22 Sep 2020

Home of the NFL Offseason

Summer Scouting Notes: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Penn State's Micah Parsons (11) and Yetur Gross-Matos (99) during first quarter action of the game with Minnesota. The No.4 Nittany Lions fell to the No.17 Golden Gophers, 31-26 at TCF Bank Stadium on Nov. 9, 2019. Photo by Mark Selders

Junior | 6’3” 245 lbs | May 26, 1999 | Harrisburg, PA

A rare physical specimen who simultaneously blends the traits of a throwback inside linebacker and modern coverage linebacker

Micah Parsons was one of the top high school prospects in the 2018 class, and was considered to be the No. 1 defensive end prospect by multiple recruiting services. He quickly moved to inside linebacker and led the Nittany Lions in tackles as a true freshman despite starting just one game. Parsons grew into a consensus All-American by the end of his sophomore season and enters his junior year as one of the top prospects in the country.

Strengths:

  • Elite pursuit speed both downhill and sideline-to-sideline
  • Freaky coverage range for a player his size
  • Instincts are above average the position
  • Seamless ability to change direction
  • Chases slot receivers to the curl/flat zone with ease
  • Stays hip-to-hip in man coverage against tight ends
  • Times stunts well, finding himself as a free rusher often
  • Menacing blitzer who can’t be handled by running backs
  • Versatility to play at Mike, in the slot, or with his hand in the dirt off the edge
  • Consistently makes tackles with the near shoulder and wraps up ball carriers well

Areas to improve:

  • High pad level (hurts his block destruction and tackling)
  • Gives up cutback lanes by constantly dipping underneath blockers
  • “Wait and see” tackler downfield. Needs to be more aggressive in those situations
  • Keeping his motor hot

Injury concerns: N/A

Way too early projection:

You’ll find Parsons in the top 10 of nearly every 2021 mock draft out there. He can play any linebacker position in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme and will be a wrecking ball when rushing the passer. Parsons should immediately step into a starting role as a rookie and has the potential to be an All-Pro early in his career.

What to watch in 2020:

Can Parsons improve stacking blockers at the point of attack? He has the strength to do so, but isn’t always willing to stick his nose in the fan and shows poor leverage. He can climb over the top of blocks, but he chooses to cut underneath them far too often, which takes him out of position to make plays. Most importantly, will he become the unequivocal leader of the Penn State locker room as he becomes an upperclassman?

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