NFL DraftScouting Reports

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Donovan Manuel, LB, Florida International

Donovan Manuel is an instinctive LB at Florida International who displays good vision and quickness. Hula Bowl scout Ian McNice breaks down Manuel as an NFL Prospect in his report.

Player Data

Name, Jersey #Donovan Manuel #10
School (Code)Florida International University (FLIN)
Class YrrSr 
Height, Weight6005, 230 lbs 
40 Yd Dash4.76e 
Honors/Captainship2x Team Captain, 2022 All-Conference USA Honorable mention, 2x 1st Team All-SoCon , 2019 SoCon All-Freshman Team, 2021 All-American Third Team 
Season Viewed (yr)2023
Scout Name / DateIan McNice, 11/08/2023

Per Year Stats (Most Recent First)

20239 GP, 9 GS, 90 TKL, 12.5 TFL, 0.5 SK, 2 PD, 4 FF 
202212 GP, 12 GS, 97 TKL, 8.5 TFL, 1.0 SK, 3 PD, 1 FR 
202113 GP, 12 GS, 124 TKL, 9.5 TFL, 3.0 SK, 1 FF, 2 FR,  
20205 GP, 5 GS, 44 TKL, 6.0 TFL, 3.5 SK, 2 INT, 1 FF
201912 GP, 12 GS, 64 TKL, 5.5 TFL, 3 PD 
20184 GP, 1 TKL

Player Summary:

Redshirt Senior from Ellenwood, Georgia. Prior to signing with Florida International University he played 4 seasons at Eastern Tennessee State where he had a very decorated career. Marginal height, weight with adequate arm length, and above-average AA. Plays with good sideline to sideline acceleration, effective lateral quickness, good COD, and marginal balance. Solid keying run/pass, he takes a read step forward into his gap reading the mesh point using good COD and acceleration to get into his assignment. Solid vs the run between the tackles, he has good gap integrity vs zone concepts and consistently beats 2nd level blocks with superior athleticism. Efficient vs outside runs when aligned on play side, he plays aggressively by crashing and creating penetration with good pad level vs OT’s trying to work upfield. Below-average gap integrity from the backside vs gap scheme concepts, he flows too much from the backside attempting to split lead blockers and opens up a cutback lane for the ball carrier. When he does not play with an aggressive path he takes a flat angle attempting to backdoor blockers instead of working through the OL in space with UOH and AA. Solid in man coverage, he has shown to have the athletic traits to match RB/TE’s in space using good lateral quickness to maintain trail technique. Good and trustworthy in zone coverage, he is very good at understanding how to insert himself into short/intermediate windows taking away a good deal of what the offense can do underneath while having eyes on the QB. He has an efficient backpedal and uses above-average vision balance working from out to in to key offensive route concepts effectively. Solid ball skills, there is not a moment in coverage where he is not facing the QB keying in on their eyes as well as mobility when playing off script. Primarily creates pass breakups by timing up his hit up with the ball arriving rather than playing through the receiver’s hands.

Scheme Fit:

S MLB in 4-3 one gap scheme

Power Statement:

Manuel is a rangy MLB who excels in zone coverage, he has good sideline to sideline speed and above average FBI. He can improve vs gap scheme runs by not backdooring blockers in space and meeting lead blockers upfield shoulders with force. I expect him to test well in agility and speed drills, helping improve his stock. 

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