Genard Avery, LB
School: Memphis | Conference: AAC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 248 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th Round
NFL Comparison: Jon Bostic
Genard Avery was a 2-star prospect from Grenada, Mississippi. Aside from getting an offer to play football for Memphis he also got offers from Lousiana State and Southern Miss. Now Avery is rising up draft boards and could be selected later this month as early as day 2. The senior linebacker has a knack for making plays in the box and behind the line of scrimmage and can play outside and inside as a linebacker. He put up one of the more impressive statistical combinations of TFLs and sacks you’ll see in this class. He also blew away all doubts about his athleticism at the combine. Despite his athleticism, Avery is a much better run defender and pass rusher right now than he is in coverage. He needs to improve his hands at the point of attack for his pass rush skills to translate to the NFL and he needs to learn how to disengage from blockers to remain effective as a run blocker at the next level. Still, he offers an intriguing blend of physical skills and ought to make his mark immediately as a special teams player who may end up as a starter a few years down the road.
- Built like a tank with surprising levels of athleticism and range. Physically strong player and has good finishing speed.
- Scheme versatile player and position versatile and should be able to play outside or inside in any base scheme.
- Generally takes good pursuit angles and the level of effort is there for him to make plays on the grind. Right now he is much better with his read and react vs the run than he is in coverage.
- Offers some pass rush ability off the edge and he is a solid tackler.
- Must get better at disengaging from blocks and developing his pass rush moves.
- Instincts are just ok and read and react ability is somewhat labored.
- Has the athleticism to play in space but doesn't quite grasp things yet. His awareness needs to improve as well as his overall technique in coverage.
- His target area is surprisingly high for a guy his size. If he targets the shoulder area he can lose the leverage battle and the opponent can get more yards than they should as they maintain their balance and momentum more than he does.
Let’s see his work:
Memphis LB Genard Avery (#6) with the free run off the edge for the sack here against Iowa State. Undersized, but great range and explosiveness. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/wUD6djZIbI— Kevin Brown (@nfldraftnik) March 10, 2018
Player who should go higher than most think: Memphis linebacker Genard Avery. He is powerful, plays faster than his 40 time and he can rush off the edge if needed.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) March 22, 2018
the 240+ LBs who have an explosion score of 69 or higher are:— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) April 3, 2018
Leighton Vander Esch
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
I get the excitement around Avery. It's not every day you see a guy built like him that can move like him and play just about in any scheme and at any LB position. I still think he is a raw player who will need a lot of technique work to become a more well-rounded linebacker much less a potential starter as some think he could be. Avery will have to refine his game significantly to remain half as effective as he was in college. It’s a tall order but not impossible. If it weren't for his athleticism he would be going at the end of day 3 for sure but since he has speed and quickness he can get to work immediately and become a key special teams player and a respectable backup while he improves his skills. The most important thing for Avery to focus on is his hand placement and technique. He needs to develop some pass rush moves if he’s going to play outside. If he’s going to play inside its the same except with an emphasis on getting off blocks. I'm not sure how much his awareness and instincts can improve but if he can better understand space and work with his coaches for improving his coverage technique he should present a pretty good value for the team that drafts him. I think there are other prospects that fit the Redskins scheme better if we are talking about mid-round ILBs. If the Redskins pass up on an inside linebacker in the first few rounds maybe Avery is worth taking a look at to develop. He could add some serious competition to the ILB group as well as help bolster special teams.