- Straight-line/sideline-to-sideline speed
- Slipping blockers
- Ability in run support
- Can come downhill fast, makes him an effective blitzer and allows him to make a lot of splash plays behind or at the line of scrimmage
- Special teams ability
- Stiff hips
- Movement in space is mechanical and labored
- Choppy footwork
- Understanding spacing in zone coverage
- Slow change of direction
- Athleticism is not as functional as his combine times suggest
Based on the pros and cons as well as the film breakdown it may seem like I am low on Tanner Muse, but that is because he was playing safety. His skill-set translates perfectly to a backside WILL linebacker.
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While he was not great in coverage at safety due to his lack of fluidity in space and change of direction, a lot of those problems can be covered if he is playing closer to the line and covering a smaller area.
His straight-line speed should allow him to chase down backs from behind and make splash plays in the run game. He is also an adept block-shedder so even though he has the athletic profile of a coverage linebacker, I believe he will be better in the run game.
Muse’s ability, on top of his willingness and want, to play special teams can also help the team from day one as he learns how to play the linebacker position in an offseason where we don’t know if there will even be a true training camp.
Looking down the line, Muse has the potential to be a three-down linebacker, starting at WILL in the base defense while staying on the field in the nickel alongside Littleton.
That would give the Raiders two athletic, new-age linebackers, which are needed in today’s pass-happy league.