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MLB in the 2007 Draft

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Inside Linebacker Cover 2: very good foot speed, agility, may lack ideal bulk. Two-down run stuffers: size and strength (point of attack) Every-down player: smarts, great instincts, strong intangibles and high character . 1. Patrick Willis - 6011, 237, 4.37, ...

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Old 04-17-2007, 09:42 PM   #1
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MLB in the 2007 Draft

Inside Linebacker
Cover 2: very good foot speed, agility, may lack ideal bulk.
Two-down run stuffers: size and strength (point of attack)
Every-down player: smarts, great instincts, strong intangibles and high character .

1. Patrick Willis - 6011, 237, 4.37, Ole Miss

One of the most prolific tacklers in recent memory during his time in the SEC, is a quiet, confident leader has everything it takes to become a star. Willis is a tackling machine. He has amazing intelligence and can read and react with the best of them. Willis has an unbelievable awareness on the field that allows him to read and react to fill the holes against the run or drop into coverage. He has good speed and quickness with the range to go sideline-to-sideline. When he get there he is a big hitter and reliable tackler. He is rarely out of position and doesn't often fall victim to play fakes and misdirection. He gets good depth on his drops and has good instincts and takes proper angles to the receiver, creating more than a few pass breakups by nailing an opposing receiver as the ball arrives. Once again a strong and powerful intimadator in the middle. Versatile and could conceivably play either inside or outside. Good pass rusher on blitzes. Hard worker and a leader with top-notch intangibles. Willis is a leader on and off the field--a true character guy that a coach and team would love to have wearing their team's jersey.

Willis relies heavily on his ability to read the action to get into position to make the play and doesn't have the athleticism of some other LBs to improvise when necessary. He is adequate in coverage but nothing special and he can still stand to improve in that area. He needs to make better use of his hands to avoid cut blocks and lacks ideal lateral quickness and has a tendency to takes a few false steps to the ball after the snap. Needs to bulk up and get a little bigger. Plays too high at times and gets overwhelmed by massive blockers. Has some durability concerns.

Willis is a terrific defender who brings an emotional presence to the field and a true character guy that a coach and team would love to have wearing their team's jersey. Simply one of the best linebackers available this year.
He soared 39 inches in the vertical jump and ran the 40 in 4.51 seconds at the combine

2. Anthony Waters - 6025, 245, 4.69, Clemson

Big time ACC middle linebacker, who has the toughness and anticipation skills to snuff out the run and the overall speed and athletic ability to excel in coverage. Posted 109 tackles last season and has collected a total of 214 during his career. Also flirted with the idea of leaving Clemson after his junior year, but decided another season at Clemson would help his draft stock.
Natural at LB: Smart, great size, bulk, excellent instincts, reliable tackler and a big hitter. He fights through blocks well and has solid range. Versatile and a decent pass rusher. Good motor.

Average timed speed and agility. Solid but not great in coverage and will struggle in man situations. Doesn't have fluid hips, sub par hands and ball skills. Technique needs refining. Some minor character concerns.

One loose end: Some on you may remember Clemson ILB Anthony Waters. He suffered a very serious ACL injury early last season, and he hasn't been able to even begin working out; at least at this time. The reason that I mention him is that one of the scouts who knows him well, and who had been very high on his prospects told me that Anthony is the "kind of kid that you want to pull for". He "had practically nothing" in terms of things available as he was growing up, and he had made great progress with his life when he went down with his injury. He will be doing some pre-draft workouts in March, hoping that he'll be able to show enough to convince someone to take a chance on him. His situation bears watching.

Waters will be a Round 7 or undrafted player. Potential steal.
Due to injury, Waters was unable to attend the Combine or work out at Clemson's Pro Day on March 13. Although still not 100 percent, he had a personal workout at Clemson on April 3, running outdoors on FieldTurf. Twenty NFL teams were represented. Waters (238 pounds) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.69. He also had a 34½-inch vertical jump. He didn't so the long jump or any other sprints but did well in position drills.

3. David Harris - 6022, 243, 4.55, Michigan

Harris absolutely defines the term "football player". Will not dazzle you, but comes to work everyday and tackles everything in sight. A classic, old-fashioned, run-stuffing middle linebacker. Has good size and a thick, solid frame to go with an excellent motor that never stops. He is smart with good instincts for the game. Terrific natural instincts and being especially adept at making the right reads. Diagnosing the play quickly, making the proper pre-snap read and then keeping the defenders around him in the right place. Harris does not get out of position on misdirection plays. He excels versus the run and reacts well. Has a "search and destroy" attitude. Lays the wood. Excellent tackler. Plays faster than he times. Has showcased impressive pass rush abilities. Is able to constantly shed blocks and get to the ball. He brings intangibles to the position and will be a good character player for the locker room.

Harris has short arms and his body might be maxed out. Struggles in space and looks stiff in coverage. Not much of a pass rusher and doesn't make a lot of impact plays. He is better in zone than man-to-man when it comes to sticking to most running backs or tight ends in man coverage, but he has the type of work ethic and dedication to improve as a pass defender over time. Has some durability issues. Does not possess elite intangibles. Overall upside is limited.

He can be productive playing the middle in a base 4-3 system or even inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Classic thumper in the middle who might be more of a backup or situational guy at the next level but he is a field general with outstanding intangibles.
***Harris had knee surgery in 2003 (left anterior cruciate ligament) and re-injured the knee in 2004 before fighting back to become a steady stopper over the past two seasons.

