Kevin Minter LB LSU #46
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Size/Athleticism: Shorter than the average linebacker. Strength is decent; he has shown the ability to shed blocks fairly consistently. Athleticism isn’t quite in the elite category, but he has enough burst to close quickly on the ball carrier and make plays in coverage.
Run Defense: Lacks elite size but has demonstrated an ability to consistently shed blocks. Does a decent job fighting though traffic. He isn’t exceptionally quick, but he has a nice blend of athleticism and strength which allows him to fight through the traffic to get to the ball carrier. Capable of taking on bigger ball carriers in one-on-one situations. Needs to improve his ability to diagnose on the run. He’s a step slow when reacting to the play and seems to lack the ability to read the offense quickly after the snap. Inconsistent tackling ability. He can hit hard, but he’ll miss some easy tackles.
Pass Rush: Limited experience as a pass-rusher. Occasionally used to blitz up the middle but lacks the size and strength to fight past the offensive linemen if he doesn’t have a clear path.
Coverage: Much faster than this timed speed at the combine. Needs to work on his basic fundamentals, but the talent is there. His footwork is inconsistent and he takes a lot of false steps, but if he were to straighten out those fundamental mistakes, he’ll have the quickness and athleticism to hold his own in coverage. Plays with his back to the quarterback far too often. He needs to drop back in coverage and still keep his eyes on the quarterback, especially against the more athletic quarterbacks in the league who are a threat to run.
Intangibles: Two-year starter in the SEC.
Durability: No significant issues.
Comments: Minter is raw, but he has the physical tools to develop into a quality starting middle or weak-side linebacker. The biggest concern with Minter is his coverage ability, but he displays the athleticism necessarily to excel in that area. LSU occasionally allowed him to line up over the slot receiver, including against Coby Hamilton vs Arkansas. He may experience some growing pains in the NFL, but there’s a lot of upside to his game.