High school linebacker-running back who won three state titles and was Iowa's Gatorade Player of the Year twice. Played all 13 games as a true freshman in 2010, starting the final six at middle linebacker, and recorded 70 tackles, 2.5 for loss and a sack with four pass breakups. Started all 12 games in '11 -- six at MLB, six at weakside linebacker -- and led Hawkeye tacklers by posting 110-3.5-0 with a pass breakup and an interception. Did not play against Northwestern (left ankle). Played through a preseason groin injury in '12 when he started 11-of-12 games played at MLB. Hurt his right elbow against Purdue and did not start against Michigan. Started all 13 games at MLB in '13, registering 106-17-7 with three pass breakups, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. Two-time captain.
Good eyes, instincts and motor -- is around the ball a lot. Plays with a good base and does not cross his feet. Understands run fits. Clings to receivers passing through his zone. Urgent buzzing to the flat. Very tough and durable -- will play through pain. Experienced, three-and-a-half-year starter. Very strong personal and football character. Accountable. Team leader. Extremely competitive. Outstanding weight-room explosion -- can power-clean nearly 400 pounds.
Very stiff-hipped and short-armed. Tends to play tall, get caught up in traffic and engulfed at the point of attack. Much of production comes moving laterally down the field. Does not drive his legs through contact and tackles low. Average functional strength and explosion. Marginal playing range. Tends to overrun the ball. Limited closing speed. Gives up separation in man coverage and struggles carrying crossers or keeping stride with backs and tight ends. Late to arrive on blitz assignments and gets knocked off path. Does not play on special teams.
Round 7-Priority free agent
A disciplined, football-smart, 4-3 Mike linebacker with the toughness, discipline and determination desired in a core special-teams player. Athletic limitations could force him to earn his way as a backup.