Arizona State linebacker Brandon Magee’s NFL dream is only a week away from coming true, as the 2013 NFL Draft begins next Thursday, April 25th in New York City.
Magee led the Sun Devils with 113 tackles and averaged 9.42 per game, which was good for second in the conference. He started 44 games over a five year stretch.
Next weekend, there is a high probability that Magee will have been drafted by professional teams from two different sports. He has been drafted three separate times in the MLB draft (Magee was a two-sport athlete during his ASU career), but didn’t sign with a team until he signed with the Boston Red Sox after his collegiate football career ended.
Magee is projected by the draft pundits to be a late-round draft pick, which means he will probably have to wait until Saturday to hear his name called.
Magee’s weaknesses include his height, past injury issues, and his tottering focus on football.
He bounced back strong from his torn achilles tendon he suffered in 2011 to start 12 of 13 games last season. He also has permission from the Red Sox to pursue his NFL dream, so he has the option to fully commit to the NFL.
Magee does have many traits that will give him a chance to be successful in the NFL with the right team. He is a very strong tackler with a good amount of quickness and can get from sideline to sideline. He has above average coverage skills that would allow teams to use him as a nickel linebacker. He would fit best inside a 3-4 scheme or a weakside linebacker in a 4-3.
The best team for him to get drafted and get immediate playing time with would be the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens lost three starting linebackers from their Super Bowl-winning team and will be looking to add some bodies at the linebacker position during the draft. They also play in the 3-4 defensive scheme that would best suit Magee’s skills.
Magee is smaller than most teams prefer, but whichever team decides to take a risk on him may find themselves reaping a big reward.