Ben Boulware   LB   Clemson

TALENT
ROUND
4

STRENGTHS
Ben Boulware is an animal. Heís an instinctive, stalking animal lurking in the shadows of your defense waiting for just the right moment to attack and devourer his prey. That prey is the quarterback, the running backs, the slot receiver, or that fancy pass catching tight end. Ben is a survivor; he survives using football intelligence beyond his years. He shows leadership skills on and off the field and has the uncanny ability to finish plays better than the more athletically talented players on the field. Thatís Benís biggest strengthÖhis ability to finish. There is no one playing his position in this draft that finishes plays like Ben can. Donít think for a minute thatís not a big thing because, most 1st rounderís fail because they canít finish the play and make the interception or the sack or the tackle that stops the momentum of their opponent. Ben does that better than most in this draft.

CONCERNS
Ben is too small, not fast enough, doesnít have the length to cover, got short fingers, picks his nose, not a good dancer, eats too muchÖ blah blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If you looking for a football player than you looking for Ben. Most teams will downgrade him in spite of his film because he doesnít fit the perfect size/ speed ration for his position. Those are the teams that draft in the top 15 of the draft every year and havenít reached the plays off in 17 years.

BOTTOM LINE
Size matters, combine numbers matter, interviews matter but when it all comes to the end, the only thing that truly matters is how well a player plays on the field for all four quarters. Go turn on the film of Clemson and show me one game that Ben hasnít made an impact play. Show me one game when he doesnít finish and make a tackle that turns the momentum of a game to Clemsonís side. Turn on the film and point out all the more athletic players on that team that donít make plays and donít influence the outcome of the game. Turn on the film and tell me you donít see Ben Boulware out there finishing plays, making interceptions and tackling players behind the line of scrimmage based solely on his football intelligence. Ben is the type of player who is a coach on the field, a leader on and off the field and becomes a core player and a fan favorite as he guides a defense to the playoffs. I donít care what round you select him in and the truth is I donít think Ben cares what round you select him in either, but pass him in too many rounds for more athletically talented players who donít know how to finishÖthat will be a big mistake. When I watch him play all I can think about is he reminds me of Animal on the Muppets. When the Electric Mayhem Band plays Öall eyes go to Animal playing the drums because he drives the band and itís hard not to notice him.

Drew Boylhart  APR.2017