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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Tyrice Knight (LB – UTEP)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Tyrice Knight (LB – UTEP)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at UTEP linebacker Tyrice Knight.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report:

Tyrice Knight (LB – UTEP)

6’2″ – 235 lbs.

Background:

Spent the first two years of his collegiate career at Independence Community College before transferring to Texas-El Paso. Has been starting there ever since, with 54-2.5-1.0 in the shortened 2020 season. Posted impressive totals of 101-7.5-2.0 in 2021 and 95-6.5-1.0 in 2022, with an interception in each year, then had a massive senior year of 140-15.5-4.5.

Positives:

Was a four-year starter at UTEP, and made 2023 by far his best year. Solidly-built linebacker who carries his weight well. Plays the game with a relatively conservative temperament. Does a good job of keeping his shoulders square and his knees bent when playing between the tackles, usually using his length to keep blockers out of his frame. Shows good suddenness to slip past blockers. Active with his hands to shed. Solid athlete with the range to get out toward the sideline and defend lateral rushing attempts. Shows a nice closing burst in pursuit. Has been a reliable tackler over the course of his college career, with an above-average tackling radius. Quick reactions and solid change-of-direction skills allow him to stick with tight ends in coverage and was often asked to do so during the games reviewed. Uses his hands well to feel routes and stay connected. Can shade over bunches and defend in the screen game. Shows nice ball skills in coverage, breaking up sixteen passes over the past three years.

Negatives:

On the older side, as he spent six years in school. Can be just a touch slow to recognize the play at times, leaving some tackles on the field, or making them a few yards later than a more decisive player would. Can get pulled too far away from the middle of the field by window dressing/misdirection. Doesn’t show a ton of physicality between the tackles; would like to see him show more willingness to get downhill and take on blocks in the hole, as he tends to try and work around and over blockers. On rare occasions, lapses into hitting rather than using wrap technique when playing in space. Can occasionally be sucked up by play-action, creating throwing lanes over the middle of the field.

Summary:

One of the most productive and experienced linebackers in the class, he is good athlete with a nice build, impressive short-area quickness, active hands, reliable tackling skills and offers some versatility in coverage. Was a tackling machine in school, but it would be nice to see him play with a bit more willingness to get downhill and crack blockers in the hole. Still, his physical and athletic profile should get him mid-round consideration, as there’s probably a bit more upside there than with some of the linebackers out of major programs. Would be best flowing to the ball behind a big defensive line that ate blocks for him.

Projection: Round 4-5

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