STRENGTHS - He has outstanding overall athletic ability, play speed, & range for the position at the NFL level. He is a very gifted run & pass defender in space. He is very quick to read his keys & close on the ball as a run defender near the LOS. He is a smart & aware zone defender with strong m/m coverage ability as well. He is a very good tackler on the move in space. He has added value to consider as a possible core special teams player at the next level.
WEAKNESSES - He has a lean frame with limited actual growth potential to add for the position at the NFL level. He lacks good bulk strength & power to stack & shed quickly from blockers. He is easily covered-up & removed by the TE within the box. He does not fit for a team that runs a 34 scheme, except as a NKL OLB & special teams player. He had a dumb personal foul, hitting the QB in the face with both hands at Pittsburgh. Buchanon tore the ACL in his right knee in the fifth game of 2011 and missed the rest of the season and then in the second game of the 2012 season he re-injured the same knee and missed the rest of the season. So, obviously the long term health of his right knee is a major question mark and will likely lead to Buchanon going undrafted despite producing like a third round player when healthy.
SUMMARY - Buchanon is a two-year starter as the WLB for the Hurricanes in 2011. He began his career as a Safety, before moving to WLB near the end of his freshman season. He has a lean, underdeveloped frame with very good arm length & limited room to fill-out for the position at the NFL level. However, he has outstanding overall athletic qualities, to go with strong instincts & production, in order to be considered a strong pro prospect for a team that runs a 43 defensive scheme. He shows outstanding overall athleticism, speed, quickness, closing ability, & range in his play. He is quick to read his keys & react to the ball as a run defender. Although he gives away a lot of size & strength, he has an excellent motor & an aggressive playing style to be a disruptive perimeter run defender. He shows just above average hand use to shed quickly from a blocker once engaged. With a clear path, he can close in a hurry & covers sideline-to-sideline laterally very quickly. He does a good job of making himself slippery, so as to not get tied-up with blockers 100+lbs bigger than him. In pass coverage, he shows excellent overall awareness, anticipation skills, & ball reactions. He has the speed, foot quickness, & agility to run with a RB or a slot WR downfield. In limited opportunities, he shows the ability to close fast as a blitzer off the edge. However, he had a real cheap, dumb penalty against Pittsburgh when he clobbered the head of the QB. He has all the physical & athletic qualities to be a stand-out special teams player at the next level. Overall, prior to his injuries he merited solid 3rd round draft consideration by a team that runs a 43 scheme, but now it is highly likely that he will go un-drafted. If he is able to return to 100% in time he will be a highly productive back-up & special teams player, until he learns the intricacies of a pro defense. He reminds me a lot of former Lobo Quincy Black [3rd round-#68-TB] due to his size, athletic ability, & instincts. .