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April 8, 2011 @ 8:20 am
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Pewter Prospect: MLB Quan Sturdivant

Written by Charlie
Charlie Campbell


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Do the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a need for an instinctive middle linebacker? How would Quan Sturdivant fit in Tampa Bay? Find out in this prospect profile.
All right, draftniks. You know that Pewter Report is the undisputed king of Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft coverage. We’ve listed players, such as wide receiver Mike Williams (2010), wide receiver Arrelious Benn (2010), defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (2010), quarterback Josh Freeman (2009), wide receiver Dexter Jackson (2008), offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah (2008), quarterback Josh Johnson (2008), defensive end Gaines Adams (2007), linebacker Quincy Black (2007), wide receiver Maurice Stovall (2006), quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (2006), middle linebacker Barrett Ruud (2005), cornerback Torrie Cox (2003) – among others, at their respective positions in the Bucs’ Best Bets sections of Pewter Report’s annual Bucs Draft Preview.

As the 2011 NFL Draft approaches, Pewter Report’s resident draft experts, Scott Reynolds and Charlie Campbell, have spent countless hours watching over 12 college games per week and scouting which prospects would look good wearing red and pewter next year. With over 500 college games to review dating back over the last four years and countless scouting contacts throughout the NFL, Reynolds and Campbell are armed with the inside scoop needed to put together these scouting reports on players who might fit Tampa Bay’s schemes on offense and defense.

These regular Pewter Prospect profiles on PewterReport.com will scout out players that are candidates for the Buccaneers to select in next April's draft. Pewter Report's predictions of who the Bucs will take will be in the Bucs' Best Bets in the digital Bucs Draft Preview magazine and the Bucs 7 Round Mock Draft on the website.

Will one of these players wind up being the next Barrett Ruud, Mike Williams or Josh Johnson? We’ll all find out next April when Tampa Bay is on the clock.

VITAL STATS: The Tar Heels product checks in at 6-foot-1, 241-pounds. Sturdivant did not run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He has been reported to run the 40 in 4.69 seconds.  

In his career at North Carolina, Sturdivant totaled 309 tackles with 27.5 tackles for a loss, nine passes broken up, two forced fumbles, four interceptions, seven sacks, and one blocked kick.
Sturdivant’s best season came as a sophomore when he recorded 122 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, two sacks, four passes broken up, and one forced fumble.

As a junior Sturdivant’s numbers declined to 79 tackles with 12 tackles for a loss, one sack, three passes defensed, zero interceptions, and one forced fumble. Last year Sturdivant missed five games with a hamstring injury. In the other eight games he recorded 61 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, one interception, zero forced fumbles, and two passes defensed. 

Sturdivant was a second team and first team All-ACC selection during his career at North Carolina.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an uncertain situation at middle linebacker with starter Barrett Ruud headed into unrestricted free agency at the start of the next league year. Ruud is believed to be seeking a $7 million per year contract like the one the Packers signed linebacker A.J. Hawk to earlier this offseason. The Bucs do not believe Ruud is worth $7 million per season and they will let him test the market. For the right price Tampa Bay would re-sign Ruud.

Aside from Ruud, the Buccaneers have Tyrone McKenzie under contract for 2011 and he has played middle linebacker and weakside linebacker in practice. Sources with the Bucs would not say they were confident yet in McKenzie making the defensive calls in the huddle and pre-snap audibles.  

Sturdivant has the reputation of being a smart and instinctive linebacker. He reads plays quickly and reacts well to quarterbacks. Sturdivant played quarterback in high school and has an advanced understanding of the passing game.

He is a good pass coverage linebacker. He would have no problems turning and running down the middle seam in a Tampa 2 defense. Sturdivant reacts to the ball well and gets in position to make tackles downfield. He has the physical ability to play man coverage against tight ends and running backs.

In run defense Sturdivant is a linebacker with a lot of range to get to outside runs. His best attribute after the snap of the ball could be his perimeter run defense. He gets to the edge well and takes good angles to get position to make the tackle. Sturdivant is a consistent tackler. He is not a thumper in the box, but is able to contribute to some stops between the tackles.

Sturdivant was viewed as a high-character player and was elected a team captain for North Carolina, but he was arrested in July of 2010 and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

As a player Sturdivant is strikingly similar to Ruud. They have the same strengths and weaknesses. Sturdivant’s lack of size, strength, and physicality could make him a better fit as a Will (weakside) linebacker in the NFL. While Pewter Report would not necessarily draft Sturdivant, the Buccaneers are showing interest in him and are bringing him to Tampa Bay for a pre-draft visit.

