Now, isn’t real explosive when asked to get out of his breaks and lacks great range in coverage, as he can be exposed in space. But he is physical when asked to play in man and knows how to re-route tight ends/backs off the line and cleanly flip his hips and run.
Plays with a good motor, works hard in pursuit and has a real nose for the football. However, isn’t the most physical of defenders inside the box. Exhibits an above-average pop at the point when asked to take on linemen in the hole, but struggles to quickly shed and make a play on the ball.
Can be washed out of plays inside and knocked off balance easily trying to make his way toward the ball carrier. Is a solid wrap-up guy who can routinely get his man to the ground in tight areas but will overrun the football and struggles to break down when asked to tackle in space.
Impression: A smart, savvy linebacker with above-average body control in the pass game and a nose for the ball. However, he lacks ideal size and isn’t a real explosive athlete. Looks more like a solid reserve type who can be a spot starter when need be."
Run Defense: Instinctual run defender who seems to always find his way to the ball. Feels his way through traffic inside to make tackles, avoiding pulling guards and catching backs from behind. Takes good angles to the ball and won't overpursue. Can explode from athletic position to stop running backs in the hole or from going over the top in short yardage. Protects himself from cut blocks, feeling them coming or defeating them with his hands. Lacks great size to deal with linemen or H-back blocks when they reach him, but generally holds his ground and can disengage.
Pass Defense: Very active pass defender. Quarterbacks must account for him on any throw between the hashes. Takes on slot receivers at times and has fair change-of-direction skills to mirror. However, he will get beat in this situation against NFL receivers. Gets good depth in his pass drop. Knows where the first-down marker is and gets underneath deep crossing routes. Has some man coverage skills, lining up in the slot and man-up against tight ends. Understands zone routes and will light up receivers over the middle. Looks for the passing lane by reading the quarterback. Shows good hands for the interception, though he has had some drops. Will hustle to the ball in zone coverage to prevent yards after the catch.
Tackling: Solid tackler who consistently wraps up but is not particularly explosive. Stays low and square to stop ballcarriers when meeting them in the hole. Breaks down in space and has the quickness and change-of-direction ability to prevent backs from getting the corner. Shows the speed and instincts to catch backs before they build a head of steam. Good chase and hustle to get to the opposite sideline. Gets angles to prevent big plays crossing the field. Is consistently the second or third man into the pile. Many tackles come several yards downfield as linemen or tight ends push him back. Lacks size to get off blocks at the next level and his arm tackles will not slow NFL running backs. Should have value as an assignment-sure contributor on special teams coverage units because of his football intelligence and secure tackling.
Pass Rush/Blitz: Fair first step coming off the edge or through the middle as a blitzer. Flexible enough to turn the corner when attacking the passer or trying to grab running backs from behind. Adequate hands to beat fullback blocks but could improve in this area to prevent slowing down his rush. Needs to develop counter pass-rush moves.
Intangibles: Tough player who plays hurt; tried to get through turf toe in 2007 but had to shut it down and redshirt. Suffered a concussion against Illinois in 2009 but did not miss any time. Missed just two games after spraining the arch of his right foot. Relished taking over leadership role when senior linebackers graduated before 2009 season. Academic All-Big Ten. Cousin of former Ohio State players Bobby and Tom Hoying."
Positive: Instinctive, hard-working linebacker constantly around the action. Breaks down well, quickly changes direction, and rarely gets knocked off his feet. Gets depth on pass drops, shows ability in coverage, and remains disciplined with assignments. Plays smart, heads-up football, immediately diagnosing the action. Makes plays sideline to sideline, quickly fills gaps up the field, and effectively uses his hands to protect himself.
Negative: Not a reliable tackler. Easily blocked at the point of attack and struggles getting through the trash.
Analysis: Homan is a consistent defender who understands the position and does the little things well. He lacks great physical skills yet does enough to be a productive backup in a variety of defensive alignments at the next level."
Negatives: Is not very fast for his size, has been clocked as high as the mid 4.8 range in the 40, but makes up for it with quickness and change of direction ability... Too small to play inside in a 4-3 front, has the frame to add a few pounds, but will probably never eclipse 235 lbs... Not a unique athlete, is productive, but probably won't be a big-time playmaker in the NFL... Needs to get better in man-to-man coverage, is sometimes fooled by play action when assigned to cover an eligible receiver... Has had some durability issues in the past, struggled through several minor injuries including turf toe and hamstring issues... Can get lost in line-of-scrimmage traffic, is small enough to slip through gaps, but struggles when engulfed at line... May have difficulty bringing down larger NFL backs, will not drive ball carrier backward regularly... Has never been much of a pass rusher, has good quickness and instincts, but lacks the burst to regularly be called on for pass blitzing."
Homan's speed is also a question mark. Given his size, the fact that he's listed as having run a 4.75 40-yard dash is a concern. In all likelihood, after being drafted, he would be asked to bulk his body up which would only take away his speed.
With those negatives in mind, the kid can flat-out play at the college level. He plays tough, is an excellent tackler and can diagnose plays very quickly. Homan can sometimes get eaten up by blockers if he gets sucked into the trenches, but he maintains a good path to the ball carrier by playing well with good quickness and quality pursuit angles.
If Homan were a few inches taller with an extra 20 pounds of muscle on his body while maintaining his speed, he could easily be a mid-second round prospect.
Chris Homan currently projects as a fourth to fifth round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft."
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