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Sideline Blitz Top 10: Line Backers

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We just keep rolling from offense to defense. Now we introduce the top 10 Line Backers. We have a few surprises on our list. Yes there seems to be an SEC biased, but we can’t help where the talent is coming from at LB. We try to be fair… Anyway, let’s get into it.

 

1. Reuben Foster     Alabama

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Height: 6’0                              Hand Size: 10 1/4”

Weight: 229                            Arm Length: 32 3/8”

                                

Games Started: 31                

Team Captain:  Yes

 

 

Career Statistics:

2013: 9 games 12 Tackles (4 solo/8 assisted) 1 TFL

 

2014: 11 games 23 Tackles (12 solo/11 assisted) 2 TFL, 1 Sack

 

2015: 15 games 73 tackles (48 solo/25 assisted) 8 TFL, 1 sack, 9 PBU, 3 QB hurries

 

2016: 15 games 115 tackles (60 solo/55 assisted) 13 TFL, 5 sacks, 2 PBU, 8 QB Hurries

 

Combine / Pro Day Testing:

 

40 Yard Dash:                                                 10 yard Split:

 

Bench:                                                             Vertical Jump: 41”

 

Broad Jump:                                                    Short Shuttle: DNP

 

Three Cone:                                                     Combine Notes: No Work out: Shoulder. Sent

home from Combine

 

Scouting Report from Scout Bret LaGasse:

 

Foster is the best linebacker in this draft. He has the size, speed, and athleticism NFL teams look for at the MLB position. He plays downhill and loves to lay the wood. He is quick to react and has fantastic initial pop on the first hit. He stays aggressive including blitzes. He has gotten better at tackling since coming to Alabma. He lacks the natural instincts that other LBs have, but he makes up for those with quick reaction. He can be fooled by play action. His aggressive play can be taken advantage of. Most teams may covet him outside in a base package and inside on a nickel package. There are some questions about his attitude, as he was sent into the locker room against Washington by his coaches. He was also sent home form the Combine after getting into an altercation with a hospital worker 

 

Round Value: 1st round

 

2. Zach Cunningham Vanderbilt 

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Height: 6’3                              Hand Size: 9 1/4”

Weight: 234                            Arm Length: 34 3/8”

                                

Games Started: 27                

Team Captain:  No

 

 

Career Statistics:

 

2014: 11 games 67 tackles (37 solo/30 assisted) 6.5 TFL, 2 PBU, 1 QB hurry, 1 FF

 

2015: 12 games 103 tackles (69 solo/34 assisted) 16.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 3 PBU, 4 FF

 

2016: 13 games 125 tackles (71 solo/54 assisted) 16.5 TFL, 3 PBU, 1 QB hurry, 2 FF, 1 Kick/punt Block, 1 FR

 

Combine / Pro Day Testing:

 

40 Yard Dash: 4.67                                                     10 yard Split:

 

Bench:15 reps                                                            Vertical Jump: 35”

 

Broad Jump: 125”                                                       Short Shuttle: 4.29

 

Three Cone: 7.03                                                         Combine Notes:

 

 

Scouting Report from Scout Bret LaGasse:

 

Cunningham was the most productive LB in the SEC. He is a lengthy LB with good range and athletic ability. He doesn’t quit on a play, and has the recovery speed to catch the ball carry from the far side of the field. He has a slender frame, but he loves playing downhill with power. He takes great angles and shoots gaps to get TFL.  He avoids blockers well, but when engaged, struggles to disengage. He has the long arms to keep blockers from getting into him, but once they do, he does have a trouble disengaging. He will need to add some bulk, especially in his lower body. Even with his slender frame, he is tough and reliable as a starter. He is very good in zone coverage and man coverage. He can be a three down linebacker, that can offer coverage help against RBs out of the backfields and offer an extra man on TEs.

