In evaluating the linebackers here in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, it’s an average group. There are some MIKE LB’s and some WIL’s, but I found three players that I love, who I think could play early and often next year.
The first is Haason Reddick of Temple. This is a really interesting player. He’s 6-1, 235 pounds and played DE at Temple. This week was the first time he ever played standing up, and if you didn’t know that, you’d think he’s been playing there all his life. He came to Mobile and learned the Mike and WIL spots. He’s a powerful player with pass rush skills (9 1/2 sacks last season). As a WIL, he can be a run and hit guy in a 4-3 scheme, his key and diagnose is very good, and his drops are way better than I thought they would be for a guy his size. If your team is looking for a run and hot guy who can come off the edge as a blitzer, he’s your guy. He came in as a late 2nd, early 3rd-round player, but he’s moved up among all the scouts I’ve spoken to here.
The next guy is Duke Riley out of LSU. He’s 6-0, 230 pounds, and actually looks smaller than that, but this is a full blown speed rushing WIL LB. He’s a hybrid player who can also line up in the slot and man up, and has great range. He reminds me a lot of Deion Jones of the Falcons, or Lavonte David of the Bucs.
Finally, I alos like Ryan Anderson of Alabama. They have him playing here as a pass rushing edge guy and he’s okay. He’s not great at it. But if you just watch him play football, see him get rid of blockers, play the run, and close down on things, he’s very good. He’s a really versatile player at 6-2, 258 pounds. At that size, he can handle playing inside in a 3-4, can stand up as an outside ‘backer, or put his hand on the ground and rush the passer. He fits any scheme and a good staff will find a place for him on the field.
None of them is a 1st-rounder in my mind, but these guys can play at a high level and contribute early in the NFL. The rest of the group are likely 6th and 7th-round players.Add to My RFN