NFL Analysis


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Junior Colson 2024 NFL Draft: Combine Results, Scouting Report For Los Angeles Chargers LB

Michigan Wolverines linebacker Junior Colson
Michigan linebacker Junior Colson (25) runs a drill during open practice at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

The 2024 NFL Draft is getting close, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the class' best players with scouting reports. Each report will include strengths, weaknesses and background information. 

Here's our report on Junior Colson.

Junior Colson's 2024 NFL COMBINE RESULTS

  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 238
  • 40-yard dash: DNP
  • 10-yard split: DNP
  • 20-yard shuttle: DNP
  • Vertical jump: DNP
  • Broad jump: DNP
  • Arm length: 32 1/2"



  • Versatility to align in different locations. Deployed in multiple ways, including playing in space.
  • Showed physicality by taking on blocks in the run game. Snaps with quick key and diagnose attacking blockers at LOS.
  • Long, rangy athlete with easy movement who showed an excellent feel for working in the box in the run game.
  • Showed strong, quick hands to take on, stack and shed OL blocks in the box in the run game. Physical mindset.
  • Naturally quick with light feet and the lateral agility to avoid blocks in the box without losing his gap integrity.
  • Effective as a stacked LB in the box, making plays in the run game with physicality and athletic quickness.
  • The athleticism and range to play in space and make plays inside out with plus play speed and pursuit range.
  • Showed he could match up to receivers in underneath coverage. Athleticism to zone match wide receivers.
  • 2023 – Played with aggression and physicality in the box in the run game. Took on blocks using hands effectively.
  • Build up accelerating speed, working inside out. More of a runway-speed LB than a short-area, sudden twitch LB.
  • Consistently a good tackler. Played with excellent body control to stop and wrap, rarely allowing broken tackles.


  • Good athlete but not a sudden explosive athlete. Needs to see things fast to play to his optimum athleticism.
  • Inconsistent at times with his gap integrity in the run game. At times, he got lost in traffic inside and was out of position.
  • Needs to develop a better feel and awareness for finding and locating routes as an underneath zone defender.
  • Can Colson match up with TE in running intermediate and vertical routes?
  • He still had run game snaps from the stacked alignment in which he got lost in what he was seeing. Late to react.
  • Must get quicker and cleaner with his key and diagnose from stacked LB alignment. At times, he is late to recognize.
  • Overall, he showed functional range sideline-to-sideline but not a twitchy sudden mover with great play speed.
  • Did not give you much as a blitzer too often slowing down before contact. Did not make many impact plays.

Michigan Wolverines linebacker Junior Colson
Purdue running back Devin Mockobee (45) runs against Michigan linebacker Junior Colson (25)] during the second half of the Big Ten Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.


Colson’s tape from 2022 and 2023 showed a good athlete with excellent size and length for the stacked LB position. He was more measured and methodical in his movement than natural explosive and was consistently effective making plays in the run game.

Colson did not play with a quick trigger or sudden burst but rather reacted efficiently to the run game as it played out. As a result, he made most of his tackles as a scrape-and-flow LB beyond the first level of the defense.

He was much more of a read-and-react LB than a dynamic playmaker, but he did show that he could use his hands and arms effectively to stack and shed and make tackles in the run game. That was a strength of his game throughout his tape.

Colson has excellent length for an off-the-ball, stacked LB. That consistently showed in his scrape-and-flow ability where he covered ground easily and, at times, effortlessly. There is no question he is an excellent tackler.

He has the length and athleticism to match up man-to-man on TEs. Overall, he was better as a man coverage defender than he was as an underneath zone coverage defender; he had some assignment and discipline issues.

My sense watching Colson’s tape was that he would transition to the NFL as an off-the-ball LB with stylistic similarities to players like Jordan Hicks, Germaine Pratt and Zaire Franklin, who are all solid NFL LB with high tackle totals but not necessarily impact playmakers.

Colson is one of the better LB prospects in the 2024 draft class, and I believe he will become a quality starter at a stacked LB relatively early in his career.


Colson came out of Tennessee as a four-star recruit and a top-100 prospect nationally. He became a starter at Michigan in his freshman season.

In 2022, Colson was predominantly a stacked LB, but there were also snaps when he was an overhang defender and bumped out just outside the formation.

Colson matched up man-to-man on detached running backs. He also matched up man-to-man on TEs. He was deployed as a blitzer, and there were also snaps when he was used as a looper on inside stunts. There were snaps in which he was the middle-hole defender in Cover 2.

In 2023, Colson was again predominantly a stacked LB but also had snaps on the ball, on the edge and over the slot, depending on the offensive formation and the defensive personnel and call. There were man coverage snaps in which Colson matched up to the TE and Cover 2 snaps in which he was the middle hole defender.