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Prospect Profiles: Bobby Wagner


TRIANGLE NUMBERS: 6-1, 232, 4.8


He possesses a shorter frame with decent length for his size and above-average natural athletic ability to his game. Wagner exhibits solid instincts inside vs. the run game. Does a good job finding the football inside and when he does locate it he breaks down well and will wrap with his longer arms, running his legs through contact. He possesses good range in pursuit, is an above-average athlete with a good burst and natrual straight-line speed toward the perimeter. Showcases solid base strength when taking on blocks inside. Can stack and shed on contact and has some natrual power when fighting off blocks. At times will run himself out of plays, but when he locates the football can extend his arms, shed and uses his “plus” first step to shed and wrap on the ball carrier off his frame. Nevertheless, doesn’t do a great job keeping himself clean when picking his way through traffic and has a tendency to get picked off too easily at times because of his inconsistent awareness.

He looks comfortable in the pass game. He stays balanced in his drop, keeps his eyes in the backfield and is routinely flowing toward the action. However, doesn’t feel routes developing around him well and too often is a bit slow to react and close on the throw. He feels the screen game better though and showcases a good initial burst/range when closing from the backside. Is used a lot as a rush guy off the edge in obvious passing down situations. He exhibits slightly above average get off speed, extends his arms into contact and can create a pop while keeping his pad level down. Doesn’t look overly natrual when trying to change directions and counter off his speed rush, but has a good motor and closes well.

Impression: A good athlete with some balance and coordination in all areas of his game. He’s a ‘plus” tackler who can shed on contact and make plays as a blitzer.

NE Patriots Draft:

Strengths: Possesses plus athleticism for the position – Muscular build with long Arms and big wingspan for his size – Can play ILB and OLB position – Exhibits above average instincts in run support – Very solid tackler, wraps up and doesn’t miss many tackles – Excellent gap awareness, can read keys and finds way to get to the ball – Plays on his feet, doesn’t get knocked off balance – Shows fluid movements in both his hips and knees – Shows ability to shoot gaps and get into backfield- Lines up at OLB and utilized as a pass rusher in passing situations – Shows a raw ability to be an edge or interior blitzer – Has the speed to run with backs out of the backfield – Works his way through the “garbage” to make plays – Above average closing speed, can get moving quickly and gets to full speed within a few steps – A patient player who maintains his responsibility, let’s the play develop and doesn’t get fooled – Exhibits good fundamentals in pass coverage and seems to have an understanding of basic zone concepts – Voted Captain in 2011 – Exhibited tremendous coverage skills as a specials teams player at the Senior Bowl – Senior Bowl Defensive MVP.

Weaknesses: Undersized for an NFL LB – Natural position has yet to be determined – Anticipation skills in pass coverage needs work – Needs to develop his pass rush moves, especially if he is going to play OLB – Often times he goes around blocks, instead of taking them on and shedding – Needs to improve his angles, often times he overruns the ball carrier – Would like to see him be a little more physical at the point of attack- Man to man coverage skills are very raw

FF Toolbox:

Bobby Wagner is an early round prospect with a solid overall game. He is a bit undersized, but plays very well in tight spaces with great tackling skills, good pursuit and noticeable athleticism. Shows a great burst and can find his way to the ball-carrier very quickly.

Wagner’s biggest asset when compared to other linebackers is he looks good in coverage. Many linebackers have to develop this skill and it can keep them off the field for at least a season. Wagner shouldn’t have that problem. He has a nose for the screen pass and does okay in zone coverage. Needs to do a better job of using his peripheral vision to read the shorter routes.

As a tackler, Wagner is fundamentally sound. He breaks down cleanly, wraps up well and tackles through the ball-carrier. When asked to blitz, he can shed blockers with his long arms. He can hit the edge and displays a nice motor even late in games.

Wagner looks good in most every facet of the game and even though he’s a bit too short to play inside, he can play almost any linebacker position in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense.


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GiantsGab Thoughts:

Bobby Wagner is an athletic linebacker prospect. Can play inside or out. Senior Bowl defensive MVP.Good in coverage. Good instincts. Good tackler. A bit short. A little raw. Needs to adjust in competition. Needs to add physicality. But seems to be pretty solid. Again, is a coverage linebacker and that’s what the Giants need. Can run with tight ends and backs. He’s raw, playing at Utah State. But his performance at the Senior Bowl helps. 3rd round pick. I think he’s a guy who could perhaps provide an upgrade to Jaicquan Williams. If not, can play more of a traditional linebacker role on third downs at weakside, instead of a safety. But, his impact the first year will be on special teams, until he can adjust to competition.




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