Discussion in 'Draft Day Zone' started by Hostile, Apr 22, 2005.
Steelers select...Rian Wallace
ILB | (6'2", 241, 4.65) | TEMPLE
Strengths: Possesses good size and flashes the ability to hold ground against the run. Has better lower body strength than upper body strength. Plays with a mean streak and shows good power at the point of attack as a tackler. Shows good instincts, rarely gets caught out of position and always seems to be around the ball. Possesses adequate-straight-line speed, takes good angles to the ball and will make some plays in pursuit. Plays with a non-stop motor and makes plays with second effort. Explodes into hits and is a powerful tackler capable of forcing some fumbles. Played on the outside at times during college career and has some versatility.
Weaknesses: Lacks great lateral-mobility, struggles when asked to change directions quickly and has some problems slipping blocks in the open field. Doesn't have great athletic ability, struggles to recover when forced to turn and run downfield and is somewhat of a liability in man coverage. Has good size and is a powerful hitter but marginal upper body strength is a concern. Sustained a knee injury during the summer prior to freshman season in 2001 and had to red-shirt that year so durability is somewhat of a concern. Had some problems off-the-field, at one point suspended for punching a teammate and character could be an issue.
Overall: Wallace redshirted during his freshman season in 2001 and he started seven of the 12 games he appeared in during the 2002 season. He finished with 101 total tackles as a junior in 2004 but didn't make as many big plays as he had in the past. Wallace had just 5.5 tackles for loss and zero passes broken up in 2004, compared to his 2003 campaign when he recorded 19.5 TFL and six PBU. Wallace played inside linebacker in the Owl's 4-2-5 scheme and he projects as either an inside or "strongside" linebacker in the NFL. Wallace has good size, short-area quickness and instincts, and he also has adequate straight-line speed. There are, however, concerns about his marginal upper body strength (10 reps on the 225-pound bench press) and his fluidity in coverage. Wallace has enough upside and flashed enough playmaking ability in college to consider in the mid-to-late rounds of the 2005 draft, but he also has too many question marks and was too inconsistent to warrant consideration before the fifth round.
* Player biographies are provided by Scouts Inc.