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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Tristan Wheeler, LB, Richmond

Tristian Wheeler is a smart LB for Richmond who possesses above-average instincts. Senior Hula Bowl scout Mike Bey breaks down Wheeler as an NFL Prospect in his report.
Tristian Wheeler is a smart LB for Richmond who possesses above-average instincts. Senior Hula Bowl scout Mike Bey breaks down Wheeler as an NFL Prospect in his report.

Player Data

Name, Jersey #Tristan Wheeler, #30
School (Code)VARI
DOB, Class Yr4/6/2001, RS SR
Height, Weight6006e, 228e
40 Yd Dash4.74e
Position/DepthLB/1st
Honors/CaptainshipTeam Captain, ’22 FCS All-American (Steele, Stats Perform), ’21 FCS All-American 2nd Team (Stats Perform)’21 FCS All-American 3rd Team (Hero Sports)1st Team All-CAA (’20-’22), 3rd Team All-CAA (’19)
Season Viewed (yr)2022
Games Watched@VAUN, VAWM, NCDA, @CASA
Scout Name / DateMike Bey 8/21/2023

Per Year Stats (Most Recent First)

202213 GP, 13 GS, 110 Tkl, 11 TFL, 2 Sacks, 2 INT, 3 PBU, 7 QBH
202111 GP, 11 GS, 114 Tkl, 6 TFL, 1 Sack, 2 3 PBU
20204 GP, 4 GS, 38 Tkl, 2.5 TFL
201912 GP, 9 GS, 104 Tkl, 3.5 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 PBU, 2 FF

Player Summary:

RS SR and 4 yr full-time starter at LB where he shows good position versatility aligning at each of the ILB spots in the 3-4 and 3-3-5, 2-4-5 Nickel defense of VARI. He possesses adequate height, poor weight and subpar speed with a powerful build. He is a solid athlete showing a combination of solid COD, explosiveness, acceleration, balance, lateral quickness and agility with solid play speed. He is solid against the run overall. He shows good FBI as he quickly reads run/pass, navigates through traffic showing above-average instincts as he takes the correct angle in pursuit. His above-average range enables him to play sideline to sideline. He displays solid explosiveness as he makes the tackle on RB with average size and play speed preventing a gain of significant yardage. Against the pass, he quickly drops in coverage to defend the curl zone with solid awareness keeping RB and TE in his periphery while reading the QB. In rare instances where he is in man coverage, he displays good ability to cover RB with ordinary AA in the flat. He is an average pass rusher as he uses his solid acceleration and burst to penetrate the LOS and shows good closing speed in pursuit before pressuring the QB to release the ball earlier than anticipated. He exhibits good mental toughness as he rises to the occasion against good competition. Plays with a very good motor as he plays until the whistle consistently. Ordinary play strength prevents him from quickly disengaging from run blocks by TE/OL with solid play strength and physical toughness. Adequate form tackling ability causes him to rely on his explosiveness to make the tackle and struggles to consistently use good form leading to missed tackles. Unable to comment on his ball skills due to lack of opportunities presented in the games that were viewed.

Scheme Fit:

Will in 4-3.

Power Statement:

Intelligent, experienced, versatile, tough player who is solid against the run and can pressure the QB in addition to displaying solid awareness in zone. Lack of quality play strength causes him to struggle to quickly disengage against TE/OL with solid play strength and physical toughness. Inconsistent form tackling ability leads to missed tackles. 

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