Muckelroy was a well experienced, solidly productive LB at Texas with the size and athleticism to translate his game to the Pros. Starting 29 games and appearing as a reserve in 12 more Muckelroy totaled nearly 300 tackles (282), 23.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, 7 passes broken up and 2 INTs. He finished strong with 102 tackles (11 for a loss), 2 sacks, 5 pass breakups and a pick playing the middle linebacker spot for Texas as a senior.
at 6'2" 246lbs Muckelroy is big enough for the Colts at LB, while his speed isn't great he is quick with very good instincts allowing him to play well in pass coverage and to make plays sideline to sideline anyway. Despite weighing in at 246lbs he looks like a safety (think Wheeler's build), luckily his pass coverage skills also draw that comparison. Like pretty much all LBs we look at for the Colts Muckelroy will struggle handling blocks from NFL linemen and he isn't a top level blitzer, though he does have some experience and production in that role.
Muckelroy is a rangy athlete who can change direction on a dime. He can handle covering tight ends fairly well. Where Muckelroy really looks good in pass defense is timing his breaks. he closes quickly and can make a play on the ball better than most linebackers.....Displays good recognition skills. Rarely got beaten by misdirection plays. Closes quickly and without hesitation. Diagnoses play reads incredibly quickly, which helped him move from the outside to inside with ease......Used some on the middle rush in 2009, but not a lot. Had only five and a half sacks on his career. He's more of a gap plugger on blitzes, which allows the outside rushers to gain penetration. His struggles to get off blocks hurts him in this area..... Muckelroy has very good quickness, which he has to utilize since his speed is average to below-average. Uses his quicks to close in the short area. On screen passes, he does really well shortening the field with his quickness and forcing the ball carrier toward the sideline..... Shows good lateral agility to move sideline-to-sideline. However, his lack of pursuit speed gets him in trouble. Fast running backs can fly right past him if he's not in good position....For a linebacker, Muckelroy has average strength. Needs to add power to his entire frame. This will help him shed blocks and tackle better. He can get caught up in blocks and be completely taken out of a play.....Is a sound form tackler who can sink his hips and singularly take on the ball carrier..... Muckelroy is arguably the most heady linebacker in this year's class. He always gets himself in good position and rarely misses an assignment......He's good against the pass when he drops back and has a minimal injury history. Absolutely no character flaws to speak of.
Typical weak-side linebacker who flows to the ball well. Plays faster than 40 time indicates. Keeps his eyes in the backfield in coverage, and is quick enough to get sideline angle to prevent long QB runs or force throws across the body. Stays home against misdirection and does not take many false steps......Attacks holes in the line and fills quickly. Gets pads low to make tackles near the line. Chases plays to the opposite sideline and down the line of scrimmage. Shows great downfield hustle to prevent long touchdown runs. Uses his hands to avoid cut blocks in space. Could be stronger against tight end blocks, and gets taken out the play instead of punching to get off. Chooses to run around blocks for that reason. High-cut and a bit thin in the hips, he might struggle against NFL offensive linemen.... Has a safety's build and agility. Recognizes and attacks receiver screens. Agile enough to drop into medium zones; good ball awareness, and will hit the receiver quickly after the ball arrives -- if he doesn't get to it first. Has the quickness to recover if fooled by misdirection. Handles coverage responsibilities in the flat but may not have the speed to stay with backs downfield. Physical with tight ends on the line but is at a height disadvantage downfield......Quiet intimidator. Hustles on the field and knows his responsibilities. Known for his knowledge of the game and film study.
Muckelroy has the size, strength and athleticism you look for in a 4-3 outside linebacker. Was a highly productive player in college. Possesses rare instincts when diagnosing the play. Plays with outstanding toughness flying around to the football. Has tremendous work ethic and leadership skills that coaches love to see in their linebackers.
Durability concerns early in his career are the only true red flags when evaluating Muckelroy. At times, can have trouble disengaging from blockers. Can be engulfed by bigger lineman at the point of attack. Is not a real striker as a tackler. Doesn’t have elite speed but makes up for it with his instincts.
Muckelroy is a mid to late rounder by most estimations with projections ranging from the late 3rd to early 6th. Muckelroy would be a nice addition with the Colts 4th rounder or later where he can contribute on STs while learning the D and eventually step up as a very good cover LB at WILL or even MIKE.