4. *Jon Beason - 6002, 237, 4.72, Miami (OLB/ILB)

An all-out hustler, Beason used an ideal combination of speed, smarts and natural instincts to become one of the best defensive playmakers in the ACC. A hard-hitting, firm tackler at the point of attack, Beason is able to diagnose the play quickly and weave his way through blockers to penetrate the line of scrimmage. Is not afraid to take on blockers. Uses his quickness to get around the big boys. He can carry between 230 and 235 pounds without losing a step and brings great character and intangibles to the field. Not only can he have an impact on a defense with his level of play, but he'll make others play harder if not better. Good pass defender. Smart player

The biggest concern will probably be his size. His speed is a quesion for some. Easily gets lost in the pile. He can be engulfed by the pile at times because he lacks great bulk to sustain his ground when faced with some lead blockers. He can also be a little too aggressive at times, leaving backs or tight ends open.

He may project as an inside linebacker for a team that uses its defensive linemen to keep its linebackers clean to make plays sideline-to-sideline, thus taking advantage of Beason's athleticism and minimizing problems related to his lack of height. While he may not be the second-coming of Jonathan Vilma, he is just a notch below that with the ability to play either inside or outside based on the scheme employed by the team that selects him.

5. *Brandon Siler - 6016, 241, 4.63, Florida

Brandon Siler has been a steadying force as a MLB since his true freshman year when he played in all 12 games and started 6 of them. He is all business when it comes to football. Siler has great size and a football body. He's naturally strong and fast, and shows good quickness and agility. Plays with a nasty demeanor so he is a hard hitter and has the speed to make plays sideline to sidelines as well as being a good blitzer, getting through lanes quickly.A big hitter and reliable tackler. He does a nice job versus the run showed the ability to fill and takes on blockers well. He plays with a low pad level and is outstanding against the run. His has smarts and great instincts to over come not being an an elite athlete. He is a tremendous read and react player and makes all the playcalls on the field. A lot of experience.

Siler doesn't inspire much confidence in his pass coverage. In coverage he lacks fluid hips resulting in him struggling in coverage and his ball skills are sub par. While he has the quickness and agility to run with the receivers, he doesn't show good footwork or ball skills. Ball skills are sub par. While Siler shows good tackling ability, at times he will try to make a big hit or just drag a guy down with his arms and will miss the tackle. He is not very explosive and lacks a burst so he does have limited range. Siler is better at avoiding rather than engaging or shedding blockers. He may not have a huge upside. A two down thumper.

Siler has starting potential but will be held back by marginal physical tools and he'll likely have to play in a scheme that hides his coverage deficiencies. A very good college player who might not be the pro prospect his press clippings would lead you to believe
He ran the short shuttle in 4.39 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.70 seconds. He measured a 9-foot-8 broad jump and completed 23 repetitions on the 225-pound bench press.
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:44 PM   #2
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6. H.B. Blades - 5106, 236, 4.69, Pittsburgh

Horatio Benedict Blades is a fiery, emotional true MIKE who never takes plays off, is 100% dedicated to football, and should push most current starting NFL MLBs for playing time early. A true force in the running game. Decisive and fairly instinctive that allows him to be in the right place at the right time, most of the time. Very instinctive with an excellent feel for the game. Blades is a compact, physical player that scrapes off blocks and fills very well and is strong at the point of attack. Works his way through traffic and makes plays laterally. A true force in the running game. A reliable tackler with good ball skills. Versatile with experience both inside and outside. Is quick and plays faster than he times. Never gives up and will not let anyone around him give up either.

Lacks size. Size presents limitations in pass defense. Is not very fluid in drops. Can be fooled. Not the fastest LB in the draft, and some NFL backs will run past him. Can be too quick to commit to the run and overruns plays--especially draws. Is not a great natural athlete and his range is limited. Doesn't take on blockers well and struggles to disengage. Has some durability concerns.

Too much ability, productivity, character and "want to" to be ignored early in the draft. Will be overlooked to a degree due to his lack of eye-popping physical tools but don't be surprised if he ends up being a steal for someone and has a nice, long career.

7. Buster Davis - 5093, 239, 4.62, Florida State

The unquestioned leader of the Seminoles' defense, Davis is certainly proof that "big things come in little packages." Has a motor that doesn't stop. Plays with heart and passion. Plays like he's 6'3. Makes play after play. Very instinctive and always around the action. Reads offenses well and has a high football IQ. Versatile and can play inside or outside. Buster is strong with a sturdy frame, that is a big hitter and solid tackler. Moves well with sideline-to-sideline range with a quick and has a burst. Good pass rusher and blitzer. An excellent leader with top-notch intangibles

Does not have the height that you look for and his body doesn't offer much room for physical development. Timed speed is below average. Struggles to match up and doesn't make a lot of plays in coverage. Vulnerable in traffic against massive blockers. Won't be a fit for every team and might need to be in the right scheme

Size will be the biggest factor, but he will hit you in the mouth.

8. Desmond Bishop - 6017, 233, 4.81, California

Desmond quickly became the Bears' starting middle linebacker and leading tackler. Desmond is a wall of a man and a leader. He is very good in pursuit and is an absolute monster against the rush. Bishop is a sure tackler when he takes the right angle, and can also rush the passer. He is a vocal and fiery leader, the heart and soul of this Cal defense the past two years. A very humble guy who works very hard.

