Ben Burr-Kirven

Position: Linebacker

College: Washington

Height: 6'0"

Weight: 221 lbs

SCOUTING GRADE

Injury History: No Major Injury History

Games Evaluated: 2018: Oregon, Stanford, 2017: Penn State

Scout: Roy Countryman

Scouting Report

Athleticism: 7.97

Q.A.B. / C.O.D.8.10

 

Excellent athleticism and movement skills from an inside linebackers position, flows across the field like a safety. Has fluid hips to be able to flip and cover TE's and RB's downfield without allowing separation. Plays with surprising play-strength for his short stature, and is not afraid to take on blocks. Plays with excellent quickness, and has the uncanny ability to reach plays sideline-to-sideline. Only physical limitations that could be identified was a lack of elite strength, bulk, and has shorter arms than most will like.

Flexibility: 8.00

 

Is able to dip and slip OL at block point due to his excellent quickness, and shorter stature. Is able to mirror and match most offensive weapons coming across the intermediate area of the field due to his quickness and hip fluidity. Only struggled with elite slot WR's who had more short area quickness and speed.

 

Explosiveness: 7.90

Possesses great playing speed mixed with excellent agility that leads to a lot of explosive contact. He seems to be flying around the field at a higher rate of speed than the rest of those out on the field due to his closing speed and instincts to click and close. Shows the ability to make make striking blows to ball carriers, and separate them from the ball.

 

Playing Speed: 7.50

Is the true definition of a football player, because in my opinion he plays faster than he will probably time. Time and time again on tape he stayed on the hip pocket of some of the fastest players at the college level from the TE and RB positions. Not saying he won't put up good numbers in agility tests, I just believe he won't run better than the 4.75-4.65 range.

 

Coordination: 8.10

 

Tremendously balanced player who plays with great discipline and aggression. His hands, feet, and hips flow in sync, especially when coming to make a tackle. He is one of the best open field tacklers in the class due to being able to snap hips through on contact so that he can unleash maximum torque on his target. His work in the film room in conjunction with his off the charts instincts allows him to fly to the ball with controlled chaos.

 

Position Versatility: 8.20

 

Played the full assortment of positions from an interior linebacking position. In tapes I watched, he lined up as a 3-4 ILB, an OLB on the Left and Right sides in obvious passing downs, Often matching him with bigger and burlier offensive tackles who struggle with his quickness. He also lined up as a Middle, Weak, and Strong-Side LB in a 4-3. In addition to playing all over the formation, he lined up as a blitzer from a Nickel CB position as well. Will contribute on Special Teams, and was consistently one of the first defenders downfield on the punt team.

 

Pass Rush Ability: 6.10

Initial Quickness: 6.80

 

Does not possess elite first step when he rushes the passer. He is better as an upright interior LB who can gain a head of steam, and blitz through the A gaps, or by being used on stunts. In tapes viewed he shows a knack for timing up his blitzes well.

Rush with Leverage: 6.50

When he does get locked up with OL, he does show an ability to stack and shed due to having a built in leverage advantage with his height, a strong set of hands, and an understanding on hand usage. Although most of the time when bigger OL get ahold of him he will be stifled, and stonewalled.

 

Pass Rush Moves: 5.60

Does not use a myriad of rush moves. The only moves witnessed on tape was a club move, a dip move, and a bull rush against RB's.

 

Pressure Consistency: 5.50

Was able to influence the results on a few plays due to his ability to time up his blitz's well. He was equally as effective when he slowed his pass rush and got his hands up into passing lanes. His best bet would be used as a coverage backer rather than a pure pass rusher.

 

Coverage: 8.55

Pass Drops8.50

Outstanding ability to drop and transition in pass coverage. He shows an equal prowess for zone and man coverage, and has the instincts and closing quickness to stick with playmakers. Has excellent hip fluidity to sink and drive to the ball.

 

Coverage Awareness: 8.60

 

Outstanding ball awareness, and his work in the film room shines through with his ability to fly to the ball. Trusts his eyes, and anticipates route concepts and where the ball is going on each play. Shows keen awareness in his zone coverages to hover around QB's safety valves.

 

M/M Coverage: 8.50

 

Looks like a Safety instead of a LB when he is asked to cover in man coverage due to his outstanding ability to stay in offensive player's hip pocket. Is a fiesty defender who will jam at the LOS and will fight throughout the route.

 

Zone Coverage: 8.60

 

In his zone drops he is able to show his upper echelon instincts and diagnostic skills. He gets excellent depth on drop, then shuffles and scans QB's eyes to anticipate where he is going with the ball.

