NFL Draft

Study: What Pittsburgh Looks For In Inside Linebackers

Kicking off our Monday with another “what they look for” studies. Focusing our attention to the inside linebacker group, a position that will likely have a new addition when this draft concludes. As we always do, we’ll list all the players drafted under Mike Tomlin/Kevin Colbert. We’ll take a look at the data, adjust from last year because of Tyler Matakevich, and see what players in 2017 fit. Sound good?

2016: Tyler Matakevich

Height: 6’0
Weight: 238
Arm Length: 31 1/4
Hand Size: 9 1/2
Bench Press: 22
40: 4.81
Vert: 31
Broad: 9’4″
Short Shuttle: 4.50
Three Cone: 7.19

2014: Ryan Shazier

Height: 6’1/1
Weight: 237
Arm Length: 32 3/8
Hand Size: 10
Bench Press: 25
40: N/A
Vert: 42
Broad: 10’10”
Short Shuttle: 4.21
Three Cone: 6.91

Jordan Zumwalt

Height: 6’4
Weight: 235
Arm Length: 31 1/4
Hand Size: 8 3/4
Bench Press: N/A
40: 4.76
Vert: 33
Broad: 9’8″
Short Shuttle: 4.25
Three Cone: 6.99

2013: Vince Williams

Height: 6’0/6
Weight: 233
Arm Length: N/A
Hand Size: N/A
Bench Press: N/A
40: N/A
Vert: 32.5
Broad: 9’3″
Short Shuttle: 4.67
Three Cone: 7.53

2012: Sean Spence

Height: 5’11/3
Weight: 231
Arm Length: 31 1/2
Hand Size: 9 1/4
Bench Press: 12
40: 4.71
Vert: 33.5
Broad: 9’11”
Short Shuttle: 4.28
Three Cone: 7.46

2010: Stevenson Sylvester

Height: 6’2/1
Weight: 231
Arm Length: 33 3/4
Hand Size: 10 1/8
Bench Press: 23
40: 4.78
Vert: 30.5
Broad: 8’9″
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three Cone: N/A

2008: Mike Humpal

Height: 6’2/4
Weight: 244
Arm Length: 31 1/4
Hand Size: 10
Bench Press: 20
40: 4.82
Vert: 38
Broad: 10’2″
Short Shuttle: 4.25
Three Cone: 7.07

2007: Lawrence Timmons

Height: 6’0/7
Weight: 234
Arm Length: 32 1/8
Hand Size: 9 5/8
Bench Press: 25
40: 4.7
Vert: 35
Broad: 10’3″
Short Shuttle: 4.32
Three Cone: 6.89

And this year’s criteria:

– Height: 6’0+ (7 of 8 drafted)
– Weight: 230+ pounds (8 of 8)
– Arm Length: 31+ inches (7 of 7)
– Hand Size: 9+ inches (6 of 7)
– Bench Press: 20+ reps (5 of 6)
– 40 Time: sub 4.85 seconds (5 of 6)
– Vert: 30+ inches (8 of 8)
– Short Shuttle: sub 4.5 seconds (5 of 6)

Name Height Weight Arm Length Hand Size 40 Time Vertical Short Shuttle Bench
Ben Gedeon 6’1/6 244 32 5/8 10 4.75 35 4.13 27
Raekwon McMillan 6’1/7 240 32 9 3/4 4.61 33 4.39 23

And as we have been doing this year, here are the players who missed in just one category. Like outside linebacker, any player who doesn’t meet a benchmark in an area with 100% “success” will not be included. For ILB, those are: weight (230+), arm length (31+), and vert (30+). Every ILB drafted under Tomlin/Colbert have hit those marks.

Alex Anzalone: Bench
Blair Brown: Height
Jayon Brown: Short Shuttle
Zach Cunningham: Bench
Brooks Ellis: Short Shuttle
Duke Riley: Bench

One other side note: Florida’s Jarrad Davis would almost certainly be on the list with how well he tested at his Pro Day, running somewhere between a 4.58-4.62 40 and a reported 4.29 short shuttle. But since we don’t rely on those numbers across the board, he’s still off the list. Throwing it out there for people who are probably, and are justified in doing so, going to wonder/ask.

Here’s the full list of inside linebackers and where this miss/hit.

Previous 2017 studies:

Wide Receiver
Cornerback
Outside Linebacker

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