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PFF scouting report: Calvin Munson, LB, SDSU

BERKELEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Linebacker Calvin Munson #54 of the San Diego State Aztecs stands on the field during the second quarter against the California Golden Bears at California Memorial Stadium on September 12, 2015 in Berkeley, California. The California Golden Bears defeated the San Diego State Aztecs 35-7. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Name: Calvin Munson

School: San Diego State

Position fit: Inside linebacker

Stats to know: His run-stop percentage decreased in both 2015 and 2016, and finished this past season ranked just 75th in the category nationally.

What he does best:

  • Physical player at the line of scrimmage; shows a willingness to take on blocks at the point of attack and has the strength to defeat them.
  • Plays with great leverage; consistently the low man, allowing him to square up and deliver huge blows.
  • Combines his instincts with his short area quicks to avoid blocks without giving up gaps and find the ball-carrier.
  • Excellent change of direction ability and burst.
  • Munson’s 88.2 overall grade was eighth-highest at ILB, 78.3 pass rush ranked fourth in FBS.

Biggest concern:

  • Lacks the straight-line speed to effectively close in space.
  • Does not display the instincts to consistently locate and close in zone coverage, and his speed limitations can be exposed when playing man.
  • Lacks the speed, athletic skill set to translate pass-rush production to NFL; much of college production manufactured by stunts, blitzes, timing, etc.
  • Scheme put him in very good position to succeed, often shooting gaps.
  • Ranked just 130th among ILBs in tackling efficiency with 17 misses on the season.
  • If he doesn’t initiate contact, he lacks the countermoves necessary to defeat blocks.

Player comparison: Scooby Wright, Arizona Cardinals

Wright was a productive college player at Arizona, but it shouldn’t be a surprise that his lack of speed has hurt his transition to the NFL. While productive on the pass rush in college, he lacked actual moves, relying instead on scheme and hustle.

Bottom line: Munson was a highly productive player in all three phases in college, but considering his speed limitations it’s difficult to see much of what he accomplished at San Diego State translating to the next level. What will translate is his ability to quickly diagnose and attack the run, as he does possess the short area quickness and aggressiveness to avoid blocks at the line of scrimmage without compromising gap integrity. He has the physicality to defeat blockers, but needs to consistently be the aggressor, as he struggle to shed once his man is locked onto him. He is capable of playing in coverage on underneath zones, but once he’s asked to turn and run he quickly loses ground he can’t make up. He can time blitzes well and work off stunts effectively, which led to him posting 24 sacks over the past three seasons at San Diego State. However, until he learns how to use his hands to set up a variety of moves against blockers, he is unlikely to translate his college production in this category to the NFL level. Munson has some viability as a run defender, especially if he can learn how to consistently stack and shed blocks inside, but his lack of straight-line speed could make it tough for him to stick unless he can quickly prove his worth on special teams. He should be part of the mid-Day 3 discussion.

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