Carl Bradford NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Packers OLB

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Carl Bradford NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Packers OLB
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Carl Bradford, OLB, Arizona State (HT: 6’0¾” WT: 250 lbs)

Green Bay Packers

Fourth Round: 121st Pick 

Combine Weigh-In
Height Weight Arm Hand
6006 250 30 1/4" 9 1/2"

NFL.com

Combine Workout
40-yd dash 10-yd split Vert Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
4.76 1.66 37.5 10'2" 7.25 4.30

NFL.com

Positives

  • Skillful feet with lower body flexibility, changes directions cleanly. 
  • Plays with tremendous balance, never ends up on the ground. 
  • Intelligent player with football instincts, reads and reacts consistently well. 
  • Consistently disruptive in the backfield both as a pass-rusher and run-defender. 
  • Has a natural snap to his hips to come off the ball with initial quickness. 
  • Can flatten out around the corner on speed rushes while maintaining balance. 
  • Will convert speed to power and pack a punch into the frame of tackles. 
  • Rushes with expectedly low pad level to leverage, can get under the pads of pass-blockers. 
  • Always tracks the quarterback in rushes, won’t relinquish contain to mobile quarterbacks. 
  • Impactful blitzer from space, natural burst and can get skinny through small gaps. 
  • Gets hands up to deflect passes regularly. 
  • Adequate foot quickness and awareness for zone coverage. 
  • Can track route runners in man coverage with fluidity to turn and run and adequate long speed. 
  • Knifes into inside gaps with initial quickness, can be disruptive shooting gaps. 
  • Can slide off run blockers and make plays in the hole in a timely fashion. 
  • Plays with his eyes up and tracks ball-carriers well for a short defender. 
  • Decisive reading blocks from space and drives downhill well. 
  • Pursues in the open field with long speed to close and a high motor. 
  • Technically sound tackler who wraps, drives, and finishes consistently. 
  • Showed lots of positional versatility, including linebacker spots off the line of scrimmage.

Negatives

  • Lacks optimal bulk and length to play on the line of scrimmage. 
  • Not physically overwhelming to any degree as an edge rusher. 
  • Doesn’t commonly hit a second gear to accelerate past tackles on the edge. 
  • Repertoire of pass rush moves is somewhat underdeveloped. 
  • Reliant on burst and speed setting up tackles in order to take advantage. 
  • Hand usage to keep the hands of pass-blockers off his frame leaves a bit to be desired. 
  • Little experience in pass-coverage, played mostly at the line of scrimmage at ASU. 
  • Lacks functional strength at the point of attack, can be overwhelmed by bigger run blockers. 
  • Does a poor job getting off blocks when he gets stacked up initially, lack of lack inhibits him. 
  • Struggles to finish and completely clear blockers even when he does get a step away from contact. 
  • Will require a position change at the NFL level, at least a switch to a two point stance.

Collegiate Statistics
Year Team Tackles TFL Sacks FF PD
2011 Arizona St. 12 3.5 1.5 0 0
2012 Arizona St. 81 20.5 11.5 3 5
2013 Arizona St. 61 19 8.5 3 4

http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/carl-bradford-1.html

Personal Notes

  • A 3-star prospect as a recruit in class of 2010 according to ESPN, listed as a fullback. 
  • 2013 First Team All-Pac 12. 
  • Graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice in three-and-a-half years.

Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.ed.gov.

Overall

Carl Bradford was a phenomenal college football player and one of the best edge defenders in the country over the last two years.  His consistent disruption in the backfield is the hallmark of his game.  Maybe the most impressive aspect to him is the way he sees plays develop, diagnoses, and can always find the football.

That high football IQ is important when considering that Bradford will need a new position in the NFL.  His lack of size and length means he has no place at the line of scrimmage going toe to toe with tackles on a regular basis.  His movement ability, play recognition, and overall instincts lend credence to the idea that he can play a traditional linebacker spot in a 4-3 defense, even in the middle.  The work he does on the edge will also endear him to teams of the 3-4 variety.

Draft Projection: Second round

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