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2011 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Quan Sturdivant, LB, North Carolina

North Carolina linebacker Quan Sturdivant is a player I have seen connected to the New York Giants in some of the multi-round mock drafts popular on the Inter-Google these days. He is also a player some of you have asked about recently.

So, let use today's 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile to discuss Sturdivant, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound middle linebacker from North Carolina.

I know there are some of you out there who really like this player. I will be honest. When it comes to the New York Giants, I don't. Not at all. He is a 230-pound middle linebacker, not nearly big enough to play the middle in a 4-3. His instincts are questioned by many scouts, and most see him as a better fit as a 3-4 inside linebacker than a 4-3 outside guy.

I am really tired of watching the Giants draft athletic players and try to "project" them into positions they did not play in college. That is what they would have to do with Sturdivant, moving him outside. They need a run-stuffing "thumper" opposite Michael Boley, and my initial impression is this player does not have the size, physical nature or instincts to be that player. We have seen way too many "square pegs in round holes" and I don't want to go that route again.

Scouting reports after the jump.

Quan Sturdivant
OLB, North Carolina
6-foot-2, 230 pounds

Scouting Reports

From National Football Post:

Possesses a thicker, well-put-together frame and plays with natural bend and leverage on contact. Looks comfortable sitting into his stance, extending his arms and keeping himself clean in traffic. Exhibits good power as well when asked to take on pulling guards in the hole. However, doesn't play with a consistent passion, at times looks content to be blocked and sealed from the play and too often simply tries to run around defenders, sealing himself away from ball carrier at times.

Displays good body control and overall fluidity in the pass game, can open up his hips, redirect cleanly and does display an above-average burst out of his breaks. However, possesses only average instincts.

Impression: Looks much more comfortable playing on the outside where he doesn't have to key off as many blocks. Displays good athleticism and can be powerful when taking on opposing linemen, but questionable instincts and work rate hurt his cause. Has the skill set to start for a team, but I don't think he's the type of potential blue/red-chip prospect many are making him out to be.

From Sideline Scouting:

Positives: Incredible production, had a huge sophomore season with 122 tackles (87 solo), two sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble... Has solid speed, is fast enough to cover most tight ends and get sideline to sideline with ease... Good zone coverage defender, reads quarterbacks well and is fairly instinctual in coverage... Scrapes very well, keeps eyes up going through traffic with a good feel for where blockers are... Above-average athlete, is not the fastest or strongest linebacker, but plays with fluidity in his hips and feet... Quick to diagnose plays and get to the ball carrier, does good job of readjusting to misdirection plays... Very consistent productivity regardless of opponent, recorded no less than four tackles in any game in 2009 or 2010.

Negatives: Lacks explosiveness, does not drive through ball carriers, needs to do a better job of moving feet after contact instead of tackling high and dragging ball carrier to the ground... Could stand to add more bulk and upper-body strength, somewhat undersized for an NFL inside backer... Is not a heavy hitter, will not force a lot of fumbles or push ball carriers into backfield... Does not blitz often and often struggles with disengaging from blocks at first, needs to develop more pass-rushing moves... Small character concerns including an arrest for marijuana possession before start of 2010 season... Does not have the size to play inside in a 4-3 and needs to develop more pass-rushing capabilities if he is to play outside backer in 4-3, looks to be best suited for ILB in a 3-4.