2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Boston College LB Matt Milano


From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

#28 Matt Milano / LB / 6’0 223 lbs

The Good:

– A former safety, Milano has the ability to drop into coverage
– Has good closing speed which makes Milano an effective blitzer
– Hit stick tackler, always tackles with force and aggression
– Special teams demon, blocked three punts during college career
– High motor, sideline to sideline defender

The Bad:


– Nonexistent hand technique, struggles to separate from blockers
– Struggles to square up elusive ball carriers
– Undersized, loses leverage battles against bigger players

Bio:

– 2016: 58 tackles, 11 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 1 INT
– Career: 141 tackles, 31.5 TFL, 14 sacks, 1 INT
– Voted All-ACC Honorable Mention in senior season
– Blocked three punts in four-year college career
– 24 reps on the bench press is third highest out of all linebackers at this year’s NFL Combine
– 22-percent of Milano’s tackles have resulted in a loss of yardage

Tape Breakdown:

Coming from the same college that produced Carolina Panthers’ star linebacker Luke Keuchly, Boston College brings their noteworthy sequel linebacking prospect Matt Milano to the public eye this April. Like most sequels, Milano is a far cry from his predecessor but the linebacker still carries enough action and talent to receive a viewing.

If you are a fan of Michael Bay directed action movies that feature an abundance of explosions then you’ll fall in love with Boston College’s Milano. A big hitter, the manner in which Milano drives his targets into the ground are capable of setting off explosions.

Coming unblocked off the blind side, he shows his quick closing speed and heavy hitting ability as he pummels the Virginia Tech quarterback for a sack. With 31.5 career tackles for a loss and 14 sacks, Milano was one of college football’s most productive linebackers when it came to making plays behind the line of scrimmage.

Sticking with the theme of Milano’s film, you cannot help but notice the brute force used by the inside linebacker on the play above. Even more impressive than the hit is how Milano uses his smaller stature and speed to spring himself through a gap to make a play on the Duke running back.

Milano is also a safety turned linebacker and his former job experience shines through his tape. The Boston College safety is a true sideline to sideline player and can play out in space. Watch below as he runs down a play that had begun on the opposite side of the field.

Milano’s safety instincts allow the linebacker to read the play direction and respond quickly. If it were not for Milano’s efforts on the play above, Clemson running back Wayne Gallman could easily have ended up in the end zone.

But just like many fast-paced action films, a few plot holes are present in Milano’s pre-draft screening. The linebacker struggles especially with his hand work hindering his ability to shed blockers. This is without a doubt an area of improvement for Milano in order to fulfill any hope he has to crack an NFL starting defense.

Milano offered minimal hand technique to shed blockers during his college career. With an already lack in size, he must put up a better fight against those bigger in size.

Lastly, the Boston College linebacker tends to struggle with wrapping up elusive runners. While delivering a hard hit to a less elusive target is not an issue for Milano, the linebacker does struggle with squaring up targets moving laterally.

Milano is in perfect position to make a tackle on the Virginia Tech running back who has cut back to Milano’s area of duty. But instead of Milano adding to his tackle totals, he watches as the running back escapes his grasp. This is an area seen constantly throughout his film as he struggles to square up ball carriers running towards him.

Overall, Milano brings a fast-paced style of play with numerous action packed hits. While appealing for some of the audience at home, he lacks a few important qualities that could block his journey to being an NFL starting caliber linebacker. While not a five-star talent, Milano will provide special teams ability which could give him the longevity needed to develop his skillset

Projection: Late Day Three (Round 5)

Games Watched: vs Virginia Tech (2015), vs Clemson, vs Virginia Tech (2016)

