Genard Avery, Linebacker, Memphis Tigers
WEIGHT: 255 pounds
40 YD DASH: 4.59 seconds
BENCH PRESS: 26 reps
VERTICAL JUMP: 36.0”
BROAD JUMP: 124.0”
3 CONE DRILL: 6.9 seconds
20 YD SHUTTLE: 4.36 seconds
2017 STATS: 80 tackles, 22.0 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 2 FF
STRENGTHS: Avery was phenomenal in his senior season, and was moved around at different linebacker positions. His experience at both inside and outside linebacker will be to his benefit when it comes to the draft. Teams will like his versatility. The first thing you notice about Avery is that he’s solid physically. His body looks strong, and fills out his uniform well. Even though he looks big, he doesn’t run like a man his size. Avery’s got underrated speed and quickness, which allows him to chase down plays from anywhere on the field. It also allows him to get out in coverage on tight ends without having to sacrifice speed or size since he has both. Memphis defense wasn’t great last year, but they might have been better if they were able to recognize plays like Avery did. His studies of the gameplan and film are evident, as he is always pointing out keys and shifting his position to make a play based on what the offense is doing. When he’s engaged with a blocker, he uses his hands well to disengage and get the blocker out of his way.
WEAKNESSES: Will get pushed back initially on blocks. He does use his hands well to disengage eventually, but sometimes it’s too late. Working on controlling his matchup will be one thing he should work on. If he plays on the edge in the NFL, he’ll need to work on his pass rush. Sometimes, it seems like he is making it up as he goes, and just waits for the blocker to make the first move instead of attacking and reacting.
Avery was arguably the most consistent player on a defense that gave up a lot. His 22 tackles for loss led the team, and showcased his playmaking abilities. Avery has been catching the eyes of many analysts in the last few weeks, and that could continue as we lead up to the draft. His athleticism will entice teams to take him, maybe even earlier than the fifth or sixth round.