2017 Guide: What Ourlads' NFL Scouting Services said about HARDY NICKERSON JR.: Illinois, 5116 236 4.80. Four-year starter from Oakland, CA. Started three years at the University of California and one year as a graduate transfer at Illinois. He was the team captain as a junior at Cal and team captain in 2016 for the Illini. Finished his career with 353 tackles. Son of former NFL great Hardy Nickerson who was his defensive coordinator at Illinois. He is somewhat undersized for the position, but takes on bigger players with explosiveness and good technique. Good initial read and react. Physical downhill player who attacks blocks playing with good knee bend and hip roll on contact. Shoots his hands getting separation while maintaining leverage on the block. Quick to shed and work to the ball. Will get knocked out of his gap at times by an inline blocker. Will struggle with a physical blocker straight on. Quick to recover and takes good angles in pursuit. He is instinctive with a good nose for the ball. Chases from sideline to sideline with a closing burst. He is a solid fundamental tackler who finishes the play. Can be a little slow getting into his drop, but works to get depth and find work in a zone. Has good awareness in zone coverage and has a good break on the throw. Solid fundamental zone player, good route recognition and awareness, closes the voids in a zone. Not great in man coverage. He is a technically sound linebacker who lacks great athletic ability and size for the position. He is an energetic high motor player who is productive beyond his ability. Has a lot of good qualities and can make a team as a backup and special teams player. Shrine Game notes: He inherited his father’s football instincts and savvy. Always around the ball. Explosive downhill. He jacked up a 300-lb offensive tackle who was in his way to make a play. Finishes plays. Active in coverage and special teams’ coverage. 2016 stats: 107 T, 5.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 QBH, 2 INT. Edge speed:left 1.79, right 2.08. OSR:44/51. Seventh round/PFA. (A-31 1/2, H-9 7/8, BP-18, SS-4.39).