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2017 NFL Draft Profile: Ben Boulware

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson Tigers linebacker Ben Boulware has some interesting draft prospects. He has well defined limitations in the college game, but his passion and effort both on and off the field will likely see some team take a chance on him in one of the later rounds

Ben Boulware College Stats

Season Games Tackles Tackles for Loss Passes Broken Up QB Hurries Sacks Interceptions Fumbles Forced
Season Games Tackles Tackles for Loss Passes Broken Up QB Hurries Sacks Interceptions Fumbles Forced
2016 14 116 11.5 2 0 4 1 3
2015 15 82 8 7 10 3.5 2 3
2014 13 40 5 1 0 1 1 0
2013 10 21 1.5 0 0 0 1 0

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 238 lbs.

40 yard Dash: 4.79

Boulware is considered a fringe NFL prospect. Most NFL Draft sites have him as either a 7th round pick or an undrafted free agent. As we saw at Clemson, his side to side movement and his ability to cover receivers or players out of the backfield will likely prevent him from becoming a starter in the NFL. Even after beginning his draft workouts, Boulware still has stiff hips and would be a liability on passing downs in today’s NFL.

But Boulware will get high marks for leadership, effort, and energy. Teams will like his passion for the game and may be willing to overlook his physical limitations to bring him on board. He will also likely do well on special teams where his physical limitations can be mitigated.

Boulware also does well recognizing the play and what he needs to do, the problem is just executing. Even in the run game he can take an extra moment to react to what he sees in the college game and that could get worse with the faster speed of the NFL.

A few draft reports think that his best fit will be as an inside linebacker in a cover 2 system. But in order for him to succeed he’s going to need to go to a team that can give him time to develop. 7th round picks don’t usually get that luxury so Boulware is going to need to be a standout on special teams so that coaches will want to keep him on the 53 man roster. If that happens then Boulware should be able to carve out a nice little career in the NFL for at least a few seasons.