Rob Ninkovich   DE/LB   Purdue

Strengths

Rob is the type of player that needs to play football.  He has good size and speed, but his need to play football is his biggest strength.  With each game I saw him, he got better and better.  His pass rush is relentless and his strength and the point of attack is physical.  Rob is a winner and although he might not test out that well, it doesnít matter because he plays well. 

 

Needs to Improve

Rob has a lot of areas for improvement.  He has to get stronger and learn more pass rushing moves and against the run, he needs to learn better leverage techniques to stay strong at the point of attack.  Believe me when I say that Rob will leave no stone unturned in accomplishing all of these issues. 

 

Talent Board Round   3

If Rob is still there on the second day of this draft, your team must pick him or it will be passing on a player who is going to be far more productive as a pro player than he was as a college player.  I feel that Rob will be a very effective player as a LB in a 3-4 defense or as a MLB in a 4-3 defense.  Give this kid some time and you will have a player who will be a leader and a coach on the field.  I can see it in the way he plays.  He took over at DE for that lazy, underachieving Ray Edwards (and with less natural athletic talent) and started to impact for his team.  On the field, every time he made a play, his teammates were all over him.  He needs to play and wants to play.  He has that burning desire to hit and tackle and do the best he can on every down.  He is not an overachiever -- he is just a kid that needs to change his position for the next level.  His workout numbers at the combine tell me that he has the athletic talent to play LB at the next level and his play on the field tells me that he has the heart.  I expect big things from this kid in the future.  I think he's a sleeper.  A big time sleeper that at the LB position, could turn into a Pro Bowl player.  New England should be drooling all over themselves to draft this kid and he could be taken a lot higher than he will be rated by a team that rates team play, character and heart higher than talent.  But donít think for one minute that he does not have the talent.  If you do, you would be sadly mistaken.
by Drew Boylhart

THR

March 2006