A Chiefs fan’s guide to the NFL Draft: The Linebackers
Genard Avery – Memphis – 6’0″ – 248 pounds
While I already stated that Hercules Mata’afa is my favorite defensive prospect in this draft class, Memphis’ Genard Avery is probably second on that list. I just love watching this guy play. While his physical six foot and 248 pound frame screams middle linebacker (and he did play there some in college) his tape shows a guy that can be a force off the edge. First off, for those that haven’t seen this guy at all here is a clip of him at his pro day to show you just how powerfully built this guy is.
I know it doesn’t mean squat when the game starts but holy cow that guy is built like a truck! He just looks like a guy you want on your team. However, he definitely looks like a guy that would stuff the run not attack off the edge, right? Well if you have any doubts watch that youtube video at the top of this page. The guy just flat out makes plays off the edge. He flashes WAY more often when lined up outside than he does as an inside linebacker. His explosive get off is great but can a guy that short really go head to head with offensive tackles?
Here’s a clip of Avery bull rushing the UCLA left tackle despite his clear size disadvantage to put some pressure on Josh Rosen.
I really love the clip below. Avery is lined up outside and chucks the tight end at the snap, stiff arms a pulling lineman and chases down the running back. This guy is amazing.
I believe Avery is strong enough and fast enough to play the 3-4 OLB spot in KC’s base defense despite his lack of typical length. Where he might have problems is in the sub package where KC essentially lines Houston and the other OLB up as traditional 4-3 defensive ends. Avery’s lack of length would likely catch up to him if he has to hand to hand battle tackles with much longer arms all day long.
Still, a creative defensive coordinator is going to be able to find ways to utilize Avery. I believe the Chiefs could get a situational pass rusher, reserve inside linebacker, and a standout special teams player all in one with Genard Avery. I would love it if the Chiefs landed him in the mid rounds. He is definitely one of my favorite guys in this class.
So what do you think Chiefs fans? Are you a fan of any or all of these five guys? Are there other linebackers (pass rushers or otherwise) that you like more? Do you even believe that OLB is a major need or do you think Dee Ford and Kpass are going to take most of the snaps opposite Houston this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!