Birthday: March 12, 1980
Strengths: Ole Miss linebacker Eddie Strong has earned a reputation around the SEC as a big hitter who makes things happen around the line of scrimmage. As his name suggests, he is a very physical linebacker who takes on and defeats blockers and can deliver a crushing blow once he gets to the ballcarrier. Strong posted double-digit tackles in six games as a junior, including 18 against archrival Mississippi State. He also registered six tackles for loss, two sacks, four quarterback hurries, and broke up four passes.
A starter since midway through his true freshman year, Strong has manned three different linebacker spots for the Rebels. The former bluechip recruit began his college career on the weakside in a 4-3, and as a sophomore played all three positions at different points in the season. Strong redshirted in 2000 after breaking his foot in the preseason, and then settled in on the strongside upon his return last season. He will play the Mike position as a senior in Ole Miss’ new 4-2-5 base defense.
Areas for Concern: Strong is not as effective away from the line of scrimmage as he is in the middle of the action. He is not very fluid in space or as a pass defender. Opponents have neutralized him in the past by matching up a receiver on him and forcing Strong to drop into coverage. He also tends to rely on his athletic ability rather than solid fundamentals, and may have to adjust against the step up in competition in the NFL when he doesn’t have the athletic edge that he does in college.
How Would He Look in Steel Blue? Strong’s ability to fight through traffic would be an asset as an inside linebacker for the Texans. Inside linebackers in a 3-4 don’t always have the luxury of running free to the football, but that wouldn’t be a big issue for a player like Strong who is adept at getting unblocked. If he were to end up a Texan, Strong would finally get to play for linebackers coach Reggie Herring, who served as Ole Miss’ defensive coordinator for two weeks earlier this offseason before accepting his current job in Houston.
(profile written by Warren DeLuca
Eddie Strong’s 2001 Stats G TCK TFL SKS FF FR INT 11 105 6 2 1 1 0
Eddie Strong Return to The War Room
Click on a player’s name to preview other top LB prospects:
>> Mario Haggan
>> E.J. Henderson
>> Bradie James
>> Clifton Smith
>> Eddie Strong