DeMeco Ryans   LB   Alabama

Strengths

DeMeco is an excellent LB.  He could play any one of the LB positions.  He has excellent speed and burst along with very good change of direction abilities.  He is an every down LB with leadership qualities, intelligence as well as the ability to make the players around him better.  DeMeco is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler.

 

Needs to Improve

Nobody is perfect and I guess if you want to pick, you could say that DeMeco needs a little more muscle and bulk.  But believe me, that's being picky.

 

Talent Board Round   1

The only difference I see between A.J. Hawk and DeMeco is size.  A.J. can play any one of the LB positions in any defense.  If you put DeMeco in the middle and expect him to impact, you'll need some fat boys in front of him to take on the O-lineman so that he can flow to the ball and make plays.  Donít get me wrong -- he does a good job in meeting a block, shedding it and making the tackle.  However, we are talking about a 16 to 18 game schedule and I think he would wear down after that many games.  DeMeco is very much the same kind of LB as Jonathan Vilma.  You want to put players like this in a defense where they cannot be controlled by some big old guards every time they go to make a play.  Most of the time, you think of a kid this size as a weakside LB.  DeMeco's played that position and has been an impact player for his college team.  DeMeco plays with excellent strength and leverage, which makes it easy for me to see him at any one of the LB positions at the next level.  This is another player that you donít worry about where you're going to play him.  This is a kid you just draft because no matter what position he plays, he's going to make your team better.  Donít be a putz!  Just draft the kid.  You'll never be sorry.

by Drew Boylhart

THR

December 2005