Lindsay played seven games as a redshirt freshman at linebacker before transition to defensive end for the following season, when he showed glimpses of his pass rush ability (18 tackles, 5.5 for loss, four sacks). Finally given the chance to play regularly as a junior, Lindsey earned second-team All-Big East honors by leading the conference with 17.5 tackles for loss, ranking second with 10 sacks and three forced fumbles.
New Pitt head coach Todd Graham will be using Lindsey at the "Panther" position, where he'll be standing up as a rusher as well as a capable run-stopper on the edge. He does not have elite straight-line speed or quickness, but his strength and pass rush ability may remind scouts of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Lamarr Woodley and allow him to follow his former teammate, Jabaal Sheard, in becoming a top 40 pick.
Read & React: Reacts well to draw plays and misdirection, sniffs out screens to his side of the field. Keeps his eyes in the backfield when rushing the passer, uses hands and strength to stay in the play when quarterback flushes to his side. Runs out of gas and loses the ball during games when forced to play every-down with his hand on the ground.
Run Defense: Often engulfed by NFL-caliber tackles due to his lack of height, but uses his low center of gravity to flash leverage, strong punch into the chest of tackle to create space and shed to either side. Also spins off blocks to disengage. Gets off tight end blocks easily to flow to the ball. Gets low and creates piles in short-yardage situations. Defeats fullback advances with strong hands, but must improve consistency beating cut blocks.
Pass Defense: Drops into coverage on occasion, needs work on angles and finding receivers in zone. Does not possess elite quickness to stay with slot receivers, but has enough hustle and athleticism to make plays in the flat against running backs. Lacks height but has vertical and timing to knock away passes when approaching the quarterback.
Tackling: Possesses strong upper body to be explosive and create turnovers as a tackler, especially when bringing down the quarterback. Fails to break down at times, though, grabbing shoulder pads and lunging to allow ballcarriers to elude him. Takes aggressive angles to the ball. Inconsistent hustle. Only adequate change of direction ability, can chase down ballcarriers into the hole but also loses his balance too often in the open field.
Pass Rush/Blitz: Strong, violent hands are his best asset, allowing him to swim past blockers for inside rush lane or get to past their outside shoulder. Possesses good quickness off the snap, turns the corner often enough to be a consistent pass rush threat. Takes advantage of wide rush technique to get around tackles, and anticipates the snap count if quarterback does not change up the cadence. Lines up on the left and right side of the formation. Lacks size to bull rush stronger tackles.
Intangibles: Stepped up his game when he had to transition from reserve to starter due to injury to Greg Romeus in 2010. Puts in his time in the weight room. No major character concerns."
Possesses good, but not great, speed around the edge, and isn't a guy who can only win with his initial speed rush. He exhibits decent bend around the edge, but struggles maintaining balance and accelerating through contact.
Is at his best taking tackles up the field and using his suddenness to work the quick arm over inside in order to slip and accelerate toward the quarterback. Does display good short area quickness in tight areas, extends his arms well and can be sudden slipping blocks inside or slow-playing his rush off the line and working toward the corner.
Has a tendency to get upright when looking to slip laterally, and when a tackle can get their hands on him, he can he stonewalled and struggles to slip through contact.
Will work his slightly above-average bull rush at times getting upright through contact. But, he will turn his back toward the play at times when trying to shoot the C-gap and threaten inside off the edge, but he's a long arms guy with natural power who, if he can keep his base down through contact, should improve as a bull rusher.
He struggles with his pad level as a run defender, getting too upright quickly off the line looking for the football and allowing bigger blockers to gain leverage and work him from the play. Struggles to disengage and beat slide down blocks once a lineman can get their hands on him.
He needs to win off the snap either shooting gaps or using his quick arm over to slide step blocks. Lacks ideal pad level into contact vs. in-line run game, and will begin to turn his back.
He's not a real physical stack and shed guy when his hand is on the ground. He will drop off into coverage at times, he looks a little tight and gets high in drop, but possesses good range off his frame when asked to click and close and did a nice job being physical/balanced with tight ends in coverage.
Impression: A good athlete with a compact frame who knows how to get after the quarterback in a number of ways, but isn't dynamic in any area. Doesn't look like a playmaking type pass rusher, but his laterally quickness will give him a shot as a rush backer."
Not a natural pass rusher and is one-dimensional — relies on stutter steps and shoulder fakes, as his first-step quickness and flexibility to bend the corner are ordinary.
Shows poor eyes and instincts, has an inconsistent motor, isn't quick- or strong-handed and doesn't play with power."
Lindsey can create pressure because of his good snap awareness, quickness, and 2nd gear. He is able to get a good jump on the snap and accelerate towards the quarterback after he reaches the edge. His high motor allows him to purse plays down the field.
The main reason Lindsey will have to transition to linebacker is his poor play against the run. He doesn't play the run with integrity often shooting a gap or getting up field. This opens running lanes to both the inside and outside. To often he lost his containment resulting in a big play. His lack of hand usuage made it difficult for him to anchor and hold his ground.
Overall, Lindsey has the athletic ability to play linebacker in the NFL. However, he needs to show better pass rush moves and the ability to stack and shed against the run.
Bold Statement: Brandon Lindsey will be selected as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the 2nd or 3rd round.
Games Viewed: Miami ('10), West Virginia ('10), UConn ('10)
- Lindsey lines up at defensive end but will likely play linebacker in the NFL
- He has a good motor and always gives 100% effort
- His 2nd gear is his biggest strength as it allows him to pursue and create pressure
- Lindsey has a good awareness for the football and is able to create fumbles
- He also possesses good snap awareness and gets off the ball quickly
- Lindsey is able to maintain good leverage by keeping his pad level low
- He appears to have the athletic ability and quicks to make the adjustment to linebacker
- His lack of a pass rushing arsenal makes it difficult for him to generate constant pressure
- Lindsey doesn't not play the run with integrity as he often gets up field and looses containment
- He doesn't use his hands and anchor often turning his back to the line"
Very quick off the snap and relentless in pursuit of the ball; low-based player who can maintain leverage once he’s turned the corner;
Also an athletic player who can turn and play in reverse."
Lindsey is undersized as a lineman, but will likely be stand-up linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He can pass rush along the edge and rush right into a blocker's chest, with great, active hands to gain separation.
Lindsey is very explosive off the line with a great twitch, but does have a tendency to overplay his assignment. He will need to play with better instincts, but those will come with more experience; on the flip side of that, he plays extremely fast.
His tackling technique is average and too often goes for the big hit. Teams can correct that in time. The big concern has to do with his size. He has a lean build, but has plenty of room for growth.
At the next level, defenses will need to coach up his ability to more effectively read and recognize the play. He gets sucked up into the line on occasion, which cuts off his pursuit angles to the ball-carrier.
Overall, Lindsey is the typical pass-rushing specimen who will need to grow his talents in order to develop a well-rounded game. His aggressiveness can be improved upon and eventually, he will be groomed into more than just a pass rusher."