Scout's Notebook: LB David Herron

Rookie free agent David Herron faces a crowded depth chart in his quest to crack the 53-man roster, but it won't be due to a lack of effort or dedication. Another possibility for Herron might be a look on offense, as a developmental prospect at fullback, the position he played in high school. Here's a full scouting report.

#58, David Herron, LB
(6010, 239, 4.64-4.86) Michigan State

Notes:  Born June 17, 1984.  Parents are David, Sr. and Brenda Herron.  Father is a pastor.  Attended Warren G. Harding (Warren, Ohio) High School, playing football for head coach Tom McDaniels.  Was the blocking fullback for Maurice Clarett, who rushed for 2,194 yards and 38 touchdowns in 2001.  Also played defensive end.  Team had an 18-5 record his final two seasons.  Also lettered in basketball.  Grew up and attended the same high school as the late Korey Stringer, and his mother was a cousin of Stringer.

College:  After seeing little action in the first two games of the 2002 season as a fullback, the coaching staff decided to redshirt Herron to let an ankle injury heal.  He played mostly on special teams as a sophomore, adjusting to a position switch to inside linebacker, coming up with eight tackles (five solos) and a forced fumble in 2003.  In 2004, he took over "whip" linebacker duties, starting 11 games and finishing with 95 tackles, 8 tackles-for-loss, 3 sacks and 2 pass breakups.  In 2005, he posted 65 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 PBU and 3 fumble recoveries.  He was voted by teammates as one of four co-captains (along with fellow Viking Kyle Cook).  Started every game as a senior (2006) and recorded 79 tackles, 7 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 INT and 4 forced fumbles.  Started 34-of-50 games for the Spartans during his college career.  Majored in family community service and participated in various community projects, including the Toys & Teams program collecting and distributing gifts to needy children in the Lansing area.

In pro day workouts, Herron recorded 19 reps at 225 pounds and posted times of 1.55 (10-yard dash), 2.63 (20-yard dash), 4.64-4.86 (40-yard dash), 4.42 (20-yard shuttle), 7.03 (3-cone drill) with a 34 ½-inch vertical jump and 10’-2” broad jump.  Squatted 585 pounds; measured 32 ¼ inch arms and 9 ½ inch hands.  Is right-handed and wears contacts.  Also demonstrated blocking and receiving skills during MSU’s pro day.

Pro:  Signed by the Vikings as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2007 NFL Draft.

Positives:  Vocal leader on defense.  Tough and aggressive.  Hard worker with good football character and intelligence.  Shows good instincts and reactions.  Diagnoses quickly.  Can blow plays up at the point of attack.  Can take on blockers at the point of attack.  Uses his hands well to shed blockers.  Pursues aggressively.  Good straight-line speed and above-average range.  Shows some feel in zone coverage.  Should contribute on special teams.  Might be worth a look at fullback, where he shows ability as a lead blocker and occasional pass receiver.  Catches the ball away from his body nicely.  Strong, tough, physical runner.

Negatives:  Limited open-field athlete.  Is primarily a straight-line guy who struggles some in space.  Looks stiff and inflexible.  Somewhat limited experience and still learning to read and react.  Hesitant at times.  Will struggle in man-to-man coverage, especially at the pro level.

Summary:  Fairly productive but doesn’t truly stand out in any one area.  Has athletic limitations in the open field, particularly for a Cover-2 linebacker.  Could merit a look again as a fullback, where he has some experience and would seem to possess more than adequate physical tools.

What they said:

“Herron is the type of linebacker who usually gets overrated because of his toughness and inside tackling ability.  He projects as a late-round/free-agent option as a good backup, contributing mostly on special teams and in short-yardage and goal-line situations.” – The War Room

“Give Herron a year or two on special teams while brushing up on his blocking skills, and some team might get a nice blocking back for its ground game.  He showed at Michigan State's Pro Day that he has the hands to be an efficient third-down receiver, and even old high school teammate Maurice Clarett can attest to Herron's blocking skills.  His chances of making the roster are much better as a fullback than at linebacker.” – NFLDraftScout.com

“Herron is a hard-nosed kid who can fill a few roles and has the athleticism to surprise in time, and he could eventually start inside.  He will be a solid special-teams guy, and a good late pick or priority free agent with upside in a 3-4 defense.” – Frank Coyle, Draft Insiders Digest

“Tough, run-defending two-down linebacker.  Flows to the action, wedges his way upfield and quickly fills gaps in run defense.  Explosive at the point and quickly closes to the action.  Does not play with great balance and is slow adjusting off the initial block.  Not decisive in coverage, chases opponents down the field and possesses marginal ball skills.  A productive linebacker with a good head for the ball in run defense, Herron has possibilities as a backup in a 34 alignment.” – Scout.com

Other links:  College Bio | NFL.com | Scout.com


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