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Washington Redskins 2013 NFL Draft Profile: Keith Pough, LB, Howard

A draft profile for a versatile, diamond-in-the-rough linebacker from Howard University.


Measurements: Height- 6'2", Weight- 239 lbs.

Projected Round: 5

Why he would be a good Redskin:

He's got all the tools. I realize there is usually sound reason for experts to project a player to a certain round, but Pough in the 5th would be an absolute steal. Although he may be listed as an OLB, his game-tape proves that he can play all over the 2nd level. He will find his home at ILB in the NFL, and specifically with the Redskins. His strength is in his ability to 'read-react-pursue.' He finished his career with 71 tackles for loss! That was good for an FCS career record. He has a non-stop motor and never gets caught standing and starring on a play, rather opting to put an extra body on a pile. In terms of pass coverage, he excels at redirecting tight ends off the line (often redirecting them to the dirt). A four-time team captain, Pough is leadership personified. He'll bring heart on the field and a presence to the locker-room. As a fan you just absolutely love to hear quotes like this:

I don't care where I go. I don't care if I get drafted or in free agency, I don't care what team I play for --- I'll go play butt naked in Green Bay in February, you know, just for an opportunity. And that's really what it comes down to. I'm so passionate about the game, it doesn't matter who I play for. I'm just going to be the best linebacker, teammate, special teamer on that team.

Why he won't be drafted by the Redskins:

Some team is going to fall in love with him (Baltimore is on the lookout for an ILB). It would not surprise me if Pough is the 7th or 8th ILB taken in the draft in the middle of the 4th round. Even with the loss of Lorenzo Alexander, the linebacking corps may be the roster's strongest and deepest group. With the additions of a solid Bryan Kehl and a situational pass rusher in Darryl Tapp along with getting Orakpo and Keenan Robinson back healthy, the 2013 linebackers look set. In terms of weaknesses, Pough tends to drop his head when attempting to secure tackles. He also tested poorly at the combine, running a 4.90s 40-yard dash. However, his biggest knock is the fact that he is a "Small-school" product. There is no doubt that the tackles come at a steeper price in the NFL. Running backs will be both harder to chase down and tougher to bring down.

Bottom Line:

Remember when H.B. Blades was supposed to fill London Fletcher's shoes? The 2013 Draft will now be the 7th Draft since then! Not only did London lead the Redskins in interceptions in 2012 with 5 but he lead all LB's in the entire league. However, it would be wishful thinking to believe he can keep up this production for another 3 years. When he finally hangs it up, the biggest void the Redskins will have is that of leadership. I think Pough could start at ILB for a few teams right now but if you let him learn from London and play his role on special teams for a time, before you know it you've got a rock at ILB for years to come.

Whether he falls to the Redskins or not, this will be the fall he'll never live down.