BASN NFL Draft Preview: Defensive Lineman And Linebackers

By Tony McClean
Updated: April 25, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — For the fourth consecutive season, BASN will use the services of Shannon Kneeland, the president of “Diamonds In The Rough”, the nation’s only scouting service that yearly evaluates the best black college football talent available for the NFL Draft.
Over the next two days, we’ll take a look the best HBCU players using Kneeland and his staff’s individual player evaluations. Today, we look at the best available defensive lineman and linebackers.
Jason Hatcher, Grambling State
In 12 games last season for the Tigers, Hatcher finished with 75 tackles, 11 sacks, and 16 quarterback hurries. Was All-SWAC and SBN Black College All-America in 2005. Battled a sore hamstring during at the NFL Combine, but he’s been favorably compared to New England’s Richard Seymour by several scouts. Plays with good speed off the ball as well as closing speed in getting to the quarterback. Scouts also like his arm extension and overall size.
Leonard Patton, Grambling State
After missing all of 2004 with a back injury, Patton did not play with the Tigers in 2005 for allegedly signing with an agent. As a junior in 2003, the 6-foot-4, 275-pounder was ranked fourth on the team in total tackles while leading all defensive linemen with 50 total including 26 solos. The Baton Rouge native, who was an All-SWAC selection that season as well, also had 19 tackles for a loss of 66 yards including five sacks for a loss of 33 yards while posting nine quarterback hurries.
Jesse Hayes, Howard
The 6-foot-3, 360 pound Baltimore native has been a mainstay for the Bison’s defense over the last two seasons. A Second Team All-MEAC selection in 2005, Hayes is described as a quality run stopper because of his ability to plug the middle which allows teammates to make plays. Is very difficult to block by one player. Has also been used on offense as an extra blocker out of the backfield. Scouts like his size and bulk.
Fredricc Brock, Texas Southern
The San Antonio native saw his stock rise after performing well at the East-West Shrine Bowl as a late replacement. In 2005 for TSU, Brock had 79 total tackles in 11 games with four sacks and 16 tackles for a loss. At 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, Brock is a big linebacker with speed that plays with a high motor. Has the ability to fill holes and isn’t afraid of contact.
Sterling Green, Bowie State
Green transferred from Georgia Tech two seasons ago and moved right into BSU’s starting lineup as a junior. In 2005, the two-time All-CIAA selection had 79 total tackles with 21 for losses. He also had 10 sacks and 14 quarterback hurries in 11 games. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder is very athletic who gets to the backfield well. Has gained a reputation as a tech book tackler.
Derrick White, Clark-Atlanta
The 6-foot-2, 245 pound Atlanta native transferred to CAU from the University of Georgia. An All-SIAC selection in 2005, White finished with 97 total tackles, five sacks, four interceptions, and two forced fumbles. Has shown great acceleration when rushing the passer. Shows great ability on the run and to keep blockers off with his leverage. Can over pursuit at times and has shown brief lapses on the field.
TOMMORROW: Defensive backs.