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2011 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Josh Bynes, MLB, Auburn

You guys have been asking for profiles on 'sleeper' picks, or guys who could even be UDFA targets. Let's use today's 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile to discuss one of those players, a guy suggested by 'BigBlueIntervention.'

Josh Bynes is a middle linebacker from Auburn who, in reality, sounds a lot like Jonathan Goff, the middle linebacker the New York Giants already have. A two-down thumper who is limited in pass coverage. The CBS scouting report below talks about how the Giants might be a good fit for Bynes because of the scheme. I'm not so sure about that. Don't we always talk about the heavy coverage responsibilities of a middle linebacker in a Perry Fewell defense, and how that might be a Goff short-coming?

Just off the reports (admittedly I have not seen Bynes play) I can't see how this guy sounds any different.

Scouting reports after the jump.

Josh Bynes
MLB, Auburn
6-foot-1, 240 pounds
Projection: Late-rounds, UDFA

Scouting Reports

From Sideline Scouting:

Positives: Above average strength, has a lot of upper-body bulk, solid lower body allows him to drive through tackles when taking sounds angles to the ball carrier... Breaks down pretty well to take down ball carrier, but needs to work on footwork if he is to form up on quicker backs... Productive 2009 season (104 tackles, one sack, one interception)... Good at reading the eyes of quarterbacks, plays well in zone coverage and can make some big plays (seven career interceptions)... Ideal fit as an inside or strongside backer in a 4-3 system, can cut through tight ends and fullbacks to get through the ball carrier... Decent defender in zone coverage, but will struggle in man-to-man against tight ends and running backs in the NFL.

Negatives: Doesn't fly around the field, takes some time to get in position in zone coverage, not a sideline-to-sideline defender... Timid in recognition at times, can look a little confused when teams go into hurry-up offense... Does not change direction very quickly, will set the edge on stretch plays but cannot get back inside very quickly, leaving the cutback lanes wide open... Doesn't always take sound pursuit angles when players take the edge and head up field... Does not possess very good speed, looks slow when scraping and when in cross-field pursuit... Looks like a liability in man-to-man coverage, has stiff hips and sloppy footwork, too slow to run with many running backs... Somewhat inconsistent production in 2010, recorded six tackles or less in 10 games.

From CBS Sports:

Positives: Fiery field general. Played all three downs, and made plays against the run and pass. Can effectively plug his gap and shut off the inside run. Big hitter who can lay the wood. Instinctive three-year starter against top competition, experienced at reading offenses and adjusting teammates accordingly. Sound and solid tackler, very productive. Quick first step. Top intangibles at a position where intangibles are extremely important.

Negatives: Stiff hips and cannot change directions well. Can be quick in a short area but is not fast. Too many times seemed unable to get off blocks, or got caught up in traffic and washed out. Needs an open lane as a blitzer or is easily negated. Doesn't have the speed to get to the corner and shut off the wide run consistently. Made plays in coverage at Auburn but isn't athletic enough to run with NFL tight ends and likely will be limited to zone assignments; possibly just a two-down middle 'backer.

Overview: Josh Bynes is a classic "throwback" MLB, a punishing and intimidating thumper, as well as a team leader and defensive signal caller. Unfortunately, the NFL seems to be trending more towards middle and inside linebackers who can handle man coverage assignments, and hence away from the "throwback." There is a lot to like about Bynes as a prospect, but he will need the "right scheme" for his talents. The Giants and Rams are two NFL teams likely to appreciate Bynes more than others, given the scheme.