OLB Darius Fleming, Notre Dame
Darius Fleming, #45
6'1", 250 lbs., 22 years old
2011: 55 tackles, 7 TFL, 3.5 sacks, INT, FF
2010: 48 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, INT
2009: 29 tackles, 12 TFL, 3 sacks, FF
2008: 25 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks
- Has a nice set of moves to get by a pass blocker when he's in space.
- Able to set the edge on run plays.
- Able to disengage one arm on running plays to extend at the ball carrier and break up the play.
- A defensive leader for the Fighting Irish.
- Very stiff in the hips, struggles to change directions.
- Where does he fit? Too small for defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker. Not athletic enough to play 4-3 OLB or 3-4 ILB. A 'tweener in every sense of the word.
- Doesn't look natural dropping back in to coverage. Late reactions are prevalent.
- Struggles against interior offensive linemen when he doesn't have space to pull off some of his edge moves.
- Turns 23 in July.
Projection: 5th to 6th round
- When watching Darius Fleming, I get reminded of Buffalo Bills linebacker Arthur Moats. The Bills have struggled to find a home for him and I think a lot of the same will happen for Fleming. His best spot might be at left outside linebacker in a 3-4, and will have to depend on special teams play for long-term viability in the league.