 

Round Value: 1st round

 

3.  Jarrad Davis Florida  

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Height: 6’1                              Hand Size: 9 3/4”

Weight: 238                            Arm Length: 33 1/2”

                                

Games Started: 23                

Team Captain:  No

 

 

Career Statistics:

2013: 12 games 24 tackles (16 solo/8 assisted) 2 TFL, 1PBU, 1 FF

 

2014: 9 games 23 tackles (11 solo/12 assisted) 1 TFL, 3 QB hurries

 

2015: 14 games 98 tackles (46 solo/52 assisted) 11 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 4PBU, 7 Qb hurries, 1 FF, 1 INT

 

2016: 9 games 60 tackles (29 solo/31 assisted) 6 TFL, 2 sacks, 4 PBU, 5 QB hurries

 

Combine / Pro Day Testing:

 

40 Yard Dash: 4.59                                                     10 yard Split:

 

Bench:23 reps                                                            Vertical Jump: 38.5”

 

Broad Jump: 129”                                                       Short Shuttle:

 

Three Cone:                                                     Combine Notes: Did not participate: Ankle

 

 

Scouting Report from Scout Bret LaGasse:

 Davis a freakish athlete with good size and strength. He is a long LB with a stout build. He has the athleticism needed to play sideline to sideline and can catch ball carriers from behind. Like Foster, Davis brings the wood when he hits. He has a good base, and springs forward into the ball carrier. He is a strong wrap up tackler and doesn’t usually allow ball carriers to get away when he is squared up. He is a very effective blitzer and is a missile. He has the athleticism to be a spy LB against athletic QBs. He can take bad angles downhill and tends to get over aggressive. He can run by the ball carrier, causing him to arm tackle. Injuries have been a concern for him. He is tough and did try to play through a leg injury, which was against Alabama. Ultimately he was not able to finish the game. Davis will likely start out as an OLB and eventually will kick inside.

 

Round Value: 1st round

 

4.  Tim Williams                      Alabama

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Height: 6’3                                          Hand Size: 9 1/4”

Weight: 244                            Arm Length: 32 3/4”

                                

Games Started: 36    

Team Captain:  No

 

 

Career Statistics:

2013: 7 games 3 tackles (2 solo/1 assisted) 1 TFL

 

2014: 12 games 5 tackles (2 solo/3 assisted) 1.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 3 QB hurries

 

2015: 15 games 19 tackles (13 solo/6 assisted) 12.5 TFL, 10.5 sacks, 4 QB hurries, 1 PBU

 

2016: 15 games 31 tackles (22 solo/9 assisted) 16 TFL, 9 sacks, 12 Qb hurries, 2 PBU, 2 FF 1 FR, 1 TD

 

Combine / Pro Day Testing:

 

40 Yard Dash: 4.68                                                     10 yard Split:

 

Bench:                                                                         Vertical Jump: 33.5”

 

Broad Jump: 124”                                                       Short Shuttle: 4.57

 

Three Cone: 7.36                                                         Combine Notes:

 

Scouting Report from Scout Bret LaGasse:

 Tim Williams is a quick twitch OLB/Edge Rusher. Williams fits in a 4-3 or a 3-4 as an OLB that can get after the QB and play the run. He has a quick twitch spin, that gets OTs off balance. He has the ability to get inside or outside, depending how he sets up his moves. He is listed as a LB for us, because of how he plays in space. Williams will be better off standing up and not playing with his hand in the dirt. He will be best moved around a defense and creating the ability for the defense to rush the passer from their base package or nickel package. 

 

Round Value: 1st – 2nd round

 

5. Kendell Beckwith              LSU 

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Height: 6’2                              Hand Size: 9 1/2”

Weight: 243                            Arm Length: 33”

                                

Games Started: 29    

Team Captain:  No

 

Career Statistics:

2013: 12 games 11 tackles (5 solo/6 assisted) 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF

 

2014: 13 games 77 tackles (36 solo/41 assisted) 7.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 QB hurries, 3 PBU, 1 INT, 1 TD

 

2015: 12 games 84 tackles (50 solo/34 assisted) 10 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 1 QB hurry, 1 PBU, 2 FF

 

2016: 10 games 91 tackles (33 solo/58 assisted) 6 TFL, 1 sack, 1 QB hurry, 4 PBU

 

Combine / Pro Day Testing:

 

40 Yard Dash:                                                 10 yard Split:

 

Bench:20 reps                                                Vertical Jump:

 

Broad Jump:                                                    Short Shuttle:

 

Three Cone:                                                     Combine Notes: Torn ACL DNP

 

 

Scouting Report from Scout Bret LaGasse:

 Beckwith has a big physical frame and is more of an old school thumper MLB. He is well coached, and is not caught over pursuing. He is gets hands on blockers first and does a great job of disengaging blocks. He has a good football IQ, and is able to identify plays. He has a good feel for the game. He needs to get consistent with taking on blocks in the second level. He does have tight hips, that may limit him to being more of a 2 down LB, however, he can cover over the middle of the field in a short area. He may struggle covering RBs out of the backfield.

