Here it is, the first of many rookie profiles to come. In this installment, we will take a look at former Penn State linebacker Josh Hull, the Rams final pick in the 2o1o draft. Hull certainly isn’t the most naturally talented member of this rookie class, but he very well might be near the top in football intelligence. He played all three linebacker positions in college, but he is probably best on the inside. Hull’s biggest impact will likely be on special teams if he makes the squad, but he should feel comfortable backing up at all three LB positions.
Scouting Report: Hull’s biggest assets are undoubtedly his intelligence and work ethic. The guy has a great feel for the game, and he shouldn’t have any problem learning the system. He could be a solid special teams player right away, so he could impact the team as a rookie if he gets the chance. The thing I like most about Hull is his willingness to learn and his ability to maximize his potential. He isn’t the fastest or strongest guy in the world, but he will outwork other players on the field and there is definite room for growth. He might not ever be a great player or even an everyday starter, but he is a solid character guy who will do whatever is asked of him by coaches and teammates.
Career: Hull played in every game as a redshirt freshman at Penn State (Linebacker U), and he excelled mostly on special teams. He recorded six tackles, three of which came against Northwestern.
As a sophomore, Hull again played in every game and upped his tackle total to 18. He was on the field for 292 snaps, and he saw significant playing time in several games. Once again, he played well on special teams and continued to improve on defense.
In his junior season, Hull took a major step forward in his college career. After an injury to MLB Sean Lee, Hull moved from outside to inside. He started every game at MLB, and he finished second on the team with 75 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, one sack, one interception, three pass breakups, and two fumble recoveries. Hull’s breakout game came against Purdue, in which he set a career high with 11 tackles. He was on the field for 792 snaps during his junior season, and he was selected as an Academic All-American.
In his final season for the Nittany Lions, he was named to the All-Big Ten second team thanks to his 116 tackles (8.9 avg), 8.5 tackles for loss, with two sacks for minus-14 yards, two interceptions and two pass break-ups.. He was a two-year starter at MLB for one of the best linebacking corps in the NCAA, and he became the 20th different player to record at least 100 tackles in a season for Penn State.
My Analysis: I really like this pick by the Rams. Hull is exactly the kind of guy Coach Spags loves, and he should be able to significantly improve under the tutelage of our coaches’ defensive minds. He isn’t afraid to get out there and work, and his character is top notch. His lack of great physical skills is something that can’t be improved, but I feel like the coaches will love him and give him every chance to make this team. Remember, David Vobora was Mr. Irrelevant in his draft, and he is a big part of this defense. I expect Hull to be a good special teams player, and he will provide some nice versatility and depth for our linebacking corps.