Denzil Ware (Edge, Kentucky) – 45

Ware is a functional SEC linebacker, who has decent instincts as a run defender and who has been a productive player at Kentucky, with 70 tackles and 5.5 sacks as a sophomore.  Kentucky asks a lot of its edge players – they drop into coverage more than a lot of other teams’ edge players do – and it is clear from the tape that Ware really struggles with quick and nimble receiving threats in space.  He is a rather lumbering figure, whose athleticism is marginal in the SEC and would be positively problematic at the next level.  This is not to say that Ware has no straight-line speed – I suspect that he’d run somewhere in the 4.70-4.80 range, judging from his long fumble return in the South Carolina game – but he has stiff hips and plays too often on his heels, meaning that he finds it hard to change direction.  He also really needs to work on his leverage; as a sophomore, he played way too high, struggled to shed blocks and was often eaten up even by tight ends against the run.  As a pass rusher, he is tenacious and flashes some power but he has no real go-to move and lacks the explosiveness to make a difference as a pass rusher in the NFL.  At this point, I would say that Ware should certainly come back for his senior season, as he does not look to be a draftable prospect at this point.

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