Jake Ryan, LB, Michigan
Now here is a guy Jack Del Rio can get excited about. Jake Ryan was a standout for the Michigan Wolverines in his career at both OLB and ILB and on special teams as well. He has a non-stop motor and great awareness with his decision-making.
Jake Ryan stands 6-2 and weighs in at 240 pounds. That's pretty good size for a run-stuffing ILB, which is exactly what Ryan was in his senior season at Michigan after which he earned All-Big Ten First Team honors. Ryan began his career as an OLB, but after his junior year he was moved to the middle. That (2013) was the year during which in spring practice he tore his ACL and then returned some six months later. That's right, he returned from an ACL tear even more quickly than did Adrian Peterson. However, Ryan struggled a bit after coming back so quickly and didn't really return to form until 2014.
As a middle linebacker Ryan was extremely stout, collecting 112 total tackles. He knows how to play the run and is also a good blitzer- though he blitzes more effectively from the outside. He is excellent at taking on blockers and sacrificing himself to open up clear lanes for his fellow defenders to make that play, and often his own stats suffer due to his unselfishness. He does need to work on shedding blocks more effectively, especially when asked to cover a receiver across the middle.
Ryan comes from a football family. His grandfather played DT at Xavier, and his father was a receiver at Vanderbilt. Both of his brothers play currently at Ball State. He is a glue guy, the sort of player whose jersey is always dirty, the guy who does the little things that make a team successful. In short, he is exactly the sort of guy the Raiders should take on as a project should he fall to them in the seventh round.