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Pittsburgh Steelers Undrafted Rookie Free Agent Profile: Northern Illinois Outside Linebacker Alan Baxter

May 7th, 2013 at 9:42 PM
By Mark Mihalko

The Pittsburgh Steelers made many fans happy when they grabbed Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. However, for some, that was not enough help at outside linebacker and those fans may be right. The Steelers do have the core of their linebacking corps under contract for 2013, but as is the case with many positions, depth could be an issue moving forward with Jason Worilds heading into the unrestricted free agent market after the season.

'Go Daddy Bowl: 2012 4'th quarter' photo (c) 2005, midwestnerd - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
One of the undrafted free agents could be a player worth developing on the outside, Northern Illinois defensive end / linebacker Alan Baxter. The two-year starter may be a touch undersized (6-0, 250 pounds) but he has the athletic skills to potentially make the transition to outside linebacker, clocking a 4.71 40-yard dash. In all he put up solid numbers in college, with 108 tackles, 24 for loss and 15 sacks over those two seasons as a starter at defensive end.

During those seasons, he demonstrated a quick first snap, change of direction skill and enough burst to get to the quarterback. He does struggle to set the edge against the run and can be engulfed by single blockers, which could be a problem in the NFL.

 

In the end, he may have the athleticism to develop, although he may need a season on the practice squad to get stronger. At this point, he could be a pass rush specialist with the speed to get around the edge, and he should be one to follow at training camp.

San Diego State Offensive lineman Nik Embernate  (Profile 4/23)

West Virginia center Joe Madsen (Profile 4/29)

Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike Golic, Jr. (Profile 4/30)

Penn State offensive tackle Mike Farrell (Profile 5/2)

UAB offensive guard Chris Hubbard (Profile 5/3)

USC running back Curtis McNeal (Profile 5/4)

West Virginia wide receiver J.D. (Profile 5/5)

Northern Illinois linebacker Alan Baxter

West Virginia outside linebacker Terence Garvin

Northwestern defensive end Brian Arnfelt

Utah wide receiver Reggie Dunn

Louisiana-Lafayette defensive end Cordian Hagans

Florida defensive tackle Omar Hunter

Hawaii long snapper Luke Ingram

Also,

Tags: Alan Baxter, Football, Jarvis Jones, Jason Worilds, NFL, Northern Illinois, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers

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