Louis Nix III Scouting Report

LOUIS NIX III – DT – NOTRE DAME

Louis Nix III

Strengths:

Massive size with great strength. At the very least occupies space and blockers. Moves fairly well for his size. Is difficult to move around when he keeps his pad level low. Is able to beat weaker lineman with his strength. Flashes a great bull-rush and is able to push the pocket. Shows flashes of using his hands well to shed.

Weaknesses:

Plays too tall and often negates his strength. Is pushed around by stronger lineman that can get under his pads. Struggles against double teams. Doesn’t have the quickness to beat lineman and is limited to making plays in a short area. Struggles to get off blocks and doesn’t use his hands well enough. Offers little as a pass-rusher. Has had issues maintaining his weight more than once. Has questions about the durability of his knee going forward.

Skills:
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Pass Rush: 1.5
Strength: 4.0
Quickness: 2.0
Point of Attack: 2.5
Tackling: 3.0
Intangibles: 2.0

Verdict: Hate him

I get that he’s a nose tackle and isn’t supposed to make plays but Nix is so average to me. I don’t see an elite lineman who can stand up to doubles routinely or make impact plays against the run. Combine that with his history of weight issues and a bad knee and I see a low-floor with limited upside. I’ve seen B.J. Raji comparisons but maybe his ex-teammate Ron Brace is the closer comparison.

Grade: 3rd Round

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Kevin Pierre-Louis Scouting Report

KEVIN PIERRE-LOUIS – LB – BOSTON COLLEGE

Kevin Pierre-Louis

Strengths:

Very athletic linebacker. Has sideline-to-sideline range. Quick first step. Smooth and displays above average flexibility for the position. Has the lateral quickness to dance around blockers in space. Safe and sound tackler who wraps-up well. Versatile and goes from lining up in a 3 point stance to covering slot receivers. Has upside both as a blitzer and in coverage.

Weaknesses:

A bit undersized and lacks strength to his game. Struggles to take on and shed blocks and gets pushed around too much against the run. Doesn’t seem to have great instincts and awareness of what is going around him. Tends to run into blockers and doesn’t use his hands well to avoid cut-blocks. Weak tackler who is usually dragged by the ball-carrier before bringing them down. Has had some trouble with nagging injuries.

Skills:
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Athleticism: 4.0
Instincts: 2.0
Point of Attack: 2.0
Coverage: 2.5
Pass Rush: 2.0
Tackling: 2.5
Intangibles: 3.0

Verdict: Meh

Kevin Pierre-Louis is an interesting prospect because he has a great athletic base to work with. He’s a bit undersized and he’s definitely most comfortable in space. He’s right on the cusp of being a starter in the NFL but I think with the right coaching he can improve a lot. The upside is there, although I don’t think he’ll ever be much more than a serviceable starter.

Grade: 4th Round

Chris Borland Scouting Report

CHRIS BORLAND – LB – WISCONSIN

Chris Borland

Strengths:

A stout linebacker who is quicker than fast. Plays fast in small areas. Displays good urgency when attacking the line of scrimmage. Does a good job of avoiding blockers and generally flows through bodies well. Versatile and has experience at all linebacker positions. Used as an end/pass-rusher on occasion. Is able to beat lineman with his quickness on blitzes. Has an impressive spin move.

Weaknesses:

Lacks strength. Undersized with short arms. Struggles to take on and shed blocks. Prefers to run around blocks and this will put him out of position and he lacks the speed to recover. Gets pushed around too much by lineman in space. Weak tackler. Plays out of control and misses far too many tackles. Lacks sideline-to-sideline range and is better suited playing on the outside in space. Can be late in finding the football and, once again, lacks the speed to recover. Lacks the overall athleticism necessary to be a great coverage linebacker.

Skills:
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Athleticism: 2.5
Instincts: 2.5
Point of Attack: 2.0
Coverage: 2.0
Pass Rush: 2.5
Tackling: 2.0
Intangibles: 2.5

Verdict: Hate him

Chris Borland has received a lot of hype this off-season and has been a bit of a riser. I’ve even seen comparisons to Zach Thomas… Not sure if serious. Maybe it’s just me but it’s hard to be impressed by a linebacker prospect who isn’t even a sound tackler. His game overall is very average and he does not do one thing exceptionally well. People will point to his motor but I have seen him take his fair share of plays off just like everyone else. I just don’t see Borland ever becoming a stud linebacker in the NFL.

Grade: 4th Round

Yawin Smallwood Scouting Report

YAWIN SMALLWOOD – LB – CONNECTICUT

Yawin Smallwood

Strengths:

Large with good length. Shows the ability to be violent with his hands and shed blocks inside. Read and react player who remains patient and makes the play. Does a good job of reading the quarterbacks eyes in coverage and gets his hands up to disrupt passing lanes.

Weaknesses:

Linear athlete who lacks sideline-to-sideline range. Lacks the physicality you want to see in a linebacker. Pursuit needs to be better. Doesn’t have the athleticism to excel in coverage at the next level. Misses too many tackles and will struggle with quicker ball-carriers in space in the NFL. Too often is tackling from a chasing position and doesn’t drive through the ball-carrier. Will take false steps and lacks the athleticism to recover. Lacks burst to be a true threat as a blitzer. Limited player who doesn’t offer a lot of upside.

Skills:
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Athleticism: 2.0
Instincts: 2.5
Point of Attack: 3.0
Coverage: 2.0
Pass Rush: 1.5
Tackling: 2.0
Intangibles: 2.0

Verdict: Hate him

Smallwood is limited athletically but I am bothered by the lack of physicality to his game. He doesn’t relish contact like other linebackers and he’s more content to let players come to him. He’s also not a hustle player and he’ll let up before the play is over. Scheme wise he’s probably a 3-4 ILB but I don’t see the upside of ever becoming a quality starter in the NFL.

Grade: 5th Round

Shayne Skov Scouting Report

SHAYNE SKOV – LB – STANFORD

Shayne Skov

Strengths:

Hard-nosed player who makes a living between the tackles. Reads and reacts and is able to plug up running lanes. Not afraid to get physical and throw his body around. Shows the ability to use his hands to fight off blockers and make the play. Delivers a good pop as a hitter.

Weaknesses:

A stiff and linear athlete who struggles in space and when asked to change directions. Limited ability in coverage due to athletic limitations. Occasionally takes false steps and isn’t quick enough to make up for his bad positioning. A little slow to shed blocks at times and will miss plays. Lacks burst as a blitzer and is easily shook by agile quarterbacks. Needs to do a better job of wrapping up and will have a tough time tackling agile ball-carriers in space at the next level. Likely to be limited to 3-4 ILB duties due to his lack of range. Has previously torn his ACL.

Skills:
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Athleticism: 2.0
Instincts: 3.0
Point of Attack: 3.0
Coverage: 1.5
Pass Rush: 2.0
Tackling: 2.5
Intangibles: 2.5

Verdict: Meh

Shayne Skov was a good college player but his upside is limited at the next level because of his athletic limitations. He is at his best when he can play in the run and bang around bodies in the middle. He’ll likely be a 2-down linebacker, at least at the start of his career, and be limited to 3-4 schemes. A player with limitations like these should not be drafted high, but it doesn’t mean they can’t form a niche on a team.

Grade: 4th Round

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