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BM Exclusive Draft Profile: James Laurinaitis

November 22, 2008

James Laurinaitis a great Linebacker out of Ohio State University is next on our series of draft profiles. We hope you enjoy this great draft profile on one of this years most interesting prospects in the NFL Draft.


James Laurinaitis


Name: James Laurinaitis

Position: Inside Linebacker

School: Ohio St. University

Height & Weight: 6-3 / 240

Class: Senior

What I Think: James Laurinaitis is a natural born leader. I have never seen someone fire up a team as much as I have seen James Laurinaitis do. He was named a team captain as a Junior! That is the first time that has ever happened at Ohio St. since Jim Tressel was named head coach. He is competitive and has a strong work ethic too. He puts a lot of time in film and is ready for every single game. When it comes to physical characteristics there are not many Linebackers that have the speed James Laurinaitis brings to the table. He is quick to the hole and has speedy instincts. He is always at the right spot in his plays and he reacts very quickly to all play action formations. I do not like Laurinaitis when it comes to trying to break blocks. He  is very strong but sometimes lets the linemen get into his body and struggles to disengage. Some people think he uses his hands well in there too but I disagree, he is not that skilled when he gets into blocking. If he lands with a good coach though,that could be taught but might hold him back early in the NFL. He is a very good open field tackler and stalls a runner in their spot for a long time if he can not bring them down to get extra help. He is also a very hard hitter. For an Inside Linebacker he is a very good blitzer and is also productive. He could possibly be moved to Strong Side Linebacker even though he is most fit for the position he is at. Laurinaitis is an All-America linebacker and Butkus Award winner, and a Big Ten defensive player of the year, not to mention a Nagurski, Lombardi, Bednarik, Lott, Walter Camp player of the year finalist. His stock has dropped a bit because he hasn’t had as many opportunities to make plays but is still a very solid pick and could be a Brian Urlacher type player in the NFL. 

Draft Grade: A

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