Discussion in 'Draft Day Zone' started by Hostile, Apr 22, 2005.
Bengals select...Odell Thurman, LB GEORGIA
Odell Thurman, MLB, Georgia
Height: 6:00.5 Weight: 237
Overview: Odell was an honorable mention All-State linebacker and running back as a senior at Monticello (Ga.) High School. He collected 153 tackles and ran for 1,187 yards in his final campaign and was invited to play in the prestigious 2001 Georgia-Florida all-star game. He was raised by his paternal grandmother, Betty Thurman. He shared a home with her, an uncle, an aunt and seven cousins. His mother, Joyce Bland, died in an automobile accident when Odell was age ten, and his father, Otis Thurman, died in 2003 prior to Odell's season opener at Georgia, from liver and kidney failure. Odell's collegiate career almost never came to fruition at Georgia. He was redshirted in 2001, but was kicked off the team by head coach Mark Richt prior top the 2002 season for several infractions, including fighting at a local Athens bar (see Off-Field Issues below for complete stories on all incidents). He attended Georgia Military Academy that year, but also had trouble "adhering" to team rules. Still, he managed to lead the GMA squad in tackles in 2002 (88) and also recorded five sacks, eight stops behind the line of scrimmage, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery while playing for coach Bert Williams. He was also named Golden Isle Bowl MVP. Richt allowed Thurman to rejoin the team in January 2003. He earned All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors, as he led the team with 121 tackles (72 solos), including 6.5 sacks, 18.5 stops for losses, eight quarterback pressures and two interceptions for 125 yards in returns and a touchdown to pick up 2003 UGA Newcomer of the Year honors. In another unrelated incident prior to the 2004 season opener, Richt met with Odell and told him he would be suspended for the first three games of the 2004 season. When he returned, he played with a vengeance, recording 65 tackles (48 solos) with three sacks, eleven stops for losses, 16 pressures, four pass deflections, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble in nine contests. For that performance, he was a semi-finalist for the Butkus Award (nation's top linebacker) honors and earned All-Southeastern Conference first-team accolades from the league's coaches. Despite playing in only 23 games for the Bulldogs, Thurman started 22 times, and recordeding 186 tackles (120 solos) with 9.5 sacks for minus -minus-70 yards, 29.5 stops for losses of 109 yards and 24 quarterback pressures. He also caused two fumbles, recovered three others, intercepted two passes and had six pass deflections.
Analysis: PositivesThurman is a very productive tackler who has a smaller than ideal frame, but has room for additional growth. He shows above average range and decent speed to reach the outside, but because of his size, appears to be better on the outside as a space player. He has adequate strength at the point of attack, but can be redirected and washed out when trying to penetrate the line working inside. He is active with his hands and arms, but needs to generate more strength with them to prevent blockers from locking on and controlling. He can fill and stuff the runner in the hole, but struggles with trap and combo blocks. Thurman flashes good quickness to locate the ball on the move and appears to react quickly to passing plays in front of him. Odell does show some wasted motion, as he gathers before accelerating when asked to cover in the zone. When in pass coverage, he just seems to lack the feel and anticipation to get a good jump on the ball. Odell does play with a good motor and will slip some blocks to make plays in the backfield when he takes proper angles. Thurman is more effective as a chase-&--and-pursue type and a blitz player off the edge, as he is too light to prevent from being bounced around inside. He is also not one that you would consider an effective stack up or pushback type of linebacker. In the short area passing game, Thurman does a good job of mirroring the tight end, as he can drop to the short point and read from there. His adequate hands has are only adequate, leadingseen him to miss several opportunities to make the interception (results in pass deflections, as he tends to let the ball into his body, rather than extend for it). As a tackler, he is very effective. B, but because of his size, he will need space to operate in. He is more of a drag-down tackler than a smash-up, physical one when working near the line. Odell is much better when he comes off the angle, from behind and as a negative yardage tackler, where he can run and hit rather than stack and control. I do like his tempo and production, but feel he lacks the sand in his truck to be a middle or 3-4 linebacker. I also feel that he would have benefited greatly with another year of college ball. ButHowever, with all of his past off-field troubles and father's death, those issues weighed heavily in his decision to apply for the 2005 NFL Draft. His character will see him drafted lower than his production indicates and, but this is a player with a "buyer beware" tag on him, especially if his off-field patterns continue.
Agility tests: 4.73 in the 40-yard dash...350-pound bench press...500-pound squat...332-pound power clean...33-inch vertical jump...10'6" broad jump...32 5/8-inch arm length...9 7/8-inch hands.
High school: Attended Monticello (Ga.) High School, playing football for coach Steve Patterson...The Macon Telegraph first-team All-Purpose All-State and Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class AA honorable mention All-State...Played both linebacker and fullback...As a senior, he recorded 153 total tackles and also compiled 1,187 yards rushing...Invited to play in the 2001 Georgia-Florida all-star game.
Personal: Sociology major...Born Odell Lamar Thurman on 7/09/83...Resides in Monticello, Georgia.
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