After five years in Tempe and three selections in the Major League Baseball draft, it's now time for Brandon Magee to hear his named called in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The explosive playmaking linebacker capped off his ASU career with a sensational senior year, and should find his way into the draft's third day.
Weight: 223 pounds
College Career: Began his career as a key reserve before earning a starting spot in 2010. Had 73 tackles (five for loss), two passes defended and 1.5 sacks as a junior. Tore his Achilles in fall camp in 2011 and redshirted. Returned in 2012 as a starter, and was terrific. Magee earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors with a team-high 113 tackles (12.5 for loss), while adding two interceptions and 6.5 sacks.
Strengths: Magee is one of the types whose production outweighs the sum of their parts. He is an intelligent player with a nose for the ball who more often than not finds a way to make the play. Magee has good speed and agility and flys to the ball, covering a lot of ground. At his Pro Day, he ran the 40 in the 4.5 range, improving upon a disappointing 4.74 at the Combine. He's a very solid tackler, and will make the stop in the open field. He's very good in pass coverage, but can also use that quickness to be an effective pass rusher. Magee's leadership ability is off the charts, and is an excellent locker room presence and figure in the community. NFL.com draft expert Greg Cosell labeled Magee's skillset "very impressive" on Yahoo!'s Shutdown Corner podcast.
Weaknesses: The most glaring drawback for Magee is his size, which puts him more in line with NFL safeties than linebackers. This likely makes him too small to be an "every down" player in a base defense, and despite his coverage skills, will leave him at a disadvantage against NFL tight ends and receivers. Sometimes was caught out of position due to overpursuit, leaving large lanes for runners. Teams may be a little worried about Magee's decision to sign a contract with the Boston Red Sox.
Outlook: Magee could be an excellent or even Pro Bowl-caliber special teams player, and be a situational linebacker on passing downs due to his coverage skills, range, and high football IQ.
Round Projection: 5th-7th
Bold Prediction: Atlanta Falcons, 5th round, 163rd overall