With the 2019 NFL Draft on the horizon, Texas A&M linebacker Otaro Alaka is a player teams will take a close look at.
The 2019 NFL Draft does not have as particularly strong linebacker class as it has in year’s past. There are only two that have stood out above the rest, while others are either inexperienced or have not flashed as much. That said, there is one linebacker that has shown traits to be successful in the NFL.
Tale Of The Tape
Alaka has good size, standing 6’3″ and weighs a solid 239 pounds. He does play to his size, utilizing his length as leverage to get off of blocks and make a tackle. When he gets his hands on the ball carrier, he typically does a good job of bringing them to the ground. He is willing to lay a hit and does not shy away from contact. He amassed a large amount of tackles for a loss and sacks in his career by being in the right place at the right time. While he is not the most athletic linebacker, he is a good enough athlete that trusts his eyes and instincts.
Though he is a good tackler, he does miss some more often than one would like. This is an area he needs to work on and become more consistent, especially when in the open field. His career numbers for tackles are weighted closer towards assists, which shows some of his struggles in this area. He is a good athlete, but may struggle against more athletic receiving threats, especially tight ends. At times, he can take bad angles and become too aggressive to the ball carrier.
Alaka has the tools to be a very successful linebacker in the NFL. He has the old saying “You can’t teach size” going for him. His flaws are coachable for the most part, especially his angles and missed tackle issues. His coverage will need to be disguised as he may struggle against speed. He does a good job of getting off blocks consistently and finding the football. With 40.5 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks in five season, Alaka has shown the ability to consistently get into the backfield and create problems. He would be a perfect fit as a 3-4 inside linebacker with limited need to drop into coverage or have a small area in zone coverage.
Brandon Marshall – Linebacker: Denver