UNC’s linebacker Kevin Reddick finished his senior season at Chapel Hill with 85 total tackles and 6.5 sacks. He was an emotional leader for Carolina blue and Tar Heel fans will be sad to see the New Bern, NC native go. He’s on to a much bigger pond. The question is, what is his outlook for the NFL combine?
All the scout outlook on the 6’3, 240 pound Chapel Hill alum is positive. However, many water cooler fans don’t realize just how many few open slots there are at the linebacker position in the NFL. Many teams run a 4-3 and that leaves limited slots for an up and coming linebacker like Reddick. Many of those linebackers also have to have strong cover skills, depending what kind of scheme the team is running.
Basically, what I’m saying is, Kevin must impress at the combine to be given half a chance to be a close second-stringer and possible starter for a NFL squad. The scouting report on Reddick name him comparable to Miami Dolphins’ LB and another Kevin, Kevin Burnett. Reports have him coming in at a steal in the second day of the NFL draft.
He’s got strong size and raw athleticism at his position that many teams see as upside potential. Reddick possesses a strong run-stopping ability in the middle linebacker position and brings consistency to the table. He doesn’t overcommit or play to his weakness.
Kevin must improve in a lot of areas though. Namely, he struggles with cut-blocks towards his legs and feet. NFL fullbacks will aim for the tall guy’s feet to take him out of the play. He also struggles with what we’ll call “catch-up” speed to the ball carrier if he does overcommit or shoots the wrong gap.
So what does the combine bring for Kevin Reddick? Well, if he’s smart, he’ll be focusing on strengthening on keeping his arms extended to blockers trying to take his legs out. This way he can shove them down easier when they cut block his knees, while trying to keep his eyes up and towards the ball. He’s also got to work on side-to-side agility drills to prove to the coaches he’s not just a down-hill runner. Reddick has to prove he can shuck blockers and not get caught overcommitting with his hand in the cookie jar. In the NFL, that will make you a target for offensive coordinators.