 

Round Value: 2nd – 3rd round  

 

6. Tyus Bowser        Houston  

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Height: 6’3                              Hand Size: 10 1/8”

Weight: 247                            Arm Length: 33 ¼ ”

                                

Games Started: 23    

Team Captain:  No

 

Career Statistics:

2013: 13 games 26 tackles (11 solo/15 assisted) 5.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 11 QB hurries, 2 PBU, 1 INT, 1 FF

 

2014:  13 games 13 tackles (5 solo/8 assisted) 3.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 3 QB hurries

 

2015: 14 games 50 tackles (27 solo/23 assisted) 6.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 6 QB hurries, 3 PBU, 1 INT, 1 FF

 

2016: 8 games 47 tackles (27 solo/20 assisted) 12 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 9 QB hurries, 3 PBU, 1 FF

 

Combine / Pro Day Testing:

 

40 Yard Dash: 4.65                                         10 yard Split:

 

Bench:21 reps                                                Vertical Jump: 37.5”

 

Broad Jump: 127”                                           Short Shuttle:

 

Three Cone: 6.75                                             Combine Notes:

 

 

Scouting Report from Scout Bret LaGasse:

 Bowser is a long, athletic OLB. He has shown the ability to rush the passer and create havoc in the backfield. He doesn’t have the adequate size to be a consistent edge rusher, which will cause him to be a stand up OLB. He is an athletic OLB with good foot work and fluent hips. He moves well in space and has good change of direction. He struggles to get off blocks from bigger OL. Has not shown to be productive as a much as one would expect. He can cover TEs and even RBs out of the backfield. Bowser needs to be polished, but his athleticism is hard to pass up.

 

Round Value: 2nd – 3rd round 

 

7. Ryan Anderson           Alabama  

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Height: 6’2                              Hand Size: 9 3/8”

Weight: 253                            Arm Length: 31 1/2”

                                

Games Started: 30    

Team Captain:  Yes

 

Career Statistics:

2013: 13 games 5 tackles (2 solo/3 assisted), 1 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 QB hurry

 

2014: 14 games 25 tackles (12 solo/13 assisted), 8 TFL, 3 sacks, 9 QB hurries, 1 FR

 

2015: 15 games 37 tackles (21 solo/16 assisted) 11.5 TFL, 6 sacks, 10 QB Hurries, 2 FF

 

2016: 15 games 61 tackles (30 solo/31 assisted) 19 TFL, 9 sacks, 10 QB hurries, 3 PBU, 1 INT 1 TD, 4 FF, 2 FR

 

Combine / Pro Day Testing:

 

40 Yard Dash: 4.78                                         10 yard Split:

 

Bench:20 reps                                                Vertical Jump:

 

Broad Jump:                                                    Short Shuttle:

 

Three Cone:                                                     Combine Notes:

 

 

Scouting Report from Scout Bret LaGasse:

 Ryan Anderson is a big physical LB with good instincts. Has good hand work to get off blocks and make the tackle. Good power to run through blocks and deliver a hit on the ball carrier. Sets the edge against the run and plays the run very disciplined. Does not get out of position very often. He is likely a better fit for a 3-4 or 4-3 as an OLB. He is not an overly creative pass rusher and tends to get blocked while rushing the passer. He hustles to the ball every play and doesn’t quit. Well coached LB that is NFL ready.

 

Round Value: 2nd – 3rd round 

8. Raekwon McMillan    Ohio State 

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Height: 6’2                              Hand Size: 9 3/4”

Weight: 240                            Arm Length: 33”

                                

Games Started: 26      

Team Captain:  Yes

 

Career Statistics:

 

2014: 13 games 54 tackles (30 solo/24 assisted) 6.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT 1 TD

 

2015: 13 games 119 tackles (57 solo/62 assisted) 4 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 5 QB hurries, 4 PBU

 

2016: 13 games 102 tackles (49 solo/53 assisted) 7 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 QB hurries, 4 PBU,  2 PBU

 

Combine / Pro Day Testing:

 

40 Yard Dash: 4.61                                         10 yard Split:

 

Bench:23 reps                                                Vertical Jump: 33”

 

Broad Jump: 121”                                           Short Shuttle: 4.39

 

Three Cone: 7.15                                             Combine Notes:

 

 

Scouting Report from Scout Bret LaGasse:

 McMillan was a productive LB immediately for Ohio State. His first year as a starter was their championship year. He is a physical LB that plays well downhill. He takes good angles and tends to beat pulling guards to the ball. He has violent hands and always takes on blocks hands first. He finds the ball and sheds the block. Better in coverage than given credit for, and is a solid zone coverage LB. He started out at Ohio State as more of a slender LB, but bulked up over his three seasons there. He has the size NFL teams look for in a traditional MLB. McMillan may be a late day 2 pick or a day 3 pick, but he has potential to be a day one starter.  

