by Ryan Myers
Photo courtesy of The University of Texas at El Paso.
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 - UTEP, Linebacker, Tyrice Knight
Name - Tyrice Knight
Pos - LB
Team - UTEP
HT/WT - 6’2” 235 lbs.
Home - Lakeland, FL
Tyrice Knight attended Lake Gibson High School where he recorded 200 tackles, 10 TFL, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles in his high school career. He was graded as a 2-star recruit by ESPN and Rivals.com, while receiving a 3-star rating from 247Sports. He attended Independence Community College for two years before choosing UTEP over an offer from Jacksonville State before the 2020 season.
In his first season with the Miners, Knight started 6 of the 8 games at linebacker, and was second on the team in tackles with 54 in the shortened season. He also tallied 2.5 TFL, and a sack. In 2021, he started all 13 games at linebacker, once again finishing second on the team in tackles and TFL with 102 and 9 respectively. He also added two sacks, an interception, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. This earned him an All-Conference USA Honorable Mention.
Knight’s 2022 season was similar to his 2021 season as he was tied for the team lead in tackles with 95. His similar numbers earned him a spot on the All-Conference USA Second Team. This season, Knight had a very impressive campaign, leading the Miners in tackles and finishing 5th in the country with 140 tackles. He also added 15.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries.
Knight shows great sideline-to-sideline ability from the linebacker position. He moved from outside to inside linebacker at the beginning of this season, but still possesses the athleticism to allow him to range well from this spot. This kind of versatility is valuable at the next level and will help him succeed. He is a good run stopper who is a reliable tackler and plays well when coming downhill toward the backfield. His long arms and good technique allow him to make most tackles and rarely allow yards after contact and broken tackles.
Knight is athletic and shows great lateral movement skills. However, when it comes to chasing down ball carriers, he tends to struggle against the quicker, more explosive players, especially in space and straight-line situations. He also has a “tweener” build, which means that he is a unique size, which fits between the desired sizes for inside and outside linebackers. He uses his frame well when tackling and also shows good athleticism, but he will likely only be able to be used as a larger outside linebacker in the NFL.
Knight may lack the straight-line speed that some others have at this position, but his quickness and versatility will aid him to offset this. His build and frame are between the desired sizes of inside and outside linebackers, but this gives him a rare combination of athleticism, quickness, and power in his playing style, which will be valued on draft day.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 4th or 5th round