ILB Bart Scott
New york Jets
Height: 6-11/2e Weight: 245e Speed: 4.8
Notes: Grew up in a gang-invested area of Detroit and did not have requisite SAT score to draw Division-I scholarship offers. Played safety and linebacker at Southern Illinois, where he totaled 352 career tackles, 29 for loss and 9 1/2 sacks with seven pass breakups, four interceptions and four forced fumbles. Was suspended the final six games of his junior season after an altercation with his defensive coordinator regarding Scott eating an apple during a half-time meeting. Was given new life as a senior under new head coach Jerry Kill, who spoke highly of Scott's NFL ability. Went undrafted in 2002 before signing with the Ravens (the only team to work him out prior to the draft). Made his mark on special teams, tallying 63 tackles over his first three seasons before stepping in for the injured Ray Lewis in '05, starting the final 10 games. Went on to start all 48 games alongside Lewis from 2006-08, amassing 278 tackles and 12 sacks with 19 passes defended, including two interceptions. An All-Pro in '06, Scott signed a six-year, $48 million contract in '09 to follow new head coach Rex Ryan to the Jets, Scott's defensive coordinator in Baltimore. Started all 16 games in '09, registering 92 tackles, a sack and a pass defended for the NFL's No. 1 defense. Notched 13 tackles, a pass breakup and forced fumble in two starts in '10.
Positives: Has a big, thick trunk, good lower-body strength and a very strong base. Is aggressive attacking the line of scrimmage and plays downhill with good pop and explosion. Heavy hitter — throws his body around with abandon and uncoils on contact. Very good take-on strength to stack and shed. Plays with discipline and gets good run fits. Secure open-field tackler — plays under control. Good hands strength and leverage to control tight ends and set a hard edge. Is alert in coverage — sees crossers passing through zones and switches off. Outstanding eyes and instincts. Good technician.
Negatives: Is a bit heavy-legged and shows limited range in pass coverage. Can be stressed in man coverage and leaves the field against three and four-receiver sets. Struggles to take an edge on the blitz and can be late timing it up. Can be overaggressive biting on play-action and get sucked into the line. Lacks great foot speed to reach the perimeter and can be outflanked by quicker backs — does not have great closing burst.
Summary: A self-made, physical, hard-hitting hammer with a fearless style of play, Scott is best suited for the weak-side in a "30" front where he could make plays from tackle to tackle. Has some limitations in coverage, but is functional enough to bracket tight ends and handle most backs and is not a liability in pass coverage. Brings a presence to the field and makes those around him better. A surly veteran still producing at a high level, Scott does not make many mental errors and has been a very durable, consistent, underrated performer best defending the inside run.