Sean Porter LB Texas A&M #10
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Size/Athleticism: Adequate size for a 4-3 linebacker and could play on the strong or weak side. May be slightly undersized to play outside in a 3-4, but does have experience lining up at the position during his first three years at Texas A&M. Would probably benefit from adding at least 5-10 pounds of muscle, especially if he lands in a 3-4 scheme at the next level.
Run Defense: Definitely the weak area of his game. Lacks the strength to consistently shed blocks. He’ll make plays in pursuit and can be disruptive by getting into the backfield, but he’s a liability at the point of attack.
Pass Rush: A pure speed rusher. When playing in 3-4 sets, he explodes off the edge and is simply too quick for most offensive linemen to get a hand on him. But when a lineman does get set in time to get his hands into Porter’s body, he’s done. He simply lacks the strength or any kind of meaningful pass rush move to shed blocks from offensive linemen. Can be a little reckless at times as a pass rusher allowing himself to get knocked off balance relatively easily, making him easier to be be picked up by blockers in the backfield.
Coverage: Has the athleticism necessary to excel in this area, but is still developing. Speed is his best asset in coverage right now, giving him the range to cover more space than your typical outside linebacker. Still learning how to read the quarterback at this stage in his career. Lots of hesitation in his decision-making process – struggles to balance watching the quarterback and keeping track of receivers in his zone and is often a step late when reacting to the ball being thrown. Has the athleticism to match up with just about any tight end or running back in man coverage. In 2011, A&M even used him in man coverage against Justin Blackmon in the red zone.
Intangibles: Three-year starter with experience in both a 3-4 and 4-3 defense.
Durability: No significant injuries and has not missed any games. Slowed by an illness in September, 2011 and reportedly lost 10 pounds but played through.
Comments: Porter is a difficult prospect to grade. He clearly has the athleticism to be a star at the next level, but there are still a number of questions about his game. He’s a great athlete, but not the most physical player. He’s best suited to play outside in the 3-4 and could potentially play the strong-side or weak-side position. He’s strong and quick enough to be utilized as a pass rusher, but also capable of dropping in coverage. His upside is limited, but he’s well rounded and could be a solid contributor.