Notre Dame’s Darius Fleming is a late-round outside linebacker prospect who is best suited as a Sam backer in the 4-3. He’s a great tackler, and he’s gained some momentum heading into the draft after increasing his 40-time from 4.77 at the combine to 4.58 at his pro day.
In fact, his determination to improve his 40-time was one of the hottest topics coming out of Notre Dame’s pro day. NFLDraftScout.com had the following to say:
“There’s little doubt the scouts and coaches in attendance noted that Fleming responded like you’re supposed to in the NFL. After falling down, he got right back up and ran the best 40 times of his life—4.57 and 4.52. At 6’2” and 247 pounds, he was two pounds heavier than he was at the combine, but he was two-tenths of a second faster in the 40, too. ‘That makes him the third-fastest linebacker in the country,’ said Elias Karras, Fleming’s trainer at EFT Sports performance in Highland Park.”
On film, Fleming shows above-average quickness and strong burst. While he’s a decent lateral mover, he isn’t very skilled in coverage and will struggle defending the pass initially at the next level. However, he’s shown he can effectively set the edge and shed blocks.
In 2010, he led Notre Dame in tackles for loss (11) and sacks (6). He’ll provide some depth at linebacker for the Bills and can contribute right away on special teams.