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NFL Draft Prospect Preview - Omar Speights

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

by J.T. Toth


Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.


At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.


Today’s Spotlight - LSU, Linebacker, Omar Speights


Name - Omar Speights

Pos - LB

Team - LSU

HT/WT - 6’1”  235 lbs.

Born- N/A

Home – Philadelphia, PA


Omar Speights played his first 3 years of high school football for Northeast High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before his senior year, he transferred to Crescent Valley High School in Oregon and was rated a 4-star recruit by Rivals, later committing to play football at Oregon State.


As a freshman in 2019, Speights established himself as one of the best young linebackers in the nation. He was named a Freshman All-American after tallying 73 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and an interception. 


He started all 7 games in the 2020 Covid shortened season and was very productive again, producing 63 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss and 1 sack. Speights became the leader of the Beavers' defense in 2021, starting all 13 games and racking up 89 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss and 2 interceptions.


In 2022, Speights showed consistency, starting all 13 games and leading the team with 83 tackles. After the season, he entered the transfer portal and decided to finish out his eligibility playing for the LSU Tigers. 


This season, Speights played in 9 games, missing 3 with a hip flexor injury but he finished the year with 66 tackles for the Tigers.


Omar Speights is an inside linebacker with the lateral movement to be successful in stopping the run. He has efficient chase speed and is a hard hitter who won’t miss too many open field tackles. He is smooth in his backpedal and drops effortlessly into coverage and does not give up many yards after the catch. He is instinctive and explodes off the ball, uses his hands to shed blockers when needed before pursuit. 


On the downside, his aggressiveness can be an issue and he will at times overrun plays, allowing misdirections and counters to get the best of him. His pass rushing skills are limited and he needs to work on his spins and the routes he takes to the quarterback. He needs to do a better job of getting around larger offensive linemen and not get caught up engaging with them. Lastly, Speights may need to get stronger to survive the rigors of the NFL season.


Speights reminds Draft 412 of Isaiah McDuffie, who was a 6th round pick in the 2021 out of Boston College. McDuffie was a tackling machine for the Eagles and had some question marks on his strength and pass rushing ability. He has been an efficient run stopper for the Packers and Draft 412 thinks that Omar Speights has a chance to be the same in the NFL. 


Strengths

  • Hard hitter

  • Good tackler

  • Explosion off the ball

  • Instincts


Weaknesses

  • Aggressiveness

  • Strength

  • Pass rushing

  • Misdirections


Final Analysis


Omar Speigths does not have a high ceiling but he should step right into a linebacker unit and be a good depth piece who can stop the run. His lack of pass rushing skills will make him an early down linebacker who won’t see many 3rd downs. 


Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 5th round or 6th down


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