4-3 OLB Tyler Nielson

Tyler Nielson is an OLB from Iowa.



235 lbs.



There is no video that I could find. Nielson is projected as a 5th-6th rounder according to CBS Draft. He had a neck injury in 2010, but went to play in 2011, or is going to play as far as I know. Its probably the only reason he is that late. He'll be a nice low risk high reward player at OLB for us. It will be better off if I just copy paste what CBS Draft says about him.


NFL scouts know Iowa linebackers will be athletic, hard-working, and well-coached, and Nielsen certainly fits the bill in all categories.

The 2006 Iowa Gatorade high school Player of the Year waited patiently behind 2010 draft pick A.J. Edds (selected in the fourth round by Miami) and other veterans, but looked the part of a solid NFL prospect in 2010 when healthy.

Nielsen redshirted in 2007, and then played special teams and a minor role on defense as a freshman (12 tackles) and sophomore (seven). He started the first eight games of the 2010 season on the strong side, making 42 tackles, 4.5 for loss, an interception, and four pass break-ups, but his season ended prematurely after he broke a vertebrae in his neck against Michigan (though he played through it for a game and a half before succumbing).

Apparently Nielsen's neck had healed enough by April 2011, as he spent his last spring break hunting wild boars in Arkansas. His straight-line speed, change of direction ability, and strong open-field tackling proficiency makes him look as though he could wrestle down a boar, and makes him a similar value to Edds as a potential starting Sam linebacker in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme at the next level.


Read & React: Heady, well-coached player. Quick recognizing and reacting run vs. pass when playing near the line. Cognizant of multiple routes when in coverage, knows when to get off one route to jump another and ably chases down receivers when seeing the play in front of him.

Run defense: Spends a lot of time outside the box in coverage, but has the strength to hold the edge in the nine-technique against large tight ends and linemen. Good quickness to attack ballcarriers when playing near the line, breaks down and wraps legs to make the stop. Height leaves him susceptible to cut blocks, must learn to defeat with his hands.

Pass defense: Excellent in coverage. Stays with tight ends and receivers in the slot with very good straight-line speed and change of direction ability for his size. Discipline, aware zone defender, does not vacate his area despite initial receiver heading downfield. Height makes him tough to throw over. Breaks down to wrap up running backs in the flat or tight ends flaring towards the sideline.

Tackling: Combination of size, length, and agility makes him a secure tackler in space. Keeps his head up and wraps the waist-to-thigh while keeping his feet moving until the player is on the ground. Inconsistent getting off blocks from smaller offensive players, gets moved or out-positioned, forced to chase down plays from behind. Leaves his feet at times, but usually has a fair grasp of the ballcarrier. Sometimes heads straight-on to quick receivers instead of anticipating their route, allowing them to elude him.

Pass Rush/Blitz: Not asked to blitz in team's scheme, usually in a stack or lined up over tight end. Possesses the relative speed, change of direction, and secure tackling ability to succeed as a free blitzer. Would need to use his hands more violently to defeat blocks while coming after the quarterback at the next level.

Intangibles: Multiple-season Academic All-Big Ten pick. Elected to team's Leadership Group all four years. Suffered broken vertebrae in his neck in October 2010, four neck brace for 10 weeks, cleared for contact in January 2011. Graduated in May 2011. Family owns John Deere dealership.

--Chad Reuter

Now I would try and compare stats before his injury, but his injury started during early 2010 season, and he was a backup in 2009 as far as I know. So here are his stats AFTER his neck injury.


2011- 12 games, 34 solo, 39 assisted, 73 total, 6.08 total/game

Tackles for loss:

2011- 12 games, 4 TFL, 20 yards lost, .33 TFL/Game


2011- 12 games, 1 sack, 16 yards lost, .08 sacks per game

That's from one site. I know that the sacks, and tackles for loss look discouraging, but the truth is this guy can be a big playmaker for us. And when I said I couldn't found video... well I found some. lol and he looks awesome (However its highschool, andI watched the bottom vid first):

He is a 5th/6th rounder. Runs a 4.54 40 as far as I know. CBS draft had a lot of great things to say about him, as I have highlighted in bold. I think he can be a sleeper. A potential playmaker. Wish there was college video of him where I can get a better look, but from what I've read I'm surprised he is not a 3rd rounder at the least.

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