Draft Preview: Inside Linebackers

Draft expert Tony Pauline of our sister site DraftInsider.net breaks down the 2015 Inside Linebacker class including scouting reports of all the top prospects.

Inside Linebackers

Rnd

Full Name

School

Yr

1st

Eric Kendricks

UCLA

5Sr

2nd

Stephone Anthony

Clemson

4Sr

2nd

Denzel Perryman

Miami-Fl

4Sr

3rd

Ben Heeney

Kansas

4Sr

4-5

Deiontrez Mount

Louisville

4Sr

5th

Amarlo Herrera

Georgia

4Sr

5th

Damien Wilson

Minnesota

4Sr

5-6

Ramik Wilson

Georgia

4Sr

5-6

Jake Ryan

Michigan

5Sr

6th

Mike Hull

Penn State

5Sr

6th

Bryce Hager

Baylor

5Sr

6th

Trey Depriest

Alabama

4Sr

7th

Steve Edmond

Texas

4Sr

FA

Cole Farrand

Maryland

4Sr

FA

Curtis Grant

Ohio State

4Sr

FA

AJ Tarpley

Stanford

5Sr

FA

Jeff Luc

Cincinnati

5Sr

FA

Aaron Davis

Colorado State

4Sr

FA

Quayshawn Nealy

Georgia Tech

5Sr

FA

Zachary Vigil

Utah State

5Sr

FA

Terrance Plummer

Central Florida

4Sr

6-7

A.J. Johnson

Tennessee

4Sr

FA

Michael Taylor

Florida

5Sr

FA

Vincent Buhagiar

San Jose State

5Sr

FA

L.A. Goree

Maryland

5Sr

FA

Karl Mickelsen

Fresno State

4Sr

FA

Ronnie Hamlin

Eastern Washington

6Sr

FA

Kevin Snyder

Rutgers

4Sr

FA

Sam Eguavoen

Texas Tech

4Sr

FA

Deterrian Shackelford

Mississippi

6Sr

FA

John Timu

Washington

4Sr

FA

Daquan Romero

Virginia

4Sr

FA

D.J. Lynch

Bowling Green

5Sr

FA

Henry Coley

Virginia

5Sr

FA

Derek Landisch

Wisconsin

4Sr

FA

Alexander Singleton

Montana State

4Sr

FA

Kendall Moore

Notre Dame

5Sr

FA

Justin Cherocci

Central Michigan

5Sr

FA

Qushaun Lee

Arkansas State

5Sr

FA

Justin Shirk

Bloomsburg

5Sr

FA

Michael Orakpo

Texas State

5Sr

FA

Jacoby Hale

Utah

5Sr

FA

Michael Alisa

BYU

5Sr

FA

Nick Forbes

California

4Sr

FA

Lamar Dawson

USC

4Sr

FA

Stanley Andre

Umass

5Sr

FA

D.J. Welter

LSU

5Sr

FA

Kelby Brown

Duke

5Sr

Full Name: Stephone Anthony School: Clemson

Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 243 40: 4.53 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-conference honors the past two seasons. Posted a team-high 90 tackles last season while also adding 10.5 tackles for loss. Initially led Clemson in tackles as a junior when he posted a career-best 131 while adding 13.5 tackles for loss.

Pos: Tough, instinctive linebacker with a versatile game. Explodes up the field filling gaps, shows ability in pursuit and wraps up when tackling. Effectively reads or diagnoses plays, remains disciplined with assignments and possesses a quick burst of speed bearing down on the action. Moves well laterally, catches ball carriers from the backside and flows well to the action. Does not bite on play action passes and sells out on the blitz.

Neg: Plays stiff. Average skill in coverage. Primarily used up the field at Clemson.

Analysis: Anthony is a terrific combination of athleticism, instincts and toughness. He offers the ability to be a three-down defender and a multi-scheme player at the next level but must improve his cover skills.


Full Name: Vincent Buhagiar School: San Jose State

Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 242 40: 4.81 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Led the team in tackles as a senior with 96 after missing the 2013 campaign with injury. All-conference selection as a true junior in 2012 after 89 tackles.

