Tag Archives: Ben Burr-Kirven

Outside Linebackers: Final Position Rankings

2019 NFL Draft:  Top Ranked OLBs

There are no “can’t miss” first round players in this year’s outside linebacker class. Joseph, who is the best run defender of the group, might be on the board when the third round begins. It’s just not talent heavy on the top. However, by the time the third, and fourth round rolls around, expect to see the first wave of 8-10 outside linebackers come off the board. After that, teams will be looking for guys who can excel at special teams and guys with speed.

Vosean Joseph is lightning quick going downhill.
Photo: Jerome Miran/USATODAYSports

1. Vosean Joseph, Florida, 6-1/230

With Josh Allen being listed with DE’s, Joseph now sits atop the OLB rankings. Joseph shows plenty of downhill speed and lateral quickness. Has good instincts and trusts his eyes. He’s a powerful and physical ‘backer that makes splash plays. Athletic enough to cover any back.

2. Drue Tranquill, Notre Dame, 6-2/234

Tranquill is one of the good guys. A team player that will do anything asked of him. Can cover tight ends and backs out of the backfield which might get him on the field sooner than later. Will most like be a special teams standout.

3. David Long, Jr., West Virginia, 5-11/227

Much like Joseph, Long is a big play waiting to happen. He loves physical contact and tries to separate ball carriers from the ball. Generally, trusts what he sees, but can be overly aggressive at times.

4. Ben Burr-Kirvan, Washington, 6-0/230

Burr-Kirvan is a tackling machine. Played in the middle at Washington but projects either at weakside linebacker or a hybrid-safety at the next level. He ran a 4.56 at the combine. Will most likely earn his bread-and-butter on special teams to begin with.

5. Blake Cashman, Minnesota, 6-1/237

Cashman turned heads by declaring early for the draft. Known for his football IQ more than his athleticism, his Combine number were very solid. Was a tone-setter for the Gopher’s defense. Has the frame to get bigger.

6. Dakota Allen, Texas Tech, 6-1/232

Dakota Allen became a household name after his stint on season two of Netflix’s Last Chance U, but he also backed it up on the field. During the last two seasons, Allen racked up 162 total tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss in 23 games played. 

7. Tyrel Dodson, Texas A&M, 6-0/237

Dodson is a leader on and off the field: won the team’s community service award. The junior linebacker has 201 career tackles with 18.5 tackles-for-loss and 11 passes defended.

8. Gary Johnson, Texas, 6-0/225

Speed is the name of Johnson’s game. Above average range and athleticism. Can get skinny and shoot gaps. He’s at his best when playing in pursuit.

9. Cody Barton, Utah, 6-2/237

Was new to the linebacker position when he arrived in Utah back in 2016 and has been steadily growing into the position. Has played in 50 games with 23 starts in his four year career. He played inside at Utah, but has enough athleticism to move outside at the next level.

10. Chase Hansen, Utah, 6-3/222

Hansen was unable to workout for Scouts at Utah’s Pro Day, telling scouts that he had played the second half of the 2018 season with a herniated disc in his lower back. How teams view his currently medical situation will have a lot to do with how they evaluate his draft status.
Hansen’s has some of the best pass defense skills in his position group. He had 16 passed defended in his career at Utah. And in today’s pass happy NFL, his skill set would certainly be welcomed.

11. Terez Hall, Missouri, 6-1/230

Team Captain bursting with high motor energy. Loves film study and is assignment sound. Has improved his coverage skills and hands while at Mizzou. Two -year starter with 36 games played.

12. Sione Takitaki, BYU, 6-1/238

Takitaki really upped his game last year, accounting for 119 tackles, 75 of which were solo. Takitaki closes on the ball in a flash and wraps up well. He had a very solid week at the East-West Shrine game. Should make an immediate impact on special teams.

OTHER PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:

  1. T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin, 6-0/230
  2. Dre Greenlaw, Arkansas, 5-11/237
  3. B.J. Blunt, McNeese State, 6-1/220
  4. Joe-Giles Harris, Duke, 6-2/234
  5. Luke Gifford, Nebraska, 6-3/243
  6. Quinton Bell, Prairie View A&M, 6-3/238
  7. Koa Farmer, Penn State, 6-1/228
  8. Jordan Jones, Kentucky, 6-2/234
  9. Curtis Bolton, Oklahoma, 6-1/220
  10. Kaden Elliss, Idaho, 6-3/222
  11. Oluwaseun Idowu, Pittsburgh, 6-0/225
  12. Nate Harvey, East Carolina, 6-1/225
  13. Troy Reeder, Delaware, 6-1/235
  14. Deonte Roberts, Rutgers, 6-1/230
  15. Tre Crawford, Alabama-Birmingham, 6-1/228
  16. Khalil Hodge, Buffalo, 6-0/235
  17. Denzil Ware, Jacksonville State, 6-2/240
  18. Charles Wright, Vanderbilt, 6-3/240
  19. Ben Humphreys, Duke, 6-2/225
  20. Nate Hall, Northwestern, 6-2/225
  21. Gunner Scholato, Austin Peay, 6-1/233
  22. E.J. Speed, Tarleton State, 6-3/227

