Ross has good size and speed to be an NFL linebacker. He is a smart player who understands his assignments and is one of the better coverage linebackers in this draft. He is quick to the play and shows excellent instincts. Ross does a good job of not getting blocked at the second level by offensive lineman. He takes good angles to make a tackle, is not easily fooled by play action and understands situational football. Ross may have some untapped talent to rush the passer at the next level that he was not asked to use because he is such a good coverage linebacker. This kid has an excellent burst to the ball and, in the Senior Bowl, showed how quickly he moved forward in a 2-gap system that keeps those big offensive linemen off him and allows him to run free and make plays.
Ross is not a very good tackler. He makes a lot of tackles at the college level, but he does not wrap up or bring his feet and go through his opponent. He lunges, leaves his feet and does not wrap up, which is poor technique for a player with Ross' overall talents. Ross has to get bigger and stronger. Weight room strength is not going to help this kid. He is another kid that needs to strengthen his hands. His hands are weak and this, plus the fact that he does not bring his feet with him, is allowing players to break tackles. Ross also doesn't show any leadership skills. He knows what he is doing, but he does not seem to share it with teammates on the field. I'm sure he is a good teammate, but before the snap this kid is quiet.
Ross has to learn to tackle much better than he does right now. He is the first to get to a play, but someone else is always cleaning up after him. He is trying so hard to make the tackle that he's just leaving his feet too early, is not able to get a firm grip and therefore, is unable to bring his opponent down without help. If he works on his hand strength, I think just playing will make him interact more with his teammates before the snap of the ball. Teach this kid to tackle better and Ross could play more than one linebacker position and became a core player and fan favorite for the team that drafts him. I think Ross will eventually be a very good linebacker because he shows on film some real natural abilities.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart April/11