Measurements: 6’4, 245 lbs.
Projection: 7th Round-FA
The four year starter out of Washington State University Travis Long was named a team captain and defensive MVP for the Cougars, as a senior he amassed 13 tackles for a loss, 61 total tackles, 1 interception, 4 pass break-ups, 1 forced fumble, and 4 tackles while covering punts. He has a very high motor coupled with an intellectual and instinctual style of play. Travis has lined up as a defensive end, middle linebacker, special teams player, and outside linebacker. He has a great ability to read and react to sniff out screen plays and bootlegs. He is great at blitzing, especially off the edge, and is stellar at plugging up A and B gaps up the middle. Travis is also a relentless pursuer who will not stop until the play is blown dead. He also is a sure tackler that displays an ability to make tackles in the open field with good technique in wrapping up the ball carrier and bringing him down.
Why he won’t be drafted by the Redskins:
Travis is a lean linebacker who lacks the upper body strength to push through the line at the next level. Travis does not produce enough explosiveness to get off the ball with his hand planted in the ground when lined up as a defensive end. He also has trouble shedding blocks at times, because he does not have a counter move. With a 4.75 40 yard dash time he isn’t very fast and does not have the speed to cover tight ends in the NFL, in fact he really isn’t that great in coverage at all. He has good sideline to sideline speed, but he is quicker than he is fast. He does not have the speed to gain a step on the runner so that he does not give up the edge.
Travis Long is a small school player that will need the tutelage of NFL coaches and veteran players to develop the speed and strength needed to excel at the next level. He would best serve as a role player for the first few seasons; although he may be able to make an instant impact on special teams and goal line situations. His high motor, versatility, instinct, and intellect make him worth a late round pick. He is a player with a high upside who could eventually become the replacement for either Lorenzo Alexander or London Fletcher.