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Drue Tranquill Is A Dynamic & Athletic Linebacker Is He A Good Fit For The Redskins?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Drue Tranquill, LB
School: Notre Dame | Conference: Independents
College Experience: RS Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 228 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Fred Warner

College Statistics

Player Overview

Drue Tranquill was a 4-star recruit who initially committed to Purdue back in 2014. He was a sought after recruit because of his physicality, athleticism, and toughness. The Irish lured Tranquill, a Fort Wayne, Indiana native from West Lafayette to South Bend after an official visit to the campus. He started his career for Notre Dame playing safety but made also made an immediate impact on special teams. He got some playing time his first year and was slated for an increased role in 2015 before a freak injury (he tore his ACL celebrating on the sideline) ended his season. Tranquill came back strong after the injury and played well as a box safety in 2016. Things started getting really interesting once Notre Dame got a new defensive coordinator the next season. He was moved to the ‘rover’ position which usually replaces the 3rd corner in a nickel or 4-2-5 alignment which Notre Dame’s defense converted to. He was really good in this role but coach Brian Kelly decided to move him to linebacker full time going into this past season. I think its safe to say that if he can avoid injury Tranquill has a future in the NFL in these nickel defenses and sub packages. His athleticism is clear and he brings a noticeable level of passion and physicality to the field. He’s always produced at a high level and he could be a great value on day 3 of the draft.

Strengths

  • Great athleticism, speed, and physicality for the position.
  • Tranquill stands out in coverage from his time as a safety. He has the fluidity and flexibility to move well in space and was frequently asked to cover tight ends, slot receivers, and running backs and did well.
  • Converts speed to power really well and was used as an attacking rover or linebacker in a lot of situations. If he has a few steps to get going he can put linemen on their heals which was pleasantly surprising to watch.
  • Generally showed fine instincts and decent angles in pursuit. This can be made more efficient. He has the speed to close to make up for some false steps.
  • Reliable and physical tackler, also praised for his leadership quality, voted team captain.

Weaknesses

  • A tweener player who will need a specific role carved out for him in the NFL. Has played as small as 210 can probably play as heavy as 235. What will teams want? More safety or more linebacker?
  • Needs more sand in his pants and functional strength when he doesn’t get a running start. Also could use come counters and better hand placement when taking on blockers. Linemen can move him completely from his spot and he can get washed out on running plays.
  • Tore left ACL in college playoff in 2014, tore right ACL in 2015 celebrating. Health will be looked at closely.
  • Would think he would have decent hands with his background at safety, nope, bricks.

Let’s see his work:

More Drue Tranquill videos

His freak injury:

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

Tranquill’s value to the Redskins depends heavily on if they incorporate more sub packages with this moneybacker/rover type player and how his medicals look. The Redskins have used this role sparingly since Su’a Cravens left the team and seem to prefer using 3 corners in most of their sub package alignments. Things may change with a new defensive backs and new linebackers coach but given the results in the secondary last year and Tranquill’s history as a safety it could be an interesting fit if the Redskins were to incorporate some new concepts. His physicality and coverage skills are something the team could use especially when they are defending certain personnel on the field. The team can always use some new leadership from guys as well. Some may think Josh Harvey-Clemons is this type of player (he is though I think Tranquill is a better player), other teams, namely the Chargers showed us how you can incorporate several of these types of players into the defense to help protect against the run and mobile QBs. I think Tranquill’s value is increased in these types of packages/schemes. The Redskins probably aren’t going to be the team that maximizes his talents as we currently know them but he’ll be an interesting player to watch once he gets his opportunity.