Pos: Instinctive and explosive run-defending linebacker best in the box. Fires up the field, nicely redirects to runners and uses his hands to protect himself. Efficient, takes good angles to the play and chases the action hard. Displays suddenness and flies around the action.

Neg: One-speed defender who’s ineffective in pursuit. Marginally productive in coverage. Despite his size easily controlled by blocks.

Analysis: Buhagiar rebounded well from his injury of 2013 and has been a consistent run-defending force at San Jose State. He offers depth at inside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment.
Full Name: Justin Cherocci School: Central Michigan

Ht: 5-11.5 Wt: 235 40: 4.82 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter who’s led Central Michigan in tackles since his sophomore season when he posted a career-best 132.

Pos: Instinctive, hard-working linebacker who stacks well against the run. Patient, keeps the action in front of him and works hard. Breaks down well, works his hands to get off blocks and constantly around the ball. Effectively leads the defense and makes the calls.

Neg: Displays limited quickness and speed. Not fluid changing direction and shows little ability in pursuit.

Analysis: Cherocci is a high-effort defender with poor measurables for the next level. His best and possibly only opportunity is to play on special teams.


Full Name: Henry Coley School: Virginia

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 255 40: 4.88 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter who totaled 76 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 8 sacks as a

senior after 91 tackles the prior season.

Pos: Hard-working, two-down defender best in the box. Plays with a nasty attitude. Chases hard to get involved and a solid open field tackler. Wraps up at the point and brings ball carriers down on initial contact.

Neg: Lacks pursuit speed, cannot cut off the corners and shows little ability outside the box. Marginally effective on the blitz.

Analysis: Coley has speed and athletic limitations but his run-stopping skills give him consideration as a backup for a number of interior linebacker positions.


Full Name: Aaron Davis School: Colorado State

Ht: 5-11.5 Wt: 225 40: 4.94 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded all-conference honors as a senior after totaling 118 tackles. Junior numbers included a career-best 120 tackles.

Pos: Hard-charging, run-defending linebacker with poor size/speed numbers. Breaks down well, effectively uses his hands to protect himself and shows a quick change of direction. Explodes up the field filling gaps in run defense, plays with suddenness and works hard defending the run. Quickly collapses outside the box in pursuit of the action, plays faster than his 40 time and sells out to make the tackle. Covers a lot of ground and relatively effective in space.

Neg: Overmatched in coverage by bigger tight ends or faster running backs. Has limited growth potential.

Analysis: Davis is a hard-working college linebacker who got the most from his physical skills but lacks great upside for the next level. He offers possibilities on the inside of a 3-4 alignment but must perform exceptionally well on special teams.


Full Name: Trey Depriest School: Alabama

Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 254 40: 4.81 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-conference honors the past two seasons. Posted a career-high 88 tackles as a senior after 65 tackles the prior year.

Pos: Tough, in-the-box linebacker best as a two-down defender. Quickly finds ball carriers, makes his way up the field and wraps up when tackling. Takes on blocks allowing teammates to make the tackle and effectively uses his hands to protect himself. Remains disciplined with coverage assignments, instinctive and flows well to the action.

Neg: Displays limited speed and marginal lateral quickness. Inefficient and occasionally overruns the action.

Analysis: Depriest is a stout run defender who slugs it out in the middle of the field but has athletic and scheme limitations. He’ll offer possibilities as a backup on the inside of a 3-4 defense.
Full Name: Steve Edmond School: Texas

Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 250 40: 4.80 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter at middle linebacker who posted a career-best 131 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks as a senior.

Pos: Tough, thumping middle/inside linebacker prospect with an underrated game. Strong, instinctive and works hard. Fires through the gaps up the field, delivers heavy blows and forces the action. Defeats blocks to get to the play, wraps up tackling and brings opponents down at the point of attack. Keeps the action in front of him, displays cover skills in the box and effectively uses his hands to protect himself.

Neg: More of a straight-line linebacker, lacks a quick change of direction and lateral speed. Struggles to redirect or immediately alter his angle of attack.

