4 Under-the-Radar Linebackers the Cincinnati Bengals can Target

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 21: Akeem Davis-Gaither #24 of the Appalachian State Mountaineers reacts to a missed field goal by Noah Ruggles #97 of the North Carolina Tar Heels as time expires in their game at Kenan Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Mountaineers won 34-31. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 21: Akeem Davis-Gaither #24 of the Appalachian State Mountaineers reacts to a missed field goal by Noah Ruggles #97 of the North Carolina Tar Heels as time expires in their game at Kenan Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Mountaineers won 34-31. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 21: Akeem Davis-Gaither #24 of the Appalachian State Mountaineers reacts to a missed field goal by Noah Ruggles #97 of the North Carolina Tar Heels as time expires in their game at Kenan Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Mountaineers won 34-31. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 21: Akeem Davis-Gaither #24 of the Appalachian State Mountaineers reacts to a missed field goal by Noah Ruggles #97 of the North Carolina Tar Heels as time expires in their game at Kenan Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Mountaineers won 34-31. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Reigning from Appalachian State won’t get prospective players a ton of attention from the media. However, as Akeem Davis-Gaither continues to go through the pre-draft process, don’t be surprised if he goes from an under-the-radar player to one of the more well known. He already started to turn heads at the Senior Bowl last week, but still hasn’t acquired the name recognition he deserves.

Looking at his film, there is a lot to love, with the clip above via @chad_reuter being one of the more intriguing. The North Carolina native shows his acceleration and ability to read the quarterback quickly in the box, resulting in an interception. The burst that is so evident here helps him between the tackles as well, giving him the ability to shoot through gaps.

He’s knocked for having a frame that some consider too small for the linebacker position, weighing in at 215 pounds. Although scouts view it as a flaw, it’s also what makes him so tremendous in pass coverage. Beyond that, it allows him to have tremendous sideline to sideline range.

He’s no slouch in rushing the passer either, earning five sacks on the season.

He fits the mold of the “hybrid” linebacker so many NFL franchises are looking for. With his range, pass rush, and ability to cover he could end up being a catalyst for the Cincinnati Bengals defense to generate more turnovers.

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