2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Penn State LB Micah Parsons

HEIGHT: 6-3 / WEIGHT: 245 / COLLEGE: Penn State / CLASS: Junior

2019 STATS (13 GAMES): 109 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 5 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles

CAREER STATS (26 GAMES): 191 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 5 passes defended, 6 forced fumbles

GAMES WATCHED (4): Memphis, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State (2019)

40BENCHVERTBROAD3 CONE20S60S

MENTAL PROCESSING (15/20)

  • Quick to trigger downhill against the run
  • Reads keys and gets to the right destination more often than not
  • Shows solid instincts against the run and pass
  • Good at sifting through trash to find the ball-carrier
  • Inexperience (just two years at linebacker) shows up in reads at times
  • Has some trouble finding the ball on misdirection and zone-read runs

SPEED/RANGE (19/20)

  • Really fast coming downhill and running sideline to sideline (4.4 speed?)
  • Excellent pursuit defender — wins a lot of races to the sideline
  • A little tight-hipped changing directions

BLOCK-SHEDDING/EVASION (18/20)

  • Has the body type and strength to hold up well in exchanges with offensive linemen
  • Good stack-and-shed ability
  • Beats blockers to spots frequently because of speed and aggressiveness
  • Takes on blocks with shoulder at times when it would be more favorable to stack and shed with hands

TACKLING (13.5/15)

  • Sure tackler — consistently squares up targets, closes space and wraps up
  • Knack for punching the ball out
  • Could run his legs through more tackles

COVERAGE ABILITY (10.5/15)

  • Wasn’t really tested or asked to do much in coverage
  • Showed solid zone coverage instincts and an ability to handle basic coverage responsibilities
  • Has the athletic traits needed to handle man coverage responsibilities against tight ends and running backs
  • Shows slight hip tightness in space

BLITZ/PASS-RUSH ABILITY (5/5)

  • Excellent gap and edge blitzer
  • Can get skinny and squeeze through small creases in the offensive line
  • Speed, flexibility and hand usage as a pass rusher make him a tough assignment

MOTOR (4/5)

  • Effort is generally good as a pass rusher, run defender and coverage player
  • Could show more hustle in backside pursuit

OVERALL GRADE: 85.00/100.00 — 1ST ROUND — Quality starter with Pro Bowl potential

SCHEME FIT: Mike or Sam linebacker, ideally in a scheme that likes to blitz its linebackers frequently

DRAFT PROJECTION: Top-20 pick

Parsons projects as a good plug-and-play Mike or Sam linebacker. He has rare athleticism for a linebacker of his size, as well as good tackling, block-shedding and pass-rush ability. His instincts are pretty good for a player as inexperienced as he is at his position, and he’s decent in coverage. With improved play recognition, he can be a perennial All-Pro.

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