Vinnie Sunseri    S/LB   Alabama

TALENT BOARD ROUND 4

STRENGTHS
Vinnie is a natural linebacker in a safety’s body. He is used a lot as an in-the-box hybrid safety/linebacker and as a safety in a two deep zone defensive scheme. He is smart and a coach on the field. He has very little wasted movement and is a ball hawk and a playmaker on passing downs. He is a heads-up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler. Vinnie has deceptive speed because he has a smooth gait, but when he intercepts a pass, that’s when he can turn on the rockets and most of the time he goes all the way. I think he has the type of athleticism and fluidness to be used on both sides of the ball and as slot receiver on offense and a returner on special teams. Because he is an excellent tackler in the open field, he could bulk up and become an excellent weakside linebacker in a 4-3 defense also. There is a lot of talent to work with and a lot of football intelligence; if Vinnie is draft by the right team, he will become a core player for the team that drafts him.

CONCERNS
Vinnie got injured and hasn’t been able to work out. He also plays a position that most teams are looking for better cover skills than Vinnie possesses. Vinnie needs the play in front of him to make plays. Vinnie is a certain fit for a certain style of defense and this might drop him into the later rounds or be a priority rookie free agent after the draft.

BOTTOM LINE
Vinnie is a natural linebacker with excellent linebacker skills. He shocks his blocker to shed and make a tackletle. He is smart, can blitz and shows the leadership skills that a lot of more talented and bigger players do not have. The problem is his size, at 5’11” 210 lbs, he just would not hold up as a starting linebacker and doesn’t have the mentality or cover skills that most teams are looking for in their safeties. He reminds me of former Buccaneers/Bronco safety John Lynch, but the problem is Vinnie is not as big as John was. John Lynch was 6’2” 220 lbs. So what do you do? Vinnie has talent to play in the NFL, I’m just not sure where. I almost think his best fit might be as a third down back on offense or a slot receiver. He has the toughness that I saw in the Packers Randle Cobb and the same football intelligence. I just think a Player with that type of talent, you look to add to your team and worry about what position they play afterwards. So late in the draft you might want to think about drafting Vinnie because I just think that whatever side of the field he winds up on, he will become valuable and you need these types of players if you expect to make it into the playoffs and super bowl.

Drew Boylhart
MAY/2014