NFLPA Collegiate Bowl: Day 2 Linebackers

Posted Jan 19, 2012
Charlie Bernstein

Day 2 of the Astroturf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl saw some of the creme rise to the top at the linebacker position. We are going to run through the day's top performers and some players who took a step back.

Clearly the top linebacker on Wednesday was former Northwestern Wildcat Bryce McNaul. Since there was no tackling it was impossible to gauge form and toughness, but McNaul was very quick to the football, seemed gap disciplined and showed an ability to shed blocks. The 6-foot-3, 240 pound linebacker may not possess the foot speed to be a starter on the next level but there could be a place for him in some capacity, possibly on special teams.

Coming in as a solid second was Bowie State linebacker Delano Johnson. Johnson must have shed his small school shyness on the flight from Baltimore as he was the most vocal member of either team, similar to former Missouri star and Atlanta Falcons first-round pick Sean Weatherspoon. Johnson backed up his words with solid play as the imposing 6-foot-4 inch, 252 pound linebacker moved pretty well and was able to shed blockers. Johnson struggled in some coverage drills which is to be expected from a player his size.

The next linebacker that impressed wasn't actually a linebacker, Boston College's Max Holloway. The redshirt junior lined up at defensive end, his collegiate position and showed good quickness and burst off the edge. Unfortunately for Holloway, he's a bit of a 'tweener at 6-foot-2, 253 pounds and will likely be pigeonholed into a position switch to linebacker in a 3-4 system.

First day standout Chris Galippo from USC didn't stand out at all on Day 2, as he didn't make any big plays at all. Galippo appears to be smaller than earlier this season, possibly slimming down to get a little quicker.

Another Day 1 standout, Miami linebacker Jordan Futch was nearly invisible on the second day of practice. Again, non-tackling drills lend itself to difficult evaluations but Futch looked a little slow in coverages.

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