Zak DeOssie   LB   Brown

 

STRENGTHS 

Zak is a thinking manís LB who understands his job on the field and is always in the right place at the right time to make a play.  He has good size and speed and shows  strong overall athleticism to play in any style of defense.  He demonstrates excellent leadership skills and even in the Shrine game, was directing players and getting them in the correct spot to make a play.  He is an excellent tackler and understands the mental portion of this game as good as any LB in this draft.  Zak reminds me a lot of Mike Vrabel (LB New England Patriots), but for you old timers like myself, he also reminds me of Karl Mecklenburg (LB Denver Broncos).  Go look that name up!

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Athletically, Zak is deceiving.  He is more athletic than he shows on the field.  This is because he is always in the right place at the right time. Football-wise, he could play more than one position.  The issue of level of competition will bother the scouts, but it does not bother me.  Zak needed to go to the combine to show what he can do.  He needed to show enough athletic ability and coverage ability the passing game.

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 2

The New England Patriots and the New Jersey Jets are going to be fighting over this kid.  He is a player that fits that style of 3-4 defense, which both the Jets and Patriots and maybe the Packers use.  Karl Mecklenburg was drafted in the 1982 draft 12th round by the Broncos and didnít get on the field for them until three years later.  All of this was because it was thought that he had limited athletic ability.  But once he got on the field, there were games where he played all front seven positions.  He was so intelligent and played the game with such passion that he overcame all of his so called ďathletic limitationsĒ to become one of the best defensive players in Bronco history.  Zak reminds me a lot of Karl Mecklenburg and also Mike Vrabel, but he is more athletic.  In this day and age, he will most likely be drafted by only those teams that require you to think before the snap of the ball, on the snap of the ball and after the snap of the ball.  Not many defenses require that kind of mental process.  Now itís all guess, react, attack and disrupt.  The only defenses I know that require its players to think before the snap, on the snap and after the snap are the Patriots and the New Jersey Jets and maybe the Green Bay Packers. These teams will value Zak higher in the draft than other teams and since the Jets and Patriots are both in the same division and need LBís, this should push Zak up in this draft in spite of the level of competition excuse.  Zak has the character, intelligence, passion to play this game at a very high level and deceiving athletic ability to back it up.  Zak will impact right away because of his intelligence.  He will become a fan favorite and a core player and could play more than one position just like Karl Mecklenburg did.  Zak is a sleeper pick in this draft because he comes from an Ivy League school and most scouts will think that he is just smart and not give him enough credit for his athletic abilities.   

Drew Boylhart

March/2007