Photo of Robert Ayers
  • 4.90 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 18 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 29.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 102.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.56 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.51 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 6'3" Height
  • 272LBS. Weight


Ayers barely registered a blip on the NFL radar until 2008. He had played in 36 games for the Volunteers, but had only started two games, both as a sophomore. He had also struggled with maturity, getting suspended for the first two games of 2005 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assult. The Tennessee coaching staff recognized Ayers' improved work ethic before he went on to enjoy a breakout senior season, posting career highs in tackles (49) and tackles for loss (15.5). He earned first-team All-SEC honors from conference coaches and is shooting up NFL draft boards. Ayers lacks the elite speed to ever be a standout pass rusher, but if he can continue his momentum with a strong performance in workouts and interviews, he may develop into one of the hotter defensive end prospects in the 2009 draft.



Positives: Powerfully built athlete. ... Good lower-body strength to hold up at the point of attack. ... Flashes the ability to anchor and split double-team blocking off the edge. ... Good initial hand punch to stun the offensive tackle. ... Flashes some upfield burst to challenge wide and has good lateral quickness to redirect to the inside. ... Good use of hands to prevent tackles from latching on and steering him away from the plays. ... Varies his speed off the edge and can surprise blockers with his suddenness. ... Can close with authority, flashing explosiveness. ... Versatile defender with experience at tackle and end. ... Developed into a team leader as a senior. ... Could be an ascending player who is just beginning to scratch the surface of his talent. Negatives: Lacks an elite first step or the straight-line speed to be true edge rusher. ... Relies more on varying his speed off the snap and strength at the point of attack, rather than pure athleticism to make plays. ... Moved around a lot in this defense and was allowed to exploit mismatches. ... Likes to tackle high and can allow stronger ballcarriers to escape his grasp. ... Can be a bit of a showboat, which could lead to penalties in the NFL. ... Stepped up his play significantly as a senior and evaluators will ponder whether he was a one-year wonder motivated by the big NFL payday.
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.