With only one year of experience as a full-time starter at Florida State, linebacker Lawrence Timmons does not have a wealth of playing time or game tape for NFL scouts to draw from. However, when watching Timmons on tape, one thing stands out immediately: his athleticism.
Timmons has always been a gifted athlete, and it has translated to success on the football field. Playing as a true freshman and with limited playing time, Timmons contributed in all 12 of the Seminoles' games. Racking up 11 unassisted tackles and 12 total, Timmons showed the coaching staff that there was plenty more to come in the following seasons.
During his sophomore campaign, Timmons spent most of the season backing up linebacker Ernie Sims, who would later become the No. 9 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. With Sims clearly holding the job as starter, Timmons found other areas to contribute for his Florida State team. Using his unique blend of size, speed and quickness, Timmons quickly became a feared pass rusher on third-down situations and finished the season with 35 tackles, three sacks and two blocked kicks.
As a junior, Timmons was finally given the green light to show his true potential. With Sims in the NFL, Timmons was the clear starter for the Seminoles, and he finished the season with 79 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and five sacks. Throughout the season, Timmons proved time and time again that he is an impact playmaker.
Timmons has shown throughout his career that he is an extremely athletic, playmaking linebacker. His injury-free history isn't going to hurt him either. Even though he is young and relatively inexperienced, Timmons has already shown the ability to be an impact player in many different phases of the game.
Timmons has good height, at 6-foot-3. He closes on the ball quickly and plays with a lot of energy.
Ultimately, Timmons' playmaking ability, versatility and sky-high potential are the things that scouts will be prodding over on draft day.
Timmons' youth and inexperience are exciting because we may have only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of his potential; however, there are also concerns. With only one full year as a starter under his belt, there's very little evidence to prove that Timmons can consistently play at a high level for an extended period of time.
At 232 pounds, Timmons could also stand to add more bulk. Scouts note that he his instincts sometimes betray him. He tends to bite on play-action passes and other plays that utilize deception.
Many scouts feel Timmons would have been better served returning for his senior season at Florida State. While that has yet to be seen, Timmons' eagerness to enter the NFL with such little experience definitely raises some eyebrows.
There is no doubt that Timmons will be a Day 1 selection come the 2007 NFL Draft. How high he will go largely depends on who is willing to take a shot on him. Due to his large potential, don't be surprised to see Timmons selected in the mid-to-late first round.
As of now, Timmons has had visits with the New York Giants and New England Patriots. In addition, several teams spoke with him at the NFL Scouting Combine, including the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. Other teams that may be in need of his services are the Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints or Denver Broncos.
About Scott Lau
Scott Lau has been a KFFL contributor since 2006.
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