A team captain and productive player throughout his NCAA career at Iowa, Tyler Nielsen has the makings of a developmental outside linebacker as a pro.
Although slightly undersized right now at under 240 pounds, he has the explosion and speed to carve a niche in the league.
He was a four-year player who finished his Hawkeye career with 134 tackles, 68 of which were solo. He'll need some refining as a rusher, as he recorded just one sack during his career.
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.31 seconds
3-Cone Drill: 7.27 seconds
40-Yard Dash: 4.67 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: 11.43 seconds
Bench Press: 21 reps
What the Experts are Saying:
Range vs. Run: Does not have sideline-to-sideline range. Limited athleticism and change-of-direction skills. Lacks a prototypical closing burst and to make up ground when trailing in pursuit. Takes sound angles to the ball. Needs to do a better job of avoiding traffic in pursuit. —Scouts, Inc.
Instincts/Recognition: Displays above-average instincts and diagnostic skills as a run defender. Reads keys quickly and takes on blocks with proper shoulder to maintain gap integrity with run fits. —Scouts, Inc.
Strengths: Nielsen is very fast, and he diagnoses run plays quickly. He is good to read offensive line tendencies and reach accordingly, and he has the speed to get outside and pursue players on the edge. He uses his hands well to sift through trash on the second level and is very savvy/aware to keep himself free to get tackle production. He is very urgent to get to the ball and reliable to make a tackle once there. —NFL.com
Projected Rookie Impact
A guy with speed aplenty for the linebacker spot. If asked to be a rushing outside linebacker, he'll need time to develop his pass-rushing skills.