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Top Five ‘Tweeners: These players were college defensive ends who will be asked to move to linebacker at the next level. They’ll need to prove they have enough athleticism to cover tight ends and running backs at the next level – something they either didn’t do in college, or did in a limited capacity. Individual and private workouts will primarily determine where they are drafted.

  1. Christian Miller, Alabama, 6-3/247
  2. Ben Banogu, Texas Christian, 6-3/250
  3. Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois, 6-0/233
  4. Jamal Davis II, Akron, 6-3/243
  5. Anree Saint-Amour, Georgia Tech, 6-3/247

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Team Needs:

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE |MIN | TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

2018 PAC-12 Awards

POWER 5

PAC-12 CONFERENCE

Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington

Burr-Kirven (25), tough and smart, the linebacker has a 3.69 gpa.
Photo: Dean Rutz|The Seattle Times

Burr-Kirven, a senior from Menlo Park, Calif., anchored the Husky defense that led the Pac-12 and was 12th in the nation in total defense (301.8 yards allowed per game), led the Pac-12 in pass defense (185.4 yards allowed per game), and second in rush defense (116.4 yards allowed per game). He led the Pac-12 with 165 tackles and his 12.7 tackles per game ranked third-best in the FBS. Burr-Kirven is the first Pac-12 player to earn both Conference Player of the Year and the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

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Offensive Player of the Year: Gardner Minshew II, Washington State

Minshew is the PAC-12 single season passing leader in yards and completions.
Photo: Young Kwak|The Associated Press

Minshew, from Brandon, Miss., not only led the Pac-12 in passing, but the FBS as well, averaging 373.1 yards per game. Heading into the Alamo Bowl, Minshew, a fifth-year graduate transfer from East Carolina, needed just 238 yards to break Jared Goff’s Pac-12 single-season record of 4,719 yards set in 2015. Against Iowa State, the record-breaker came on a 20-yard toss to Tay Martin in the fourth quarter of WSU’s 28-26 win over the Cyclones.

In the regular season, he completed 433 of 613 pass attempts for 4,477 yards and 36 touchdowns, with just nine interceptions. He threw for 300 or more yards in 11 games, including a season-best 473 yards in Washington State’s 69-28 win over Arizona, where he tied a Pac-12 record with seven touchdown passes in regulation play.

NOTEWORTHY DRAFTABLES: Bryce Love won the award in 2017; Jake Browning took home the award in 2016.

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Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State

Oregon State knew they had something special in Jermar Jefferson.
Image: Oregon State Athletics

Jefferson, a freshman from Harbor City, Calif., topped all FBS freshmen in rushing with 1,380 yards (5.8 yards/carry) and an average of 115.0 yards per game (7th overall in the FBS). His 12 rushing touchdowns were tied for second most in the Pac-12. Jefferson’s 1,380 rushing yards set an Oregon State true freshman rushing record and is the sixth-best single-season total. He twice rushed for 200 or more yards in a game, including a Pac-12 freshman single-game record 254 yards vs. Arizona State.


Honorable Mention Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: CJ Verdell, RB, Oregon; Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC; Max Borghi, RB, Washington State.

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Freshman Defensive Player of the Year: Merlin Robertson, Arizona State

Robertson played more snaps than any true freshman in the Pac-12 (749).
Photo: @_Merlin_2/Twitter

Robertson, a freshman from Gardena, Calif., ranked 20th in the Pac-12 with 6.4 tackles per game, while his team-leading 77 total tackles led all Pac-12 freshmen. Named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after he tallied nine tackles and 1.5 sacks in a 16-13 win over Michigan State. Posted a season-best 11 tackles at Washington. In all, Robertson had 77 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks and an interception. Robertson’s play kept the Sun Devils in every game as their five losses were by seven or fewer points.

Honorable Mention Freshman Defensive Player of the YearPaulson Adebo, DB, Stanford; Jay Tufele, DL, USC.

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Coach of the Year: Washington State’s Mike Leach

Washington State University head football coach Mike Leach.
Photo: Dean Lutz|Seattle Times

Leach guided his Cougars to their sixth 10-win season, and first since 2003. Washington State won seven straight Pac-12 games and finished tied atop the Pac-12 North Division standings with a 7-2 league record and 10-2 overall.

