6’1 3/4, 246 pounds | Outside linebacker | Texas
Coverage: Muckelroy is a rangy athlete who can change direction on a dime. He can handle covering tight ends fairly well. Where Muckelroy really looks good in pass defense is timing his breaks. he closes quickly and can make a play on the ball better than most linebackers.
Instincts: Displays good recognition skills. Rarely got beaten by misdirection plays. Closes quickly and without hesitation. Diagnoses play reads incredibly quickly, which helped him move from the outside to inside with ease.
Pass Rush: Used some on the middle rush in 2009, but not a lot. Had only five and a half sacks on his career. He’s more of a gap plugger on blitzes, which allows the outside rushers to gain penetration. His struggles to get off blocks hurts him in this area.
Quickness: Muckelroy has very good quickness, which he has to utilize since his speed is average to below-average. Uses his quicks to close in the short area. On screen passes, he does really well shortening the field with his quickness and forcing the ball carrier toward the sideline.
Run defense: Shows good lateral agility to move sideline-to-sideline. However, his lack of pursuit speed gets him in trouble. Fast running backs can fly right past him if he’s not in good position.
Size: Has solid size for a linebacker and bulked up for the combine. Average arm length and hand size. Could maybe be better conditioned and stronger.
Strength: For a linebacker, Muckelroy has average strength. Needs to add power to his entire frame. This will help him shed blocks and tackle better. He can get caught up in blocks and be completely taken out of a play.
Tackling: Is a sound form tackler who can sink his hips and singularly take on the ball carrier. Can strike fairly hard. If Muckelroy can add some strength, his tackling will become much better. Too often he’ll drag a player down, particularly tight ends in the open field.
Versatility: Played inside and outside at Texas but has the most value as a weak-side linebacker.
Final word: Muckelroy is arguably the most heady linebacker in this year’s class. He always gets himself in good position and rarely misses an assignment.
Although he’s not the fastest or most athletic linebacker, his football intelligence makes up for it. Some are knocking him for his average showings at the Senior Bowl and combine. But just watch a Texas game and you’ll be hard pressed to not see Muckelroy in on almost every play.
He topped 100 tackles in his final two seasons in Austin. A starter in 29 of 40 games played, Muckelroy was named the to Big 12 all-conference team twice. He’s good against the pass when he drops back and has a minimal injury history. Absolutely no character flaws to speak of.