Mayock's take: Inside linebackers

Posted: April 20, 2007

Editor's note: NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock will break down players available at each position for the Daily News before the NFL draft. A Haverford School product, Mayock played at Boston College and was a defensive end in the NFL nefore beginning his broadcast career.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

THE BEST

Patrick Willis

School: Mississippi

Size: 6-1, 242

40 time: 4.37

Projected round: 1

Quote: "This is the guy who's got everybody talking right now. Because he worked out so well, most people don't doubt he's a three-down linebacker. He can play the MIKE [middle] or the WILL because of his athletic ability. Went from a guy that many people viewed as a between-the-tackles thumper to a probable top-10 pick because he has showed so much athletic ability, so much speed. He's a smart, tough kid who played through all kinds of injuries during his career. He's more fast than he is explosive. It's not like he was blowing people up left and right. But he was making plays sideline to sideline.''

THE RISER

David Harris

School: Michigan

Size: 6-2 1/4, 243

40 time: 4.59

Projected round: 2

Quote: "This is a really solid football player. He's not a flashy player. But he's a technique-sound, smart, aggressive linebacker. He isn't going to jump 41 1/2 inches or run a 4.4 [40], but he makes plays and finishes tackles."

>THE SLEEPER

Marvin Mitchell

School: Tennessee

Size: 6-3, 249

40-time: 4.86

Projected round: 7-FA

Quote: "He's a slow inside linebacker, but he's tough. He's productive. He's one of those two-down, between-the-tackles thumpers. When you put the tape on, Mitchell shows up all the time. He makes play after play. But because he can't run [very fast], he gets overlooked."

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To read previous editions of Mayock's Take, please visit http://go.philly.com/mayock

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