Analysis: Edmond was a consistent force for the Longhorns defense and is underrated in many scouting circles. He’s a two-down defender, who can handle coverage assignments in zone. I would not be surprised if Edmund develops into a starter at the next level.
Full Name: Sam Eguavoen School: Texas Tech

Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 230 40: 4.73 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter who finished with 74 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks as a senior after 70/6.5/1.5 the prior year. Has 1 career interception to his credit.

Pos: Quick, sideline-to-sideline linebacker who covers lots area. Breaks down well, agile and slips blocks. Quick footed moving to every direction of the field, immediately alters his angle of attack and gets depth on pass drops. Fast out to the sidelines in pursuit and also fires up the field in run defense. Attacks the action.

Neg: Undersized, easily blocked from the action or gets caught up in the trash. Better up the field and shows marginal skill in coverage.

Analysis: Eguavoen possesses the size and speed of a prototypical weakside linebacker

prospect but must improve his play in coverage to have a home in the NFL.


Full Name: Cole Farrand School: Maryland

Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 231 40: 4.71 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter and multiple All-academic award recipient. Led Maryland with 118 tackles last season while also breaking up seven passes.

Pos: Tough, instinctive linebacker with marginal upside for the next level. Fires up the field filling gaps in run defense and wraps up when tackling. Breaks down well, chases the action hard and flows well laterally. Slides off blocks to get to the ball carrier. Takes good angles to the play and efficient.

Neg: Possesses limited skill in coverage. Does not play to his forty time and possesses just a short burst of speed that he cannot sustain.

Analysis: Farrand is a hard-working defender and does a terrific job reading the action then making the play. He comes with limited athleticism but could make a roster as an eighth linebacker/special teams player.


Full Name: L.A. Goree School: Maryland

Ht: 6-1.5 Wt: 231 40: 4.92 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Two-year starter who posted a career-best 98 tackles as a senior.

Pos: Quick, flowing linebacker who plays faster than his 40 time. Moves well laterally, displays a good change of direction and gets outside the numbers in pursuit of the play. Does not bite on play action passes, remains disciplined with assignments and leads by example. Instinctive, quickly locates the ball and fights to get through blocks.

Neg: Possesses average size. Limited skills in coverage.

Analysis: Goree is an underrated linebacker who will be downgraded because of poor measurables. He offers possibilities as a two-down defender on the inside of a 3-4 alignment.
Full Name: Curtis Grant School: Ohio State

Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 248 40: 4.68 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Two-year starter who finished with a career-high 69 tackles last season.

Pos: Athletic linebacker prospect who’s put up pedestrian production throughout his college career. Quick moving up the field, fluid collapsing down the line of scrimmage and effective pursuing the action. Effectively uses his hands to protect himself, covers a large amount of area and nicely redirects to ball carriers. Displays ability in zone coverage and gets depth on pass drops.

Neg: Seems to give halfhearted efforts on occasion. Bites on ball fakes and gets caught out of position. Despite his 40 time, does not show great pursuit speed.

Analysis: On paper Grant is a next-level linebacker who has shown flashes of NFL ability throughout his college career but never consistently played to a high level. He comes with a large amount of upside potential but must apply himself and start meeting expectations.
Full Name: Bryce Hager School: Baylor

Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 234 40: 4.56 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-America honors as a senior as well as all-conference honors during his junior campaign. Totals last year included a career-best 114 tackles as well as 12 tackles for loss. Has 1 career interception to his credit.

Pos: Instinctive, hard-working defender best stopping the run. Quickly locates the runner, effectively uses his hands to get off blocks and takes good angles to the action. Breaks down well, plays heads-up football and a solid open field tackler. Stays with assignments and keeps the action in front of him.

Neg: Lacks great lateral speed and does not display a burst in pursuit. Marginally effective in coverage.

Analysis: Hager possesses the smarts and toughness to play at the next level and could develop into a starter if he learns to play to his timed speed.


Full Name: Ronnie Hamlin School: Eastern Washington

Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 225 40: 4.79 Year: 6Sr

Bio: Four-year starter awarded all America and all-conference honors throughout his college career. Senior totals included a team-leading 112 tackles as well as 6.5 tackles for loss. Junior numbers included a career-best 140 tackles after 136 the prior year.

