On Ball LB – #22 Arkansas State
Year: Redshirt Junior
High School: Tuscaloosa County (Reform, AL)
HS Rating: 2 star (0.7649)
Phil Steele: PS#521
Caleb Bonner Scouting Report
Good speed for the position. Average lateral quickness. Not a great strength to his game. Doesn’t change direction well. Average upper body strength. Has the ability to control the tackle, but doesn’t work well off of blocks. Not a brute. Doesn’t offer much power. Good downhill tackler. Very solid at working inside the box. Struggles to work through traffic. Does not work through blocks well to impact the play. Has trouble getting a good angle consistently.
Not a particularly great blitzer. Not a great space defender. Struggles routinely to position himself and make the tackle in space. Doesn’t show great work anywhere outside of the box. Does not handle speed well in his zone. Routinely doesn’t get the depth that he needs. Reads the play well and closes quickly to clean up the tackle. Very subpar understanding of the offense he is facing. Struggles to recognize what they are doing too often. Makes me question how much time he spends in the film room. Shows excellent instincts between the tackles. Outside of the tackles, Bonner struggles tremendously.
What we want to see from Caleb Bonner in Orlando
- Arkansas State ran primarily zone coverage in their defensive scheme. Caleb Bonner himself never really played man coverage. We want to see how well Bonner holds up in man coverage against running backs. If he could potentially expand into that role, or show promise to expand into that role, Bonner’s draft projection could increase.
Pre-Tropical Bowl projection
Caleb Bonner is a strong inside linebacker who projects best as a fit in a 4-3 defense. The issue with his projection moving forward is that Bonner is a very limited athlete with a limited skillset. There aren’t a lot of spots that Bonner could play on the field in the NFL without needing serious development.
Bonner best projects as a priority free agent in the offseason, one of the last signings a team makes to fill their 90-man roster. His NFL chances are very slim.