Nov 30, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils linebacker Carl Bradford celebrates a first quarter sack against the Arizona Wildcats in the 87th annual Territorial Cup at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Profile: Carl Bradford, OLB Arizona State

Statistically, players don’t get much better than Arizona State outside linebacker Carl Bradford.  His ability to pressure the quarterback will have his name called on day two of the draft, but his run support and coverage ability make him a player that could be a steal at that point of the draft.

Sadly, some teams may see some physical limitations when it comes to Bradford.  He is 6’1″ tall and weighs in at 250 pounds.  He is knocked down by some draft analysts because of his shorter arm length, but that isn’t a major concern for a team playing a 3-4 defense and moving him to the inside.

Fire and emotion is something that Carl Bradford has in spades.  You see him giving an excellent effort every time he’s on the football field and sometimes finds himself playing a bit too aggressively.  The NFL team that picks Bradford will have to work with him to control his temperament on the field.

Here are his statistics over 3 years at Arizona State:

  • Feb 22, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Arizona Sate linebacker Carl Bradford speaks at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

    110 solo tackles

  • 154 total tackles
  • 43 tackles for a loss
  • 21.5 sacks
  • 2 interceptions
  • 1 defensive touchdown
  • 9 passes defended
  • 6 forced fumbles
  • 1 fumble recovery

Strengths

  •  Excellent pass rusher
  • Strong, sturdy frame
  • Quick off the snap
  • Fast acceleration

Weaknesses

  • Could be scheme dependent
  • Short arms
  • Loses his cool on the field sometimes

Fit For The Vikings

Minnesota should be looking desperately for upgrades at linebacker in this year’s draft, but scheme fit could be an issue.

My Take

Carl Bradford is a great talent, but unless Minnesota plans to use a lot of 3-4 looks, he may not be the best player for their scheme.  However, if the Vikings can get his emotions in check, they may be able to use him as an outside linebacker in their 4-3 system.

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