Excellent run defender
Takes on blocks
Flashes on blitzes
Plays with an attitude
Needs to improve pass coverage
Lacks change of direction ability
Needs to get better at shedding blocks
Even before the Gators' program lost Brandon Spikes to the NFL, Bostic was the linebacker who was dubbed the heir apparent to man the middle of the Florida defense.
After serving as Spikes' backup in 2009, Bostic took over as a starter during his sophomore season. He recorded 57 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and three interceptions in 2010. He improved his play significantly as a junior. Bostic totaled 94 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, three sacks and a forced fumble in 2011.
As a senior, Bostic's numbers decreased as he had 68 tackles, two interceptions, one forced fumble and three sacks. He played well for the Gators and was a core player in their tough defense. Even though his tackle total was less, Bostic played more disciplined and fundamental football in his final season. Florida's defense was a lot better than the year before. Other teammates were making tackles, and as a unit, they did a better job of getting off the field and decreasing their snaps.
At the Combine, Bostic was impressive with a fast 4.61 time in the 40-yard dash. He definitely has some straight-line speed and explosiveness.
Entering the NFL, Bostic's strength is his run defense. He is a tough in-the-box run defender and is very physical. He has no issues with bigger backs and attacks the line of scrimmage. There is no hesitation to take on blocks, although he needs to improve on his ability to shed blocks. Bostic is a hard-nosed defender who should will help a team's run defense.
Transitioning to the NFL should be relatively quick for Bostic. He has seen a lot of hard-nosed running offenses in the SEC. The area that Bostic will need to work on is his pass coverage. The NFL features more passing and complex offenses than what Bostic is used to. In the beginning of his career, he might only be a two-down linebacker, but after some development, he should be a three-down starter.
Scouts have told WalterFootball.com that they expect Bostic to be selected on the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft. They feel that he is a good value pick and could be underrated because there are some high-profile inside linebackers like Manti Te'o and Alec Ogletree. Bostic could be nice a value pick in the second or third round as a future starter.
Player Comparison: James Anderson.
At times, Anderson flashed for the Panthers since being a third-round pick in 2006. Anderson (6-2, 235) is similar in size as Bostic and both players' strength is defending the ground game. Bostic could go in the same region in the 2013 NFL Draft, and it wouldn't be surprising if Bostic is a pro comparable to Anderson.
Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Houston, Minnesota, Baltimore, Chicago
There are a few teams that could target Bostic on the second day. The Chiefs need an inside linebacker and WalterFootball.com has heard that Kansas City likes Bostic. He could be their top choice at the top of the third round. Pittsburgh needs help at inside linebacker, and it could consider Bostic in the second or third round.
The Bears are without a third-round pick, so if they want Bostic, they would have to take him in the second round. Bostic would be a nice scheme fit in Mel Tucker's defense.
Houston badly needs an inside linebacker to pair with Brian Cushing. Bostic would be a nice fit in the Texans' defense. He would make a lot of sense for their second-round pick, or one of their third-rounders.
Minnesota badly needs a middle linebacker. Everybody believes they're going to take Manti Te'o, but if they pass on the Notre Dame product, Bostic could be their choice in the second or third round.
The Ravens added a linebacker in Rolando McClain, but they could still look to get more inside linebacker help in the form of Bostic. He might be a good fit for them in the second round.
2013 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie's | Walt's
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