With only a year of D-1 experience under his belt, Juco transfer from nearby City College of San Francisco, some question his polish. He is also not the flashy or sexy pick that you would expect from a first round selection. Questionable at times in coverage, something needed at the pro level from a MLB. Also, at times can take poor tackling angles, which leads to some missed tackles.

He is a fiery leader who won't disappoint the team that drafts him

9. Zak DeOssie - 6045, 250, 4.56, Brown

One of the premier small school sleeper prospects in this draft with terrific size and bulk with the frame to get bigger yet. With the speed at the inside linebacker position and the athleticism to play outside. Add in great range and moves well. He has the sleeper of 2007 written all over him.Superb in pursuit and has a motor that never stops. Does an outstanding job in coverage also. Zak's a tough player who plays with a nasty demeanor and has played through pain and still produced. An excellent special teams prospect who can also long-snap. He has a lot of experience and has led the team in tackles each of the last three years. An excellent special teams prospect who can also long-snap. DeOssie is also a heady player, as one would expect of an Ivy Leaguer.

Did not play against elite competition or had the coaching time to refine the small parts of his game. Needs to play with better pad level and shedding blockers. Average awareness & instincts. Has some durability concerns
DeOssie has racked up impressive stats, but most of them have come against unimpressive competition. He also had surgery for a shoulder that kept separating, but he appears to have fully recovered from it with no ill effects.He will play in the pros, even if it's only as a backup and special teams ace, but there is upside.

Easily one of the premier sleeper prospects available in this draft.

10. Justin Durant - 6007, 230, 4.48, Hampton

Durant is an athlete with marquee speed who was named the MEAC's Defensive Player of the Year three consecutive times. He's smart, has rock solid technique and really has a knack for putting himself in position to make plays. He looks fluid in all of his movements, rarely takes false steps, locates the ball quickly and plays with good balance. Quick. Diagnose a play quickly and make plays all over the field. Smooth and explosive fills gaps and makes a lot of plays on the field. Breaks down well. Moves well laterally, backpedals well into coverage and scrapes well in the box. A very athletic linebacker who is able to attack the line of scrimmage, explodes upfield filling gaps in run defense, takes good angles to the action and can deliver a pop. Has a fiery demeanor. Is fluid in space and solid in coverage. Drops comfortably into coverage as a pass defender. Figures to be a steady open-field tackler. Has been productive, is versatile and a hard worker with leadership qualities and top intangibles. Should contribute immediately on special teams.

Does not have great size and is especially lacking in the height department and is not as strong as you'd prefer. He can get overpowered at the point of attack if a lead blocker is allowed to seek him out without being touched. Isn't stout at the point and can be manhandled and struggles to disengage from blocks. Average pass rusher. Needs to do a better job with his technique when it comes to tackling. Level of competition is an issue.

Durant could be an ideal inside linebacker prospect for a Cover 2 scheme or Durant might start off on special teams while he gets a little more muscle on, and eventually end up at WLB.

Easily one of the premier sleeper prospects available in this draft.
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:46 PM   #3
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11. Quincy Black - 6015, 240, 4.42, New Mexico(OLB/MLB)

Attended Harper College near Chicago (IL) before coming to the Lobos and has all the physical tools you look for. His athleticism and having very good instincts seems to always put him around the ball when a big play is created. Black has the ability to play both inside or outside at the next level due to his speed that allows him the ability to cover alot of ground, vertically and horizontally, against the pass and quickly get to the ball carrier against the run. Black is a versatile defender that has good a burst to close in pursuit and he is a great blitzer . His open-field tackling skills are phenomenal, his target rarely slips by him; supposedly he only has five missed tackles this season. Against the pass he is fluid and does a tremendous job in coverage. He is very good at locating the ball. Great motor. Smart with solid intangibles...

He is relatively new to his LOBO position so he still lacks elite instincts and does not have a defined position yet. Despite being a JUCO defensive end he needs to work on his pass rushing technique and moves. He's a good two-way defender that needs to translate some of his weight-room strength onto the field, so he needs to do a better job versus the run. Especially at the point of attack as he can get turned around or pushed to the side if hit by an unblocked fullback or tight end. He needs to make better use of his hands to get off blocks or when trying to maintain his balance. Footwork and technique are sub par. Does not play as fast as he ran in workouts.

Quincy is a very intriguing developmental guy, has size and athleticism that rivals former Michigan State linebacker Julian Peterson, unfortunately he lacks the Julian's pass-rushing talent. His athleticism makes him a playmaker granting him the ability to cover tons of ground, vertically and horizontally, against the pass and quickly get to the ball carrier against the run. With his superior tackling skills and speed I think it would be best if he made the complete transition to strong safety. Cover 2 scheme middle linebacker thanks to his speed and cover skills. A bit of an underachiever? Still has upside.

Has all the physical tools you look for and he was a true workout warrior at the Scouting Combine...Has a 40+-inch vertical leap...A very intriguing developmental guy who may get pushed up draft boards in such a weak year for the linebacker position.