The biggest weakness in Sturdivant’s game is a lack of physicality. He gets engulfed by blockers and cannot shed offensive linemen when they get to him at the second level. Sturdivant does not have the size and strength to take on blockers and hold his ground at the NFL level.
Sturdivant is not physical at the point of attack. Sturdivant is not a legit threat as a blitzer. He also is a drag down tackler and is not a violent linebacker that punishes offensive players.

Sturdivant also may land with a NFL team that does not have a dominant supporting cast like he benefited from during the majority of his North Carolina career. In front of Sturdivant was defensive tackle Marvin Austin and defensive end Robert Quinn. He had linebacker Bruce Carter lining up next to him and commanding a lot of attention from offenses. Carter was viewed as a top 20 pick before a late season ACL injury. In the secondary the Tar Heels had Kendric Burney, Deunta Williams, and Da'Norris Searcy. All of the players listed above are going to be drafted this year. Junior linebackers Kevin Reddick and Zach Brown have some early draft buzz around them for next year. Both of those juniors topped Sturdivant in tackles last season. The Tar Heels defense was filled with talent and Sturdivant benefitted from it.   

The Bucs and all NFL teams will want to thoroughly investigate Sturdivant’s college arrest.

12/30/10 vs. Tennessee 12 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 1 sack, 1 interception
9/25/10 at Rutgers 12 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for a loss, 1 pass broken up  
10/10/09 vs. Georgia Southern 5 tackles, 1 fumble returned 49 yards for a TD, 1.5 tackles for a loss, 1 forced fumble
11/29/08 at Duke 13 tackles, 1 forced fumble
10/11/08 vs. Notre Dame 10 tackles, .5 tackle for a loss, 1 interception returned 32 yards for a TD

Sturdivant is considered to be a late second- or early third-round pick at this time.

Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward

Maryland MLB Alex Wujciak

Marshall MLB Mario Harvey

Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas

Pittsburgh RB Dion Lewis

Missouri DE Aldon Smith

Kentucky RB Derrick Locke

North Carolina DE Robert Quinn

Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn

Wisconsin TE Lance Kendricks

Georgia DE/OLB Justin Houston

Florida G Mike Pouncey

North Carolina LB Bruce Carter

North Carolina State LB Nate Irving

Florida State G Rodney Hudson

Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod

Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan

Florida S Ahmad Black

Oklahoma State RB Kendall Hunter

Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara
Last modified on Friday, 08 April 2011 08:34

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  • avatar

    He isn't bad, but I think THUMPER from NC State is a better fit and a better player
  • avatar

    Remember guys, Dominik likes to bring in late round and priority free agent prospects for further evaluation. I think Sturdivant falls into that category. The marijuana incident is a concern.
  • avatar

    I hope having him in for pre-draft visit is smokescreen as this is more of a lowlight real than highlight real. Pewter Report accurately described his weaknesses. Unfortunately, I didnt see many strengths in this film.. I would consider it a reach if we drafted him anywhere in first 3 rounds and personally wouldnt draft him in 4th round either. Meanwhile, RB Dion Lewis from Pitt looks good. The more I see of him, the more I like him. I think if he is still there in 3rd round it might be tough to pass him up if there is no DE, LB, CB, or S worthy of the pick.
  • avatar

    Based on PR's description he sounds. Like a horrible pick. Not physical, slow and has a record... Good luck... I hope we pass for sure...
  • avatar

    THese are highlight films ? Man if this is the best they got on this guy, I would say pass. I only saw a couple of plays where he looked like he was outstanding and several plays where he looked like he was too slow and out of place.
  • avatar

    The game film sucks on this guy when he has a blocker on him he is out of the play he doesn't look to even try and get around the blocker. No thx I'll pass
  • avatar

    Maybe in the 4th round if still availalbe.
  • avatar

    Profile him and he comes up at 230 pounds which too small for the Bucs. Morris and Dominik will not pick him. You are wasteing paper. Go Bucs!!!!
  • avatar

    Just wanted thanks to CC and the rest of the PR team for the extensiveness of pre-draft evaluations this year. You're not just talking about the "obvious" players - you guys are actually digging through the piles. Great work guys! and even if they're guys that we, as fans, arent hyped up about - it at least it gives us a broader perspective of what is available. And heck, we may end up with some of these lesser known guys - so it makes you like them that much more if they DO end up on the team because you can say "oh yeah, I read about that guy in PR" Again, great work and thanks a lot!
  • avatar

    ya... pass. We need a physical presence in the middle.
  • avatar

    From the evaluatuion, he sounds very similar to Ruud
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