Curtis Gatewood, LB, Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt has never been known as a breeding ground
for NFL talent. The 2008 draft will change that
in a hurry for the Commodores with four potential draftees possibly taken
in the first four or five rounds. Curtis Gatewood is the least publicized but
could become a hot property for teams which employ the 34 defensive fronts.
Entering his college career as a 210-pound linebacker,
the prospect grew into a new role as a 6' 2" 248-pound defensive end. As
a newly minted defensive lineman, Gatewood went on to lead the Commodores in
sacks over the past two seasons with 10.5 in total, although his sack numbers
dipped from 7 as a junior to 3.5 in total as a senior.
While his numbers were not as good as expected during
his final season, Gatewood does show an ability to run the ring, uses his hands
well, and held up well against the run in the talent-laden SEC. Participating
in this year’s edition of the East/West Shrine Game as a linebacker, the former
Commodore made a few plays and displayed the ability to move in space for
An interesting workout number of note is Gatewood’s
three-cone drill times. His straight line
speed is average - his 40 yard dashes are timed in the 4.7 range - but his
three-cone timing was third best of all the defensive linemen at the Combine.
While run in shorts and t-shirts, a rule of thumb is
that the three-cone drill is the best indicator of lateral quickness and how
fluid a linebacker prospect is. Gatewood is a
classic “tweener” whose combination of previous linebacking experience, good
athleticism, and pass rush ability make him an especially intriguing prospect
for team’s searching for potential 3-4 outside linebackers.
Stanford Keglar, LB, Purdue
Do the Boilermaker’s even play defense? To
the surprise of many Big10 fans, they do, and there is has been some serious
talent on that side of the ball in previous years.
This year, another athletically-gifted potential
linebacker from Purdue will be on plenty of teams’ radars. Stanford
Keglar’s computer numbers from this year’s NFL Combine read as such:
6 feet 2 inches tall, 239 pounds, 29 repetitions of 225 pounds on the
bench press, a broad jump of 10 feet and 6 inches (both best among all the
linebackers in attendance), 6.70 second three-cone drill, and a 4.63 forty yard
dash timing. He then improved on some of
his numbers at the Purdue pro day posting a 4.55 forty yard dash, 39 inch
vertical jump, and 4.17 second short shuttle.
His family is certainly talented as well.
Stanford’s father, Shelvy, played basketball at Arkansas St.
His cousin, Astin Steward, is an Olympic hopeful in the discus.
The question remains, how much of his talent actually
translates to the field? Keglar started 41 contests in total for the
Boilermakers throughout his career and was fourth on the team with 70 total
tackles, four of which are for a loss.As
a senior Keglar, was also a team captain.
A smart player who is comfortable dropping back in
coverage but does struggle with his overall tackling technique, Keglar can be
engulfed at the point of attack, and is not much of a pass rusher from the
linebacker position.One red flag can be
found in the prospect’s past - NFL teams likely have thoroughly investigated
this situation prior to the draft.During
his senior campaign, Keglar was charged with misdemeanor counts of battery,
false informing, and disorderly conduct after a night club incident.
He has since gone on to graduate with a degree in sociology.
Preparing for the draft under the guidance of former
Cincinnati Bengal and Georgia Bulldog, David Pollack, Keglar has all the tools
to be very successful at the next level after likely being a mid round selection
but many will question whether he is more athlete than actual football player.