Pos: Forceful small-school linebacker with average size/speed numbers. Remains disciplined with assignments, effectively diagnoses plays and works through the whistle. Tenacious, flows well laterally and takes good angles to the play. Works to get through blocks, sells out on the blitz and attacks runners.

Neg: Does not show great lateral speed or get depth on pass drops. Shows average skill in coverage. At times does too much knocking down rather than wrapping up and tackling.

Analysis: Hamlin was a productive linebacker the four years he started at Eastern Washington but is a one-dimensional run defender and lacks next level measurables.
Full Name: Ben Heeney School: Kansas

Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 231 40: 4.57 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded all-conference honors since his sophomore season and named an All-American last year. Senior totals included 127 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and one interception. Led Kansas in tackles every season since his sophomore campaign.

Pos: Hard-charging linebacker prospect, who makes plays in every direction of the field. Fires through the gaps up the field, quickly changes direction and shows ability in pursuit. Instinctive, effectively anticipates the action and takes good angles to the play. Displays great range, an excellent closing burst and runs down opponents in the open field. Quick, explosive and plays with a nasty attitude. Fluid backpedaling, stays with assignments and occasionally placed over the slot receiver. Displays sideline-to-sideline range and the ability to quickly get outside the numbers chasing the action. Wraps up tackling and drives through runners.

Neg: Slightly undersized and struggles getting off blocks or easily taken from the action. Struggles matching up against bigger tight ends in coverage.

Analysis: Heeney is a tremendous competitor who combines smarts, toughness and overall

athletic skill to make plays on the ball. He has size limitations but if placed in the

proper system, which allows him to freely run to the ball, he could develop into a

significant linebacker at the next level.


Full Name: Amarlo Herrera School: Georgia

Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 244 40: 4.80 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-conference honors as a senior after leading Georgia with 150 tackles and 10 tackles for loss. Junior totals included 112 tackles.

Pos: Underrated linebacker with a solid game. Instinctive, displays a terrific head for the ball and remains disciplined with assignments. Plays with outstanding quickness, fires through the small creases of the field and stops ball carriers in their tracks. Works his hands to protect himself, moves well in a straight line as well as laterally and constantly around the action. Plays tough, disciplined football, scrapes well and fluid moving in every direction. Sells out on the blitz, rarely knocked off his feet and stays with the action. Shows good anticipation and does not make mental mistakes.

Neg: Not a strong open field tackler. Average skills in coverage. Lacks bulk and gets swallowed up in the trash.

Analysis: Herrera was very productive the past three seasons and is a tough linebacker with above average physical skills. He offers possibilities at inside or middle linebacker

and could eventually break his way into a starting lineup.


Full Name: Mike Hull School: Penn State

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 237 40: 4.69 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-conference honors as a senior, leading Penn State

in tackles with a career-best 141 while adding 10.5 tackles for loss.

Pos: Instinctive and relatively athletic linebacker with a developing game. Efficient, takes good angles to the action and remains disciplined with assignments. Keeps the play in front of him, shows ability in zone coverage and quickly recognizes assignments in pass defense. Aggressive, flies around the action working to make plays and wraps up when tackling.

Neg: Despite his 40 time displays limited pursuit speed. Lacks size and struggles

getting off blocks.

Analysis: Hull watched his game take off last season and went from a street free agent to

late-round pick. He has size limitations but plays intelligent, aggressive football

and will offer possibilities as a backup linebacker/core special-teams player in a

variety of NFL defensive schemes.


Full Name: A.J. Johnson School: Tennessee

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 245 40: 4.84 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Four-year starter awarded varying degrees of all-conference honors since his sophomore season. Totals last year included 101 tackles and the only interception of his career. Posted a career-best 138 tackles as a sophomore. Indicted for rape on February 12, which led to the NFL revoking his combine invitation.

Pos: Hard-working run defender best making plays up the field. Displays a good change of direction, takes proper angles to the action and wraps up tackling. Rarely off his feet, effectively reads or diagnoses plays and displays a terrific head for the ball in run defense. Explodes up the field filling gaps, scrapes well laterally and works hard.

Neg: Average athlete with marginal playing speed, which limits him. Ineffective in pursuit. Marginal cover skills. Now dealing with major off-the-field issues.

