2011 NFL Draft Linebackers
Von Miller (Texas A & M): He has done everything right to be a top-10 pick. He played well during the season, performed well at the combine, and dominated the Senior Bowl. Gifted rusher off the edge who can definitely get to the Quarterback.
- Akeem Ayers (UCLA): Looks much better on film than in workouts. Good burst off the edge, which his times don’t necessarily reflect. Has rare agility for an OLB. Athletic and versatile. Reliable tackler.
- Martez Wilson (Illinois): Mike Mayock’s top ILB is a better pass rusher than tackler. He’s a load at 6”4 250 but finds his way to the QB by ripping through holes. Excellent speed and length. Chad Reuter compared him to Karlos Dansby.
- Bruce Carter (UNC): When healthy, Carter is a force. Ridiculously athletic. Sheds blocks well. Hard hitter.
- Casey Matthews (Oregon): Gets better each game. Played great in BCS Championship, holding Cam Newton in check by making plays at the line of scrimmage and against the pass. Great football family. Good coverage skills and decent speed off the edge. Will be drafted too late.
- Greg Jones (Michigan St.): Lots of people knocking the All-American. No doubt in my mind he is a FOOTBALL PLAYER. Worst case, he’s the next Ernie Sims. He is a guy who will get passed by teams because he isn’t big enough or fast enough….but he’ll end up being an immediate impact player for whoever drafts him.
- Justin Houston (Georgia): Great first step, will be a transition to LB. Physical specimen who stood out at the combine. At his best rushing the QB.
- Chris Carter (Fresno State): Immediately popped off tape with his blazing speed and ability to “run the arc” to sack the QB. YouTube his highlights, they only have his film from 2009 where he dominates with a cast on his arm. Read deal.
- Quan Sturdivant (UNC): Moves well and good understanding in coverage since was a high school QB. Best attribute is run D.
- Brooks Reid (Arizona): Good quickness and great effort at Reid’s assets. Not quite polished enough in coverage but a part of a solid pass rush at AZ. Matthews comparisons aren’t accurate in my opinion.
- Nate Irving (NCST): Missed the entire 2009 season after suffering a variety of injuries in a car crash. Big build, plays the run well, and slowly regained explosiveness in 2010.
- Dontay Moch (Nevada): Former track star generated buzz during the NFL Combine when he ran in the 4.4s in the defensive line group. A little stiff and struggled against Castonzo in bowl game.
- Colin McCarthy (Miami): Decent speed for ILB but doesn’t have great strength and takes poor angles to the ball. Sure-handed tackler and great against the run, instinctual.
- Mason Foster (Washington): Like Jones, not the biggest guy but he brings it every play. Uses great instincts to evade blocks with quickness, not physical.
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