12. Jon Abbate - 5096, 231, 4.88, Wake Forest

This guy is a total over-achiever. He has been the team leader in tackles each of his three playing seasons. He can play but coming out early MAY have been a bad move. Anyone who saw Wake Forest play last season knows Abbate can play football. A tremendously productive middle linebacker who starred on one of this year's most surprisingly successful defensive units, Abbate is a compact, well-built defender with ideal instincts on the football field and unbelievable character. Abbate may be somewhat undersized, but he more then makes up for his lack of height with excellent quickness and a wonderful awareness of the game. His compact build lets him see the play, and he rarely is caught out of position. He will have to continue taking proper angles to the ball in order to make up for his lack of ideal straight-line speed. Smart. Hard nosed. Can get to the ball quickly because of his ability to read the play so quickly. Strong player. Agressive. Good form tackling ability.

Abbate needs to make better use of his hands to get off blocks. He also has shorter arms than you would like as it can allow ball carriers to get past him at the line of scrimmage. Sometimes too aggressive. Speed:
However, the junior had to answer questions about his speed at the Combine, and the answer he provided was a horribly disappointing 5.0 in the 40. Abbate did well in other drills, at times ranking among the elite at the position, but his 40 time -- more than a tenth of a second slower than any other linebacker tested -- is a huge red flag for teams debating if Abbate has the speed to cover sideline to sideline.

Every year there are players like this who will see their stock drop because they lack ideal measurements – he ran a 4.90 at the combine – but don't let the numbers fool you. All this kid does is play football, and that can't be judged or timed in a workout. The bottom line is this kid's effort, tenacity and willingness to pay the price may result in him being great on special teams and one day a 100-plus tackle guy. Could be an early Day 2 guy. A possible steal.

13. Chad Nkang - 5115, 216, 4.41, Elon (LB/S)

With the NFL searching for quality Cover-2 linebackers, Nkang's physical ability, quickness and field vision is an ideal fit. The former fullback ranked among the nation's leaders in tackles the past three seasons. Against the run, Nkang excels at recognizing the blocking schemes, playing off of them and shutting down the rush lanes. Seems more comfortable making reads from the traditional middle linebacker position than at right inside line-backer. Might not have the size you look for in a traditional run stuffer, but makes up for with pure athletisim. Reacts quickly to jump the play in run support and takes good angles to the ball. With his ability to take good angles and see the play develop. Nkang is quick to react to misdirection. Has excellent vision to locate the ball in a crowd. He plays with a low pad level, decent strength, and body control. Has the range to make plays at the opposite end of the field and demonstrates a good job of slipping off, avoiding blocks in backside pursuit or taking on blockers at the point of attack. An explosive hitter that does a good job of splitting double teams and is very effective at shutting down the cutback lanes. Has a good feel for the ball carrier on the perimeter. Solid wrap-up tackler who stays low in his pads, plant-and-drive agility to redirect and has an exceptional burst to attack perimeter ball carriers. Has the loose hips and change of direction agility. Does not take wasted steps. His timing, awareness, and so much explosion, he will generally surprise a lethargic offensive linemen. Shows good awareness to locate and attack receivers working underneath. Has no problems digesting plays to take them from the chalkboard to the playing field

Nkang is still a work in progress reading pass plays and has to develop a better feel for the receiver through route progressions. Has the speed to stay with any receiver in the deep zone, but due to a lack of reps, it is hard to evaluate his ability to handle switch-offs playing in zone coverage. Not asked to play vs. the pass much and must show better hand usage in attempts to jam and reroute tight ends and slot receivers to compete at the next level. Needs to stay lower in his pads through his backpedal, but he comes out of it with few wasted steps to mirror the receiver on deep patterns. Still needs to get his head turned around and not eye the quarterback too long when playing in the deep area. Does not show natural hands for the interception and even with his good leaping ability, he does not attack the ball well to deflect it at its highest point. Like most undersized linebackers, he does not have the hand usage needed to shed blocks. Doesn't have the arm length to separate and must get off blocks quickly or he will get tied up. High-energy type who might get a little reckless and over-pursue. Still is developing the work ethic needed to put in the extra hours a self-starter needs to do in order to improve. Because of that in-line inability, he might be a better fit for an outside linebacker spot

Lacks ideal size or bulk and struggle to match up strength-wise to the bigger blockers, but has that sudden quickness to slip off blocks and make the plays. Could shift to outside linebacker or safety in a Cover-2 defense due to his range and closing burst

Elon senior linebacker Chad Nkang turned in a standout performance at the 2007 National Football League Scouting Combine this week at the RCA Dome, home of the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts.
A Hula Bowl team MVP and two-time Buck Buchanan Award finalist
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:49 PM   #4
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14. Johnny Baldwin, 6014, 232, 4.59, Alabama A&M

Linebacker posts good numbers for NFL scouts
Alabama A&M inside linebacker Johnny Baldwin may have secured his draft status Tuesday when he wowed about a dozen scouts from the National Football League at the school's annual pro day.
Baldwin was one of 10 Bulldogs to work out for NFL scouts. A 6-foot-1, 232-pounder, Baldwin put up impressive numbers in front of representatives from the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans.
Baldwin ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds, had a 38-inch vertical, 10-4 broad jump, 4.32 short shuttle, 6.91 three-cone drill and bench-pressed 225 pounds 28 times.
"He was very impressive," A&M coach Anthony Jones said. "His stock should have gone up. Johnny has been working extremely hard and it showed (Tuesday). He's been blessed where he stayed healthy, and he's going to get an opportunity to fulfill his dream."