 

Against The Run: 7.64

Play with Leverage: 6.50

Is able to get up and under OL pads due to his height, but it is his ability to flash his quickness across the face of OL that gets him free from blocks. Does not have the strength or bulk to go head to head an shed blocks consistently.

 

Stack and Shed: 6.10

Struggles to stack and shed consistently due to his build, and lack of strength. He does have strong hands and understanding of hand usage that will allow him to shed blocks occasionally.

 

Run at Him: 8.00

 

Possesses outstanding closing quickness, and trusts what he sees happening in front of his eyes. Can scrape and flow with his slipperiness and quickness to find the ball carrier.

Runs Away: 8.60

 

Is an outstanding backside pursuer. Will maintain gap integrity when it is his assignment, but also has the athleticism to close on cutback runs. Plays with great intensity, and always hustles to the ball.

 

Tackling/Hitting: 9.00

One of the surest tacklers in this years class. Uses exceptional tackling mechanics, by snapping hips on contact in the open field. He displays the awareness of when to go for a drag-down tackle. Shows strong contact power, and can separate ball from carrier. Only time he misses a tackle is when he overpursues or takes a bad angle against ultra agile runners.

 

Competitiveness: 8.50

Toughness: 8.40

 

For being a slightly undersized LB, he makes big play after big play against some of the biggest OL in the country. Brings the same intensity and attention to each play.

Production: 8.50

 

Will have over 50 games experience coming out of college, with two years of tremendous production. Was a Second Team All-PAC-12 performer in 2017, and sure to have a lot more awards added to his resume after this year. Was also named as a Semifinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and Bednarik Award in 2018.

Consistency/Motor: 8.60

 

Outstanding resilience and effort to dish out punishment on a week to week, and down to down basis. He is a regular in the film room throughout the week and never seems to be content with his performances. Always strives to improve himself each week.

Intelligence: 8.87

Instincts: 9.10

 

Exceptional feel and mental processing to flow to the ball. Puts forth the effort in the film room to be able to pick up on keys pre snap so that he can diagnose and close. Not only does he see what is happening, but processes and reacts in an instant which highlights his terrific athleticism.

Learn/Retain: 9.00

Takes to coaching well, and strives to improve his game on a weekly basis. Shows an ability to retain assignments from a variety of positions, as evidenced by his positional versatility. Is a two-time First Team Academic All-PAC-12 recipient, and surely will be honored with a third after this year.

 

Concentration: 8.50

Is able take on a large workload pre snap for his teammates on defense, and align them in proper positioning. In addition to his responsibilities he is a vocal leader and passes along his already vast knowledge to those closest to him. Acts as a leader and mentor to the younger group on the defense.

STRENGTHS:

Burr-Kirven is the prototype for the new age ILB in the NFL. He is able to equally impact the game on run defense, as well as cover players downfield. WIth upper echelon instincts, excellent closing quickness and agility paired with an understanding of hand usage, he will make a tremendous amount of plays to impact a game. Has a knack for timing up his blitzes well, and is more than willing to get his hands up into throwing lanes if he knows he will not make it home to the QB. Always seems to be around the ball, and relishes his role as a play caller on the defense. Pours through a tremendous amount of gametape each week in preparation of opponents, and it shows with his ability to diagnose plays so quickly. Motor is always running hot, and never seems to come off the field.

WEAKNESSES:

With a build that is slightly undersized in the height department, as well as bulk, he can be engulfed by bigger OL if they get their hands on him. He generally cannot shed blockers that are stronger than him due to the size disadvantage and a lack of arm length. Is not a great pass rusher, and does not have a great plan of how to rush the pass with a variety of moves. He is at his best as a coverage LB, who can rarely blitz through the A Gaps, or by stunting. He is does not possess elite speed, and is quicker than fast in short areas of the field. Not great long speed to chase down ball carriers.

 

BIG PICTURE:

 

Ben Burr-Kirven flies around a football field like he is playing with his hair on fire. He is a consistent nag for offensive coordinators due to his instincts, quickness, and tackling prowess. He has a tremendous impact both as a run defender and coverage backer. Acts as a blueprint of the modern day NFL inside linebacker. In saying this, he does have some drawbacks due to his size and bulk, but more than makes up for it on his splash plays he creates with what he does well. I can see multiple teams looking closely at him come draft day, especially in the late Round 1/ Round 2 area. He should be able to come in quickly with his dedication and intelligence and step into a starting position. He possesses the ability to come in on special teams and be an impact player immediately.

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