Positives: Alert and very active keying and diagnosing the plays…Takes on blocks with aggression, showing proper hand technique to prevent the lineman from gaining leverage…Extremely physical when taking on the tight ends, delivering crunching hits to reroute his man away from the play…Has the foot agility and hip swerve to redirect and close from the outside…Shows the lateral agility to flow with the play, staying low in his stance to extend his arms, wrap and secure the ball carrier near the line of scrimmage… Excels in press coverage, possessing the strength to easily jam the receivers…Drops back decisively in pass coverage…Shows good ball anticipation skills and has developed good rip-&-swim moves to generate a quick outside blitz…Very intelligent, both on the field and in the classroom…Has impressive raw natural ability and power with rare speed for a player his size…Has the range and body control to stay with the play on deep routes…Delivers a solid hand jolt to maintain separation knifing through traffic and an explosive closing burst to disrupt the quarterback in the pocket…Looks natural in handling the switch-offs in the zone, displying the quickness (4.49 in the 40-yard dash) of a defensive back.
Negatives: Development was hampered earlier in his career by a rash of injuries (knee and shoulder)…Uses his quickness more than his strength at the point of attack (not a stack-them-up type)…Slow at times to react to the play coming off the snap, but has the quickness to recover and flash towards the ball with intensity.
Pro Football Weekly
Positives: Looks the part. Has a great body. Is very athletic and has tremendous speed and jumping ability. Runs like a deer and jumps like a kangaroo. Can be an explosive hitter. Can make plays sideline to sideline and blitz off the edge. At times, does a terrific job in coverage and looks natural. Can run with receivers and backs and blanket tight ends. Should make an excellent special-teams player.
Negatives: Hot and cold player whose lack of football instincts and experience often handicap him. Can do everything you would want an outside linebacker to do, but does not do anything well on a consistent basis. Late reactor who generally needs to see things unfold before he can react. Will let the play-action fake freeze him. Has too much indecision in his play. Lacks awareness against the pass and at times will look a little lost. Has a hard time coming off blocks. When he gets blocked against the run or when blitzing, he tends to stay blocked. Has not been that durable.
Summary: Great workout guy who flashes all the tools, but unless the light goes on and he really starts to see the big picture, he will be a player that looks like Tarzan and runs like a deer, but does not get enough done. Is a lot like Mark Fields was, but not as nasty, aggressive or explosive.
TFY DRAFT PREVIEW
THE GOOD: Athletic, weak-side linebacker effective defending the pass. Moves well laterally, runs with tight ends down the field and pursues to the action with speed. Disciplined, does not bite on play action passes and stays with his assignments. Slides off blocks laterally, rarely off his feet and squares into his tackles, wrapping up. Strong at the point of attack.
THE BAD: Not overly instinctive, late reacting to the action and a bit slow locating the ball in pass coverage. Not quick or explosive and has difficulty getting off blocks once engaged with the opponent. Shoulders injuries may have hurt his development early in college but if totally healthy a solid prospect at the next level.
THE SKINNY: Established himself as a first day pick at the combine. Mid Third Round.
Raonall Smith Analysis
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