Previous 2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles
Deshaun WatsonHaason ReddickMarshon LattimoreCorey ClementTim Williams
Jourdan LewisTakkarist McKinleyBrad KaayaNathan PetermanO.J. Howard
Charles HarrisAlvin KamaraTyus BowserDavid NjokuDeMarcus Walker
Chidobe AwuzieDeShone KizerMarlon MackCameron SuttonZach Cunningham
Corey DavisCarl LawsonPatrick MahomesKareem HuntEvan Engram
Derek RiversRyan AndersonJoshua DobbsJordan LeggettSamaje Perine
Corn ElderBucky HodgesJames ConnerCooper KuppStanley Williams
Fred RossJamaal WilliamsGeorge KittleEjuan PriceChris Wormley
Jeremy McNicholsJoe MathisDerek BarnettAmba Etta-TawoGareon Conley
Taco Charlton Elijah McGuireRyan SwitzerTanoh KpassagnonTre’Davious White
Brian HillMatthew DayesDonnel PumphreyJosh ReynoldsNazair Jones
De’Veon SmithDavis WebbObi MelifonwuTJ WattJohn Ross
Jerod EvansVince BiegelJosh CarrawayJosh MaloneKevin King
Fadol BrownChris GodwinNate GerryJordan WillisStacy Coley
Zay JonesJimmie GilbertGlen AntoineTarell BashamDuke Riley
Rayshawn JenkinsChad KellyTrey HendricksonJeremy SprinkleJoe Williams
D’Onta ForemanCarlos WatkinsDamontae KazeeWayne GallmanWillie Quinn
Xavier WoodsElijah HoodMalik McDowellDesmond KingSolomon Thomas
Cordrea TankersleyRaekwon McMillanJosh Harvey-ClemonsChristian McCaffreyChris Carson
Montravius AdamsAaron JonesMack HollinsDeatrich Wise JrAdoree’ Jackson
JuJu Smith-SchusterJosh JonesDavon GodchauxLorenzo JeromeQuincy Wilson
Stevie Tu’ikolovatuMike WilliamsAhkello WitherspoonDede WestbrookTedric Thompson
Marcus MayeJoe MixonTaywan TaylorTyson FernandezJarrad Davis
Ishmael ZamoraDaeshon HallCJ BeathardKendell BeckwithJalen Reeves-Maybin
Rasul DouglasMarcus WilliamsDevonte FieldsJustin EvansKenny Golladay
Marquez WhiteChad WilliamsCurtis SamuelD.J. JonesSeth Russell
Amara DarbohNoah BrownMalik HookerCarroll PhillipsIsaiah Ford
Marlon HumphreyT.J. LoganJalen MyrickChad HansenEddie Jackson
Budda BakerJahad ThomasFabian Moreau

About the Author

Daniel Valente
Steelers fan from birth, spending majority of my free time looking up statistics. Had the honor of meeting Mike Vanderjagt shortly after his infamous missed field goal in the 2005 Divisional Round. Currently pursuing a Journalism degree. Follow me on Twitter @StatsGuyDaniel
  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    I’m sensing a move back to safety would be in order but I wouldn’t want a guy who can’t square up to make tackles.

  • Lambert58

    Like Milano a lot. If he was bigger, the Steelers would be all over him.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Nice find, Daniel!

    Durable, aggressive, converted Safety, who just seems to like to hit people and play the game. This could be a guy in play for the hybrid role, if we don’t find a way to address that earlier, and want to sort of gamble on a guy to maybe play Special Teams and also fill in a bit his Rookie year, in those sub-package roles.

    Seems to me to be a guy who just needs some good coaching, and to put on a bit of weight in the weight room and at the buffets, and then turn him loose.

    As a late-round flier, we could likely do a lot worse. And we could always use a bit of depth at ILB. I just wish this kid was a bit taller and stouter. But I guess you can’t have it all!

  • Daniel Valente

    Thanks
    And yes could do a lot worse. Milano would be a project pick but he could contribute early in others way as he is a special teams force to be rekoned with

  • Shane Mitchell

    This is the guy that the Michigan coaching staff used as a model for Jabril Peppers role in their defense, on the moving the sticks podcast with Daniel Jeremiah interviewing Peppers, he said the coaches gave him tape of Matt Milano to study. So if we dont draft Peppers, Milano might be a nice later round option.

  • Shane Mitchell

    This is the guy that set the mold for the hybrid position, reminds me a bit of my #1 boy from last years draft Jatavis Brown.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I did like Jatavis too. Included him in one of the rounds of the Mock Contest. I wish we would have gotten him.