Ben Gedeon   LB   Michigan


Ben is an underrated linebacker who can play more than one linebacker position in a 4/3 defense. He has could overall speed with good change of direction skills to be used in a matchup zone type of coverage defense close to the line of scrimmage. He is excellent at shedding blocks and has the speed and football intelligence to shut down sweeps and screens playing as an inside linebacker or outside. He has leadership abilities and can be your coach on the field for your front seven because of his instincts. Ben is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler and has just enough quickness off the line to be used in pass rush situations as a stand up linebacker in a 3/4 defense. In fact to be honest because he plays bigger than his size it would not surprise me if he fits as an OLB/DE in a 3/4 better and with more impact than as a 4/3 linebacker but he will have to prove that after he is selected and given the chance.

I suspect that Ben can play as a stand up OLB/DE in a 3/4 defense but for the purposes of this draft most teams will label him as an inside linebacker for a 4/3 defense and that position is slowly going out of style unless you can run 4.5 in the forty and have the cover skills of a corner back.

The position Ben plays is not considered an impact game changing position by most team and that along with his excellent but not above average athletic talent means that Ben will be considered a late round draft pick. That’s the reality of the draft. It doesn’t matter to the NFL coaches if you are a leader on the field or have instincts to play your position at a high level, all that matters and to be considered in the early rounds of a draft as a linebacker, is if you can run 4.5 in the forty. There are linebackers in this draft that are listed on many teams’ draft boards ahead of Ben for one reason and one reason only… they ran a faster 40 yard dash. It doesn’t matter that they don’t tackle as well or don’t understand angles or have no leadership skills. All the matters at the inside linebacker position for the draft is… speed. So Ben ran in the 4.7 range and plays a position that not all the teams in the NFL list as an impact position. Personally I don’t think speed is everything for that position. I think “HOW” you play that position is just as important and in some cases more important. Looking at Rob’s board right now at the first 200 players listed, Ben is no were to be found. He went to the combine and his CPM (Combine Performance Metric) score is 86.53 and that is above average for his position. So you would think that Ben would be considered a top linebacker in this draft but he ran a 4.78 in the forty and that’s all the poor selecting NFL teams look at. The smart ones will look at the film and see what I see. At least I think they will?

Drew Boylhart  APR.2017