2009 NFL Draft: Better Know a Draft Prospect, Greg Laybourn, Oregon State Safety

 

After the strong postive response I got from the Greg Laybourn Interview, I thought I'd give you a full in-depth report on the kid. 

A few weeks ago, Terry did a report on Clay Matthews and opened the door to a new type of player... The transcendental athlete. These individuals never seem to measure up in terms of height, weight, or 40 time, yet they make a huge impact at the next level. Demeco Ryans comes to mind as a perfect example, although many people said similar things about MJD... "He's too small, he'll never be able to carry the load on his own, he'll always be a third-down back". Yet, the human heart never ceases to amaze.

These players always seem to find themselves in the right place at the right time consistently. Their unending work-ethic and comprehension of the game are their greatest assets. This especially jumped out at me as I was interviewing Greg. He seemed to have a strong grasp of the game of football and his work-ethic is unquestioned. He transfered to Oregon State to play baseball, however, once there he decided he wanted to play football again, so he walked on. By his Junior year he was on full scholarship and was a full time starter going into his Senior season. Greg struck me as a young man with his head in the right place. He's undeniably responsible and is known as a father figure among teammates. 

Greg was voted Pac-10 defensive player of the week 3 times last season and was voted to the second team all Pac-10 defensive squad. Here's Greg's response to getting the awards.

“I didn’t even know they gave out awards like that,” Laybourn says. “When I got it the first time, it was a surprise, but a really nice one. My family and friends get into it, and it makes me feel good about the things I’ve done, but I don’t think about it much. There’s more football to play.”

Wow... How refreshing it is to hear a player with a good head on his shoulders. This kid loves to hit too. Listen to how calmly he discusses dispensing bone-crippling hits.

“I’m a pretty laid-back person, but I really enjoy contact,” he says. “People ask, ‘Doesn’t it hurt?’ Not unless you’re in one of those awkward collisions. If you’re involved in a good hit, it’s like a sweet spot on a baseball bat. The big hits, you don’t really feel it. You might as well run at it full speed.”

Read the rest of the interview... click here. 

 

Apparently, Greg's superior play this season has put him on the map for the upcoming draft. His coach says he's been approached by numerous scouts asking about Greg since the season ended. 

“It’s amazing how many pro scouts say, 'Tell me about that No. 44,’ " Riley says. “You can’t help but watch our games and notice him. He’s out there making plays.

“He maybe doesn’t fit the box, but there are guys like him who have made NFL rosters – special teams, nickel players, safeties. The scouts are intrigued, for sure. They always compare him to somebody who is in the NFL.”

There are very few Draft Profiles on Greg, so I'll include what his coaches have to say about the young man. 

Head Coach: 

Laybourn has only average speed, “but I don’t give a hoot what his 40 time is,” Riley says. “Greg is a football player. He makes a ton of tackles. He makes interceptions. He has football savvy. You can’t put a number on any of that.”

Defensive Coordinator:

“The kid pays attention to detail,” the veteran D-coordinator says. “He has a great work ethic. He has a want-to attitude. He’ll do anything it takes to do the job. And he cares.”

Laybourn on his weaknesses:

If there is a weakness in Laybourn’s game, it’s in his pass coverage. The Beavers often play man to man, which sometimes leaves him isolated on faster receivers. But since the start of the season, Laybourn’s cover abilities have improved.

“That’s been one of my biggest focuses this year,” Laybourn says. “The first couple of games, I was disappointed in my coverage. I feel like I have gotten better, but there’s always work to do. Every ball that is caught near you, you could have been a step closer. It’s a constant process of trying to improve.

Greg intercepts USC's Sanchez in Oregon State's upset of the Nation's #1 team (at the time).

Why he should be a Jag:

Greg has the work-ethic, character, and heart that the Jaguar's are looking for in their players. He's the type of individual who would cherish the opportunity to play in the NFL and would "Bring It" every down. He was a special teams ace for Oregon, an area of constant focus for the team, and he is a decimating tackler. We may be looking at a future "Transcendental Player". 

-Collin

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