The Road Thru Indy: Linebackers
Part 5 tackles the crop of linebackers at this weekends combine
The Known Commodity: Reuben Foster, ILB – Alabama
The top inside linebacker in this class and it’s not very close. Foster has great instincts which is very important for an inside linebacker and he can make plays in the backfield as well. Freak athlete with the motor to match it, one problem is sometimes he’s too aggressive but he’ll figure that out. He’s not the greatest in coverage but he has a firm foundation to build on, solid top 10 pick who will impress at the combine.
The Name You’ll Learn: Takkarist McKinley, OLB – UCLA
Some have him as an edge, I have him as an OLB because of his lack of bulk but his versatility won’t hurt him in terms of selling himself to NFL execs. Super twitchy athlete with great burst and athleticism and can set an edge when asked to do so. I think he’s ahead of the curve in terms of dropping into coverage compared to others in this class which is why I see him as a linebacker as opposed to an edge. I wouldn’t shy away from using him to set an edge in certain situations, I’m a huge fan of McKinley and his versatility and ceiling at the NFL level. I think he’ll make some of the most buzz in Indy.
The Virtual Unknown: Devonte Fields, OLB – Louisville
Okay I may be cheating here as Fields isn’t a complete unknown, maybe more forgotten is the way to put it. Much like Noah Spence last year Fields is another prospect who is coming into the draft with a clouded past. He started his career at TCU and was immensely impactful, then dismissed for allegedly threating and hitting his girlfriend at the time. He spent a year at Trinity Valley Community College and then came to Louisville last year and accumulated 63 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, and 10.5 sacks. No one will question his talents on the field, it will most likely come down to how he interviews.