outside in his first three seasons at LSU alongside Trev Faulk.

James was the eleventh linebacker taken in the draft and is considered a steal as a fourth-round pick.

Background: Much celebrated linebacker who totaled 154 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, also intercepting 1 pass and breaking up 3 more. First team All-America and All-Conference choice as a senior and named as a National Scholar-Athlete. First team All-Conference selection as a junior posting tackling numbers of 113/8/3 in twelve starts. Second team All-League choice as a sophomore registering 110/8/5 and named Peach Bowl Defensive MVP totaling 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and recovering a pair of fumbles in the Tigers victory over Georgia. Named to the SEC freshman team in 1999 after totaling 41/7/3 in ten games.

Positive: Run defending linebacker with great leadership intangibles. Immediately reads or anticipates the action, scrapes well laterally and sizes up the ball carrier, stacking up well against the run. Quick moving up the field, squares into tackles and wraps up. Takes good angles to the action, displays the ability to scrape laterally and works to make a play. Always plays smart football.

Negative: Offers only a short area burst of speed, lacks range and struggles in space. Cannot beat ball carriers to the corners and has difficulty in anything other than zone coverage when the ball is in the air. Slow regaining his balance off the initial block.

Analysis: Tenacity and intelligence are pluses but a marginal athlete who may be limited in the amount of area he is able to cover. Best as an inside linebacker in a three-four alignment, though a move to the strong side in that scheme is also possible.

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