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Thread: Late Round Gem:Walter Stewart

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    mia4ever's Avatar
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    Late Round Gem:Walter Stewart

    The 2013 NFL draft may have a new darling in Walter Stewart.
    He isn't an army captain who has a chance for a different life, or a man freed after a long false imprisonment, but the former Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker has all the makings of a compelling comeback story.
    He started as the foster-care kid who overcome a tough past, excelled and then had his dreams dashed. And that’s just the beginning.

    A great starting point for understanding Stewart’s ability is his versatility. As a redshirt freshman, he started strong at outside linebacker, recording 59 tackles (8.5 for a loss) and 4.5 sacks. When the coaching staff moved him to defensive end, Stewart responded with six sacks, 11 tackles for a loss and four forced fumbles.
    Stewart is a great athlete. Although he couldn’t participate in drills at the combine, he did put up a 4.69 40-yard dash and a 37.5" vertical jump at his pro day, according to nfldraftscout.com.

    Like Jarvis Jones, there's an injury risk associated with Stewart. And, like Jones, there is a lot of upside to warrant foregoing that risk. While there's a medical consensus on Jones' condition, the vote is split from the doctors regarding a congenital defect in Stewart’s spine that was discovered when he injured his back last season.
    Stewart drapes 246 pounds onto a 6'4" frame and has an arm length of 33" and 9" hands
    Stewart lined up on both sides of the field as a stand-up outside linebacker and a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end.
    Pass Rush
    He has such a quick first step that it almost looks like he's offside. However, if he can't race by the tackle, Stewart doesn't seem to have much more than a hesitation move as a counter. He needs to put in some work in the film room learning how to manufacture separation when natural ability isn't enough.
    Against the Run
    Stewart can hold the edge with solid leverage. However, he doesn't shed blocks consistently enough, so he'll need to add muscle to hold up against tackles at the next level.
    He does a nice job reading plays and making stops when he gets some separation.
    Stewart has the agility and reach to take down running backs in the open field, and he loves the physicality of football. If he tags somebody, he can't control his excitement.
    Future Role
    Stewart projects as a pass-rushing linebacker so long as he adds some moves to elude block attempts. He would need to add 20 pounds just to reach Wide 9 scheme defensive end weight, so we can scratch that idea.
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    If you're watching tape on Stewart check out another guy on the Cincy defense.....Maalik Bomar. I noticed him myself looking through gametape on Stewart and Kelce.
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