Nigel Bradham Scouting Report

Dec 29, 2011; Orlando, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles linebacker Nigel Bradham (13) against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second quarter of the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl at the Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

Overview: Buffalo made this hard-hitting linebacker a fourth-round pick. Could he be a mid-round steal?

Strengths: Prototypical size at 6’2, 241. Extremely athletic and fast. Always seems to be around the ball. Big-time hitter with a fearless approach to the game. Really productive at Florida State, leading team in tackles last three seasons. Will fight through blocks to make plays in the run game. Pretty good in coverage – might be overmatched by the very best NFL tight ends but should do well with most other TEs and RBs he has to cover. Can play on the strong or weakside in the 4-3. A really good fit for Dave Wannstedt’s system. Very hard worker. No injury issues. Should at the very least contribute on special teams right away. A lot of upside.

Weaknesses: Somewhat unusual build – really high hips and a narrow waist. Struggles a bit to change direction. Isn’t going to provide much in the way of a pass rush. Looks a little lost at times, with no idea where to go. He’s pretty raw in the mental aspects of the game right now – will need to be coached up some. Could be a year or two before he’s really ready to contribute on a regular basis.

How He Will Fit in Buffalo: Bradham should be thanking his lucky stars, because Buffalo was just about the ideal landing spot for him. He’s a nice fit for the system. He’s got a pair of veteran outside linebackers to lean on for support with Kirk Morrison and Nick Barnett on the team. The Bills are desperate for a linebacker who can cover anyone in the passing game, so he’ll at least get a look in some sub-packages right away. You’ll see Bradham on the field in 2012, with an eye on him taking on a much larger role in the years to come.

The Bottom Line: I’m a big fan of this pick. Bradham has a lot of potential for a fourth-rounder. I don’t think he’ll be ready in 2012, but by next season he could easily be Buffalo’s starting strongside linebacker.

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