15. Mark Zalewski - 6017, 232, 4.65, Wisconsin

A three-year starter, Zalewski proudly served as a mentor and leader on the field for the Badgers' young defense in 2006. The former strongside outside linebacker was a team captain ever since moving to the middle linebacker position as a junior. Lacks the bulk to hold up vs. combo blocks, but is very slippery in attempts to escape. Mark does have the frame that could carry another 15 pounds of bulk. Quick to react with good straight-line speed, keeping his pads low to fire off the snap and gain advantage in attempts to push back the lead blocker. Has very good lower-body power to drive back the runner's body lean. Makes good field adjustments and flows to the play well and makes proper calls and reads when attacking over the center and shows good urgency to close on the ball. Has good instincts to close on the ball, especially on outside plays. Reads the flow of the ball well and is very productive when he keeps plays in front of him. Takes better angles when closing and is an above-average tackler working in space. Slippery through a crowd and stays low in his pads to clog up the inside rush lanes. Has a good burst to close on the quarterback during limited opportunities to pressure. Not the type who will get out of control and outrun plays. Quick to react to the receiver coming out of the backfield and does a nice job of reading fakes. Effective breaking down and covering plays in the short-area zone rather than when asked to turn and run with his man. Is effective using those hands to press and re-route tight ends and backs in the short-area passing game. Plays until the whistle and you will never see him throttle down when not involved in the play. Studies film, works hard in practice and is a self-starter in the training room

Because of size limitations, he has shorter-than-ideal arms, he sometimes gets caught up in the pile. When he guesses, he will get caught in the flow of traffic. Will sometimes take a few false steps when changing direction. More bulk would make him even more effective tackling in-line and hitting through the holes. Is a little tight in his hips when trying to turn and recover vs. the cutback runs. Needs to open his hips quicker in his pass drops, especially when setting up in the zone. Slow turning out of his breaks poses some problems in man coverage on long routes

He has the experience to play inside in a 4-3 alignment, but his ability to string plays wide could see him more capable playing out on the strong side in a 3-4 defense.

16. Korey Hall - 6010, 232, 4.79, Boise St.

Korey is as good a linebacker as you will find west of the Mississippi. He plays with reckless abandon and has been the leader of the Boise State defense since his redshirt freshman year in 2003. Smart, and has been an unquestioned leader on a top 25 team for a long, long time. Consistent. Hustles. Pursues all over the field. Aware in pass defense. 11 career interceptions and 15 other PDs are surreal stats for a linebacker. Usually tackles solidly. Drops fluidly in coverage. Gets into the backfield and makes plays. Steady playmaker. Intangibles.

Gambles on occasion. Undersized, and size potential is limited. Looks very good in pass defense at this level, but the WAC ain't the NFL. May have point-of-attack issues at the next level.

Named second-team preseason All-American by NationalChamps.net...Named to the preseason watch lists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Lott Trophy...Named WAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in a vote of the league’s media...Named the WAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year by The Sporting News and Blue Ribbon...Named to The Sporting News and Blue Ribbon preseason All-WAC teams. Named the 10th-best inside linebacker in the country heading into the 2006 season by Sporting News

17. Blair Phillips - 6011, 243, 4.77, Oregon

Blair has great size for a linebacker to go along with pretty good speed. He is quick to the ball and can really tackle one on one. Has good instincts, but sometimes relies on them a little too much. He also has pretty good hands and reads the QB's eyes very well. Phillips is also very good lining up at the line, with his ability to rush the passer.

Not quite the athlete of most 1st day LB's. He's a tad bit too big for a prototypical LB but too small for a DE/LB hybrid. If he adds a bit of weight once he gets to the pro's, he might make a very good DE/LB hybrid, however, he shouldn't be drafted based off that potential.

Transferred from Mississippi Fulf Coast Community College following his sophmore season. He became a starter midway through his Junior season and was the full time starter in 2006.A very productive LB in college who could use just a little bit of work before reaching his final potential.
A solid mid day 2 pick if not higher.

Knee surgery forced him to miss 2006 Spring practices
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:51 PM   #5
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18. Cameron Jensen - 6017, 238, 4.73, B.Y.U.

A three-time football letterman, two-time Bronko Nagurski candidate, an 2007 All-American candidate, and three-time Academic All-Mountain West Conference selection. Also played one year of JC ball at Ricks College despite being recruited by Oklahoma, UCLA, Arizona, and Utah. Redshirted his freshman year at BYU after returning from a church mission in Rostov, Russia. Jensen is the type of linebacker who always has a nose for the ball. His knowledge and intuition of the game help him disect many scenarios. He is a natural leader on the field guiding and managing his teammates very well. Jensen also has good height and weight for the linebacker position which will help him make the physical transition to the NFL.

Jensen's biggest weakness is his athleticism. He's been known to be lacking in the speed category and probably a little slow in the shuttle and 3-cone drills.
His NFL team would do best to not play him into the role of outside linebacker. Jensen's true value lies in his smarts, instincts, and leadership which would be best brought out in the middle of a defense. It's the level of competition in the M.W.C. that has kept his draftstock low and probably kept him from receiving a combine invite. In my opinion he certainly has the credentials to rise into the first day.

