STRENGTHS - While not a big linebacker, Norman plays bigger and stronger than his measured size. He flashes the ability to take on lead blocks with good leverage, can shed and make tackle. On running plays away he is quick identifying the play, accelerates quickly down the LOS and has the speed to chase down the play in pursuit. Chasing after ball carriers and closing on receivers, Norman is able to move quickly and easily through traffic. Instinctive and aware, Norman does not get fooled by trick or miss-direction plays. Maintains responsibility on play-fake away with "naked roll back" pass to his side of field. He is quick picking up RB and TE in man coverage and reads the QB/Pass well from off and can close quickly to make hard hit right after the catch. Norman has the athleticism, speed and instincts to be a productive special teams player in the NFL.
WEAKNESSES - Lacking ideal size, Norman can be engulfed by big OL blockers on the second level and eliminated from the play. While he flashes the ability to take on lead blockers with good leverage, which allows him to hold ground, he does not do it consistently enough. Despite being a productive defender who makes many tackles, he does not make enough impact plays rushing the passer or intercepting passes. .
SUMMARY - Norman is not a well known prospect nationally, but with his athleticism, smarts and instincts he is a good linebacker prospect. Years ago under-sized linebackers like Norman did not have great value because they were much more productive in coverage than against the run. However, in today's pass friendly NFL athletic linebackers who excel in pass coverage have increased value. Norman consistently picks up RB releasing out of the backfield and can cover him down the field on "wheel" route. He does a good job of sliding and moving in zone coverage, reads and reacts to the QB/Pass quickly and has a good closing burst to make hard hit right after the catch. Overall, Norman will likely not be drafted as highly as I have him rated, but I believe that he will be an excellent backup linebacker and special teams player for a team that plays a 43 defense.