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Broaddus: Minter, Brown Among LBs Adept At Reacting

Posted Apr 23, 2013


IRVING, Texas – Here are some notes on linebackers to take a look at as the Cowboys get set for the NFL draft:
 
·         Kevin Minter                    LSU
 
Will step up to fill…physical at the point…takes on blocks and gets off them…is very quick to react to the ball…does an outstanding job of playing with his eyes…is aware in coverage…good in zone where he will sit down and disrupt the crossers…ran with the slot down the middle of the field against Florida…really does a nice job of playing his responsibility….stays square against the run…moves down the line to take on ball carrier…is able to spin out of blocker to make tackle…has some ability as a pass rusher…took on fullback for sack against Florida…took advantage of blown protection to get another sack…great hustle and effort to get to the ball…can cover some ground to the edge…has a nose for the ball…attacks…hustled all the way to sideline to cause a fumble…is able to scrape and read…will be too aggressive at times and over runs the ball…good with his hands…can really come from the inside to the out to make a play…shows quickness on the blitz…reads the screen well…makes it tough on receivers and tight ends on the inside…wrap up tackler…did not run well at Combine but better time at pro day…plays fast on film…will make someone look smart when selected…believe he moves well enough and has the awareness to be a Mike linebacker in this scheme.
 
·         Jarvis Jones                      Georgia

Plays as a weak side linebacker…gets up the field very quickly…can fold back inside to get in on the play…can get around the corner…will chase the ball…will drop in coverage…will get pushed past the hole on his rush…needs to do a better job of using his hands to get off blocks…wears a knee brace on his left knee…works down the line…has some explosive quickness…miss a tackle off the edge against South Carolina…will use a spin move to try and free himself…fooled on the read option…has a burst…doesn’t always get off blocks…able to work his hands inside on the tight end against South Carolina for a tackle for loss…will find the ball on the screen…extended on tight end…didn’t get much push on the twist…got cut off…was a transfer from USC after doctors found a spinal stenosis condition that forced him to leave the team there…has been cleared by teams but still some questions about his long term health will most likely scare some teams away…doesn’t always play strong but he can sharpen the corner with some pass rush…better suited as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme but could be a weak side in a 4-3…best thing he does is rush the passer…

·         Arthur Brown                  Kansas State

Plays as a weak side linebacker…moves very well…will take on then get into position to make the tackle…stays square and will avoid blocks…will flow down the line with ease…outstanding at getting to the ball…plays with a burst…can clear blocks…wrap up tackler…good zone drops…picked up the tight end in the flat…can really cover some ground when he sees it…had a sack in the red zone against Miami by avoiding the back’s block…was able to track down the quarterback…like Minter makes it hard on crossers…reads the quarterback’s eyes on his drop then reacts…is a hard guy to get away from when he is tackling…rare to see ball carriers break tackles on him… plays on his feet…can handle the cut block…takes the blocker on with the correct shoulder…nice open field tackler…interception against West Virginia on a tipped ball…outstanding player on the move…can get to the point quickly…was a transfer from Miami…always around the football and plays the game like a much bigger man…nose for ball and ability for him to get there makes up for any lack of size…not hard to find him on tape….very productive…

·         Gerald Hodges                Penn State

Lines up as a Sam linebacker…doesn’t have a burst like the other linebackers we have talked about but can be physical at the point…moves to the ball…will tackle in the hole…will wrap up in space…nice get off on the blitz…will work through the trash on the ground…finds the ball…doesn’t always play with his hands…needs to do a better job of this…there are some times where he gets bounced around but it doesn’t happen often…nice reactions in coverage…is usually in position…had a drop against Northwestern that should have been intercepted…awareness to play against the boots and waggles…knows how to get in the throwing lanes…will close down off the edge…chase the ball from the backside…has always been a productive player when it comes to tackling….has had back-to-back seasons where he has had over a 100 tackles…has some serious value as a special teamer…was a stand out before getting a shot as a starter on defense….plays Sam in college and will do the same if drafted here….plays on tape like he has very good instincts…

·         Zavier Gooden                 Missouri

Plays as a Will linebacker….attacks the blocker…keeps his feet on the cut block…reads very quickly…nice reactions…can get outside in a hurry…runs well…will wrap up in space…nice job of finding the ball and making something happen when he gets there…showed a quick flow against Alabama…fights to turn the ball inside…did over run a play in the hole in the same game…can play with his hands…does a nice job of getting to the flat in coverage…has the speed and the quickness to be a good cover man…can run with the receiver across the field…did this quite well against Florida…handled their team speed

well…got hooked on more blocks against Florida than he did against Georgia and Alabama….can play sideline to sideline…is a physical tackle once he gets there…really nice job of running through the ball carrier when he got into position…was recruited as a safety and made the transition to linebacker…love the traits for the position and the physical side of his game…

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