A.J. Klein: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Iowa State ILB

Matt SteinCorrespondent IIApril 27, 2013

A.J. Klein: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Iowa State ILB

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    A.J. Klein spent the last three years at Iowa State making a name for himself as a consistent middle linebacker. Whichever team ends up drafting him in the 2013 NFL draft certainly won't be disappointed with what it gets.

    While Klein isn't the most athletic linebacker prospect available this year, he has great instincts and the ability to play all three downs for an NFL team. Here are five things you need to know about Klein.

Background

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    Full Name: A.J. Klein

    Birthday: July 30, 1991

    Hometown: Kimberly, Wisconsin

    High School: Kimberly

    Major: Kinesiology—Physical Therapy

    Year: Senior

     

    Klein grew up in Wisconsin where he won back-to-back Division II state championships. His high school team's overall record while Klein was there was a ridiculous 37-1.

    Rivals.com ranked Klein as a 3-star prospect heading into college.

Statistics

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    Few college players produce as consistently as A.J. Klein did during his time at Iowa State. He finished his career with an impressive 361 total tackles.

    While his production slightly dropped in his senior season, it wasn't nearly enough to affect his overall draft stock.

     

    Year Solo Tackles Total Tackles Tackles for Loss Sacks Interceptions Forced Fumbles
    2009 7 17 1.0 0 0 1
    2010 49 111 8.0 0 3 0
    2011 66 116 7.5 2 1 0
    2012 59 117 3.5 1 1 0

     

    All statistics courtesy of sports-reference.com.

Draft Process

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    Measurables

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 250 lbs

    Arm Length: 32-7/8"

    Hand Size: 10-1/4"

     

    Combine Results

    40-yard dash: 4.66 seconds

    Bench press: 20 reps

    Broad jump: 113" 

     

    Pro Day Results

    Bench press: 24 reps

    Vertical jump: 33"

     

    A.J. Klein suffered a knee injury at the NFL combine, which is why he only participated in a handful of drills. However, Klein didn't perform extraordinarily well in any of the drills he did participate in.

     

    All combine results courtesy of NFL.com. 

    Pro day results courtesy of WalterFootball.com.

Interesting Facts

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    A.J. Klein was one of the best defensive players in the history of Iowa State. Not only did he finish his career with 361 total tackles, but Klein received a handful of honors during his college career.

    He was the Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year following the 2011 season. He also earned first-team All-Big 12 honors in both 2011 and 2012.

Observations

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    There are things to love about A.J. Klein, and there are things that will leave you puzzled. Bleacher Report's Sigmund Bloom covered both in one simple tweet:

    ISU LB AJ Klein is puzzling. Top effort, football IQ, reactions, but movement/1on1 tackling weak. My Scouting Report: bleacherreport.com/articles/16078…

    — Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) April 17, 2013

    The guys over at NFLmocks.com believe that Klein is this year's hidden gem in the draft:

    I think Iowa St. LB A.J. Klein, who was injured today and will be alright, has a chance to be the best hidden gem of this class. #NFLDraft

    — NFL Mocks Crew (@NFLMocks) February 26, 2013