Top Sam Backers For The 09 Draft

They receive far less fanfare then their "Mike" and "Will" linebacker counterparts, but consistent play at the under-appreciated "Sam" backer position is vital. Come along with former professional scout Tom Marino and take your first look at the people who could soon make their mark in the pro game.

Brian Cushing of USC, first caught my eye as a true freshman playing against cross-town rival UCLA. Although his progress has been slowed due to nagging injuries, this New Jersey native has a great deal of size and physical skills. He is going to have to prove he can stay healthy over the long haul, but he has a chance to become something pretty special if he can in fact stay healthy and improve on his overall game.

I didn't see anything I didn't like about Zack Follett's game at Cal. He possesses excellent quickness, range and was very effective coming off the edge. Ball State's Bryant Haines (coming off an injury) and San Diego State's Allen Russell are two very productive football players. They can make substantial contributions as a special team players.

Would-be talent evaluators should pay special attention to South Florida tackle machine Tyrone McKenzie and sack master Lawrence English from Northern Illinois University. I've heard a great deal in recent months from some former colleagues in the scouting field regarding Maine backer Jovan Belcher and I am looking forwarded to seeing him perform during the 2008 college season.

Grade Last First School 2007 Stats
Solo - Assist - Total - Sack - TFL
A Cushing Brian USC 14-9-23-1-2.5-0
B Follett Zack California U 39-25-64-5.5-12.5-0
B Brown Cody Connecticut U 35-15-50-7.5-16.5-0
B English Lawrence Northern Illinois U 29-38-67-10.5-17-0
B McKenzie Tyrone South Florida U 63-51-114-0.5-9-0
B Sintim Clinton Virginia U 44-34-78-9-9-0
C Haines Bryant Ball St 65-60-65-0-7-1
C Bell Pierre East Carolina U 40-56-96-3-10.5-1
C Holt James Kansas U 54-43-97-2-13-0
C Belcher Jovan Maine U 36-49-85-10-17-0
C Davis Steve Minnesota U 29-25-54-0.5-3-0
C Allen Russell San Diego St 71-48-119-1-5.5-1
C Williams Jason Western Illinois U 42-65-107-8-16.5-0
C Levy DeAndre Wisconsin U 49-21-70-3-10-0

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