Justin Durant   LB   Hampton

 

STRENGTHS 

Justin is an athletic player with good speed, burst and change of direction skills to play more than one position.  He is a smart player and shows strong leadership abilities.  He is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler.  Justin uses his athletic talent and quickness to get the job done.  He understands situational football as well as the angles to attack in the running game to make tackles behind the line of scrimmage.  He has the athletic talent to be a good defender in passing situations and he has the passion and intelligence to continue to grow and get better for the team that drafts him. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Justin is not the type of LB that is going to meet, greet and shed a big old butt boy guard in the hole and make a tackle.  If you are looking for that type of MLB, don’t draft Justin or draft him and make him your weakside LB.  Justin uses his athleticism and a brain to make plays.  He is a system MLB who could play OLB in any defense.  (On another note:  Hampton needs to improve their logo.  A powder blue pirate just doesn’t do it for me personally.  Not that I have anything against powder blue pirates, but I do have to say that it does not strike fear in my heart!!!)

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 2

Justin is an attack LB and he reminds me a lot of Donnie Edwards (LB Chargers) and Jonathan Vilma (LB Jets).  He is not that big old lumbering MLB that is better going forward than he is going backwards.  Justin is the new “fly around the field” 1-gap attack LB.  In the right defense, Justin could impact in his first year just like Vilmer did until the Jets changed their defense.  Justin will struggle at first to adjust to the speed of the NFL, but he will adjust and compete and overcome.  He has the character, intelligence, passion and talent to be an excellent LB at the next level.  He also has the athletic talent to be a good safety at the next level, but the truth is that this kid was born to play LB in the NFL.  He loves it!  Playing him at safety would lessen his potential impact.  This kid is a LB and should play somewhere in the front seven of your team.  He is an impact LB waiting to happen and if he played for a bigger school, he would be rated as 1st round talent.  Because he played at the level of competition and plays one of the more defensive skill positions, you have to take the level of competition into consideration.  Justin has an LTI that will be a little longer until he steps his game up mentally to handle the challenge of the next level. 

Drew Boylhart

March/2007