DeDe Lattimore, ILB, South Florida (HT: 6’0” WT: 237 lbs)
NFL Comparison: Donald Butler, ILB, San Diego Chargers
- Highly active linebacker who gets into great positions regularly.
- Adequate play-recognition skills with little hesitation shown.
- Has range in coverage to drop into deep zones with sufficient quickness.
- Anticipates routes to minimize separation or undercut receivers.
- Proven ball skills.
- Highly effective blitzer with impeccable timing and a burst to close.
- Has short-area quickness and flexibility to elude blocks and quickly get back into his pursuit lane.
- Difficult to elude in the open field, breaks down well to maximize contact as a tackler.
- Wraps well and doesn’t miss tackles often.
- Cleans up on plays consistently and will put his helmet on the football.
- Forces fumbles regularly due to high effort to the whistle.
- Plays with a hard-nosed style and physicality that makes up for lack of size to a small degree.
- Four-year starter with experience and durability.
- Far from a dominant player at the collegiate level.
- Severe size limitations.
- Lacks optimal length with arms just under 31 inches.
- Frame is likely as developed as it will ever get physically.
- Doesn’t pursue in the open field with the type of long speed expected of an undersized linebacker.
- Gets locked onto the QB with his eyes and loses position in coverage at times.
- Very reliant on anticipation and play recognition to fit the run before blockers can get to him.
- Gets lost in the shuffle of congestion against heavier sets, doesn’t have much of a presence in the box.
- Overwhelmed when he has to take on blocks straight on, loses the football often.
- Slow to disengage from blocks, can’t really extend his hands and maintain space.
- Doesn’t scrape off blocks well enough even when blockers only get a hand to him.
- Limited ability to pursue to the sideline and make tackles on the perimeter.
- Has to drop aiming point very low as a tackler to make up for size and length deficiencies.
- Lacks tackling strength to bring down ball carriers and limit yards after contact.
- Statistical production steadily dropped from breakout sophomore campaign to successive seasons.
- A 3-star prospect as a recruit in the class of 2009, 66th-ranked inside linebacker by Rivals.
- 2013 Second Team All-American Athletic Conference.
- Team captain as a senior.
Devekeyan “DeDe” Lattimore is really just one more in a line of undersized inside linebacker prospects in the 2014 NFL draft class. Lattimore was an effective college linebacker but doesn’t project as one in the NFL.
Few linebacker prospects have as tough a time getting off blocks as Lattimore does. He’s also not the type of athlete you need from an undersized linebacker. Lattimore should be drafted as a depth pick who should prove to be valuable on special teams.
Draft Projection: 6th-7th Round