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Possibility at 17: Clint Sintim

As we head for the Draft, Gang Green Nation will take a look at some potential picks for the team. Today we will profile Clint Sintim, a linebacker from the University of Virginia.

What NFL Draft Countdown thinks:

Strengths:
Excellent size...Long arms...Good athlete...Fantastic pass rusher and blitzer...Good strength...Tough...Physical...A powerful tackler...Looks comfortable in coverage...Does a nice job of taking on and shedding blockers...Decent range...Aggressive with a non-stop motor...Makes plays in pursuit...Solid instincts...Is intense and competitive...Offers some versatility...Productive...Has a lot of experience...A team leader.

Weaknesses:
Relatively average timed speed...Limited reps in coverage...Hips aren't real fluid...Tends to play too tall...Will struggle to turn and run in man...Does not use his hands well...Didn't make many plays on the boundaries...Possible conditioning issues...Minor durability concerns.

What SB Nation's Mocking the Draft thinks:


Strengths:
Sintim possesses prototypical outside linebacker size for the NFL. A good athlete, Sintim was a pass rush specialist for Virginia, finishing his career with 27 sacks. Has played with his hand down in 4-3 sets. Strong and physical, Sintim does a nice job beating blocks. A very aggressive player who always works hard on the field. Very competitive. Strong in pursuit. An experienced, four-year starter who has a good bit of intelligence.

Weaknesses: Somewhat of a linebacker/end 'tweener. Would probably fit best in a 3-4 scheme, but has the tools to play the strong side in a 4-3. Can run hot and cold and gets a lot of his sacks in bunches. There are questions about Sintim's ability to do anything more than get after the passer. Never really asked to drop back in coverage and will have to learn that aspect of the game completely. Because of this, his agility has to be called into question. Had a serious shoulder injury in 2006.

What I think:

Sintim is a hard-worker and an overachiever. There is a low bust risk on overachievers like that. He is an ideal fit for a team with a 3-4 base defense. Because he played a 3-4 at Virginia, Sintim will not have to learn a new position, transitioning from playing with his hand down at defensive end unlike most rush linebacker prospects. He rushes the passer well enough to play effectively on the outside and handles blocks well enough to have success against the run on the inside. In a system based on linebacker play, this kind of versatility is very valuable.

He has the potential to be another Mike Vrabel. Many pundits believe he would be a perfect fit in New England, where his intelligence, work ethic, character, and versatility would be highly valued. The Jets could do worse than Sintim at 17. He would add depth to a thin linebacking corps and give the club a sorely-needed pass rusher. Rex Ryan would have fun putting him all over the field.