19. Quinton Culberson - 6005, 236, 4.65, Mississippi St

Culberson is a versatile player who was originally signed by Mississippi State as a corner. He was a Freshman All-SEC selection as a corner in 2003. In 2004 he moved to strong safety and then in 2005 found a home at inside linebacker. Aside from Culberson's versatility, one immediately notices his fantastic athleticism. He moves exceptionally well for a LB and is a tackling machine. His time as a corner and safety have helped him succeed in coverage. Agile with fluid hips and terrific ball skills. Great in pursuit sideline-to-sideline and closes fast. Hard worker with a good motor. Special teams potential. Still improving and has upside.

Still learning the ins and outs of the game and, as such, his read-and-react skills aren't quite where they should be. Undersized and doesn't have the ideal height or bulk that you'd prefer. He needs to be more physical as he tries to avoid blockers instead of meeting them head-on. Relies on athleticism too heavily and needs to show more football instincts. Timed speed is just average at best. Needs to get stronger. Lacks top instincts.

Culberson's an intriguing prospect who is far from a finished product and will need to be developed but he certainly has some physical tools to work with. He could be a successful special teamer while he continues to learn the game and reach his potential. Ran into off-the-field trouble in high school when he fought with police.

20. Matt Muncy - 6006, 242, 4.58, Ohio U

Well rounded linebacker effective in run defense, on the blitz or covering the pass. Could back-up for a one gap system.If he was a couple inches taller, he'd be an almost certain top prospect. But even at his current height, he's all football player and might surprise people at the next level.
37-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-8 broad jump, a 4.22 short shuttle, a 7.18 three-cone drill and 26 bench presses.

DD.com Comment: That's a great overall workout for a linebacker. As we have stated in the blog since 2005, this is a kid we think can really surprise people and make it in the N.F.L. -- much like former Akron linebacker Chase Blackburn (Giants) did in 2005 and former Miami (Ohio) linebacker John Busing (Bengals) did in 2006. Muncy is a former high impact high school tailback/safety, who was moved to linebacker in college. This two-time first-team All-MAC selection has been a defensive stalwart for the Bobcats since his sophomore season in 2004 and, more importantly, despite bulking up in college, he's retained his tailback like speed.

Zach Latimer - 6016, 234, 4.68, Oklahoma

Zach has a good frame with upper body Strength and room to add at least another 10 pounds of bulk without it affecting his foot speed. Adequate when reading keys and stays low in his pads to slip through trash and make plays in the middle. He plays with an aggressive nature and works hard to get through traffic in order to track down the ball. Shows good instincts and ball awareness, despite lacking the height to look over offensive linemen into the backfield. With good leverage against single blocks and keeps his hands inside his frame to push and find his way through tight creases to get into position to make the play. Shows no hesitation in his movements when he locates the ball. Best making tackles on the moves, as he shows better consistency delivering the low strike. Has marginal timed speed, but shows adequate lateral movement and change-of-direction agility to work down the line to close the cutback lanes and track the ball efficiently along the perimeter. Shows a good flow as he slides down the line. Compensates for that lack of suddenness with loose hips and good redirection agility working in the zone. Good at locating threats and handling switch-offs in the short zone area

Zach can be fooled by play-action and lacks a feel for underneath routes. Slow to come out of his breaks. He gets too erect in his backpedal and fails to generate the second gear to recover when the receiver gets behind him. Does not have natural hands for the interception (prefers to body catch). Liability as a blitzer, as he doesn't have the foot speed to explode through the line. Lacks the girth and bulk to split double teams. Gets bounced around a lot inside. Needs to use his hands better to disengage. Drops his head at times working in space, causing him to miss the tackle. Not a physical tackler and is more of a drag-down type Inconsistent motor. Finesses an opponent than strike them with force.

Has had shoulder problems that required two surgical procedures and also experienced neck stingers in 2006. He might contribute in a sub package or on special teams.

Kelvin Smith - 6020, 234, 4.70, Syracuse

Plays like a heat-seeking missile. Fits through gaps and makes tackles and is rarely blocked. A big run stuffer that comes up and delivers the lumber. Efficient he takes good angles to the action and wraps-up tackling. Very Instinctual player that has good Awareness in pass defense. Very, very strong for his size. A leader who keeps his own intensity up for 60 minutes (and more if they go to OT) and also fires up those around him.
Questions around his flexibility and vertical remain. Does not always guess right. Can be tricked. Does not prepare himself game-to-game as well as he will need to at the next level. Not an elite student in the classroom or the film room.

He has Keith Bullock's (his uncle) approach to the game, and is an undisputed leader of the resurgent Syracuse program. Smith works hard. Consideration: outside linebacker
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:54 PM   #6
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Keyonvis Bouie - 6'0, 225, 4.65, FIU

Keyonvis is a true tackling machine who missed two games last season and still posted 118 tackles. If “Ke-Ke” wasn’t playing in the All-Sun Belt Conference he’d be mentioned right up there with Paul Posluszny and the other top linebackers this year. Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year, All-Conference First Team: The SBC’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year before his season ending knee injury 10 games in with 119 tackles. 118 the year before.

