Lawrence Timmons-Florida St.-OLB
Ht: 6'1" Wt: 234
Broad jump: 10'3"
Timmons made the most of his only season as a starter, taking over strong side outside linebacker duties from departing All-American Ernie Holmes. Despite never starting a game on defense before his junior year, he was rated the 9th best OLB in college by ESPN before the 2006 season and named to Street and Smith's All-American preseason list.
In the 2005 season he was a terror on special teams. Registering 2 blocked kicks, 2 forced fumbles and recovering another. Playing behind Sims, he registered 35 tackles (17 solos) with 3 sacks and 3 QB pressures. Despite ranking tied for 14th in the nation and 2nd in the ACC with 18 stops behind the line of scrimmage, Timmons only received All Atlantic Coast Conference Honorable mention in 2006. He started every game at strong side linebacker, coming up with 79 tackles (42 solos), 5 sacks and 2 QB pressures. He also scored on an interception, fumble recovery and blocked punt return. Timmons also deflected 6 passes and blocked 2 kicks.
Against the inside run: From the strong side, controls cutbacks and comes down the line aggressively to make tackles in pursuit. Takes on lead blockers and offensive linemen, holds his ground and clogs the hole. Does not use hands well to shed blocks.
Against the outside run: Holds the corner, forcing plays inside. Sheds the block, and makes the tackle. Is strong enough to jolt blockers with a hand punch and make tackles in the backfield. With a clear path, can chase down running backs before they turn the corner.
Blitz/coverage: Lacks experience as a blitzer. In college, usually lined up as a defensive end in passing situations. Can run around offensive tackles or beat them with quick, strong hands. Hits quarterbacks violently. In coverage, is polished and instinctive. Drops quickly and smoothly into zone coverage. Reads quarterbacks well, and closes quickly on the ball. Covers tight ends well man-to-man downfield. Shows the awareness to pick up tight ends on delayed releases after play-action fakes.
Run/pass recognition: Is almost always the last member of the front seven moving after the snap, but consistently reads the play. Does not get fooled by play-action fakes or misdirection plays, and consistently sticks to his assignment.
Pursuit/tackling: Accelerates to full speed in a flash on runs away from him. Can chase down plays from behind. Does not move quickly through traffic. Consistently makes tackles, and can deliver violent hits. Does not always use good technique, missing some tackles.
Bottom line: Timmons, a junior, is the best strongside linebacker in the '07 class. Has good upper body strength and lower body muscle definition with adequate size and a frame that continues to mature. Possesses great athletic agility, loose hips and good suddenness closing on plays in front of him. Plays with quickness and balance to stay on his feet, showing good flexibility and range to make plays along the sidelines. Smooth open field runner who plays at a good pas level for leverage. Explosive hitter when he keeps his pads down and can work through trash. High energy type who can make plays all over the field based on his instincts. Still learning techniques and in play recognition but will not hesitate to step up and take on a lead blocker. Attacks the ball with a sudden burst but must learn to play with better control. Has the change of direction ability to turn and run after the ball with no wasted steps, showing balance and agility threading through traffic. Has the strength to reroute TE's and RB's on short area routes and when he keeps his hands in front of him he can control and get off blocks. More of a collision type tackler but takes good angles to close and uses his speed to finish a play. Quick coming off the edge with his hand on the ground and if given a small gap he has the suddenness to surprise and race past a slower offensive linemen. Shows the timing and quick feet to get a good jump on the blitz, comes off the edge with urgency and a second gear to close and push the pocket. Timmons can be effective in a 4-3 defense on the strong side or as a rush linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.