Under Leach, the Cougars climbed to No. 8 in the College Football Playoff rankings where they sat for four weeks (Oct. 30 – Nov. 20). The Cougars led the Pac-12 in scoring (38.3 ppg), total offense (461.8 ypg) and passing offense (379.8 ypg). It’s the second time Leach has earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors (Co-Coach with Stanford’s David Shaw in 2015).

2018 Lott IMPACT Trophy

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S DEFENSIVE IMPACT PLAYER OF THE YEAR

The Lott IMPACT Trophy is presented annually to the college football defensive IMPACT player of the year. IMPACT is an acronym for: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community, and Tenacity.

Ronnie Lott was a consensus All-American at USC.

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THIS YEARS WINNER…

JOSH ALLEN, LB, KENTUCKY WILDCATS

Three-time Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week and four-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week. Butkus, Nagurski and Bednarik Finalist. Unanimous mid-season All-American. Has 18.5 tackles for losses (11th in country), 14 sacks (2ndin country), 5 forced fumbles (leads nation), 2 fumble recoveries, 6 quarterback hurries and 84 total tackles (most on the team). Last season: All-SEC 2nd team, 65 tackles, led team with 9.5 tackles for losses and six sacks, Kentucky career leader in sacks.

“I can’t say enough good things about Josh.  He is a genuinely good guy.  He cares for his teammates and I’ve seen him grow since he came to school,” – Jen Smith, Kentucky beat reporter for Lexington Herald-Leader, Josh has donated time for Special Olympics and children’s cancer research program.

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The 2018 Lott IMPACT Trophy finalists included:

  • Kentucky – LB Josh Allen
  • Washington – LB Ben Burr-Kirven
  • Clemson – DL Christian Wilkins
  • Duke – LB Ben Humphreys

FBS 2018 A.P. All-American teams

FIRST TEAM

2018 Heisman Winner and AP first team All-American Kyler Murray.
Photo: Tulsa World.

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Kyler Murray, junior, Oklahoma
Running backs — Jonathan Taylor, sophomore, Wisconsin; Darrell Henderson, junior, Memphis
Tackles — Jonah Williams, junior, Alabama; Mitch Hyatt, senior, Clemson
Guards — Beau Benzschawel, senior, Wisconsin; Bunchy Stallings, senior, Kentucky
Center — Garrett Bradbury, senior, North Carolina State
Tight end — Jace Sternberger, junior, Texas A&M
Wide receivers — Jerry Jeudy, sophomore, Alabama; Marquise Brown, junior, Oklahoma
All-purpose player — Rondale Moore, freshman, Purdue
Kicker — Andre Szmyt, freshman, Syracuse

DEFENSE

Ends — Clelin Ferrell, junior, Clemson; Sutton Smith, junior, Northern Illinois
Tackles — Quinnen Williams, junior, Alabama; Christian Wilkins, senior, Clemson
Linebackers — Josh Allen, senior, Kentucky; Devin White, junior, LSU; Ben Burr-Kirven, senior, Washington
Cornerbacks — Deandre Baker, senior, Georgia; Julian Love, junior, Notre Dame
Safeties — Grant Delpit, sophomore, LSU; Deionte Thompson, junior, Alabama
Punter — Braden Mann, junior, Texas A&M

SECOND TEAM

Maxwell and Walter Camp POY winner Tua Tagovailoa.
Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Tua Tagovailoa, sophomore, Alabama
Running backs — Travis Etienne, sophomore, Clemson; Trayveon Williams, junior, Texas A&M
Tackles — Dalton Risner, senior, Kansas State; Andrew Thomas, sophomore, Georgia
Guards — Dru Samia, senior, Oklahoma; Michael Dieter, senior, Wisconsin
Center — Ross Piersbacher, senior, Alabama
Tight end — T.J, Hockenson, sophomore, Iowa
Wide receivers — Tylan Wallace, sophomore, Oklahoma State; Andy Isabella, senior, Massachusetts
All-purpose player — Greg Dortch, sophomore, Wake Forest
Kicker — Cole Tracy, senior, LSU

DEFENSE

Ends — Montez Sweat, senior, Mississippi State; Jachai Polite, junior, Florida
Tackles — Jerry Tillery, senior, Notre Dame; Gerald Willis III, senior, Miami
Linebackers — Devin Bush, junior, Michigan; David Long Jr., junior, West Virginia; Joe Dineen, senior, Kansas
Cornerbacks — Greedy Williams, sophomore, LSU; Byron Murphy, sophomore, Washington
Safeties — Taylor Rapp, junior, Washington; Amani Hooker, junior, Iowa
Punter — Mitch Wishnowsky, senior, Utah

