Akeem Ayers Scouting Report
|Height & Weight:||6'4 - 255 lbs.|
2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:
Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
Ayers needed to build off of his late season success in 2009 because he was the only returning starter in the front seven heading into the 2010 campaign. Not surprisingly Ayers has had to do a lot for the Bruins' defense this season. Through seven games he has 41 tackles and 3.0 sacks. He also leads the team with 7.0 tackles-for-loss and two interceptions. On such a young defense, Ayers has held things together for the most part and deserves a ton of credit for holding the relatively explosive offenses of Houston and Texas to 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Ayers is big and fast and smart. He can line up at an end spot just to mix things up or attack the quarterback from his usual outside linebacker position. With his speed and instincts, Ayers is even versatile enough to play in the middle of the linebacker corps. If he does leave UCLA a year early, he should be a top 15 pick.
3/15 Update: Ayers' stock started dropping pretty fast after his performance at the NFL combine. He did not perform poorly, but his disappointing 40 time raised big questions about whether he has the speed to be a speed rusher at the outside linebacker spot in a 3-4 scheme. Most now tend to think he is better off inside. He could still be a pass rusher or even a fine inside linebacker, but his value to some teams has dissipated.