 

Round Value: 3rd-4th round 

 

9. Anthony Walker Jr            Northwestern 

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Height: 6’1                              Hand Size: 9 1/2”

Weight: 238                            Arm Length: 30 3/8”

                                

Games Started: 33    

Team Captain:  Yes

 

Career Statistics:

2014: 12 games 51 tackles (29 solo/22 assisted) 9 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 2 Qb hurries, 3 PBU, 2 INTs 1 TD, 1 FF

 

2015: 13 games 120 tackles (63 solo/57 assisted) 20.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 2 QB hurries, 4 PBU, 1 INT, 1 FF, 2 FR 1 TD

 

2016: 13 games 105 tackles (62 solo/43 assisted) 10 TFL, 2 sacks, 6 QB hurries, 5 PBU, 1 INT, 4 FF, 1 FR

 

Combine / Pro Day Testing:

 

40 Yard Dash: 4.65                                         10 yard Split:

 

Bench:23 reps                                                Vertical Jump: 30.5”

 

Broad Jump: 116”                                           Short Shuttle: 4.34

 

Three Cone: 7.23                                                         Combine Notes:

 

 

Scouting Report from Scout Bret LaGasse:

Walker is a thick NFL caliber LB with decent straight line speed. He has burst, enough to catch ball carriers before they hit their second gear. He is a hard worker and will always be in shape. He was a captain, one of a few on this list and was the locker room leader of the team. He has a good sense of what’s happening around him and does a good job of seeing potential blockers. He knows how to read the QB’s eyes in coverage. He forced a lot of turnovers as a starter. 7 FF, 3 FR 1 TD, 4 INTs 1 TD, 12 PBU. He finds himself around the ball and constantly forcing turnovers. He can take a turnover and turn it into a big play, as evident by his 151 total return yards between fumble recovery returns and interception returns. He is a little stiff in his hips. He can be beat by quick backs in the hole, because of his stiff hips. His shorter arms make it a little more difficult for him to wrap up and tackle. He tends to attack with his hands after blockers are already engaged

 

Round Value: 3rd-4th round 

 

10. Alex Anzalone            Florida   

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Height: 6’3                              Hand Size: 9 1/8”

Weight: 241                            Arm Length: 32 1/8”

                                

Games Started: 10      

Team Captain:  No

 

Career Statistics:

2013: 8 games 2 tackles (2 solo/0 assisted)

 

2014: 12 games 14 tackles (6 solo/8 assisted) 1 TFL

 

2015: 2 games 6 tackles (2 Solo/4 Assisted)

 

2016: 8 games 53 Tackles (22 solo/31 assisted) 4 TFL, 3 sacks, 6 Qb hurries, 2 PBU

 

Combine / Pro Day Testing:

 

40 Yard Dash: 4.63                                         10 yard Split:

 

Bench:16 reps                                                Vertical Jump: 30.5”

 

Broad Jump: 116”                                           Short Shuttle: 4.25

 

Three Cone: 6.88                                             Combine Notes:

 

 

Scouting Report from Scout Bret LaGasse:

Anzalone (ann-zuh-LOAN-ee) looks like an old school like backer that is gifted athletically. He is a natural smooth athlete that can make plays from all over the field. Injury concerns have been his biggest flaw, which held him to only 10 total starts. He has not forced any turnovers, but has always found himself around the ball. He had a good Senior Bowl week, that showed his true potential. He showed great ability to cover RBs coming out of the backfield, as well as showing ability to sift through traffic to get to the ball carrier. He has good lateral quickness, which helps him keep up with cut back runners. He attacks iso blockers head on, using power to get off blocks. He does not shy away from contact. He has the athletic ability to cover TEs and RBs. He is a very capable 3 down LB that can play in any scheme. He has potential to play OLB or MLB. Usually we do not put guys on a top 10 list with limited starts, but Anzalone has everything people look for in a top LB.

 

Round Value: 4th – 5th round 

A large portion of our deciding factor is film study. Work outs help, production and leadership helps, and size helps, but all those factors do not say if these guys can play. These were our favorite 10 LBs that we think have the best ability from film study.

 

 

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