After a productive college career both on and off the field, Vanderbilt linebacker Andre Mintze is heading to the 2021 NFL Draft. Can the hard-charging pass rusher with a charitable side make his way to the NFL as a Day 3 under-the-radar prospect?
Andre Mintze NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: Linebacker
- School: Vanderbilt
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’2 1/2″
- Weight: 248 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Andre Mintze Scouting Report
Positives: Underrated pass-rushing linebacker who finds a way to make plays. Plays with consistent knee bend and is rarely off his feet. Effectively uses his hands, chases the action hard, and keeps his feet moving. Possesses good change-of-direction skills, and is forceful off the edge and rarely off his feet.
Negatives: Not the greatest athlete and may be tapped out physically. Plays to one speed and is ineffective in pursuit. Out-positioned from the action by larger blockers.
Analysis: Mintze is a hard-charging defender who got the most from his ability but lacks great upside. He’s a 3-4 linebacker prospect who could be brought onto the field as a pass-rush specialist.
Andre Mintze Player Profile
It comes as no surprise that Mintze heads to the 2021 NFL Draft as an under-the-radar prospect. He’s been overlooked his entire football journey. A two-star recruit despite a productive high school senior season, he wasn’t ranked a top-50 player in the state of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, 247 Sports lists him as only the 139th ranked weak-side defensive end in the 2016 recruiting class.
Although he attended camps at Penn State, Pittsburgh, and Virginia Tech early in the recruiting process, his only offer prior to his senior season came from Duke. It wasn’t until a standout senior season as part of the undefeated PIAA 3A State Championship-winning Imhotep Institute team that he really gained significant attention.
He racked up 53 tackles, 14 sacks, and 23 tackles for loss, earning All-Metro and All-State honors. He caught the eye of UMass and UCF during the season, but it wasn’t until afterward that Vanderbilt and Boston College extended scholarship offers to him. Following a late January visit to Nashville, he committed to the Commodores.
Mintze’s college football career at Vanderbilt
Continuing the theme of being overlooked and underrated, Mintze didn’t see the field in 2016. Furthermore, he would make just one start — against Tennessee State — in his first three seasons with the program. When he did get game action, he found a way to contribute, logging 15 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and a first career sack against Baylor in the Texas Bowl.
His redshirt-junior season in 2019 was the catalyst to a lasting legacy at the program. Mintze played in all 12 games (nine starts) and became an extremely productive member of the Vanderbilt defense. He secured a first career forced fumble against Kentucky, while a standout game against Ole Miss yielded 2 tackles for loss. Mintze ended the season with 39 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks.
He continued to be productive in his final season. In eight starts, he racked up 21 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks. Mintze’s sacks and tackle for loss numbers were good enough for second on the team. Furthermore, he produced his best in the biggest games. His standout performance came against Florida, where he had 7 tackles, 1 sack, and 1.5 tackles for loss.
However, his legacy at Vanderbilt is greater than football. In 2019, he orchestrated a charity event to raise funds for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital. His efforts helped raise over $40,000, and he was a nominee for the Wuerffel Trophy and Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year in both 2019 and 2020. The Vanderbilt linebacker was also the recipient of the Vanderbilt Godfrey Dillard Courage Award in 2019.
Andre Mintze’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Despite heading to Vanderbilt as a defensive end, he best projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker at the NFL level. Although he didn’t appear to have remarkable athleticism during his college career, Mintze improved his NFL Draft stock by running a late 4.5 40-yard dash at the Vanderbilt Pro Day. His hard-working approach, both on and off the field, will be appeal to NFL teams, as will his defensive versatility.
As Pro Football Network’s Chief NFL Draft Analyst Tony Pauline alluded to in his recent potential UDFA sleepers article, the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, and Buffalo Bills have all shown interest in the Vanderbilt linebacker.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.