Willie Gay Jr., LB Mississippi State
He measured-in at 6’1"-243 and ran the 2nd fastest 40 at the Combine for LB’s behind Isiah Simmons at 4.46.
He had the 2nd highest vertical at the Combine for LB’s at 39.5".
He had the best Long Jump for LB’s at 136".
His 3-cone was about middle of the pack for LB’s, same with the shuttle.
He was tied for 5th for LB’s with 21 reps.
PROS: Explosive and urgent football player than can close down distances in a hurry. Thick, stocky frame that packs a violent punch when he makes contact. Has the quickness and fluidity needed to navigate tight spaces and work in coverage. Consistent tackler that rarely whiffs while bringing tremendous hitting power and contact balance to the table. Has ideal traits to execute in coverage, making him an every down option. Shows strong anticipatory skills in coverage and has the physical ability to win in man coverage. Should be a dynamic blitzer and special teams weapon in the NFL.
CONS: Sustained production won’t be found on his resume. Served multiple suspensions in college. Aggressive to the point of some recklessness in his game. Angles are highly inconsistent and his spatial awareness can disappoint in pursuit. Has far from perfected the economy of motion and there is plenty of wasted movement in his game. Can be a tardy and incorrect processor against the run, working into blocks and often running himself out of plays entirely.
BEST TRAIT - Physicality
WORST TRAIT - Processing
RED FLAGS - Multiple Suspensions
Willie Gay is one of those second level enforcers that will stick his face in a fan and like it. Everything he does is executed with relentless urgency and imposing physicality. He complements his hot motor with good size and explosive athletic traits that make him an exciting developmental option. With that said, there are some red flags to be mindful of and Gay is severely underdeveloped as a processor. He should claim a subpackage and special teams role early in his career and his ceiling is fairly exciting as he settles in and develops the nuances of the position.