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NFL Combine Preview: Brandon Spikes

LB Brandon Spikes (Scheduled to work out with Group 9 on Monday, March 1)

Size and Statistics: 6-foot-3, 258 pounds. 307 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, 14 passes defended, six interceptions, four returned for touchdowns. 2008 First Team AP All-American.

In 140 characters or less: Has everything you want in a linebacker. But is he getting slow?

Strengths: Spikes is a very strong and aggressive player. As a run defender, he can get to the line quickly and shut down the hole.

On blitzes, Spikes can lineup outside and get to the quarterback if he times it right. In coverage, Spikes understands schemes and can get between the QB and the spot, often returning interceptions to the house. He can punt, too.

Weaknesses: Did not have a good senior season as leg injuries slowed him down. Spikes can be too aggressive, whether it is over-pursuing and leaving his assignment or checking the eyes of an opponent. He is a form tackler, but won't chase guys down.

Character: People will point to his eye exam of Georgia's Washaun Ealey, but he's never been a problem off the field and turned down the NFL for one more shot at college glory. For all the fury he brings on the field, Spikes is a soft spoken leader who leads by example. Florida's defensive intensity was much higher with Spikes on the field.

Where will he go: Buccaneers at 44. As a Bucs fan, I will immediately buy a Brandon Spikes Bucs jersey, even though no adult male should wear a football jersey, unless it says, "I HATE FSU," on the back. Also, Spikes would replace Barrett Ruud, who sucks. They're not saying, "Ruuuuud," they're saying, "Boooooo."