Scouting Report-Spikes is what you imagine when you look at a prototypical NFL inside linebacker. He's big and he's thick and he's strong. He's got power in his legs and can engage and move lineman around. His strength is in run support. He can diagnose a play, runs at a high level on every play and looks like he is always around the football. He's on par with Alabama's Rolando McClain in terms of his aggressiveness and ability to play the run. In the same vein he's a contrast on the other side. For everything he does right in run support, he struggles in pass protection. He's not a real flexible and it really shows in coverage. He's not fast enough to make up for it, so he looks a step behind when he can to work in man coverage, and he really needs to work on his zone coverage, because he looks lost at times and doesn't seem to be able to find his way. But let me say this. I don't think there are any shortcomings to Spikes game in coverage that cannot be either coached up or accounted for in the scheme. He just isn't that fast, and you can't change that. A kid with his level of intensity and aggression needs to be on the field. I suppose I should mention the famous eye gouge. Yeah, it was a stupid move on his part. Do I think it makes him some sort of malcontent or a problem? Nope. There, I mentioned it.
Draft Status-Typically a guy who's inside linebcker only and really that's what Spikes is, has a hard time finding his way to the first round. I think he has the talent to be a first round pick, but I doubt any team takes a shot in him there. But even with the emergence of TCU's Darryl Washington, I think Spikes is a good fit in the 2nd round, especially to a team like Kansas City with multiple 2nd round picks and in desperate need of a big physical ILB for that 3-4 defense.
Final Analysis-You can't discount how productive Spikes has been the past 2 seasons. He's shown himself to be a leader on a very talented University of Florida defense and a legitimate NFL prospect. At this point, teams have to look at Spikes as a 2 down linebacker, who would excel in run support, but will need to work hard on pass coverage. Spikes is a big guy, and probably won't wow people at the Combine with his 40 time or his other traingle numbers. That will scare some teams, especially in a day and age that the league covets speed so much. And you figure in that he's really only an inside player, and you cut a few more teams out of the mix. But in the final analysis, stopping the run is still vital to a team's success and Spikes has all those tools that you look for. He's big and strong and aggressive and a great tackler. He's durable and smart and never gives up on the play. And one thing too is he's a very good tackler, which is rare in the NFL. And let me add this. Spikes isn't awful in coverage. He just isn't fluid. As I said above, his upside is enormous and I really don't see anything in his game that he struggles with that cannot be improved on.
Reminds me of: Curtis Lofton, MLB Atlanta falcons-While Spikes is a bit taller, both are stocky, thick guys who really dominate the run game, make lots of tackles, and don't work much in coverage.
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy