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2012 Local College Prospects: Defensive Line & Linebackers

Last week I did a short profile of UVA cornerback prospect Chase Minnifield, who is projected to be one of the first CBs to be taken in next year's draft. Today we'll take a glance at a few defensive line and linebacker prospects (kind of) who are seniors at their respective institutions, and some guys you may get to catch in person this upcoming year. The DMV area is a little thin in these areas this year but there are a couple of guys that could get drafted next April.

Kenny Tate, Maryland, LB/S: Tate is listed as officially listed as a linebacker but is very versatile and spend a lot of time at both safety positions and weakside OLB. He will most likely projected as a safety in the NFL. Most fans probably remember Tate for his goal line "stop" on Navy QB Ricky Dobbs last year (I beg to differ). Tate has great ball skills and is also a playmaker when it comes to special teams. He has the ability to start in the NFL because of his sure tackling and versatility. Right now he's a projected 4th rounder, but I think his stock could and will go even higher this year. I'm hoping he plays like Terry Tate if the Skins grab him.

Cam Johnson, Virginia, DE: Johnson is a DC native (Gonzaga HS) and a stud for the the Cavaliers. At 6'4, 265 he'll most likely project as a OLB in the 3-4 and in fact played OLB when UVA was in a 3-4 defense during the Al Groh era. He was 5th in the ACC in tackles and led UVA in sacks with 6.5. Phil Steele selected Johnson as a postseason ACC 3rd Teamer. He will certainly grow and improve with another season under his belt and at this point is projected as a 6th rounder.

Asa Chapman, Liberty, NT: Liberty is one of the few college teams (especially in FCS) that runs a 3-4 defense and at the anchor of that defense is 6'5, 380 lbs nose tackle Asa Chapman. Chapman is raw, but his 4 year experience and size at NT may get him a late round look by some 3-4 NFL teams as a project. He was an All-Big South 1st Teamer this past year and is very athletic for his size. The Flames begin their season facing off against NC State, so that should be a good opportunity for Chapman to get himself on tape for NFL scouts.