Dedrick Harrington - 6031, 248, 4.68, Missouri

He can stop the run and is solid from the point of attack and engages contact well with his hands, but don’t ask for him to go up against a speedy wide receiver. He is good against the run, but lacks lateral speed and agility.
short shuttle in 4.28 and the three-cone drill in 6.90. He had a 35-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-11 broad jump and 26 bench presses.
strong safety at the next level?

Jay Henry - 6015, 225, 4.73, West Virginia

Very smart MIKE on one of America's best teams. He is called "Straight-A, Jay" by his teammates because that is all he has ever gotten since grade school is straight A's. Versatile former track, basketball and baseball athlete. Football speed. Play recognition and positioning. Desire. Adaptability. Coachability. Tackling technique is very sound. Has played against some of the best and done well. Strong for his size.
A poor man's Zach Thomas.

Size. Not a speed guy, but with his size he needs to be. Can get engulfed buy OGs and TEs. Could be a liability in pass defense. Would be better-suited as an ILB in a 3-4. Has never had to do it himself, always been surrounded by top-level help. Senior campaign was not his best, and he has dropped off many boards as a result. Disappeared for long stretches in several games, but that could have been by design...i.e. the WVU defensive system does not funnel stuff toward the middle at all.

Too productive, smart and tough to be ignored. Is a QB type who may make a roster. Deserves a 6th round grade, but will probably go undrafted due to size and depth of LB in this draft.

Tyler Knight - 6000, 212, 4.54, Mississippi Valley St.

A highly active instinctive player productive and tough was an All-American, 1st team All-SWAC Great around the line of scrimmage, a natural blitzer and though raw in coverage he reacts will enough to break up 12 passes, and did pick off one pass.

A total tweener too small to even be a 'Will' backer and very, very raw in coverage, if he can't be an in the "box" SS then he will be able to contribute only on special teams.

He reminds me of Billy Bates he will most likely be an UDFA, but if he can make the transition to SS he will be a valuable reserve and special teamer with possible starter upside.

Justin Warren - 6024, 236, 4.90, Texas A&M

Warren has great size for the position and makes plays all over the filed. Justin racked up an impressive 95 tackles last season, and finds himself on many defensive award watch lists.

short shuttle in 4.28 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.46 seconds. He measured a 35-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-7 broad jump and completed 16 repetitions on the 225-pound bench press.

Oscar Lua - 6011, 236, 5.46, USC

Lua had his starting MLB position taken away by Rey Maualuga, the sensational sophmore LB, , although being second best behind Maualuga is nothing to be ashamed of. Despite, only starting a handfull of games in 2006, Lua still managed to get 36 tackles, 2 of them for losses. Lua started 11 games in 2005 for the Trojans and racked up 66 total tackles. Oscar has very good lateral movement and is a solid tackler with good size and experience. Fully grasps the intricacies of being a middle linebacker. Takes very good angles approaching the ball carrier. Oscar played a lot of special teams his freshman year in college and will no doubt be a solid contributor there in the NFL if nothing else.

Oscar wasn't even the best MLB on his team this past year, although being second best behind Maualuga is nothing to be ashamed of. Oscar will never be a playmaking LB, and will probably never start at the next level.
Oscar is a good player, but will likely be a special teams player and backup LB at the next level.

Tony Taylor - 6 ft. 0.5 in., 240, 4.88, Georgia

Tony Taylor led the team in tackles, the ability to create turnovers and with starting experience at both inside and outside linebacker, he is something every NFL team covets. Taylor is a consistent force against the run, plays a lot faster than his reported 40 time as he covers the entire field. A big hitter and a solid tackler that has outstanding read and react skills. He's able to scrape and fill very well then is able to locate the ball carrier even in traffic. Does an excellent job in coverage and is very smooth for a man with his reported size and speed. Solid blitzer and makes his fair share of plays in the backfield and has that nack of making a lot of big plays.

Timed speed is only average and he is not quite as athletic as he used to be and has durability concerns. Does not have great size and could stand to bulk up a bit.

Tore his ACL in 2004 and missed part of the 2005 season with knee problems as well and his overall play in 2005 seemed to suffer a bit because of it. Could be a steal if he is totally recovered from the injury and can stay healthy.

Sam Olajubutu - 5086, 227, 4.61, Arkansas

An undersized defender that used every bit of his athleticism, instincts and emotional output to produce unexpected power that can be traced to his days as a wrestler. Olajubutu is highly instinctive, quick to diagnosis the play, fights through blocks and is rarely out of position when faced with misdirection plays. He's a very aggressive, fierce competitor that is not willing to stay blocked and Once he's got a hand on the ball-carrier, the play is done. He's an outstanding tackler who doesn't miss. Olajubutu moves very well in space, showing very good lateral movement with the speed to make plays in run-and-chase pursuit and shows the timing to be productive when asked to blitz. He is a good cover LB too. He gets good depth on his drops in pass coverage and is athletic enough to cover most backs or tight ends but at a big advantage on balls thrown high

The biggest issue with Olajabutu is his size. Any team that watched Sam Mills excel in the NFL for all those years will have to stop saying Olajabutu is too short. At the Shrine Game practices, he measured in at only five-eight and a half. His intangibles help set him apart from most others at this position. He also turned some heads with the results of his workout at the combine, running in the 4.6 range in the 40.
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:58 PM   #7
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Marvin Mitchell - 6030, 249, 4.66, Tennessee

Marvin Mitchell has overcome some injuries in his collegiate career, but when healthy, he is a big, physical tackling machine. He put up more than 100 tackles his senior season despite playing with a number of nagging injuries throughout the year. Tough, gritty player who is a great run plugger. He shows good instincts that put him in the right place to make plays. He's able to shoot the gap and get into the backfield to drag down ball-carriers for loss.