Analysis: Early in his career Johnson looked like a top-flight middle linebacker prospect but was never able to capitalize on his sophomore campaign. He offers possibilities as

a backup middle linebacker if he’s cleared of off-the-field violations.


Full Name: Eric Kendricks School: UCLA

Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 232 40: 4.60 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter and recipient of the 2014 Butkus Award as well as the Lott Trophy. UCLA’s all-time leading tackler. Awarded all-conference honors since his sophomore season. Senior totals included 149 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 4 sacks as well as three interceptions. Junior totals included 106 tackles.

Pos: Small but fierce linebacker constantly around the action. Instinctive, quick to locate the runner and rarely knocked off his feet. Breaks down well, uses his hands to protect himself and covers a large amount of area. Intense and works hard in all areas. Fast both laterally and in a straight line. Explodes up the field defending the run, takes on bigger ballcarriers and wraps up at the point of attack. Plays with suddenness, quickly gets outside the numbers to cut off the corners and shows great ability in pursuit. Remains disciplined with coverage assignments and shows the ability to stay step for step with fast running backs anywhere.

Neg: Lacks height, bulk and gets caught up in the trash. A bit of a drag-down tackler. Will be overmatched by larger tight ends in coverage.

Analysis: Despite size deficiencies, Kendricks plays big, tough football, consistently selling out to make the stop. He’s a scheme specific player that’s best on the inside of a 3-4 defense but if coached properly Kendricks will have a long and productive NFL career.
Full Name: Derek Landisch School: Wisconsin

Ht: 5-11.5 Wt: 232 40: 4.79 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Posted career-best numbers of 84 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 9 sacks as a senior when he became a full-time starter.

Pos: Tough, feisty linebacker with good instincts. Quickly diagnoses plays, immediately finds the ball and works hard to get to the action. Breaks down well, effectively uses his hands to protect himself and slides off blocks to make the tackle. Sells out on the blitz and plays through the whistle. Fluid moving about the field, stays with coverage assignments and does not bite on play action passes

Neg: Lacks size and easily taken from the action by blocks or gets caught up in the trash. Lacks pursuit speed.

Analysis: Landisch really blossomed as a senior but lacks the size and speed to compete at

the next level. He plays with a special-teams mentality and could back up on the inside of a 3-4 alignment if he plays well on coverage units this summer.


Full Name: Qushaun Lee School: Arkansas State

Ht: 5-10 Wt: 245 40: 4.77 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded all conference honors the past two seasons. Led Arkansas State the past two years totaling 110 tackles as a senior and a career-best 134 the prior year. Also intercepted four passes last season.

Pos: Strong, two-down linebacker best defending the run. Fires up the field, breaks down well and uses his hands to protect himself. Displays a good change of direction, moves well in the box and chases hard to make plays. Remains disciplined with coverage assignments. Explosive run defender and drives through tackles. Remains disciplined with assignments and does not bite on ball fakes.

Neg: Displays a limited burst and does not play to his 40 time. Struggles getting off blocks and can be engulfed at the point.

Analysis: Lee was very productive on the college level and projects as a backup inside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment who can also play special teams on coverage units.


Full Name: Jeff Luc School: Cincinnati

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 253 40: 4.79 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Florida State transfer awarded All-conference honors last season after totaling 134 tackles.

Pos: Fierce run-defending linebacker best in the box. Quick up the field, willingly takes on opponents and defeats blocks getting to the play. Breaks down well, strong at the point and possesses run-defending instincts. Has a fierce, explosive style and forces ball carriers to re-route the angle of runs. Consistently squares and wraps up when tackling.

Neg: Limited speed and possesses just a short burst. Struggles in coverage. Lacks great upside.

Analysis: Luc’s game took off last season as he was a one-man wrecking crew defending the run. He projects as a backup inside linebacker for a 3-4 alignment and could land on special teams.
Full Name: D.J. Lynch School: Bowling Green

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 250 40: 4.71 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Two-year starter who posted 39 tackles in just 10 games last season, missing four early season contests with a knee injury. All-conference selection the prior year after 85 tackles.

