Tegray Scales 2018 NFL Draft Profile

Tegray Scales
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Overview
Position: Inside linebacker
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 230 pounds
School: Indiana Hoosiers

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.78 seconds
Bench press: 27 reps (tied for second among linebackers)

Tegray Scales 2018 NFL Draft Profile

2018 figures to be a banner year for former Indiana Hoosiers getting selected by NFL teams in the draft. Five appear highly regarded enough to come off the board at some point during the event. If that happens, it would mark the first time in 42 years that more than four Indiana players were picked in a single draft. Since the league shortened the draft to seven rounds, the most the school’s been able to manage in any one draft is three which they did twice in 2010 and 2016.

Tegray Scales is most definitely in the conversation. The native of Cincinnati excelled at Colerain High School, winning the 2013 Associated Press Division 1 co-defensive player of the year. But big-time programs shied away due to misgivings about his size at 206 pounds heading into college. Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin were the only Big Ten schools to offer him a scholarship. He gave his pledge to the Hoosiers just a few weeks before signing day in 2014.

As a true freshman, Scales showcased his ability as a coverage linebacker with three interceptions which was tied for the lead both on the team and among Big Ten freshmen at the position. For his efforts, he won the team’s defensive newcomer of the year award. It wouldn’t be the first honor he received during his time in Bloomington. In 2016, he became the first Hoosier linebacker to make an All-America team since 1987 after leading the nation with 23.5 tackles for loss. A year later, he made first-team All-Big Ten, the first time an Indiana linebacker achieved the feat in 29 years.

Scales’ other accolades include being named team MVP both as a junior and a senior. He also won the school’s male athlete of the year award in that former season. He finished his college career with eight interceptions, 17 sacks and 46 tackles for loss. That TFL total is the third highest career mark in Indiana history.

Strengths

  • exceptional read and react instincts;
  • takes optimum angles and adjusts on the move well when rushing the passer;
  • slithers through gaps with solid burst off the ball;
  • can shed bigger blockers with a good combination of knee bend, pad level, and lateral movement;
  • pursues from sideline to sideline and should keep dual-threat signal callers in check;
  • above average coverage skills as evidenced by his eight career picks in college;
  • should be able to augment a team’s chemistry in the locker room.

Weaknesses

  • doesn’t have the prototypical size of an NFL level MIKE;
  • has a tendency to miss tackles due to over-pursuit in space;
  • more of a grab and drag down player than a physical thumper;
  • down blocking linemen/tight ends/fullbacks can take him out of run plays too easily;
  • will dive at tackling target too often when he can easily wrap up and contain on feet;
  • anticipates too much to the sideline on outside runs, leading to cutback opportunities.

NFL Comparison: NaVorro Bowman

Teams With Need at Position: Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins

Projection: Third round

Bottom Line

Scales possesses a unique combination of high-level instincts, sideline to sideline tracking ability and ball skills in coverage. Though he’s a bit undersized and might be maxed out in terms of overall bulk, he proved in college that he has a knack for getting to the ball. It remains uncertain as to how teams will utilize him at the next level. His value as a bona fide MIKE linebacker might not be as high due to his size. That could see him getting moved outside as a strong-side backer in a 4-3. But one thing’s for certain. Scales has many of the tools necessary to excel at the next level as a defensive playmaker. And he’s part of a growing contingent of former Hoosiers making an impact in the NFL.

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