Christian has the size, speed, bulk and strength to play multiple linebacker
positions in various defensive schemes. He shows on film the cover skills needed
to be an every down linebacker and the football instincts and intelligence to be
a leader on the field. He is a good tackler and has long arms that allow him to
shock the blocker, control him and then shed to make the tackle. His long arms
also allow him to have an solid defensive cover radius when covering those pass
catching tight ends also. Christian has a terrific burst to the ball and is a
very good blitzing linebacker because of this quickness and burst. He shows on
film the quick decision making ability, bulk and form tackling to be used inside
or outside. He reminds me a lot of Sean Lee (see 2010 Archives) Dallas Cowboyís
linebacker and that means for the teams that play cover two defense, Christian
would be an excellent fit as a middle linebacker.
Unless youíre on the line of scrimmage and show pass rushing skills, most teams
do not draft linebackers early in a draft. They donít rate the position very
high and thatís why year after year teams pass on drafting linebackers in the
first round unless they have outstanding stats and the media attention.
Christian has not shown on film that he can rush the passer from a three point
stance or two point stance, so I suspect teams will downgrade him because of
that. He is shorter than ideal and that will make some teams think twice about
When Sean Lee came out in 2010, I rated him as a top ten pick. He didnít get
drafted until the 2nd round and I suspect the same thing will happen to
Christian. Thatís why we use a two board system at THR. At THR, we know that
teams have a higher priority on some positions over others and stack their
boards to reflect that. I donít have to do that. Iím free to rate players on
talent and impact without the worry about priorities of position. Thatís why you
will see players rated higher on my talent board than most others will have them
rated because others (like Rob) are evaluating the value of a player to 32 teams
which results in players going up and down the boards on any given day. My
talent grades never change; but where a player is valued in a draft class does.
Christian has 1st round talent. He will be drafted and play on the field in the
first game of the season for the team that selects him. He will not come off the
field in any situation and will be one of the core players and impact player of
his teamís defense. Those are the facts and they cannot be refuted.
Nevertheless, and in spite of those facts, Iíll be very surprised if Christian
is selected in the first round. History of the draft tells me this.