Pos: Short but fierce run-defending linebacker with a variety of skill. Quick up the field filling gaps, gives effort defending the run and moves well laterally. Goes sideline-to-sideline, gets depth on pass drops and displays excellent range. Effective making plays in space.

Neg: Gets caught up in the trash. Knee injury seemed to take the edge off his game.

Analysis: Lynch comes off a disappointing senior campaign but if healthy can be a legitimate 3-4 inside linebacker at the next level.


Full Name: Karl Mickelsen School: Fresno State

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 233 40: 4.84 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Two-year starter who led Fresno State in tackles during both campaigns. Senior totals included 96 tackles, 7 tackles for loss and 2 sacks after 97 tackles the prior year.

Pos: Tough, nasty linebacker with poor size/speed numbers. Plays with quickness, chases the action hard and fires around the runners to make plays. Nicely redirects to running backs, squares into ball handlers and wraps up at the point. Does not make mental mistakes and shows skill in zone coverage.

Neg: Average speed in pursuit and not quick laterally. Does not get great depth on pass drops.

Analysis: Mickelsen is an average athlete but a terrific football player who gets the most from his ability. He lacks the athleticism to play at the next level but comes with a special-teams mentality, which gives him an edge.


Full Name: Kendall Moore School: Notre Dame

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 237 40: 4.62 Year: 5Sr

Bio:

Pos:

Neg:

Analysis:


Full Name: Deiontrez Mount School: Louisville

Ht: 6-4.5 Wt: 250 40: 4.56 Year: 4Sr

Bio:

Pos:

Neg:

Analysis:


Full Name: Quayshawn Nealy School: Georgia Tech

Ht: 5-11.5 Wt: 238 40: 4.79 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-conference honors as a senior after posting a career-best 90 tackles and 6 tackles for loss.

Pos: Quick, flowing linebacker who plays much faster than his 40 time. Displays outstanding range, covers a lot of area and gets depth on pass drops. Explodes in pursuit of the action, flies around the ball trying to make positive plays and shows quickness. Thrusts his shoulders into ball carriers and looks for the knockout blow. Relatively instinctive and does a solid reading the quarterbacks eyes then making his move to the ball.

Neg: Easily blocked from the action or knocked from his angle of attack by the initial hit. Turned in solid production and Georgia Tech but was never a dominant in any single aspect. Has size limitations.

Analysis: Nealy is a chase-and-run linebacker best in a one-gap system. He’s a competent backup who should be able to lend a hand on special teams.


Full Name: Denzel Perryman School: Miami-Fl

Ht: 5-10.5 Wt: 236 40: 4.69 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-conference honors the past two seasons. Posted a career-best 110 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks as a senior after 108/5/1.5 the prior year.

Pos: Tough, instinctive run-and-chase linebacker with limited measurables and speed. Remains disciplined with assignments, flies around the action and sacrifices his body to make the stop. Possesses a good change of direction, outstanding lateral movement skills and plays much faster than his 40 time. Excels in pursuit, explosive closing on the play and shows suddenness. Quickly gets outside the numbers making plays to the flanks. Instinctive and does not have mental lapses.

Neg: Undersized, easily blocked from the action or caught up in the trash. Will be overmatched in coverage by taller tight ends. Under 6 foot tall and has short arms.

Analysis: Perryman was a forceful linebacker the three years he started for the Hurricanes and should be a very good one-gap/inside linebacker in a scheme which protects him and allows him to freely run to the ball.


Full Name: Terrance Plummer School: Central Florida

Ht: 5-11 Wt: 240 40: 4.97 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-conference and All-academic honors in the past. Totaled 110 tackles as a junior.

Pos: Short but feisty linebacker best defending the run. Effectively diagnoses plays, fires up the field and hard-hitting. Flies around the action, explosive and wraps up tackling. Remains disciplined with assignments in zone coverage. Fluid in the box, quickly changes direction and chases the action hard.

Neg: Slow reacting in coverage. Solid speed but not outstanding in pursuit. Overmatched by tall tight ends.

Analysis: Plummer is a tough two down defender with a special-teams mentality. He offers possibilities as a backup on the inside of a 34 alignment but must earn his wage on coverage units.


