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A.J. Nicholson

NFL Draft News

A.J. Nicholson LB 6'2 235 Florida St.
By: Robert Davis

After two seasons as a backup, A.J. Nicholson took off and made his name as a playmaker in 2004. As a junior, he posted 88 tackles and four sacks. He took it up another notch this season as he finished the season with 100 tackles, 10 for loss, one sack, and two interceptions.

Nicholson is the complete package at linebacker. He shows the ability to drop into coverage, rush the passer, and stuff the run. He has the ability to quickly diagnose plays and flow towards the action. He is always around the ball making plays. Nicholson has very good athleticism and excellent quickness in short areas to adjust to the ball carrier.

On the field, Nicholson could stand to pack on a few more pounds. He is on the light side, and the added bulk and strength will allow him to handle at the point of attack better. As it stands now, he can be neutralized and taken out of plays at times. Off the field he has been arrested twice, though one of the charges was dropped as part of his plea to a DUI charge.

Nicholson appears to have grown up from his previous run ins with the law, and is actually one of the more respected players in the Seminoles program. Players look up to him for leadership on the field. With his new maturity and talent, Nicholson has a very bright future in the NFL. With a solid crop of linebackers this year, workouts will be key for his draft stock. If he puts together good workouts, he could hear his name called in the Top 50. More realistically, he is a definite first day talent.

Editors Note: Nicholson is now under investigation for an alleged sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman at the team hotel in Hollywood. He's been suspended and this should hurt his draft stock.

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