Drew Boylhart November 2007

Dan Connor   LB   Penn St

 

STRENGTHS

Dan has the size, strength, speed and overall athletic abilities to play any LB position in any kind of defense.  He is a good tackler and shows strong leadership skills.  He shows solid pass rush abilities and also has very good cover skills to deal with TEís and RBís coming out of the backfield.  Dan does an excellent job tackling in space or one on one against a shifty RB.  He attacks in open space like a Rottweiler guarding his ownerís estate.  He is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler with good control and burst.  Dan has the potential to be a Pro Bowl LB for the team that drafts him.  He reminds me a lot of Brian Urlacher (LB Chicago Bears).   

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Dan has changed positions this year and it has affected his aggressiveness and play on the field.  He is thinking too much and not reacting as well as he has in the past.  Dan is not a ďmeet and greet in the hole, then shed and make the tackleĒ type of LB. 

He might be downgraded on some teams boards because of these reasons.  For me personally, I think that would be foolish.  As with all Penn St players, you will have to do your homework on any off-field character issues.  This may also downgrade him on some teams draft boards although I donít see a problem.  Thatís if the reports are truthful and not a cover up for some other issue!

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND 1

Dan is almost as athletic as Brian Urlacher when he came out of college.  He should be the same style of LB that uses his athleticism to attack an offense rather than brute strength and techniques.  There is nothing wrong with that at all.  Personally, I like this style of LB on the outside and not on the inside; however, a lot of teams that use the cover-two defense need a MLB that can cover and drop back quickly on the passing downs.  Most LBís that are able to do that do not usually have the body type that is needed in the middle to be stout against the run.  Dan is a perfect cover two middle LB.  He is also a perfect WLB in a 4-3.  He could play the strong side in a 4-3 because of his cover skills.  But until he learns better techniques in defending against the run, he will struggle just a little bit.  I have no doubt that Dan can learn these new techniques.  Itís just a matter of time.  In the meantime, he will shut down (one on one) just about any TE in the NFL.  Not to mention his abilities to tackle in space and handle RBís coming out of the backfield on swing passes and screens.  This kid is a quality LB and as long as his character issues are behind him, he should have an excellent career in the NFL.  I call him Dan (The Rottweiler) Connor because he attacks with quickness and once he gets a hold of you, he does not let go until you are down.