Darius Fleming isn’t a prototypical outside linebacker; he isn't tall enough at 6'2", 245 pounds, to catch the eye of most scouts. But, once you see him on the football field, you’ll get why Fleming is a special football player.
He’s extremely fast off the snap of the football and has great closing capacity to put pressure on the quarterback. His athleticism allows him to easily drop back into coverage on obvious passing downs. Fleming will need to do a better job of shedding blocks from offensive linemen, as he has a tendency to be out-muscled by the competition.
At the NFL Combine, Fleming cramped up and ran a disappointing 40-yard time. Some thought Indianapolis would be his last chance to convince scouts that he was an NFL-caliber player.
Fleming was given another opportunity at Notre Dame’s pro day. His nerves settled down and Fleming ran a 4.52 40-yard dash, and that opened the eyes of several pro scouts.
Scouts have disagreed on what type of player Fleming will become. Some feel he’s perfectly suited to becoming an ideal situational pass-rusher in certain defensive schemes, while others feel Fleming would be better off playing at the inside linebacker position.
NationalFootballPost.com touched on his strengths and weaknesses:
Exhibits some natural bend sitting into his stance with his hand on the ground and shows a good first step, keeping his pad level down and quickly eating up grass. However, he is limited as a pass rusher, looks a bit linear, struggles to drop pad level around the edge and isn't real sudden when trying to counter off his initial speed rush. Consistently tries to reach the corner and work a chop toward the edge, but gets upright and doesn't have much of a variety to his pass rushing arsenal.