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Per ES member request: AJ Nicholson


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http://insider.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft/tracker/player?id=9210

AJ Nicholson

OLB | (6'0", 252, 4.91) | FLORIDA STATE

Scouts Grade: 67

Flags: (D: DURABILITY) Player that can't stay healthy

Strengths: Is a natural ball-hawk and playmaker at the WLB position. What he lacks in top-end speed he has been able to make up for with instincts, fluidity and quickness. He is quicker than fast. Shows smooth hips and is an impressive athlete for his size. He has good bulk and is well-built for a shorter OLB prospect. Is an instinctive player with a nose for the ball. Is aggressive and plays with an outstanding motor. Does a good job of using his hands to get through traffic and he takes very good angles in pursuit. Shows closing burst both as a run chaser and pass rusher. He is a fine open field tackler. Breaks down in space and wraps up. Shows good initial pop and power at the POA. Will force fumbles and will come up with more than his share of fumble recoveries. He has great ball skills and anticipation skills in coverage. Lacks ideal speed but is fluid and instinctive in coverage. Shows good burst and timing as a blitzer. Has been very productive when turned loose as an edge rusher.

Weaknesses: Character is a massive concern. He was charged with two separate alcohol-related offenses within a one-year span leading up to his senior season in 2005, including for resisting arrest after police tried to kick him out of a Tallahassee night club for "disorderly conduct and drinking violations." Also was suspended by the team for the 2005-'06 Orange Bowl and questioned by police after a 19-year-old woman accused him of sexually assaulting her. Durability is an issue after a torn right MCL in May of 2003 required surgery. As a player, he is on the shorter side and will get engulfed at the POA by bigger blockers. Also lacks ideal top-end speed for the WLB position. Gets away with it at the collegiate level but won't be as effective pursuing the run and will have more matchup limitations in both man and zone coverage.

Overall: Nicholson played sparingly in all 13 games as a true freshman in 2002. He started three games as a sophomore in 2003 before taking over as the fulltime starting WLB as a junior in 2004, when he led the team with 88 total tackles and also finished with 11.5 tackles for loss, four sacks and one interception. Nicholson started all 12 regular season games as a senior in 2005, when he led FSU with 100 tackles and also finished with 10 TFL, two interceptions and one sack. Nicholson did not play in the 2005-'06 Orange Bowl vs. Penn State because of the aforementioned suspension. Prior to his suspension, Nicholson was having his best season as a senior in 2005 and had improved his draft stock tremendously. He is a versatile playmaker with outstanding quickness, aggressiveness and tackling skills in run support, as well as instincts, fluidity and ball skills in coverage. However, Nicholson has major character issues that will undoubtedly cause him to slip on draft day. It also won't help Nicholson's cause that he lacks ideal height and top-end speed as a projected WLB in the NFL. In short, Nicholson had emerged as a possible second round pick midway through the 2005 season but his off-the-field baggage and poor test results from the combine could land him on Day 2.

* Player biographies are provided by Scouts Inc.

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Thanks

-I really like this guy and think he would be a great pickup.

-He always seems to be in the right place at the right time and was the most consistent Lb for Fsu during his career.

-Ernie Simms made big hits and highlights, but Nicholson was the leading tackler his last two years.

Alot of the character issues are blown out of proportion, he was accused of sexual assault right before the Orange Bowl and was sent home bc of it, but since then nothing has come of the accusation...

-INJURY PRONE??? he was injured for ONE year, his sophmore year. Played in all 13 games as a freshman and wasn't injured his Junior or Senior year.

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I worry about his character. While it may be overblown...look at teh agony Talor is putting us through. It cant be good for the team...and one troubled player per team is enough i think. His skills sound good though, so i am at a loss as to what i think...

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i go to fsu and AJ nicholson is not a trouble maker at all, he went his whole college career without any problems then suddenly b4 he goes pro a girl comes out and says he raped her....even Joe Paterno, FSU's opponent in the orangle bowl said it was unfortunate and that it would be hard for any man to pass up a girl and who knows what they will do to u...like say rape. He also got a dui, but hey this is FSU...he would be a great addition id love it if he fell to us but i doubt it...but as far as a problem in the locker room, he is not, neither is ST

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He sounds good. Character might be a problem, but Gibbs took a chance on Sean Taylor and it worked out (at least until the end of his trial). If he's injury-prone, that should be looked at with great consideration by the Skins.

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i go to fsu and AJ nicholson is not a trouble maker at all, he went his whole college career without any problems then suddenly b4 he goes pro a girl comes out and says he raped her....even Joe Paterno, FSU's opponent in the orangle bowl said it was unfortunate and that it would be hard for any man to pass up a girl and who knows what they will do to u...like say rape. He also got a dui, but hey this is FSU...he would be a great addition id love it if he fell to us but i doubt it...but as far as a problem in the locker room, he is not, neither is ST

1st hand source!

I hope we take a strong look at him too, he would fit great in our defense.

Ps: that 40 time is bogus, he ran a 4.7 at the Fsu pro day.

:logo:

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As a player, he is on the shorter side and will get engulfed at the POA by bigger blockers. Also lacks ideal top-end speed for the WLB position. Gets away with it at the collegiate level but won't be as effective pursuing the run and will have more matchup limitations in both man and zone coverage.

In short, Nicholson had emerged as a possible second round pick midway through the 2005 season but his off-the-field baggage and poor test results from the combine could land him on Day 2.

Might be worth a late look but slow and unable to break away from lineman seems like he is going to have problems at the Pro level. Add that to his character issues and I hope we aren't thinking about using our 2nd rounder on him.

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