Why has the draft stock of NIU’s DE-OLB Larry English dropped in recent weeks?
A month ago, English was being touted as a virtual lock for the first round, with most mocks having him going somewhere in the 20s. But recently, the Aurora native and Marmion Academy graduate seems to have dropped out of the first round in most draft projections. Not that any of the predictions mean anything because even the best mock drafts are lucky to hit on 30 percent of their first-round picks, and there’s no way English falls out of the second round.
But there are some concerns. English’s pro day in Dekalb on March 27 was sparsely attended, and the Panthers’ Marty Hurney was the only NFL general manager on hand. According to one draft expert, part of the reason is because English is considered to be a high-character player and model citizen whose background doesn’t need to be re-examined.
But there is also speculation that a lot of NFL teams using the 3-4 defense are leery of drafting English as an outside linebacker because he lacks some agility and the desired skill set to play standing up. His Combine 40-time of 4.82 was OK for an undersized defensive end but slow for a linebacker.
English was exclusively a defensive end at NIU and, at 6-2 and 255 pounds, he may be limited to playing right end at the next level. English is the first defensive player in the history of the MAC to win back-to-back league MVP awards, and he had 30 ½ sacks in his final three seasons. However, 9 of the sacks came in two games, against Temple and Idaho, neither of which are considered to be high-level competition.