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NFL Draft Prospect Preview - Tatum Bethune

by J.T. Toth


Photo courtesy of Tomahawk Nation.


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 - Florida State, Linebacker, Tatum Bethune


Name- Tatum Bethune

Pos- Linebacker

Team- Florida State

HT/WT- 6’1” 230 lbs.

Born- n/a

Home – Miami, FL


Tatum Bethune played prep football for Miami Central High School in Florida. He was a decorated athlete who had a huge senior season, finishing the season with 80 tackles, 24 TFL and 14 sacks. After the season, Bethune was selected to play in the Miami-Dade All-Star Game. He committed close to home and elected to play at UCF.


He appeared in all 13 games as a true freshman and totaled 20 tackles in a reserve role. He played a more prominent role in 2020 as a sophomore. In 10 games, he collected 57 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 1 interception for the Knights.


In 2021, he was named second-team all-conference after collecting 108 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 interceptions for UCF. After the career season, Bethune entered the transfer portal and eventually signed with Florida State. 


In his first season as a Seminole, Bethune started 11 out of the 13 games he played in. He finished 2nd in tackles with 84 and also added 9.5 TFL, 3 sacks and 2 passes defended. 


This past season, Bethune started 13 games for Florida State and once again was a solid contributor in stopping the run. He finished the year with 70 tackles and 1 interception. He announced in early-December that he was entering the NFL Draft.


Tatum Bethune is a smooth moving linebacker who has the capability to turn and run while in coverage. He has excellent instincts while in zone and understands his role in different schemes. He has the lateral movement to cover a lot of ground and has a good closing burst when chasing the ball. He has leadership skills and plays a smart, in-control type of game. When tackling, he is efficient at breaking down and attacking the ball carrier and his straight line speed helps him to be able to mirror tight ends and running backs out in the flat. 


On the downside, Bethune can get caught with his eyes in the backfield and be moved out of position with misdirections and/or play actions. His pass rushing ability is limited and does not have the flexibility or technique to beat opponents around the edge. Most of his pressure is from him hitting the inside gaps on an offensive line. He needs to improve his hand play when battling one-on-one with offensive linemen, and he takes too long to shed blocks. He will need to get stronger to take on the bigger linemen in the NFL.


A good comparison for Tatum Bethune is 6th round draft pick Isaiah McDuffie out of Boston College in 2021. McDuffie was a hard working linebacker who plays a downhill style and was a capable tackler for the Eagles. McDuffie has become a solid rotational linebacker in Green Bay and is on pace for 90 tackles in 2023.


Strengths


  • Plays downhill

  • Lateral agility

  • Coverage

  • Tackling


Weaknesses


  • Strength

  • Misdirections

  • Hands

  • Pass rush


Final Analysis


Tatum Bethune is a capable tackler who has above average coverage skills. Draft Nation thinks Bethune is a safe draft pick that, at worst, is a great addition to the depth of a team’s linebacker core.


Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 5th or 6th round

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