2017–NFL DRAFT—LB DRAFT BOARD with SCOUTING REPORTS—$

Veteran NFL Scout Chris Landry serves as consultant to NFL teams so here is your chance to get information from a scouting professional who has set up draft boards as opposed to those bloggers and talking heads who have never worked in the league or seen the insides of a draft room.

Here is the LINEBACKER draft board along with Scouting Reports based on film grades.

Keep in mind that this is not a projection of where players will be drafted necessarily but rather where their grade value is. Supply and demand at each position has a tremendous affect on where players are drafted.

So here is a look at how I have them graded and ranked after you have a better understanding of how as scouts we evaluate LINEBACKERS.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER EVALUATION CRITERIA
NFL Outside Linebackers are divided into 4 categories.. ROLB and LOLB distinguish left and right outside linebackers in a 3-4 front. SLB are strong side linebackers and WLB are weak inside linebackers in a 4-3 front. With the ever increasing use of sub packages in today’s NFL, SLB’s usually leave the field in place of another defensive back.

AVERAGE NFL PHYSICAL TRAITS:
HEIGHT= 6027 (min –) WEIGHT= 248 (min-220 )
40 (speed over distance) = 4.67 (min- 4.75SLB 4.68 WLB) 10 (initial quickness) = 1.65 20 (maintain burst) = 2.70
BP x 225 (upper body strength) = 23
VJ (explosiveness, lower leg strength) = 36 BJ (explosiveness, hip strength) = 9-9
20yd shuttle (flexibility, burst, balance) = 4.10 60yd shuttle (flexibility, balance, endurance) = 11.4
3 cone = (agility, body control, cod) = 7.10 (min-7.55SLB 7.45 WLB ) 4 square =
ARM= 32 7/8 HAND= 9 5/8
TEST= 25 BACKPEDAL DRILL= 15 YARDS= 2.8 TO 2.9 =TARGET NUMBER (shoulders over knees)

OLB CRITICAL FACTORS: .INSTINCTS and TOUGHNESS are the two most important qualities needed to play any LB position in the NFL. ATHLETICISM is also very important and even more important to the OLB position. They must be able to tackle in the open field like defensive backs, rush the passer like defensive ends, along with being effective blitzers and effective dropping in coverage. OLB’s must have great range. They must be able to get depth in their drops and cover both receivers and backs out of the slot. 3-4 RUSH OLB’S are used primarily to get upfield and rush the passer from a two point stance, where they have more room to operate.

1. INSTINCTS/INTELLIGENCE/KEY & DIAGNOSE— having a nose for the ball, ability to read, recognize and react., good understanding of offensive tendencies.
2. TOUGHNESS— aggressive, strong, physical as tackler,
3. ATHLETIC ABILITY— QUICKNESS— initial qcks, movement off ball, qck after start, quick in pass drops, quickness to step, slide & scrape. AGILITY—ability to turn & get depth in pass drops, ability in man coverage, movement in short & long pursuit, cod & movement through traffic. BALANCE— turn ability and cod under control, ability to sty on feet.
4. STRENGTH & EXPLOSION— strength at pos vs inside run, ability to meet, stack and ward off blockers, arm strength in block protection, ability to play through blocks & handle double teams, ability to overpower, ability to get leverage on a blocker, ability to explode into a tackle.
5. PLAYING SPEED— START— quick on movement, speed to pursue outside run, quick feet & speed in pass drops, ability to cover man to man, speed to blitz & rush from outside COD— able to re-direct body, speed & quickness in short & long pursuit. STRIDE— length, smoothness.
6. COMPETITIVENESS— clutch, confident, in charge, work ethic, game film production,
7. TACKLING— strength at poa vs inside run, quickness, cod to make solid open field wrap up tackles, ability to use strength, leverage and explosion into tackles, hard or drag tackler.
8. SIZE—type of build, growth potential

OLB POSITION SPECIFICS:
9. (1) SHED BLOCKERS— ability to physically meet and beat blockers, ability to elude blockers & square up in good body position, use of arms and hands in block protection.
10. (2) RUN ABILITY/LATERAL MOVE— speed to cover outside run, ability to drop, turn and get depth, cover ability in short and long pursuit and speed to rush from outside.
11. (3) BLITZ/RUSH—EDGE SPEED/QUICKNESS— WLB’s must have explosiveness and ability to rush off the edge.
12. (4) PASS COVERAGE—M/M ON TE or RB– & ZONE— drop ability, man coverage ability, zone feel—ball instincts., can he get depth and width simultaneously.
13. (5) OUTSIDE RUN— lateral speed, ability to read on move, step over trash, maintain leverage on ball, lateral speed and quickness to meet wide plays, must play well behind ball.
14. (6) HANDS— hard or soft, body catch/trap balls, eye-hand coordination, concentration.
15. (7) INSIDE RUN—- strength to stack blockers, tackle, fill a hole, hold ground on plays at him, close strong, fill quickly, slide down the los.
16. (8) JAM TE— SLB’s have to be able to chuck and control TE.

SPECIAL TEAMS FACTORS
1. COVERAGE

SEQUENCIAL ORDER OF EVALUATING A OLB ON A PLAY:
1 READ
2. INSTINCTS
3. TAKE ON AND DEFEAT BLOCKS
4. SHED BLOCKS
5. INSIDE TACKLE FILL
6. OUTSIDE TACKLE PURSUIT
7. DROP
8. COVERAGE
9. HANDS
10. BLITZ
11. RUSH

INSIDE LINEBACKER EVALUATION CRITERIA
NFL ILB’s are designated by MLB or 3-4 ILB’S. MLB’s play the middle in a 4-3 front and ideally are freed to roam and make plays limiting their ability to have to take on blocks and shed. 3-4 ILB’s have to be more physical at the POA as they are less protected up front and often have to take on a guard.

