Let's use today's 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile to look at a potential mid- to late-round linebacker selection who has some skills that might intrigue the New York Giants.
Connecticut's Scott Lutrus is a player who impressed at the recent NFL Scouting Combine. ESPN wrote that Lutrus "far exceeded expectations based on what we've seen on film. He's not an overly explosive prospect, but he posted good results in the 40 (4.68), broad jump (10-1), vertical jump (38), 3-cone (6.89) and short shuttle (6.89). We now have to go back to the tape to see if we missed something during our initial evaluation and figure why his explosiveness and lateral quickness are so much better at this point."
Scouting reports after the jump (and keep in mind that these reports were written prior to Lutrus' impressive work in Indianapolis).
6-foot-2, 240 pounds
Projection: Round 5 or 6
From National Football Post:
A tightly wound linebacker who displays a good feel in coverage and does a nice job feeling routes around him and reading the quarterback's eyes. However, he's stiff through his lower half and struggles when asked to quickly redirect and work his way back toward the football.
Played mostly on the strong side last season and displayed the instincts to quickly find the football, but lacked range when asked to close from the backside. Isn't overly powerful at the point of attack when lined up over the tight end, but does a nice job using his hands to work himself free from blocks and shed down the field. Exhibits a real savvy as a blitzer and is patient waiting for blocks to set before quickly closing on the football once his rush lane opens up.
Impression: Has battled through injuries over the course of his career and doesn't really stand out in any area of the game. Is a tough, instinctive guy, but at best is a reserve at the next level.
From Consensus Draft Services:
Nice size. Versatile. Played a rush DE on passing downs for UConn, and a OLB-hybrid (Husky) spot most of the rest of the time. Teams schemed away from his side much of the time when running the ball. Solid tackler. Moves around a lot within games. Unflappable and confident. Excels dropping in coverage and is a decent coverage LB. Looks like an NFL SAM.
Never got much better from 2008 on. Part of that was injury-related, but it does also raise the question about pain thresh hold, etc. Average game speed. Doesn't blow through blockers. Gets blocked too much and stays blocked. Seemed to be resting on his laurels at times in 2010. Doesn't have the size or explosiveness to be used at the LOS at the next level, but was used there a lot by UConn. Didn't play every snap even when healthy at UConn.
Lutrus [has the] range and mentality for the strong side outside linebacker position in the NFL. Could turn into a starter down the line if he can become a more productive player on third down, both in coverage and rushing the passer, and avoid the injury bug. Displays good awareness and flashes the ability to make plays from side[line]-to-sideline against the run. Doesn't shed blocks quick enough, but can hold his ground and set the edge. Shows good effort rushing the passer but needs to add some moves and use his hands more. Still developing in coverage and appears to be able to make improvements in that area. Mid-round prospect.