Falcons Senior Bowl Spotlight: Linebackers

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One of the most beneficial events for aspiring draft-eligible prospects is the Reese’s Senior Bowl, which is a showcase for a group of talented seniors in Mobile.

The Falcons selected four participants from last year’s Senior Bowl in Richie Grant, Ta’Quon Graham, Ade Ogundeji, and Frank Darby while also acquiring undrafted free agent Feleipe FranksIt is no coincidence that nearly half of the Falcons’ nine-man 2021 draft class attended the showcase in Alabama.

Since their introductory press conference, Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith have been adamant about the kind of players they want inside the building — accountable, intelligent, and tough. The players invited to the Senior Bowl epitomize those characteristics.

If you missed any previous parts to this series, click the links below:

National Team

Troy Anderson — Montana

Anderson projects as an eventual starting linebacker in this league, but he might need to transition into that role slowly. He’s a better WILL than MIKE, where he can use his athleticism in pursuit going sideline-to-sideline. He can struggle when taking on blockers, so any team drafting Anderson will have to harness his physical tools.

Brian Asamoah II — Oklahoma

His quick trigger and downhill acceleration help him make plays in the run game, but he’s a pretty raw prospect. Asamoah isn’t great at getting off blocks, playing in space, or using his hands; however, he isn’t a bad option as a nickel linebacker. Keeping him clean will result in maximum effectiveness, but there’s a lot to work on before then.

Chad Muma — Wyoming

Muma is going to be one of those linebackers to explode as a rookie if he lands in the right spot. Muma is a patient linebacker but has the diagnosing skills to anticipate offenses with the explosiveness to attack plays. He shoots and fills gaps with intensity.

Darrian Beavers — Cincinnati

Beavers played receiver in high school, and that athleticism shows when his defensive line keeps him clean to run sideline-to-sideline. I think he’ll be a fast riser as more evaluators see his testing numbers.

American Team

Damone Clark — LSU

Clark led an LSU defense that underwhelmed, but he could shoot up draft boards with a good week in Mobile. He is hyper-aggressive, which is good, but sometimes he can bite on play action. Clark, much like Deion Jones and Devin White, is rangy and displays impressive sideline-to-sideline speed.

Quay Walker — Georgia

Walker is a high-level prospect, even if he isn’t the most sought-after UGA linebacker. He’s a taller linebacker, but he still has impressive explosiveness. Much like every defender playing under Kirby Smart, Walker knows his responsibilities and possesses outstanding coverage recognition.

D’Marco Jackson — Appalachian State

Jackson was an animal for Appalachian State; he’s a violent linebacker and doesn’t mind sticking his nose in anywhere. His aggressiveness results in occasional missed tackles but potentially projects as a multi-spot linebacker — inside and outside.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

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