Durability is a huge concern for Mitchell. He'll play hurt, but he's almost always got something nagging him. Lack of athleticism and speed is overcome some by a playmaking knack, but the limited athleticism will be exposed more in the NFL than at UT.

Mitchell has the size and production teams desire in the middle of the linebacking corps. His fragility hurts his stock and sends him late into day two of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Dwayne Andrews - 5112, 240, 4.80, Fresno St.

This Locke High (Los Angeles) grad is from the same school that produced last year's CDS favorite and high riser, CB, Richard Marshall. Andrews is flying under the radar screen but is a 3-year starter who has been very reliable for the Bulldogs--playing at a high level over the years, despite the team's ups and downs. Powerfuly built. Low center of gravity allows him to lift and drive RBs backwards. Scrapes well at times. Tackles with authority. Usually in the right place. Can be disruptive in the backfield, but has not been a true up-the-field type as a MIKE--and wasn't asked to be. Productivity and reliability are his calling cards.

A bit short. Can get caught up in the trash and washed out of some plays. Has not had one career sack in 36 starts. May be a liability in coverage. Kind of a plugger who will never wow you with his athleticism.

Taurean Charles - 6010, 245, Taurean Charles

Overall he is a very agressive Mike 'backer who can play OLB too. He he good upper body strenghth but needs to gain strength in the lower body and to learn to use his hands and positioning to shed and stack at the POA, he has tremendous potential and baggage. He should stick if he has his head on straight. He played well in the inaugural Texas v. The Nation game and showed good ball skills. Strong upper and lower body, good instincts and loves to hit.

There are still a few lingering character concerns. 2004 U of Florida-Season Suspended in the pre season indefinitely from team activities.
In a year that is pretty strong at this position it is likely he'll stay on the boards unil mid day 2, but a team that falls in love with his agressiveness may take him as early as round 4.

Karibi Dede - 6000, 216, 4.60, Auburn

Dede is a small, but very athletic and quick, linebacker who has played a variety of positions (strong safety, mike and will backer). He was second on the team in tackles as a senior. Dede is a heady player who gives great effort. He is generally around the ball.

Not only is Dede undersized as a LB, he's not the most athletic player, limiting his chances of making a move to the defensive secondary.
Dede hasn't done much to really stand out.

Mike Klobucher - 6020, 239, 4.84, Ferris St.

Capped a fine career where he totalled 387 tackles over four year's as Ferris's starting MLB with a fine performance in the East Coast Bowl in Petersburg, VA (11/25/06) where he had 6 tackles in half a game of playing time, plus a TFL and a sack. Diagnoses and gets to the ball. Very smart, both on and off the field. Plays much faster than his timed speed. QB of the defense all four years in college. Very strong. Wraps up solidly. Scrapes and protects his legs. Fights through garbage. NFL size and strength.

Not the fastest guy if you are looking for track athletes. Ran a 4.94 (on questionable footing and equipment) at the East Coast Bowl. Pass drops will need work. Must get his head back around to the QB in pass defense. Level of competition hurts some, but he showed against IAA all-stars that he can play at any level. Desperately needs to be retimed.

A guy who will make your football team if you bring him in. Deserves a 6th round grade, but DII guys rarely get drafted. Priority UDFA.

Akeem Jordan - 5115, 225, James Madison

Great IAA athlete who was extremely productive as a senior. Named the Atlantic 10 defensive POTY in 2006. Plays linebacker like it should be played. Scrapes well and flows to the ball. Very aware. A true playmaker. Very aware as a pass defender. Blitzes well and can be a very disruptive force in the backfield. Wraps up. Young. May grow a little. Upside.

Is a classic tweener who is currently too small for full time LB duties at the next level, and too slow to easily make the change to a SS position. Not a blowup hitter. Lateral movement is OK. Sometimes gets out of position and takes false reads. Needs to add 10 pounds of muscle mass, without losing any speed and flexibility. If he can do that, he can make a practice squad.

Troy Collavo - 5114, 235, 4.75, Texas - El Paso
Also, one of the defensive stars of the inaugural Texas v. The Nation Game on 2-2-07.

Nick Bunting - 6010, 230, 4.67, Tulsa
Tyson Butler - 6005, 250, 4.80, Sacramento St.
Jeremy Castillo - 5110, 220, 4.65, Texas St.
Eugene Lang - 5110, 200, St. John Fisher
Timothy Lockett - 5110, 239, 4.77, Howard
Dedrick Harrington - 6031, 238 4.70, Missouri
Thaddaeus Washington 5-101/2 234 4.80, Colorado
Adam Goloboski - 5115, 220, Richmond
JASPER BRINKLEY - 6020, 258, South Carolina
Zach Diles - 6013, 240, 4.76, Kansas State
Terell White - Bowling Green
Leon Douglas - 6000, 235, Missouri Western

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Old 04-18-2007, 08:26 AM   #8
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Solid depth all around at MLB this draft. We all know the golden boy in this group is Willis but we're not going to be able to get him. Plenty of options will be left later in the first day if we want to address the position.
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