AVERAGE NFL PHYSICAL TRAITS:
HEIGHT= 6014 (min 5111–) WEIGHT= 239 (min- 228 )
* 3-4 ILB’s ideally should be bigger as they have to take on more and are less protected by front personnel.
40 (speed over distance) = 4.70 (min-4.80 ) 10 (initial quickness) = 1.70 20 (maintain burst) = 2.75
BP x 225 (upper body strength) = 24
VJ (explosiveness, lower leg strength) = 33 BJ (explosiveness, hip strength) = 9-6
20yd shuttle (flexibility, burst, balance) = 4.20 60yd shuttle (flexibility, balance, endurance) = 11.7
3 cone = (agility, body control, cod) = 7.20 (min- ) 4 square =
ARM= 32 HAND= 9 5/8
TEST= 20 BACKPEDAL DRILL= 15 YARDS= 2.8 TO 2.9 =TARGET NUMBER (shoulders over knees)

ILB CRITICAL FACTORS: .INSTINCTS and TOUGHNESS are the two most important qualities needed to play any LB position in the NFL, with INSTINCTS being the most vital. The closer you line up to the ball, the smarter you have to be. ILB’s must see the whole field, recognize personnel groupings and make calls and adjustments. BALANCE is also crucial forILB’s because they must fight their way through a lot of traffic and take on big blockers. The most productive ILB’s play low, bend their knees, unlock their hips, disengage and stay on their feet. They don’t NEED to be fast but need to be able to accelerate quickly. Football in general and specifically linebacker play is a leverage game and the low man usually wins. SECURE TACKLING is critical for linebackers as they must keep their shoulders square, hit on the rise, snap their hips and wrap up. ON FIELD LEADERSHIP is critical for ILB’s as they are the QB’s of the defense. They make calls, checks and rally the defense like a coach. The great ones raise the intensity level and set the tempo of the defense.

1. INSTINCTS/INTELLIGENCE/KEY & DIAGNOSE— having a nose for the ball, ability to read,
recognize and react., good understanding of offensive tendencies.
2. TOUGHNESS— aggressive, strong, physical as tackler,
3. ATHLETIC ABILITY— QUICKNESS— initial qcks, movement off ball, qck after start, quick in pass drops, quickness to step, slide & scrape. AGILITY—ability to turn & get depth in pass drops, ability in man coverage, movement in short & long pursuit, cod & movement through traffic. BALANCE— turn ability and cod under control, ability to sty on feet.
4. STRENGTH & EXPLOSION— strength at pos vs inside run, ability to meet, stack and ward off blockers, arm strength in block protection, ability to play through blocks & handle double teams, ability to overpower, ability to get leverage on a blocker, ability to explode into a tackle.
5. PLAYING SPEED— START— quick on movement, speed to pursue outside run, quick feet & speed in pass drops, ability to cover man to man, speed to blitz & rush from outside COD— able to re-direct body, speed & quickness in short & long pursuit. STRIDE— length, smoothness.
6. COMPETITIVENESS/LEADERSHIP— clutch, confident, in charge, work ethic, game film production,
7. TACKLING— strength at poa vs inside run, quickness, cod to make solid open field wrap up tackles, ability to use strength, leverage and explosion into tackles, hard or drag tackler.
8. SIZE—type of build, growth potential

ILB POSITION SPECIFICS:
9. (1) SHED BLOCKERS— ability to physically meet and beat blockers, ability to elude blockers & square up in good body position, use of arms and hands in block protection.
10. (2) INSIDE RUN—- strength to stack blockers, tackle, fill a hole, hold ground on plays at him, close strong, fill quickly, slide down the los.
11. (3) RUN ABILITY/LATERAL MOVE— speed to cover outside run, ability to drop, turn and get depth, cover ability in short and long pursuit and speed to rush from outside.
12. (4) BLITZ/RUSH—EDGE SPEED/QUICKNESS— WLB’s must have explosiveness and ability to rush off the edge.
13. (5) PASS COVERAGE—M/M ON TE or RB– & ZONE— drop ability, man coverage ability, zone feel—ball instincts., can he get depth and width simultaneously.
14. (6) OUTSIDE RUN— lateral speed, ability to read on move, step over trash, maintain leverage on ball, lateral speed and quickness to meet wide plays, must play well behind ball.
15. (7) HANDS— hard or soft, body catch/trap balls, eye-hand coordination, concentration.
16. (8) JAM TE— SLB’s have to be able to chuck and control TE.

SPECIAL TEAMS FACTORS
1. COVERAGE

SEQUENCIAL ORDER OF EVALUATING A ILB ON A PLAY:
1 READ
2. INSTINCTS
3. TAKE ON AND DEFEAT BLOCKS
4. SHED BLOCKS
5. INSIDE TACKLE FILL
6. OUTSIDE TACKLE PURSUIT
7. DROP
8. COVERAGE
9. HANDS
10. BLITZ
11. RUSH

<FOR OUR MEMBERS, HERE IS HOW OUR LINEBACKER DRAFT BOARD STACKS UP. If you are not yet a member, take advantage of this limited time offer through the draft——By joining today, you get a 50% discount on the first month by using the code = LandryFootball. To get 25% off for a year, use the code = WarRoom——and get your own NFL Scouting Department for less than a magazine subscription.

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