James Laurinaitis Scouting Report
|School:||Ohio State Buckeyes|
|Height & Weight:||6'3 - 240 lbs.|
2009 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:
James Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio State
James Laurinaitis is one of the best football players that will be available (regardless of position) in the 2009 NFL Draft. Laurinaitis is coming off back to back 100 plus tackle seasons, where he has won the Nagurski Award (2006), the Butkus Award (2007), and the Bedinark Trophy (2007). The senior inside linebacker is one of the most highly decorated defenders in the history of college football, and came back for his senior season to collect even more hardware. Laurinaitis is nothing short of a monster in the middle of the field. He possesses great sideline to sideline speed, so he always seems to be in on the tackle. Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote that he closes ground on tackles as well as any college linebacker you'll find. He played in 51 games during his career, and Laurinaitis has tallied 375 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, and 13 sacks. He registered a career high 19 tackles last season when the Buckeyes played Penn State. Laurinaitis is an excellent field general for his defense, equally adept against the run or the pass. He also intercepted 9 passes and broke up 7 in coverage, along with forcing 4 fumbles during his career, and added a fourth major award (the Lott Trophy) in 2008. The 6'3", 240 pound Laurinaitis' combination of size, speed, strength, and instincts will make him an ideal fit for any NFL defense. Teams looking for help on the outside may even consider Laurinaitis for the strong or weak side, to strengthen their team. He should be a top 15 to 20 pick depending on team needs, but will have stiff competition from USC's Rey Maualuga for the top linebacker spot in this draft. James Laurinaitis declined to play in this year's Senior Bowl. This may hurt his draft stock because USC's trio of linebackers all played and played well in his absence. Laurinaitis had a disappointing NFL Combine. He ran much slower than expected, notching a 4.82 second 40 yard dash. This number alone may cause him to slip out of the first round. Teams like to question the speed of Big Ten players, but Paul Posluszny slipped out of round one and he is having a solid career so far. James Laurinaitis lowered his 40 yard dash time to 4.70 seconds at his Pro Day workout in Columbus. He looked far less stiff in workouts, but may not have done enough to put himself back into round one. He will likely be selected somewhere in the first 10 picks of round 2.
Last Updated 2009-04-17T05:18-06:00 by Randall Weida