Giants 2016 Draft Preview: Inside Linebackers Prospects
By Michael Stewart
Continuing with the 2016 Inside Linebacker (ILB) prospects that the Giants could have available to them in this year’s draft; here are my top 3 ILB that could be available between rounds 3-6.
Dominique Alexander-(ILB) Oklahoma 6’0/234:
Projected as a late 2nd to early 3rd; although Alexander could go in the 2nd round (depending on the combine), I will still list him as an option with the hopes he slips into the 3rd round. Very compact well-built frame and exceptional speed for an ILB. Attacks the hole with great quickness and decision-making.
Recognizes plays well and has demonstrated good closing speed. Played the final 33 games of his college career at the ILB position, but could transition into an OLB at the NFL level in a 4-3 defensive scheme.
Tyler Matakevich (ILB) Temple 6’0/233:
Projected as a late 3rd to early 4th round pick. Matakevich displayed a surprising quickness and anticipation with little wasted movement. High football IQ has given Matakevich the advantage of reading and reacting well on the football field. Seems to always play under control and never puts himself out of position to make a play. Matakevich is very physical and combined with an endless motor makes him a very intriguing ILB in the mid rounds.
Scooby Wright III (ILB) Arizona 6’0/246:
Projected as a late 3rd to mid 4th round pick. Do not let his first name (Scooby) fool you as Wright has put together a very impressive college resume during his 3 seasons at Arizona. Wright is a tackling machine at ILB position as he always seems to be in position to make plays. Deceptively quick with great instincts and an endless motor.
Better pass rusher than a coverage ILB, Wright will have some growing pains in his 1st season in the NFL. Wright is a better football player than an athletic; which means he will most likely not impress many scouts at the combine (if invited). However; make no mistake about Wright’s contribution to the Arizona defense over the past 3 seasons as a reliable open field tackler and a knack for making big plays.
Final Thoughts: Jerry Reese will have options at the ILB position in the draft if this is where he wants to go to help the Giants defense. Again, Reese could look towards FA to find an ILB that will contributor as Jasper Brinkley is most likely not the long-term solution at the ILB position for the Giants.
Next Article will feature my remaining 4 ILB in the draft.