Nigel has been very productive for his college team. He has excellent size, good speed and does a good job tackling at the college level. Nigel seems to be a better tackler in space than most LB's in this draft. He has the athletic ability to cover in the passing game and has the length and size to rush the passer from the outside if used to pass rush. He can be also be used on the inside in different blitz schemes. He is a smart player and shows leadership through his play on the field. Nigel has the size-speed ratio and production numbers along with amount of starts for his college team that suggests he should be considered one of the best LB's in this draft and yet, he is not.
I don't see the passion, instincts and playmaking ability that equal his athletic talent when I watch him on film. He just seems to be out there. His first two steps forward always look like he is playing in slow motion. He has to get a lot stronger in his lower body and stop tackling high. He just doesn't explode to the ball the way you would think he would. Maybe he is over-thinking on the field or maybe he is in the wrong system to show off his athletic talent, but this kid takes a yard or two to wind up to full throttle on every play and is not stout at the point of attack when playing inside.
I did not want to do this profile this year. I was hoping Nigel would fall out of the top 100 and I was going to use that as an excuse to not profile him. I have watched more film on this kid than some of the quarterbacks in this draft and I can tell you this, this whole situation frustrates me. Nothing makes sense about this kid at all. His numbers and the amount of games he has played say he should be an outstanding player. His size and speed and workout numbers say he should be a very good player. I have had member after member be excited about Nigel, e-mail me on when I was going to profile him and ask my thoughts on him because they think their team should draft him. What I see on film is that Nigel is not a strong tackler, but good enough for college. I don't see him reacting and attacking. I see him laying back and waiting. I see running plays at him that gain the needed yardage before he drags down the ball carrier. I see a laid back player who makes the play, but does not do anything to make you not want to attack him with your offensive game plan and yet I see stats that say he has interceptions and fumbles and sacks that make you think this kid has first round potential for the NFL! The coaches must love him because he has started a lot of games. I see his production, but I don't see what he does on film that matches that production and yet, he has been a starter for three years! Nothing makes sense, so maybe this kid is a diamond in the rough! Perhaps if he is drafted in the 4th round he will be a solid player and start for the team that drafts him for a long time. All I can tell you is he has played multiple positions and has talent, but I wouldn't draft him until the 4th round because I just think he is a solid player who might be able to be a good situational player for the team that drafts him. Maybe he will prove me wrong and be a big time star in the NFL. You never know.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart March /12