The throwback linebacker from Miami could help a team establish an identity on defense
Today we take a quick look at former Miami Hurricanes linebacker Shaquille Quarterman.
Quarterman has the look of the next in a long line of Hurricane linebackers who transition to the NFL with ease and excel once they get there. He is physical at the point of attack, closes quickly, and brings an infectious energy to his team.
He may be the best linebacker in this draft in terms of diagnosing and reacting to runs between the tackles. Few fill gaps and close running lanes as quickly as Quarterman does.
Quarterman was an absolute tackling machine during his four seasons in Miami. He logged a ridiculous 356 total stops during his collegiate career. He also displayed some skill in terms of being an effective pass rusher, evident in the six sacks he logged during the 2018 campaign.
At the Combine, Quarterman will need to perform well in agility drills, where his change-of-direction abilities can be put on display. There are some concerns about him in pass coverage, but if he can show good hip movement in his agility drills, it will go a long way in improving his draft stock. As long as teams know he can be coached up, they won't hesitate to pull the trigger on a guy who has long-term starting potential in the league, especially as a sideline-to-sideline run-stopper who can also effectively snuff out bubble screens.
If you are looking for a current NFL player to compare Quarterman to, it would be Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano.
As of right now, Quarterman is probably a Day 3 pick. I'm not sure he can do much to move up to Day 2, but a strong showing at the Combine would go a long way in strengthening his case to go as early as the fourth round.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! SBNation and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.