Sunday, January 30, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Prospects - Inside Linebackers

1 – Greg Jones (Michigan State)
2 – Quan Sturdivant (UNC)
3 – Nate Irving (NC State)
4 – Martez Wilson (Illinois)
5 – Kelvin Sheppard (LSU)
6 – Casey Matthews (Oregon)
7 – Mike Mohamed (California)
8 – Josh Bynes (Auburn)
9 – Alex Wujciak (Maryland)
10 – Chris White (Mississippi State)

I list Jones at MLB, but, with his lack of size, he’s probably better suited to play WLB. Similar situation with Sturdivant. Jones isn’t the stout force most teams will look for in a MLB, but his combination of range, instincts, and reliable tackling technique helped make him the most productive linebacker during his college tenure.....Sturdivant played both inside and outside linebacker at UNC but will either move outside or need to play in a 3-4 to stay inside in the pros. I don’t think he’s as quick or reactive as Jones, but like Jones, he’s a disciplined hustler that will have plenty of professional suitors.....The guy I like most of this group is Irving. Every time I watch him play I come away more impressed with his attitude and presence. He’s tough, plays really physical football, and makes up for less than ideal speed with plus instincts. He and Matthews are my top MLB prospects for the Bucs.....I really thought Wilson would stay at Illinois for another season. He has plus speed and quickness for the position and hits hard when he takes proper routes to the ball carrier. I see his biggest negatives being the way he often over pursues and hasn’t consistently performed up to his lofty expectations. He’s probably the most physically gifted of this group, and for that reason may get drafted first, but I’d like to see more consistent production before I get on the bandwagon.

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