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Joey The Tooth's Early Prospect Analysis: Linebackers (Part 2)
Here's what Joey has to say about four of the draft's top LB prospects.
Joey The Tooth is back for another round of prospect analysis for the 2022 NFL Draft, and this time, he’s taking a look at four standout linebackers.
Be sure to buy a copy of the IDP Guys Rookie Draft Magazine (which covers offense and IDP), in which Joey will be doing a deeper dive on the players you see in these articles.
Also, be sure to follow Joey on Twitter to keep up with all his analysis.
Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati
Has a great feel for zone coverage
Plus lateral quickness, tracks RBs well
Long, strong frame
High-level IQ with great instincts
Much improved pass rusher
Good quickness, lacks speed
Not quick enough or agile enough for man coverage
Over-pursuit at times due to pace of playstyle
Beavers has improved during his time in Cincinnati. In 2021, it was his ability to rush the passer, which is where he may make his stamp. He lacks the twitch to play man defense, though could be used as a blitzer and has the lateral quickness to play 1st and 2nd down. Beavers is still a bit of a work in progress.
But, he’s an excellent student of the game. Coaches will love that.
Draft Grade: 5th Round
Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma
Very good lateral agility and quickness
True sideline-to-sideline mobility
Solid in both zone and man coverage
Reads and jumps routes well
Fights well in trenches during run defense
Excellent burst to blow up screens
Lacks power for the NFL game
Gets thrown off pass rush with RB chips
Block shedding, better at avoiding contact than winning through
Takes plays off, inconsistent motor
Asamoah has a lot of traits you love in an NFL linebacker: Sideline-to-sideline twitch and speed, plus coverage ability, sound tackling, and good burst and agility. The problem is that you don't see it every play. Hopefully, that is something that changes in the NFL. He needs to add some strength as well to be a high-impact player.
Asamoah may take more time than other prospects to reach his potential but has many of the tools that could make him successful at the next level.
Draft Grade: 4th Round
Leo Chenal, Wisconsin
Strong at point of attack
Elite run defender
Possibly best pass rusher ILB in draft
Good bull rush and swim move
Poor, poor coverage skills
Weight (260 lbs) limits his lateral agility
Height (6'2") and length limit role as a pass rusher
Needs to play under control
Leo Chenal is a blast-from-the-past style LB. He will smash you in the mouth. He is a terrific run defender. He shoots gaps, does a good job holding his lanes, and tackles well. Chenal is a phenomenal pass rusher and I honestly think he should focus more of his craft on rushing the passer. He would fit very nicely as an OLB edge rusher.
Draft Grade: 4th-5th Round
Damone Clark, LSU
Very good lateral agility
Strong long frame
Shooting gaps and wrapping up
Is a plus pass rusher with good burst
Plays well at the line in run defense
Bites on misdirection
Stiff in coverage, not best in man
Bites on play action
Doesn't take great angles to the football
Clark has plenty of tools and athleticism to become an NFL linebacker. He showed improved playmaking in 2021, setting career highs in sacks, TFLs, and INTs. He is a great run defender and pass rusher and does his best work in a 1st and 2nd down role.
To start his career, he may be a liability in coverage, getting beat in play action and by athletic move tight ends. Good coaching could bring out the best in him.
Draft Grade: 4th-5th Round
Be sure to buy a copy of the IDP Guys Rookie Draft Magazine.
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