Duke Riley-LB-LSU
Size: 6’1 231lbs

Duke Riley

Overview: The Bayou Bengals nearly lost out on signing Duke Riley, as they offered him a grayshirt opportunity instead of a full initial scholarship. LSU came through with the scholarship late in the process, and Riley signed on with his home-state team. Unfortunately for him, the Tigers’ depth at linebacker kept him from playing significant minutes until his senior season. He played 39 games in his first three seasons, making seven tackles as a freshman, 20 tackles as a sophomore (starting one game that year), and then racking up 24 stops while waiting for his turn as a junior. Riley stuck with it, however, as he saw guys like Deion Jones (second-round pick for Atlanta in 2016) become NFL prospects with their patience. He started all 12 games as a senior, leading the squad with 93 tackles, nine for loss, 1.5 sacks and an interception.

Strengths:

  • Improved every year in college
  • Instinctive
  • Gap hunter
  • Solid in zone-reads and play-action
  • Will make impact on special teams

Analysis: Duke Riley didn’t see a lot of playing time before the 2016 season, mainly due to the amazing depth the Tigers have basically every year at the school. He got better as his senior season progressed. Instincts and angles improved with more game experience. Scouts impressed with improved play and consistency. Shows willingness to dart downhill and into the gaps to try to make a play in the backfield. Squares ball carrier in center of his strike zone and fires from hips into the tackle with good wrap up. Shows decent acceleration in his pursuit after diagnosing. Able to open hips and run with long, loose strides in open field. Has clear eyes and processes mesh-point quickly against zone-read and play-action.

Weaknesses:

  • Undersized
  • Questionable play strength
  • Needs better angles of pursuit
  • Foot quickness

Analysis: Duke Riley is an undersized linebacker and could have limited position flexibility. Questionable play strength to take on blockers and constrict his gap. Only one season as a starter. Gets in trouble when he sits and waits in the hole. Has to trigger downhill early to overcome limited size and athleticism. Gets caught in the second-level trash in his pursuit. Needs to take better paths to the ball. Not a quick-twitch linebacker.

NFL Comparison: Poor man’s Deion Jones

Draft Projection: Round 4-6

https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/580c4485f3e63.image_.jpg?fit=1024%2C672&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/580c4485f3e63.image_.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Dan SchalkNFLNFL DraftRecent PostsSECDuke Riley,LSU Tigers,NFL,NFL DraftDuke Riley-LB-LSU Size: 6'1 231lbs Overview: The Bayou Bengals nearly lost out on signing Duke Riley, as they offered him a grayshirt opportunity instead of a full initial scholarship. LSU came through with the scholarship late in the process, and Riley signed on with his home-state team. Unfortunately for him, the Tigers' depth...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?