Erasmus James, Wisconsin, 6-4, 266 — Fifth-year senior … Two-year starter … Came on strong as a true junior with 57 tackles, eight for a loss and four sacks … Redshirted in 2003 with a hip injury … Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year, despite missing all or part of three games and playing the last three games injured, finishing with 36-11.5-8 … Is married … Very fast off the ball … Runs down plays anywhere on the field … Good change of direction … Multiple pass moves … Doesn't have elite speed, but has good closing speed once he sees the QB … Never lets up or takes plays off … Durability is huge question mark … Only really had one full season as an elite player … Has solid upper body, but struggles in driving inside or bottling up the run … Didn't lift at the Combine, which raised some eyebrows … Needs to improve lower body strength, which could be difficult given his hip injury … Ran a 4.79 40 at the Combine, with a 37-1/2 inch vertical jump, a 10-2 broad jump and a Wonderlic score of 17.
PROJECTION: When healthy, James is a difference maker, but health has been a problem. A team will either have to sit with a pressing need or be willing to gamble a high first-round pick. He could be an All-Pro with Jevon Kearse-like sack numbers, but his durability could knock him down on some boards as they opt for players with less of an injury history.
Erasmus James Predraft Summary Analysis
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