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3 Days to the Draft: Texas OLB/DE, Sergio Kindle

With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.

Texas' Sergio Kindle is one of the highest ranked 3-4 OLBs available in this draft. He did well at the college level and possesses the size that Coach Belichick loves in his OLBs. He's athletic, but is unproven, in coverage and has been asked mainly to rush the quarterback. After an explosive junior year, opposing offenses gave Kindle more attention causing a drop in senior year production. He has some off the field issues, which must absolutely raise some red flags for our front office- and may lead our team in a different direction. Kindle has been ranked anywhere from top 15 to end of the first round. Is he the Patriots pick?

His measurements and some quotes after the jump. Scouting

Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Combine 40 Time: 4.65.
Benchx225: 25. Vertical: 36.5.

Player Comparison: Kamerion Wimbley. Wimbley has had an inconsistent career. He lacks physicality, but he has great athleticism like Kindle.

Click the link for a more in-depth player review Scouting

04/06/2010 - Kindle would be a perfect fit in New England's system. He is an instinctive and athletic playmaker who would be at his best playing outside linebacker in New England's base 3-4 defense, but he also has experience at defensive end. His versatility would definitely be a plus for the Patriots, as coach Bill Belichick oftentimes asks his players to play multiple positions. The fact that he has experience playing on special teams is also important. The Patriots need help improving their pass rush and Kindle could help solve that problem. Kindle wreaked havoc in the offensive backfield over his final two seasons at Texas, recording a combined 34.5 tackles for a loss. He was a leader on the Longhorns defense both on the field and in the locker room. He competed against high-level competition, which is also important. He has good speed and size, and he hits hard, which is everything the Patriots are looking for in an outside linebacker. He does have off-the-field issues, however, which is why he may still be around by the time the Pats make their first pick. His mother disappeared when he was young and he's had behavior issues since. He was given a DUI in 2007 and got a concussion driving while texting, which led to him running into an apartment building. Even so, this type of player could be hard to ignore if he is still on the board at 22. - Robert Lee, Providence Journal News

03/13/2010 - TOP RATED NFL DRAFT SCOUT OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS: Sergio Kindle, Texas, 6-3, 250, 1: Instinctive, athletic playmaker at outside linebacker in the 3-4, but might be a terror as a 4-3 pass-rushing defensive end if he adds about 20 pounds. He is tightly wound and competitive yet has natural balance and athleticism to play under control. He started 24 games in his career, including 13 at defensive end in 2009. Kindle is a two-time All-Big 12 selection with career stats that include 168 tackles, 13?? sacks, 39 tackles for loss, 56 pressures, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He has a history of nagging injuries and off-field issues, including being treated for a concussion last year after crashing his car into an apartment building while text-messaging in July. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange, Sports/USA TODAY Scouting

Kindle is a two-year starter for the Longhorns as a defensive end but many will try and project him to outside linebacker in the NFL. He has a good combination of length and athleticism but lacks the bulk needs to be an effective run defender at the next level. He has been a disruptive force penetrating the line of scrimmage in the Longhorns 4-3 front. Kindle runs well but doesn’t have elite speed or range for a stand up player and will need lots of work developing his coverage techniques and awareness. He is inconsistent using his hands to maintain leverage on his opponent and will need to improve in this area both as a pass rusher as well as run defender. Kindle does play hard and has a frame to add at least 20 pounds, which bodes well for his potential as a special team’s contributor as well being utilized as a backup linebacker or edge rusher in sub packages

Click the link for a more in-depth player review

Verdict: Although Jerry Hughes is an inch smaller, I would have to pick Hughes over Kindle. While I think that Kindle shows more immediate potential in coverage, I think that Hughes could step in just as well as Kindle at the Elephant position and create great pressure on the QB. Hughes can learn how to deal with coverage and evolve and, in my opinion, has a higher ceiling than Kindle. Hughes seems like a higher character player with great potential.