Despite lacking the ideal frame for it, K.J. Britt plays the linebacker position like a tough-tackling, old-school thumper. Is there a role in the NFL for Auburn linebacker K.J. Britt as he heads to the 2021 NFL Draft?
K.J. Britt NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: Linebacker
- School: Auburn
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’0 1/8″
- Weight: 239 pounds
- Wingspan: 76″
- Arms: 30 3/4″
- Hands: 9 3/8″
Tony Pauline’s K.J. Britt Scouting Report
Positives: Instinctive, disciplined linebacker with a terrific head for the ball. Effectively reads the action, diagnoses plays before they unfold, and explodes upfield defending the run. Possesses good change-of-direction skills and efficiently takes proper angles to the action.
Sells out defending the run, squares into ball handlers, and wraps up tackling. Does not bite on ball fakes and stays with the play. Effectively quarterbacks the defense and gets his teammates in proper position. Gives great effort chasing the action.
Negatives: Plays to one speed and does not show much ability in pursuit. Cannot cut off the corners from ball handlers.
Analysis: Britt is a hard-working linebacker with a terrific head for the game, but he comes with average play speed. He projects as either an inside or middle linebacker, and Britt’s instincts, as well as intensity, give him the upper hand to make a roster spot.
K.J. Britt Player Profile
The tough-tackling reputation that he takes to the 2021 NFL Draft has been a fixture of K.J. Britt’s game since his high school career. The Oxford High School alum emerged as a junior, earning All-State honors in 2015. He was already garnering college attention prior to a standout senior season where he was named the Regional MVP.
His senior season demonstrated the full force of his tackling ability. He registered 124 tackles, including 17 for loss. Additionally, he contributed 5 sacks from the linebacker position while demonstrating some coverage ability with an interception. A first-team All-State honoree, Britt led the team to a 10-1 record and a playoff berth.
A four-star recruit, K.J. Britt ranked as the 14th best player in Alabama. Furthermore, he was viewed as the 15th best linebacker in the 2017 recruiting class.
Despite an incredible number of offers, he narrowed it down to just four teams — Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, and Stanford. In an elaborate video, he announced his commitment to play linebacker at Auburn, citing their commitment to him since his junior season as one of the pivotal elements of his decision.
Britt’s college football career at Auburn
Although he’d spend the first two seasons of his Auburn career as the backup middle linebacker, K.J. Britt saw significant game time. Moreover, his reputation as a heavy hitter was solidified as early as his freshman season.
Britt made 27 tackles between his freshman and sophomore seasons but one game stood out above them all. Against Alabama State in 2018, he led the team with 5 tackles, which included 1.5 tackles for loss. He also added a pass breakup to his résumé.
Related | SEC Scouting Reports for 2021 NFL Draft
With Deshaun Davis departed to the NFL Draft, K.J. Britt stepped up as the starting middle linebacker for Auburn. He impressed in the season opener against Oregon, with a then career-high 7 tackles which included 1.5 for loss. It was the beginning of a breakout season. He secured his first career sack against Mississippi State while earning SEC Team of the Week honors for performances against Oregon, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss.
Ending the season with 69 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles, Britt was recognized with a place on the first-team All-SEC. In doing so, he became the first Auburn linebacker to be named to the team since 2004.
A shortened senior season but a chance to shine at the Senior Bowl
His junior season should have set the scene for a strong senior run to the NFL Draft for K.J. Britt. Prior to the season, he was highlighted as one of Bruce Feldman’s “College Football Freaks” and named as a team captain.
Unfortunately, following two games against Kentucky and Georgia, Britt damaged ligaments in his thumb that required season-ending surgery. With his career as an Auburn linebacker over, K.J. Britt headed to the 2021 NFL Draft.
Although he missed out on the opportunity to raise his stock in his senior season, he was invited to compete at the Reese’s Senior Bowl. After an impressive week of practice, he was voted as the top linebacker on the American Team by the offensive linemen and running backs who had to face him in Mobile. He was also dominant in the game, logging 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and a pass breakup.
K.J. Britt’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
If you’re a team looking for an old-school, heavy-hitting, run-stuffer of a linebacker in the 2021 NFL Draft then Auburn’s K.J. Britt certainly ticks those boxes. He best fits as a traditional middle linebacker in a base 4-3 scheme. He excels in coming downhill and laying a heavy hit on opposing running backs.
Related | Farabaugh’s 4-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft
However, due to his athletic limitations in passing situations, just how valuable is his skillset in the modern NFL? Thankfully, his skill set does translate well to special teams. As a result, this could be an avenue for him to stick on a roster.
Some teams that would best fit to take K.J. Britt in the 2021 NFL Draft due to their linebacker need, include the Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, and Kansas City Chiefs.
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