#11 Tyler Starr, OLB, South Dakota, Senior, 6' 4.25", 249lbs., hands: 9.63, arms: 33.25
In looking thru the list of prospects that the Jets met with during the Shrine game, I came upon a few small school prospects that I had not heard anything about. There are twenty names on that list, and quite a few of them, most of us probably haven't heard of. There's Pierre Desir who has garnered a bit of hype lately, and a number of other small school names. In looking into the basic backgrounds of each, I stumbled upon a particularly interesting prospect by the name of Tyler Starr.
Starr plays outside linebacker the University of South Dakota Coyotes, a position of need for the Jets for several years and one which they often look to bring in undrafted type prospects at. If you watch his game tape, you'll see a guy who lines up at the outside linebacker spot for the most part but also gets down into a three-point stance on the edge and moves inside to play the "spinner" role. The term "Spinner" goes back to Dick LeBeau's time with the Bengals. It refers to the zone-blitz defense where he aimed to have different players rushing the passer and dropping into coverage on each play in order to confuse the opposing quarterback. I am using it here to refer to a particular player on the defense who can play the rush linebacker role as well as more of an inside linebacker role and even get at the passer as a wide defensive end. Think Von Miller as the ideal type or Bruce Irvin on the other side of the Super bowl match up. Or better yet, for Rex Ryan and the Jets' scheme, think Adalius Thomas in his prime rushing the passer from the edge and from all over the formation as a linebacker and dropping into coverage like a safety. Now I am not saying that Starr is anywhere as talented as those guys, but as a potential undrafted type, or even late round selection (Thomas was himself a 6th round selection), he is an interesting prospect.
He clearly has great length at 6'4" with 33 inch arms and seems to have good speed combined with a terrific motor. He also is a converted safety and seems to be comfortable dropping into coverage altho it's very difficult to say how good he is at that aspect of the game. He also looks like he has good bend around the edge combined with a decent inside move which he uses once in the tape above. On the downside, he is nowhere near a complete prospect. He played against weak competition and seems like he gets consistently washed out in the run game. As a developmental prospect who could be eventually asked to play outside the likes of Mo Wilkerson, holding up as a defensive lineman against the run won't be what he is asked to do. This guy has come a long way to be an NFL prospect and I like his competitve attitude and see him as a high motor guy who can contribute on special teams and possibly develop into a decent situational pass rusher. Hopefully, this guy gets a combine invite and we get to see a little more of him.
Wouldn't you love to see those flowing locks running the 40?