Prince Shembo NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Falcons OLB

Darren PageFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2014

Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo follows play against Air Force in the third quarter of Notre Dame's 45-20 victory in an NCAA football game at the Air Force Academy, Colo., on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Prince Shembo, OLB, Notre Dame (HT: 6’1⅜” WT: 253 lbs)

Atlanta Falcons

Fourth Round: 139th Pick

Combine Weigh-In
601325333 1/8"10 1/2"
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd splitVertBroad3-ConeShuttle


  • Thick, NFL linebacker build with definition. 
  • Terrific arm length despite lack of height. 
  • A bit of a quick-twitch mover who’s tough to track for blockers. 
  • Flexible athlete with fluid hips. 
  • Sufficient speed to pursue in the open field or beat slow-footed tackles as a rusher. 
  • Plays with low pad level to leverage blocks, not only due to lack of height. 
  • Has a compact frame that is a small target for the hands of blockers. 
  • Flashes ability to convert speed to power and deliver a blow with his hands. 
  • Effective on stunts and twists where he utilizes lateral quickness. 
  • Has flashed a spin move that has the potential to be developed. 
  • Plays with his eyes up and finds the football well. 
  • Disciplined in pursuit angles and doesn’t run himself out of plays. 
  • Has shown ability to locate route-runners and find good positions in pass coverage. 
  • Experienced at collegiate level with almost three whole seasons as a starter. 
  • Played multiple roles on the edge at Notre Dame in both odd and even fronts.



  • Not a special athlete by any stretch of the imagination. 
  • More of a reactive linebacker than an aggressor. 
  • Slow out of his stance and into pass rushes often. 
  • Doesn’t hit a second gear to accelerate on speed rushes. 
  • Has issues bending to dip inside shoulder and turn the corner. 
  • Wastes steps in pass-rush arcs by indirect paths to the quarterback. 
  • Inconsistent to poor usage of power. 
  • Lacks any semblance of pass-rush moves or the ability to set up tackles. 
  • Light hands that don’t jolt or overwhelm blockers in any way. 
  • Inconsistent using length to play off run blocks in a timely fashion. 
  • Can be overpowered at the point of attack and give ground, even against tight ends. 
  • Never recorded high number of tackles, doesn’t get to the football often enough. 
  • Little experience in pass coverage or playing from off the line of scrimmage.


Collegiate Statistics

Personal Notes

  • A 4-star prospect as a recruit in class of 2010, seventh-ranked inside linebacker by Rivals
  • 2013 All-Independent Honorable Mention. 
  • Was investigated for an alleged sexual crime in 2010 but never charged.


Ratings Chart

Graph made at


Prince Shembo falls in line with other top Notre Dame defensive prospects in that he didn’t live up to expectations as a senior and has seen his draft stock fall since.  The lack of production and lack of explosive athleticism will both limit how early Shembo can be drafted.

As an NFL fit, he projects as a developmental project who should be considered as a depth pickup.  He primarily played on the line of scrimmage for the Irish, but a move to either a weak-side 3-4 outside linebacker spot or maybe even a 4-3 outside linebacker spot is on the cards.

Draft Projection: 6th-7th Round