With the 16th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Larry English, OLB
Positives: Solid linebacker build, with more than adequate upper-body strength and legs for the position. Good motor, hustles down or across the field until the play is completed, even if initially blocked. Changes direction in space well. Secure wrap-up tackler when man is in his area. Can use his arms to keep linemen and fullbacks off him when standing up. Stays balanced and upright most times on stretch plays. At times he can bounce off a block using his punch. Has quick, violent hands to stay free. Stays at home on option plays until last possible moment. Able to drop back off the line in zone blitzes and stay with tight ends. Strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl eliminated many of the concerns regarding English's level of competition.
Negatives: Lacks the bulk to play with his hand down in the NFL, which he did in college. Gets engulfed by better left tackles on inside pass rush moves, lacks the strength to bull rush and doesn't quite have the speed to get the corner consistently (but has good closing speed when standing up). Fails to hold his ground when directly out of his stance and can't get off the block quickly enough to get to the ball. Will need to prove he can handle coverage duties against better tight ends and that he has zone awareness. Needs to get lower in his backpedal, as he stands a bit tall.
Compares To: ANTHONY SPENCER, Dallas -- Some draft experts claim Larry English is the next Shawne Merriman, but that's a stretch at this point. As a pass rusher, he shows great tenacity, but that seems to be the only consistent aspect of his game. There are too many contests where he got lost in too much trash talk and isn't much of a factor. As an athlete, you have to be impressed with his power, but one look at his clocked speed makes you be concerned that he won't be able to drop back and handle speedy slot receivers outside the short area.
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Larry English Career Highlight Video (Part 1)
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