6-4 238lbs Senior
2006 – 42 Tackles, 10 Assisted, 5 TFL, 1 Sack, 2 Passes Defensed, 1 INT, 1 Forced Fumble
2007 – 97 Tackles, 42 Assisted, 12 TFL, 1.5 Sacks, 4 Passes Defensed, 1 INT, 2 Forced Fumbles
2008 – 110 Tackles, 29 Assisted, 11 TFL, 2.5 Sacks, 8 Passes Defensed, 6 INTs, 2 TDs, 2 Forced Fumbles, 2 Fumbles Recovered
Mark Herzlich is the blueprint for linebackers. He is physically imposing, gives 100% effort every down, and lays big production down on the field. You will be hard pressed to find any highlight or game film in which Mark isn’t around the football moving like a freight train. Does a great job of finishing tackles and tracking the ball in the run game. His cover skills have improved greatly over his career and he does a great job of reading routes and keeping up with slot receivers. In the 2009 Draft, there were many reports about how LB Aaron Curry out of Wake Forest was the surest bet player in the draft and even a few voices chimed that he was the best player overall. High praise indeed, but it is interesting to note that that year Aaron Curry wasn’t even the best defensive player, let alone linebacker in his conference as Mark Herzlich took home the 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year Award.
For his high motor and consistent effort, Herzlich isn’t as accomplished at getting to the quarterback. He has 5 sacks over 3 years and has been credited with only one QB hurry in that same span. Might not be an ideal 3-4 linebacker, but could play any of the three 4-3 linebacker positions.
Even people who don’t follow college football that closely have heard of Mark’s battle with Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of cancer found in his leg. He announced at an October 3rd football game against Florida State that he was cancer free and would be playing in 2010. Recovering from any cancer treatment takes a tremendous toll on your body and it shouldn’t be expected that Mark be back to his old form completely. From a scouting stand point his evaluation should be treated like any player returning for a major injury: knowing that he has a ton of potential and seeing how he and his body respond to these new challenges. However, there isn’t a lot of precedence for returning to play football after beating cancer and I am sure he will be eased back into it if the coaches can help it.
Depending on his recovery, he could be one of the first linebackers taken or as a flyer in the 3rd to 5th rounds. Should make the Eagles interesting to watch to see how he makes his way back.