Photo of James Laurinaitis
  • 4.88 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 22 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 33.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 115.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.93 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.24 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 6'2" Height
  • 244LBS. Weight


A three-time AP All-American, Laurinaitis is the most recognized player in the 2009 draft. Blessed with a rare combination of size and athleticism -- drawing comparison to Bears Pro Bowl MLB Brian Urlacher -- Laurinaitis burst onto the scene as a sophomore, earning the 2006 Bronko Nagurski Award (top defensive player). He won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker and the Lott Trophy in '08 as the nation's best all-around defensive player. Despite his gaudy statistics (366 career tackles) and unrivaled trophy room, there are elements to Laurinaitis' game that concern scouts. The value of his reliability and consistency can't be overstated. Laurinaitis is viewed by many as the safest pick of the 2009 draft.



Positives: Prototype size and athleticism for the inside linebacker position. ... Reads the action quickly and gets in position to make the play. ... Instinctive and rarely out of position. ... Uses his hands well to meet, greet and discard blockers. ... Best attribute might be his open-field tackling. ... Form tackler who can generate explosiveness with his hits. ... Rare instincts and underrated athleticism for coverage. ... Gets good depth on his drops and has good straight-line speed and lateral agility. ... Baits the quarterback and can break on the ball. ... Soft hands for the interception. Negatives: Needs to continue to add strength, especially in his upper body. ... Relies on his athleticism and good technique to defeat blocks and can struggle to disengage. ... Consistent and reliable, but rarely made the game-changing play over his career. ... Experienced and productive blitzer, but doesn't show a variety of pass rush moves, relying more on athleticism, hustle and instincts.
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.