Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA, 6’4 255
Position Ranking: #1
Strengths: Played both defensive end and outside linebacker at UCLA; took an equal amount of snaps at both spots. Has good measurables and his overall skill set translates well to a 3-4 OLB, 4-3 OLB, and 4-3 end. His wide and solid frame allows for additional weight if necessary. Good initial quickness off the snap to win the corner in his pass rush from the end position; bends the edge and flattens down smoothly to close- a consistent threat to get to the quarterback. Shows the strength to jolt tight ends off the snap and contain the edge in run support.
A 3-down linebacker who played a lot of underneath coverage; gets good depth in his drop and keeps focused on his read & keys. Reacts quickly to the short throws in front of him. Shows the athleticism, size, and hips to cover tight ends down the seam at the next level. Physical player who steps up to fill the gap in run support and takes on blockers. Good speed and can get to the sideline from between the hashes. Physical, wrap-up tackler. Disciplined and stays true to his assignment; knows when to release in pursuit of ball carrier and when to stay home. Played both the weak and strongside linebacker spot.
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