Kevin Minter   LB   LSU

TALENT BOARD ROUND  2

 

STRENGTHS

Kevin is a very smart football player.  He shows leadership skills and can be a coach on the field for the team that drafts him. He takes good angles and is the type of linebacker that will meet and greet those big offensive linemen coming out to the second level without hesitation.   He does a good job in coverage in a 10-20 yard space and understands the depth needed on his coverage drops when playing zone coverage.  He is an excellent teammate and plays his position in the context of the game plan.  Kevin understands down and distance as well as that you just have to stop a team from making first downs.  Kevin should become a core player and fan favorite for the team that drafts him. 

 

CONCERNS

Kevin lacks the speed for the next level that most teams are looking for, but he makes up for that with football intelligence and instincts.  He has to get stronger in his upper body and become a much better tackler when he is tracking down players outside of the hash marks.  He has a tendency to lunge and doesn't bring his feet with him because he doesn't have the speed to get out to the edges unless he takes the right angle.  He also doesn't have the quick twitch and recovery speed to allow anyone behind him in pass coverage, which will be a problem when he is up against big pass-catching tight ends. 

 

BOTTOM LINE

There are teams that will suggest that Kevin is a two-down linebacker; talent-wise, they may be correct.  However, I don't take a player with Kevin's intelligence off the field on any down. It would be like telling your coach to only coach on two downs and let someone else who doesn't know what they are doing coach the other down.  I believe you leave Kevin on the field, let him make plays close to the line of scrimmage and bring other players in for other reasons.  I believe you draft Kevin and coach better.  Teams that play a 3-4 defense might rate Kevin higher as an inside linebacker than teams that play a pure 4-3, but I think he will become a good solid defensive player in either defense.  Athletic talent alone does not make you a great player and the lack of athletic talent at the NFL level can be overcome through intangibles.  Kevin has to get stronger (and I have no doubt he will) to tackle the bigger players but that being said, when you draft Kevin, you're drafting someone you can trust to be in the right spot on every down and to make the plays when others are making mistakes.  He will be a core player and a fan favorite for the team that drafts him -- you can bet on it.

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Feb/2013