THIRD TEAM

Haskins was awarded the 2018 Chicago Tribune Silver FootballThe award is presented to the Big Ten’s best football player each year, and is voted on by the coaches. 
Photo: Cleveland.com

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks — Dwayne Haskins, sophomore, Ohio State
Running backs — Benny Snell, junior, Kentucky; Eno Benjamin, sophomore, Arizona State
Tackles — Andre Dillard, senior, Washington State; Cody Ford, junior, Oklahoma
Guards — Terronne Prescod, senior, North Carolina State; Chris Lindstrom, senior, Boston College
Center — Michael Jordan, junior, Ohio State
Tight end — Noah Fant, junior, Iowa
Wide Receivers — A.J. Brown, junior, Mississippi; David Sills V, senior, West Virginia
All-purpose player — J.J. Taylor, sophomore, Arizona
Kicker — Matt Gay, senior, Utah

DEFENSE

Ends — Chase Winovich, senior, Michigan; Jaylon Ferguson, senior, Louisiana Tech
Tackles — Jeffery Simmons, junior, Mississippi State; Ed Oliver, junior, Houston
Linebackers — Paddy Fisher, sophomore, Northwestern; David Woodward, sophomore, Utah State; Te’Von Coney, senior, Notre Dame
Cornerbacks — Hamp Cheevers, junior, Boston College; Lavert Hill, junior, Michigan
Safeties — Andre Cisco, freshman, Syracuse; Johnathan Abram, senior, Mississippi State
Punter — Jason Smith, sophomore, Cincinnati

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Rose Bowl – Jan 1

#6 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1) vs #9 Washington Huskies (10-3)

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OHIO STATE | BIG TEN CONFERENCE

Coach: Urban Meyer

Ohio State Players to watch:

**Sophomore QB Dwayne Haskins (6-3/214)

Haskins is a Pro-Style Quarterback with a Cannon for an Arm.
Photo: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Haskins has thrown for 4,580 yards and 47 touchdowns this season – both school and conference single-season records – while leading the Buckeyes to their second consecutive Big Ten title. In last Saturday’s championship game against No. 21 Northwestern, Haskins threw for a school-record 499 yards and five touchdowns on his way to being named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

*Junior OC Michael Jordan (6-7/310)

With Jordan manning at center, the Buckeyes are currently second nationally in total offense, averaging 548.8 yard per game, and No. 2 in passing yards per game (373.0). Their average of 43.5 points per game is No. 8 nationally. Ten times this year, Ohio State totaled 500 or more yards of offense, including 567 against Michigan and the nation’s No. 1-ranked defense.

*Junior DT Dre’Mont Jones (6-3/290)

Jones leads the defense with 12.0 tackles for loss, including 7.5 quarterback sacks. He has 36 total tackles plus five quarterback hurries. His three fumble recoveries include one for a touchdown vs. Maryland, and he also has a “pick-6” touchdown interception vs. TCU, making him the only Buckeye defensive linemen in at least 50 years with two touchdowns in one season.

Senior WR Parris Campbell (6-1/208)

Campbell, from Akron and St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, has caught the fourth-most passes in school history – 72 – for 903 yards and 11 touchdowns, which rank in the Top 5 in Ohio State single season history. He was named first-team Big Ten by the coaches.

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WASHINGTON | PAC-12 CONFERENCE

Coach: Chris Petersen

Washington Players to watch:

Senior LB Ben Burr-Kirven (6-0/221)

Burr-Kirven was one of four finalist for the Lott Impact trophy.
Photo: The Spokesman-Review

Burr-Kirven, a senior linebacker from Menlo Park, Calif., was named the Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year last week and also was the conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year for football, making him the first man ever to win those two awards.

**Sophomore CB Bryon Murphy (5-11/184)

Murphy, a sophomore cornerback from Scottsdale, Ariz., was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year by Pro Football Focus. A first-team All-Pac-12 pick, he was also the MVP of the Pac-12 Championship Game. Murphy leads the Huskies with is four interceptions.

*Junior S Taylor Rapp (6-0/207)

Rapp, a junior safety from Bellingham, Wash., earned first-team All-Pac-12 for the second straight season in 2018. He’s also a two-time, first-team Academic All-Pac-12 selection and was the Pac-12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2016. He leads the 2018 Huskies in both tackles for loss and sacks.

**Sophomore RB Salvon Ahmed (5-11/191)

After this game, and Myles Gaskin moves on to the NFL, Salvon will be Washington’s next star running back. Salvon, like Gaskin, is really, really fast, running in the 4.3-4.4 range. He has overwhelming quickness and explosion in and out of breaks, and is capable of taking it to the house every time he touches the ball.

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Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual
Ohio State 28, Washington 23
Rose Bowl
Pasadena, California