DeMeco Ryans LB 6’1 229 Alabama
By: Robert Davis
You will not find a player that has more off the field accolades than DeMeco Ryans. He has racked up just about every academic honor a player can receive. All Academic SEC, Academic All American, and even the Arthur Ashe sports scholar award. Ryans does not just get after it in the classroom, he is one of the best college linebackers in the country. He played as a true freshman, but did not really have a big impact, finishing the 2002 season with 27 tackles in a reserve role. As a sophomore though, he made every opposing coach take note of where he was at. He finished the season with 126 tackles, with 8.5 of them for loss. His numbers dipped a bit during his junior campaign, but still had a very good year with 78 tackles, seven of them for loss. Ryans redeemed himself as a senior, having his best season and earning numerous All American honors for his success. The SEC Defensive Player of the Year finished the season with 76 tackles, 12 for loss, five sacks, and an interception.
Ryans is a very good all around talent at linebacker. His strength is reacting to plays in front of him and closing on the ball. DeMeco has excellent read and react skills. He can see the play develop and close on the ball carrier before the play gets going. He does not let up anywhere on the field and goes full tilt at all times. The intelligence he has in the classroom carries over to the football field.
In order for him to make his presence felt at the next level, Ryans is going to have to pack on some weight. Checking in at 229 at the Senior Bowl, Ryans does not have the bulk or strength to hold up at the point against NFL blockers. He also lacks blazing speed to make up for any size issue he may have.
Ryans has been a big part of Alabama’s return to their winning ways this season, and it has helped him improve his draft stock. He definitely has the talent to play at the next level as long as he can bulk up a bit to match up better. He will not wow you with his physical tools, but he makes plays. He should hear his name called in the Top 50, with a good shot at landing in the first round.
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