Yesterday, I examined the defensive tackles that are eligible for the 2008 NFL Draft. Today, I examine the outside linebackers that are expected to be eligible for the draft. Below, you will find the player’s name, school, brief narrative about the player and the team expected to draft him. Here we go:
1. Keith Rivers, USC
Athleticism is top-notch. Excellent speed (4.60 40) and burst. Terrific range which lets him go sideline-to-sideline. Non-stop mtoor. Does a great job in coverage. Good pass rusher who is a big hitter. Good instincts and recognition. Downside for Rivers – Needs to add weight (only 220 lbs). Also needs to get stronger. Needs work on shedding blockers better. Needs to keep pad level lower. Wrapping up the ballcarrier skills need work.
Team likely to draft him: Buffalo (1st round)
2. Ali Highsmith, LSU
Good athlete with very good speed (4.60 40). Sideline-to-sideline works well for him. Tacking technique’s very good. Good cover LB. Solid blitzer and pass rusher. Could excel in special teams, as well. Downside for Highsmith – Smallish (6’1″, 225). Can be too aggresive at times. Needs to learn how to shed blockers better. Could be stronger. Best fit for him may be a team that uses the Cover-2.
Team likely to draft him: Cincinnati (2nd round)
3. Tavares Gooden, Miami (FL)
Very athletic, with very good speed (4.50 40). Outstanding pursuer. Has a non-stop motor. Very good tackler. Good coverage man. Downside for Gooden – Could improve instincts. A bit passive for LB. Not much of a pass rusher.
Team likely to draft him: Green Bay (2nd round)
4. Erin Henderson, Maryland
Very good size and speed (6’3″, 236; 4.70 40). Has very good instincts and can deliver big hits. Tough player. Downside for Henderson – Injuries may be a concern. Needs to improve his coverage skills.
Team likely to draft him: Arizona (2nd round)