Full Name: Daquan Romero School: Virginia

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 241 40: 4.85 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Two-year starter who posted 86 tackles last season after 89 tackles during his junior campaign.

Pos: Small but explosive linebacker who sells out to make plays. Quick up the field, fluid changing direction and gets depth on pass drops. Covers a lot of area, effective in space and quick getting out to the sidelines in pursuit. Gives effort defending the run as well as covering passes and a solid special-teams player who’s blocked field goals in the past.

Neg: Undersized, easily blocked from the action and gets caught up in the trash. Will have mismatch problems at the next level.

Analysis: Romero is a solid pursuit linebacker who gets the most from his ability. He offers potential on special teams and as a backup in a one-gap system.


Full Name: Jake Ryan School: Michigan

Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 240 40: 4.65 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Four-year starter who also saw action at defensive end as a freshman. Senior

totals included a career-best 112 tackles.

Pos: Instinctive and tough linebacker with underrated athleticism. Efficient, takes good angles to the action and quickly locates the ball. Fires up the field filling gaps in run defense, wraps up tackling and shows a good feel for what’s happening. Remains disciplined with assignments, does not bite on play action passes or have mental lapses. Makes the calls for the Michigan defense. Sells out to make plays.

Neg: Not quick backpedaling and does not get depth on pass drops. Average lateral speed in pursuit.

Analysis: Ryan is a terrific box defender who stacks well against the run and shows a head for the ball. Despite bouncing around the Michigan defense and never developing at a single position, he’s a solid linebacker prospect with a good degree of upside.


Full Name: Deterrian Shackelford School: Mississippi

Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 245 40: 4.81 Year: 6Sr

Bio: Part-time starter who’s lined up at both defensive end and outside linebacker. Senior totals included a career-best 65 tackles along with five tackles for loss and two sacks.

Pos: Hard-working college defender with marginal measurables for the next level. Solid run defender who effectively diagnoses plays, chases the action hard and sacrifices his body. Takes on double-team blocks to create opportunities for teammates. Flows well to the action, plays with quickness and breaks down well.

Neg: Limited athlete and lacks top pursuit speed. Inefficient and does not take proper angles to the action. Lacks overall playing balance.

Analysis: Shackelford got the most from his ability on the college level but lacks the size nd speed to play in the NFL. He offers a special-teams mentality which gives him an outside chance.
Full Name: Alexander Singleton School: Montana State

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 243 40: 4.86 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Two-year starter who’s led Montana State in tackles since his junior season. Senior totals included 136 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and six sacks after 110 tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss the prior year.

Pos: Disciplined, hard-working linebacker with average speed for the next level. Plays assignment football, stays with the action and flies around plays working to make something positive happen. Breaks down well, works his hands and slips blocks to get to the action. Correctly reads the play and immediately finds the runner.

Neg: Lacks pursuit speed and the ability to catch the action or runner from the backside. Average athlete. Struggles in coverage.

Analysis: Singleton is a terrific run defender who will be brought into camp as a middle/inside linebacker.


Full Name: Kevin Snyder School: Rutgers

Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 240 40: 4.75 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Two-year starter at linebacker who posted a career-best 96 tackles during his junior season.

Pos: Hard-working, two down defender best in the box. Quick up the field, relatively instinctive and quickly locates the ball carrier. Relentless pursuing the action, plays with a nasty attitude and wraps up when tackling.

Neg: Occasionally bites on ball fakes and too quick up the field. Gets caught up in the trash. Lacks the quick change of direction. Struggles in coverage.

Analysis: Snyder is a moderately sized inside linebacker best in a straight line. He comes with a special-teams mentality, which will be his ticket at the next level.


Full Name: AJ Tarpley School: Stanford

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 237 40: 4.70 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Four-year starter awarded all-conference honors as a senior after 84 tackles. Junior totals included a career-best 93 tackles.

Pos: Tough, instinctive linebacker with an underrated game. Disciplined, stays with assignments and quick reading the action. Takes good angles to the play, shows a terrific head for the ball and works to get involved. Stout run defender who breaks down well and effectively uses his hands to protect himself. Makes the defensive calls and gets his teammates in proper position. Quick flipping his hips in coverage and displays a solid change of direction.

