As part of our coverage leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of 200 prospects, including what the scouts around the league are saying and video interviews with each player.
Jake Ryan (OLB), Michigan
6’2” | 240 lbs.
112 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles
What scouts are saying:
"A two-year captain and the 2014 Michigan team MVP, Ryan is a self-made prospect who eats, drinks and breathes football, and while he has some athletic limitations, he is the type of player who will make his coach smile and cry when describing how important he is to the team. After a standout sophomore season, Ryan battled through an injury-plagued junior year and looked lost at times when he moved inside as a senior. He has a great feel for the game with natural instincts to close on the action, but the farther from the ball, the less comfortable he feels. Ryan competes with an overachieving attitude and is the type of player who will outplay his draft slot — projects best on the outside where he can blitz, leverage the field and use his strengths." — CBSSports.com
"Good-sized frame for the position with adequate length. Terrific play speed with a motor that is always revving — high-effort player. Finds the quickest route from A-to-B with excellent pursuit skills, seeing plays develop before it happens with read/react awareness. Anticipates well as a run defender to blow up run lanes and blocks, sacrificing himself for the greater good. Sets the edge and understands field leverage with NFL take-on strength to give blockers a handful at the point of attack. Processes information quickly with decisive movements to cover a large area. High football intelligence and an assignment-sound player. Good timing as a blitzer, doing a nice job playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Top-shelf competitor and often has the dirtiest jersey on the field." — Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com
"He's got the size, physicality and commitment to film work to play inside, but his instincts still need work. Ryan is a little stiff and stays blocked for too long, but his disengagement from blocks will improve with more reps inside. Faster than quick, he is scheme versatile and can fit inside or at the SAM linebacker spot in a 4-3. Ryan's productivity comes from toughness, play demeanor and physical tools. Teams could pigeonhole him as a 'try-hard' linebacker, but they shouldn't." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Fit for the Bears:
There's no doubt that the Bears need to improve at the linebacker position after the past two seasons, and that's what new general manager Ryan Pace has already tried to do this offseason with the free-agent additions of Mason Foster and Pernell McPhee. Given his later-round projection, Ryan could be a depth selection for the Bears, but surely he'd need to convince them he could play in the new 3-4 defense being installed by new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Ryan certainly impressed at Michigan last season, accounting for more tackles per game than all but one player in the Big Ten. And he landed himself among the top linebackers in the country in the postseason awards discussion. But the Bears already have a lot of linebacking depth on the roster, and the Bears would have to see something in Ryan to select him in a draft where they have a lot of needs to address.