USA TODAY Sports
One prospect who may interest the Denver Broncos brass is LSU's Inside Linebacker Kevin Minter. At 6'1, 245 lbs., Minter is considered the top Inside Linebacker prospect in this years NFL Draft. He is ranked as the top Inside Linebacker and 34th overall prospect in this seasons NFL Draft according to CBSSports.com. Minters pre-combine 40 time is clocked at 4.68 seconds and he projects as a mid to late first round pick in this Aprils NFL Draft.
Kevin played 3 years at LSU and is a two year starter at Inside Linebacker for the vaunted Tiger Defense. During his three year career, Minter totaled 206 total tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss, 5 sacks, 1 interception, 7 pass deflections and 2 forced fumbles. His best season by far was the 2012 season, when he exploded for 130 total tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks, 1 Int, 6 pass deflections and 1 forced fumble. Minter earned consensus First Team All-SEC honors, was named a Butkus Award finalist and also received a host of All-American recognition for a breakout junior campaign.
#46 Kevin Minter
Major: Sport Administration
The Tigers starting Mike linebacker for two straight seasons, Kevin is a hard hitter and an explosive player with tremendous leg strength. He played 37 career games for LSU, starting 24. Minter amassed 206 Tackles, 18.5 Tackles For a Loss, 5 Sacks, 7 Pass Breakups, one Interception, 2 Forced Fumbles and one Fumble Recovery that resulted in his first career Touchdown.
As a sophomore (2011), he played in 14 games and made 11 starts as LSU’s starting MIKE Linebacker. Kevin was 5th on the team with 61 Tackles, adding 3.5 TFL’s, a Sack, a Fumble Recovery and a Forced Fumble. He grabbed his first career Sack and finished with 5 Tackles in the BCS Championship Game against Alabama and set a career high with 11 Tackles versus Western Kentucky.
Minter Redshirted his Freshman season (2010) and saw action in 11 games with no starts and finished the year with 15 total Tackles. He proved to be one of the strongest players on the Tiger squad as he squatted a team-best 545 pounds in May 2010. Kevin mainly served as the backup to senior Kelvin Sheppard at Mike Linebacker.
NFL.COM GRADE - 84.0
Minter didn't crack the starting lineup until Kelvin Sheppard was selected in the third round of the 2011 draft. Even then, Minter was overshadowed by LSU's other top defensive prospects like Tyrann Mathieu, Morris Claiborne, Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery, Eric Reid and Michael Brockers. Last season Minter stood out and earned consensus first-team All-SEC honors and the team's MVP along with appearing on many All-American lists. He opted to declare as a Junior despite earning a 3rd-round grade from the Draft Advisory Board. Minter's anticipation, penchant for the game-turning play and production against elite competition speaks for itself. Instinctive and physical, Minter was the most dependable player on an LSU defense chock-full of prospective NFL talent.
STRENGTHS: Attacks blocks with extension and hand use. Very good run recognition, gets to the ball carrier before teammates despite starting from the opposite side of the formation. Will engage lead blocker between the tackles and will keep his outside arm free to latch onto the Running Back. Uses angles and lines well and can stop the momentum of blockers, rolling into them with an anchor so as not to lose ground. A good finisher, Minter has a good motor and tries to run through or get around contact. Remained on the field in Nickel packages. Times the snap well as a blitzer and closes quickly. Reads the quarterback's eyes nicely when in pass coverage and has a feel for what is happening around him. Enough lateral agility and speed to cover backs. Passionate player with a high-revving motor.
WEAKNESSES: Minter will over pursue on misdirection and draw plays on occasion. He lacks ideal coverage range and will lose ground when forced to open up his hips, turn, and run. Wraps his arms around runners' legs for the sure stop but isn't a thumper who will instill fear in ball-carriers. He doesn’t appear to have elite speed and can be beaten to the sideline. Kevin relies on angles, vision and effort, rather than speed to track down runners when pursuing them.
COMPARES TO: DeMeco Ryans, Takeo Spikes
Beyond The Combine
- Displays a low center of gravity, ideal pad level
- Excellent motor and Impressive instincts
- Understand proper depth and route recognition in zone coverage
- Intelligent prospect (On field)
- Not an explosive athlete
- Possesses average range
- Displays some stiffness in body
Overall, Minter is a highly instinctive prospect who never shies away from initial contact.
Kevin Minter vs Texas A&M 2012
Kevin Minter vs Florida 2012
Kevin Minter vs Mississippi State (2012)
I really like Minter. He's a solid solid Inside linebacker prospect. He's a good tackler, and intelligent guy and has great instincts. However i'm not so sure he fits our defense. Personally i believe he's a better fit as a 3-4 ILB than a 4-3 ILB. I may be wrong, i just don't think he has the range/speed to be an effective 4-3 ILB. He's not as athletic as a Ogletree or Arthur Brown, but his instincts may make up for that. I'm interested to see him at the combine though. If he shows athleticism and better range my opinion may change.