Sat, Feb 25, 2017
Here is his analysis of the inside and outside linebackers based on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday practices, with some help from our partners at Pro Football Focus.
The easiest way to separate “inside” and “outside” linebackers is to determine if they play “off-the-line” and from depth vs. “on-the-line” and as a potential pass rusher. At the Reese’s Senior Bowl, in our NFL-mandated Base 4-3 arrangement, the intent is for one of the linebackers to be the Sam and align at the end of the line-of-scrimmage, while the other two are considered to be “Box” defenders (Mike and Will) and play off the football.
Here is a look at three “ILB” defenders and a trio of “OLB” pass rushers that had successful weeks in Mobile.
#57 HAASAN REDDICK/Temple (NORTH)
6014/237 | 32 1/8” Arm-10 3/8” Hand
Hands down, this former walk-on for the Owls elevated his draft stock more than any other prospect on both the North and South rosters. A two-plus year starter at defensive end, he transitioned to Will linebacker in Mobile and showed the ability to stack the run, defend the pass and blitz from depth. He truly had an exceptional week and will carry a ton of draft buzz into the Combine.
1-on-1 Blitz: Wins: 5 Losses: 2
1-on-1 Pass Coverage- Wins: 4 Losses: 1
Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: Named first team All-American Athletic Conference in 2016, he led the entire nation in tackles-for-loss with 22.5.
#34 ALEX ANZALONE/Florida (SOUTH)
6030/240 | 30 7/8” Arm-9 1/8” Hand
Alex has ideal the size dimensions to take reps as an inside or outside linebacker. An active defender, he was excellent in coverage and showed the skillset needed to be a three-down player.
1-on-1 Blitz: Wins: 3 Losses: 2
1-on-1 Pass Coverage- Wins: 5 Losses: 0
Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: At Wyomissing High School (PA), this 4th year graduate led his team to the AA state championship by rushing for 1000-plus yards and 30 touchdowns, while recording over 100 tackles.
#0 DUKE RILEY/LSU (SOUTH)
6005/231 | 30 7/8” Arm-9 1/2" Hand
Duke emerged during the 2016 season as a first-year starter with 93 total tackles, 9 tackles-for-loss, 1.5 sacks and an interception to earn LSU MVP honors. He has the traits of a modern-day linebacker with his short area quickness and the speed to play in space.
1-on-1 Blitz: Wins: 3 Losses: 1
1-on-1 Pass Coverage- Wins: 1 Losses: 5
Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: Named a permanent team captain for LSU, he wore #40 for the Tigers, but asked to wear #0 in the Reese’s Senior Bowl just like his predecessor, Deion Jones of the Atlanta Falcons, did in last year’s RSB game.
#5 TYUS BOWSER/Houston (SOUTH)
6024/244 | 33” Arm-10 1/8” Hand
Arguably, Tyus helped himself with his performance in Mobile as much as anyone in the game other than Haason Reddick. After playing two seasons of basketball for UH, he turned his attention to football and started for two-plus seasons. In the RSB practices, he showed impressive athleticism and a knack for rushing the passer.
1-on-1 Blitz: Wins: 3 Losses: 5
1-on-1 Pass Coverage- Wins: 3 Losses: 3
Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: During his senior year, despite missing five games with a fractured orbital bone, Tyus accounted for 47 total tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss, 8.5 sacks and 9 quarterback hurries to earn 2nd team All-American Athletic Conference recognition.
#56 CARROLL PHILLIPS/Illinois (NORTH)
6032/237 | 31 3/4" Arm-9 1/2" Hand
Carroll flashed acceleration off the edge and the potential to become a quality NFL pass rusher. After transferring from Copiah-Lincoln Community College (MS), he became a one-plus year starter as the hybrid Leo in coach Lovie Smith’s scheme in 2016.
1-on-1 Blitz: Wins: 2 Losses: 2
1-on-1 Pass Coverage- Wins: 2 Losses: 0
Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: During his senior year, Carroll tallied 56 total tackles, 19 tackles-for-loss and 9 sacks in earning assorted All-Big Ten honors. According to PFF, he recorded 3 sacks during the Team portion of the RSB practices.
#94 DEREK RIVERS/Youngstown St (NORTH)
6041/250 | 32 3/8” Arm-9 1/2" Hand
This three-time All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection helped lead the Penguins to an appearance in the FCS national championship game in 2016. He has an ideal build for an outside linebacker projection and gave glimpses of being an effective pass rusher off the edge.
1-on-1 Blitz: Wins: 4 Losses: 1
1-on-1 Pass Coverage- Wins: 1 Losses: 0
Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: During his senior year, Derek accumulated 58 total tackles, 19.5 tackles-for-loss and 14 sacks.