Linebacker continues to be a big part of NFL defenses as they are asked to be a part of the run game but also covering backs and tight ends out in space. With such a need for versatile defenders we take a look at Notre Dame senior linebacker Te’Von Coney to see what he does well and where he fits within today’s NFL.
Get to Know Te’Von Coney
Coming out of Florida it took some time for Te’Von Coney to make his mark on a talented Notre Dame defense, but as a junior in 2017 he broke out leading the team with 116 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss from the inside linebacker position. At 6’1 238lbs he doesn’t seem like a big linebacker but Coney plays much bigger than his size flying to the ball.
What Te’Von Coney Does Well
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) July 28, 2018
Te’Von Coney is at his best when he is coming downhill to stop the run. His biggest trait is the ability to quickly diagnose the play as you rarely see Coney take a misstep or bit on misdirection. Using his diagnose skills Coney is able to see the ball and go attack. Whether it is finding his way through traffic to get a running lane to the ball or even stacking lineman and shedding off to make the tackle, Coney doesn’t get hung up on blocks very easily. Other than being a see and run linebacker, Coney also shows the ability to play gap discipline football going to his assignment and still making plays.
Concerns about Te’Von Coney
The big concern about Coney is whether he is a limited early down run defender. Coney can stop the run but when asked to blitz or drop into coverage you start to see the liabilities. Coney lacks the pass rushing moves or timing needed to be a good blitzer and is only effective when getting schemed open. In coverage Coney shows the ability to run with tight ends and some backs but he isn’t athletic enough to put himself in a position to make a play on the ball. Instead he’s just right there to make the tackle.
In today’s NFL defenses need linebackers who can play in space and cover well. That is not Te’Von Coney’s best attribute. Because of that he’ll likely be viewed as an early down run stuffer which limits his ability to see the field. Getting with the right team would be crucial for Coney as he can develop into a good role player or low level starter. If Coney can show during his senior year a better feel for coverage and locking up tight ends and backs he has a shot. But it looks as if Coney is positioned to be a key backup and with a special teams role.