LB Spots Could Be Ultra-Competitive In 2008

If the Patriots were looking to add speed to their defense, then it seems they've found another player who can help them address that need. Insider scouting report and impact analysis on another UDFA who reportedly agreed to terms with the team.

AP Photo

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The Boston Globe reported that Goergia Tech linebacker Gary Guyton has agreed to join the New England Patriots. The undrafted rookie free agent was in high demand as many teams that run the 3-4 defense surely had his number on speed dial. Early indications are that San Francisco was one of those teams.

Able to play multiple positions at linebacker, Guyton first showed up on most team's radar in teh East-West Shrine game. His performance there earned him a trip to the Senior bowl and to the NFL Combine. The 6-foot1.5-inch, 245-pound Ramblin' Wreck alum used his sub 4.5 speed to wow scouts and defensive coordinators alike.

Scouting Report (Tom Marino):
Has good size (is rocked up but also appeared to rather tight through his hips and legs. Although, he is sometimes not aware of his location and was inconsistent in his angles to the boundry. I have questions about his natual instincts. He is best suited to play over a TE "Sam" and as a special team player.

Patriots Insider Impact Analysis:
Guyton was considered one of the best undrafted free agetns avaialble. Though he may have slipped through the Draft, plenty of teams had him on their radar. Again, this is a sleeper pickup. HIs ability to close on the ball, and to move to the point of action will be on display at the next level. He has a solid chance to fill a role similar to what Corey Mays (2006 UDFA) did when he and Pierre Woods (2006 UDFA, Michigan) snuck onto the roster. The Bengals picked Mays off the wire before the Patriots could get him back on the practice squad. Guyton . New England has 11 linebackers on the roster currently (5 outside, 6 inside). The team carried 8 linebackers on the roster last season. (4,4).


Gary Guyton (58) (AP photo/Sara D. Davis)


BIO: Tech's hottest player on the defensive side of the ball the second half of the 2007 season... moved from strong-side to weak-side outside linebacker prior to the 2007 season and began to excel in the position in November... a veteran member of Jon Tenuta's defense... moved into a starting role in 2006 after spending two seasons primarily on special teams... had 26 career starts including 15 consecutive... has played in 50 career games... chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game... played well enough in that game to earn an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl, where he was the South team's second-leading tackler... had five solo tackles in the Senior Bowl and raised his stock considerably.

2007: Started all 13 games at outside linebacker... averaged more than one tackle-for-loss per game (1.04)... ranked second on the team in total tackles (78)... his 13.5 TFLs and 5.0 sacks were among the team leaders... had five pass break-ups and one quarterback hurry... put up better statistics as the season progressed as he became more comfortable at the position... was a bright spot in the loss to Boston College (Sept. 15)... had nine total tackles, six solo tackles, two tackles-for-loss, a sack and a forced fumble in the loss to the Eagles... broke up a pass, produced 1.5 TFLs and six total tackles at Virginia (Sept. 22)... sacked Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper, added another half-tackle for loss and broke up a pass against the Tigers (Sept. 29)... had eight total tackles, 1.5 for loss and broke up one pass at Maryland (Oct. 6)... produced 1.5 sacks and a quarterback hurry at Duke (Nov. 10)... was a force in the win over North Carolina (Nov. 17)... had eight solo tackles, two sacks and three tackles-for-loss against the Tar Heels... recorded 10 tackles, including five solo tackles, and had one pass break-up in the Humanitarain Bowl (Dec. 31).

2006: Fifth on the team with eight tackles for loss, including two sacks . . . Totalled 29 tackles from his outside linebacker post . . . Made a key play in the Jackets' win at 10th-ranked Virginia Tech when he scooped up a fumble and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown . . . Had an interception against Troy . . . Made five tackles with three tackles for loss in 7-0 win at North Carolina that clinched the ACC Coastal Division . . . Had a sack against Georgia.

2005: Tech's top backup at linebacker who made one start . . . Made 19 tackles on the season with three tackles for loss, one sack and one pass breakup . . . Started the season opener at Auburn and recorded a tackle for loss . . . Made a season-high four tackles in three games: Connecticut, NC State and Duke . . . Had a sack for an eight-yard loss against Duke and a tackle for loss against NC State . . . Credited with a pass breakup against Virginia Tech.

2004: Madehis mark on special teams as a true freshman last fall . . . Caused and recovered a fumble on a kickoff return against Georgia, giving Tech possession at the 14-yard line to set up a touchdown . . . Made the Top 10 Plays of the Day on ESPN with his crushing block on a punt return against Virginia Tech . . . Had two tackles on special teams.

HIGH SCHOOL: Named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Top 50 in Georgia . . . All-Southeast region selection by Prep Star . . . Ranked among the Top 100 in Georgia by . . . Returned two fumbles and an interceptions for touchdowns . . . Had 56 tackles, six tackles for loss, three sacks, three fumble recoveries, five pass breakups and a blocked kick . . . Also caught three passes for 54 yards and a touchdown and scored two two-point conversions . . . Made 59 tackles as a junior with nine sacks, 10 tackles for loss, one interception and a fumble recovery . . . Three-year letterman at Bradwell Institute.

PERSONAL: Full name is Gary Donnell Guyton . . . Parents are Janice and Gary Guyton, Sr. . . . Born November 14, 1985 . . . Majoring in management.

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Bio courtesy Georgia Tech Athletics

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