UDFA File: LB Spencer Havner

You never know what to expect on draft day, but UCLA linebacker Spencer Havner had every reason to think that he would be selected at some point during the proceedings. He ended up going undrafted, however, and will have to settle for a chance to earn a spot with the Redskins.

Redskins UDFA Fact Sheet

Name Spencer Havner
Position Outside Linebacker
College UCLA
Height 6' 4"
Weight 242
Scout.com Position
Rank
#13 @ Outside Linebacker
Scout.com Rating
(5
's max)
Scout.com Projected 
Draft Round
Early Fourth

The NFL draft is an unpredictable animal, even to those most affected by it. As the draft was unfolding in New York, Kili Lefotu, Washington's sixth-round selection, was puttering around the University of Arizona campus until shortly before he got drafted, a development that he said was "totally unexpected".

Spencer Havner's draft weekend contained the unexpected, too, but it was of the opposite, more unpleasant variety. He settled in at his father's house surrounded by family, waiting for a phone call sometime in the late afternoon, perhaps as early as when pick #30 rolled around. The call never came.

It all seemed to be there for Havner. He was a four-year starter at UCLA and led the team in tackles in each of his last two seasons. In his junior year he led the nation in tackles with 125 and made some first-team All-America teams. After that he seriously considered coming out for the draft, but he decided to stay after a knee injury downgraded his potential draft status. Although he fell off some in 2005, he was healthy and seemed to be a solid NFL prospect. He played in the Senior Bowl and got favorable comments from our Scout.com observers:

Showed both intelligence and intensity throughout the practice sessions.  Needs to play under better control but answered some questions here.

It was on to the Combine and his performance there was respectable with a 4.77 time in the 40. However, some scouts were struck with what was perhaps a bit too much of that laid-back California attitude. His dedication and motivation came into question. Sometimes such raps are legitimate, sometimes they are not. Regardless, this one evidently proved to be the kiss of death for his draft aspirations.

Certainly, the three men who will be Havner's bosses--Dale Lindsey, Gregg Williams, and Joe Gibbs--do not take to low levels of motivation and dedication well. If a swift kick in the pants is what's needed to get Havner going, he'll have no problem finding someone to deliver one to him at Redskins Park.

Spencer Havner Nitty Gritty

40: 4.74 
Year:
5Sr

Bio: Four-year starter awarded All-Conference honors on several occasions. Led the team in tackles as a senior posting 92/15/2. Also intercepted two passes and broke up seven more. Posted career-best tackling numbers as a junior with 125/8.5/1. Never totaled less than 80 tackles any season in college.

Pos: Instinctive defender with the ability to be used at outside or middle linebacker. Reads the action, fires up the field and attacks ball handlers. Works to keep the action in front of him, displays skill in zone coverage and makes proper decisions.

Neg: Lacks a quick change of direction and speed to the flanks. Over-pursues the action and not efficient. Marginal skills in man coverage.

Analysis: A consistent player and leader on the college level, Havner could be used at one of several linebacker spots. Has starting potential at the next level if he consistently plays with a physical style.


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