by Drew Boylhart
SR Staff Writer
November 2004
Marcus Spears   DE   LSU
Strengths

Marcus Spears is a big, powerful and smart defensive end. He is an excellent teammate and team leader. He plays within the context of the game plan and has been double-teamed most of the year. He makes coaches account for him on every play in their game planning. Marcus reminds me of Reggie White and Michael Strahan, two players who are not considered speed rushers, but have collected a lot of sacks.

 
Needs to Improve

Marcus needs to change the perception that he is a tweener. The scouts and experts that are labeling him as a tweener are just trying to cover their butts. Itís a chicken way to profile players who are this talented, but have one glaring athletic misgiving.

 
Talent Board Round  1

The transformation from last yearís Marcus to this yearís Marcus is dramatic. Last year, he was a strong, fast pass rusher. This year, he is much more of a power pass rusher. He has changed the style of his game because he is more of a stay-at-home type of DE this year. He is a smart kid, a very good teammate and I do not believe that he should be saddled with the tweener label. When I use the tweener label it is to identify a player who at the next level is not good enough to play just one position and will not be an impact player in the NFL. If you scouts and experts feel that Marcus is not going to be an impact player, then have the guts to say it. Marcus might go to the combine and he may not have the burst and quickness of other pass rushers, but I bet that Reggie and Michael were a disappointment in these areas also. On my personal board, Marcus is a top five pick; however, I know how this draft works for 32 teams.  It works on perception that is dictated by agents and politics. Marcus is a strong side DE in a 4/3 or a 3/4. Draft him and that side of your defense will be taken care of for the next ten years. He is not a tweener.