ILB, Antonio Appleby, Virginia



ILB, Antonio Appleby, Virginia

At A Glance
Position 1:  Inside Linebacker Height: 6-4
Position 2:  Weight:  243
Class:    Senior Age:  
Projected Round:  6th-7th  40time:  4.72
Combine/Proday Results
Bench Reps:  X Vertical:  X
20yd Split:  X Broad Jump:  X
10yd Split:  X 20yd Shuttle:  X
3 Cone Drill:  X  

Pros:  Prototypical build for the position. ... Thick, powerful build.

Cons:  Good bulk and strength, but struggles to disengage from blocks.

Styg's Broncos Fit:   This is one of the few late round ILBs that I think has the potential to actually start for Denver.  He has terrific size at 6-4, 243, and he played in a primarily 3-4 alignment in college, starting for three years, so the experience is there.  He is stout at the point of attack,an excellent wrap-up tackler, though he can sometimes try too hard for the big hit.  Against the run he is every bit as effective as Maualuga in the 1st round, but he lacks Rey's explosive first step and pent up power.  Appleby's closing speed leaves something to be desired, but he is an experienced and effective blitzer, who knows how to use his hands to stay clean, and doesn't lose a lot of momentum shooting the gap.  Tight hips and only marginal feet make him a liability in coverage however, and he doesn't have the quickness to stay with WRs or even most TEs.  But this late in the draft his run-plugging ability is a rarity, and he could provide immediate two down help.

Around MHR:

 

Around SBNation:

From "Emerging Need" at The Phinsider:

As you can see, he definitely has the size we are angling for.  And for his size, he has above average straightline speed.  Although pass coverage isn't his strong point, he is more than willing to give it a try, and is far more fluid than his large frame would suggest.  When called upon, he can also rush the passer on an ILB blitz to decent effect.  To give you an idea of his athleticism, he was the 25th ranked LB coming out of HS, but the 9th ranked TE.  It could be lucky for us that he stuck to defense.  He definitely earns his bread stopping the run; he has excellent football instincts, and usually knows where the ball is.  He can find the proper tackling lanes, beat or shed the block, and brings his man down.  He is schematically sound, knows where his gap is, and hits it hard.  If he gets to the ball carrier, he usually is not getting any yards after contact.

The biggest pro in his favor is that, like Clint Sintim, he played at UVa for Al Groh, who is a Parcells disciple, so he will come right out of the gates with an advantage of playing in not just a pro style defense, but a 3-4 defense which is very rare at the major college level.

 

Highlights:

 

Scouting Reports and Offsite Links:

  • Antonio Appleby is a big inside linebacker that has a nose for the ball. Part of the reason he's so appealing to NFL teams right now is the growing popularity of the 3-4 defense. He was a starting ILB for 3 years at Virginia. With him, you get a big, run stuffing ILB who also has enough speed to possibly play on the outside. I listed him as a 4-star performer in this year's Texas vs. the Nation Game and he had a key fumble recovery playing MLB in a 4-3. I expect him to be taken on the 2nd day of the draft. Talking to him you really get the feeling he's an intelligent guy who will do everything he can to reach his great potential.  [see more...]
  • Like Joseph, Appleby played well enough to make you wonder why he wasn’t at the Shrine Game or Senior Bowl. Appleby flowed to the ballcarrier very well against wide runs and shed blockers to make the tackle like a stout middle linebacker.  [see more...]
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