26 Jun Preseason Scouting Notes: KJ Britt, LB, Auburn
Senior | 6’0” 236 lbs | Oxford, AL
Natural born leader who brings ceaseless physicality to the table, but needs to improve his block shedding and coverage skills
Going into his senior season, KJ Britt needs to prove that he is more than just a vocal leader for the Auburn Tigers. Britt is primarily the Mike in Auburn’s 3-3-5 defensive scheme, but he has experience playing as the Sam and Will. Last season, he racked up 69 total tackles which helped him earn 1st team All-SEC honors. With the departure of Derrick Brown to the NFL, Britt will have a chance to increase his production this season.
– Instinctual gap shooter who guesses correctly more often than not
– Vocal leader on the field. Constantly communicating with his teammates pre-snap
– Disciplined enough to play as a QB spy, as he can keep his eyes on the quarterback
– Patrols his zone(s) effectively and smoothly
– Shows good initial speed when blitzing or shooting gaps to stop the run
– Sifts through the trash around the line of scrimmage well to come up from his position and make a play
Areas to improve:
– Tackling technique could use improvement. He relies on his physicality by lowering his shoulder to deliver big blows rather than wrapping up properly
– Unreliable in man coverage. He cannot keep up with the speed of slot receivers
– Has initial burst, but his closing speed to chase ball carriers down is nonexistent
– Doesn’t change direction quickly, and receivers take advantage of it
– Struggles to shed/disengage from blocks no matter the size of the blocker
– Over pursues and takes poor pursuit angles
– Poor overall balance. Gets out of control while pursuing ball carriers, and if he is not paying attention, he will be knocked over with the slightest touch of an opposing player
– Fooled by pump and run fakes
– Suffered a concussion in a 2019 summer practice
Instincts and discipline at the position will help Britt prove his case to be an NFL caliber linebacker. However, with his rather shaky tackling technique, he will not be considered anything other than a backup at the next level. While he has the initial speed one likes in a blitzer and the pure physicality, Britt projects to be more of a Day 3 draft pick, falling between the mid fourth and late fifth rounds.
What to watch in 2020:
The most important thing Britt can and needs to improve on would be his tackling technique. Not being able to properly wrap up ball carriers will crush his draft stock as an interior linebacker. Now that Derrick Brown has moved on to the next level, will Britt be able to step up for the Tigers? He is already a proven leader on and off the football field. What he needs to prove to professional teams is that he can be disciplined at the position no matter the situation.