Ben Boulware is working out and going through drills today at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ind., but he feels he has nothing left to prove to scouts.
The All-American linebacker believes he proved himself over the last four years at Clemson.
“I feel like I have nothing to prove, that I’m the most complete linebacker in this draft,” Boulware told reporters at the combine on Saturday. “I feel like with my stats and everything I’ve done over the past four years… I’ve had over 350 tackles in the past four years, I had over 130 this year, I’ve been the MVP of three bowl games, including a national championship.”
Boulware knows that he’s not the biggest, fastest or most physically gifted linebacker in the draft pool, and knows that he won’t be selected in April’s NFL Draft based on those traits.
But Boulware — who led the national champions with 131 tackles in 2016 while winning the Jack Lambert Award as the nation’s top linebacker — thinks his stats at the college level speak for themselves. And he thinks his ability to be highly productive, along with intangibles such as leadership, show up when turning on the game film.
Said Boulware: “I feel like with my leadership and my knowledge of the game and my ability to point out plays and point to where the ball’s going, even before the snap happens — there’s not a linebacker, and there’s no disrespect to any other linebackers, there’s a lot of great players in this draft. And I know I’m not perfect. But there’s not a linebacker in this draft and probably drafts before that you can see on film multiple times pointing, waving like, come over here, the ball’s going there and it happens. So I feel like all that being said, you’re not going to draft me because I’m 6-foot? I feel like that’s not someone doing their homework.
“I have all the qualities to make a great linebacker and I’m very confident in that, I’m very confident in my tape. That’s why I tell everybody, just watch the tape. That’s all I really have to say.”
Boulware is projected to be a late-round draft pick or undrafted free agent by most pundits, who point to his lack of athleticism or burst.
Instead of focusing on that, which he doesn’t necessarily agree with, Boulware says scouts need look at what he’s done on the field and how hard he’s worked to get to this point.
“I realize where the Lord’s blessed me and where he hasn’t, and I’ve maximized everything that he’s placed in my life, and everything he hasn’t, just put in the side door,” Boulware said. “I’m not really worried about it, and I realized that everything I have, I’ve gotta maximize it every single day and I feel like I have, at least for the past four years. So that’s why I feel like I’m the most complete linebacker in the draft.”