Name: Joe Dineen Jr.
CONFERENCE: Big 12
CLASS: RS Senior
JERSEY: No. 29
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 235 lbs
Football Intelligence –Doesn’t show a lot of ideal anticipation or quick read ability in the box, often a flat footed read and when looking to act doesn’t have the functional athleticism to play that style. At best in tight windows to shoot single gaps.
Tackling –Pretty potent pads, comes to balance prior to contact well and squares up his hits, even with sub-optimal length and wingspan. Tackling consistency breaks down when he’s tasked with scraping laterally and simultaneously challenging the football.
Block Shedding –Lack of length is apparent when looking to shuck blocks after plugging gaps. Doesn’t have a lot of space to operate and hand counters to discard blockers are pretty vanilla. Is more of a block stuffer than a block shedder.
Competitive Toughness –Like his physicality. Is a big presence in the box when he’s stuck in the phone booth. Not afraid to stick his face in the fan and stuff up blockers. Hustle from the backside of plays is present and has helped yield a lot of extra production.
Lateral Mobility –Needs to be protected from having to flow sideline to sideline. His general range should be regarded as between the numbers, he’ll labor notably if he’s trying to work outside of that space and gives up extra yardage when trying to stay over top of the run.
Coverage Skills –Shows notable stiffness in the hips when trying to hinge or play away from the LOS. Doesn’t have the burst or acceleration needed to stay in the hip of RBs out of the backfield and transitional quickness will limit him when tasked with carrying TEs.
Gap Shooting Ability –Is at his best when stepping down into interior gaps, is capable of banging through a crease and plugging up gaps effectively. First step quickness limits his ability to beat blockers to a spot but he’s got the functional strength to push through contact and finish in the backfield.
Feet/Change of Direction –Lateral mobility and burst are nothing to write home about. Is a linear athlete, won’t show a lot of lateral range when tasked with redirecting or having to pinball to mirror ball carriers in space. Will get beat in head up cuts to the corner.
Flexibility –Pretty stiff in the hips. Doesn’t do well when tasked with getting width and scrape over the top. Lacking in the ability to really open himself and get depth. Doesn’t show a lot of lean into contact or tilt to carry speed while working the corner around blockers.
First Step Quickness –Lacks explosiveness and juice. Has one speed and won’t close on ball carriers with any notable burst. Can be caught too flat footed and pedestrian athletic abilities prevent any notable recovery.
BEST TRAIT – Competitive Toughness
WORST TRAIT – Lateral Mobility
BEST FILM – Oklahoma State (2017)
WORST FILM – West Virginia (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Joe Dineen’s draft projection would have had a very different tone 20 years ago. Dineen’s type is fading in the NFL, he’s a one gap plug linebacker who is effective stuffing up the point of attack but otherwise lacks the range to stay on the field with any notable consistency. Dineen can fill a niche role in the NFL but his lack of notable athletic ability will pose challenges for teams hoping to get special teams reps out of him to add his value to a spot on the 53-man roster.
PROS: Traditional stand-up linebacker. He is an enforcer on the field. Penetrates gaps with great timing and power. Consistent flow sideline to sideline in run support. Able to scrape and fill gaps. Solid tackling base and technique. Does a nice job at gathering as a solo tackler in space. Natural leader on the field. Very solid, muscular frame.
Cons: Only an average athlete at best. Seems stuck in the mud at times, and is pretty slow in comparison to other 235-pound linebackers. Struggles in pass coverage who looks uncomfortable in zone coverage and reading crossers. Stiff hip flipper. May lack the versatility to play outside linebacker at the next level.