Neg: Does not display great pursuit speed. Marginal quickness in his overall game. Struggles in coverage.

Analysis: Tarpley was a consistent and instinctive, displaying himself as a linebacker who does not have mental lapses during the play. He’ll do well as a backup/spot starter at the next level and can play special teams.


Full Name: Michael Taylor School: Florida

Ht: 5-11.5 Wt: 235 40: 4.72 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Two-year starter who struggled with a knee injury last season but still posted a career-best 64 tackles and 5 tackles for loss.

Pos: Undersized interior linebacker prospect who chases to get involved in the action. Effectively diagnoses plays, shows a good head for the ball and plays with a nasty attitude. Sells out on the blitz, displays a good closing burst and moves well in a straight-line or laterally.

Neg: Despite his 40 time, does not show great pursuit speed. Not a strong open field tackler. Marginal skill in coverage.

Analysis: Taylor is a run-and-chase linebacker who plays a one-dimensional game. He offers potential on the inside of a 3-4 alignment but must earn his wage on special teams.
Full Name: John Timu School: Washington

Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 230 40: 4.81 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Four-year starter who posted a career-best 108 tackles as a senior.

Pos: Terrific college football player with physical limitations for the next level. Instinctive, stays with the action and remains disciplined with assignments. Displays a good change of direction, gets depth on pass drops and fires up the field filling gaps in run defense. Breaks down well, uses his hands to protect himself and quick closing to the play.

Neg: Lacks foot speed and struggles in backside pursuit. Not a strong open field tackler. Shows stiffness.

Analysis: Timu was productive on the college level but lacks the size and speed for the NFL. He comes with a special-teams mentality and could work his way onto a roster as a backup linebacker.


Full Name: Zachary Vigil School: Utah State

Ht: 6-1.5 Wt: 235 40: 4.68 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Tough, run-defending linebacker with a good head for the ball. Chases the action hard, takes good angles and squares into runners. Instinctive, breaks down well and effectively uses his hands to protect himself. Wraps up opponents and a solid open field tackler.

Pos: Tough, run-defending linebacker with a good head for the ball. Chases the action hard, takes good angles and squares into runners. Instinctive, breaks down well and effectively uses his hands to protect himself. Wraps up opponents and a solid open field tackler.

Neg: Displays a minimal burst and ineffective in pursuit. Lacks great height.

Analysis: Vigil was incredibly productive on the college level and possesses the toughness and instincts to make the two deep at inside linebacker on Sundays.


Full Name: Damien Wilson School: Minnesota

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 245 40: 4.75 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Two-year starter who totaled 110 tackles as a senior after leading the SEC with 133 the prior season.

Pos: Active run-defending linebacker who makes a lot of plays in the box and behind the line of scrimmage. Quick to recognize the action, remains disciplined with assignments and plays aggressive football. Gets depth on pass drops, covers a lot of ground and displays a good change of direction. Breaks down well using his hands to protect himself and effective in pursuit. Quick getting outside the numbers, flies up the field in run defense and wraps up when tackling.

Neg: Struggles getting off blocks and easily slowed at the point or knocked off balance by a single opponent. Possesses adequate speed but nothing outstanding.

Analysis: Wilson was a terrific run-defending linebacker at Minnesota who also shows the ability to disrupt the action behind the line of scrimmage. His style and skill set are well-suited for the inside of a 3-4 alignment.


Full Name: Ramik Wilson School: Georgia

Ht: 6-1.5 Wt: 237 40: 4.73 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Two-year starter who totaled 110 tackles as a senior after leading the SEC with 133 the prior season.

Pos: Active run-defending linebacker who makes a lot of plays in the box and behind the line of scrimmage. Quick to recognize the action, remains disciplined with assignments and plays aggressive football. Gets depth on pass drops, covers a lot of ground and displays a good change of direction. Breaks down well using his hands to protect himself and effective in pursuit. Quick getting outside the numbers, flies up the field in run defense and wraps up when tackling.

Neg: Easily caught up in the trash or knocked from his angle of attack by a single opponent. Average skill in coverage.

Analysis: Wilson was a fierce run-defending linebacker and offers the size and skill to line up on the inside of a 3-4 defense.


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