Milo Eifler - LB, Illinois
By the numbers:
6'2", 228 pounds. 4.58 40-yard dash per pro day measurements.
2020: 27 tackles (3.5 for loss), one sack and one pass broken up in six games played.
Milo Eifler is an athletic linebacker prospect with great range for the position. He possesses fluid hips and is a decisive player, picking a route and committing to it immediately. Eifler is capable of dropping into coverage or navigating through traffic near the line of scrimmage. His versatility is a plus as he enters the NFL.
Physicality is one of Eifler's calling cards. At just under 230 pounds, his stack-and-shed ability is better than expected. He's a big hitter who celebrates with a passion and clearly loves dishing out punishment to the opposition. Eifler is an intense and aggressive player who will immediately add some punch to the back end of a team's linebacking corps.
Risk-taking is a major part of Eifler's game, as his aggressiveness can come back to bite him at times. When losing the battle in man coverage, he uses his hands far too much. In run support, he often goes for the big hit rather than the form tackle. He bites on misdirection runs and play-action. There's an all-or-nothing element that makes up part of Eifler's profile, and it's both a blessing and a curse.
Eifler is still developing, both mentally and possibly physically. In order to become more than a depth piece or special teamer in the NFL, he will need to improve his play recognition skills and awareness during coverage drops. His angles when attacking downhill against the run are erratic. Depending on what linebacker spot he plays at the next level, Eifler may need to add more weight. He's undersized for a traditional SAM and while he is a pad-popper on occasion, getting stronger would make him a more consistent run defender.
How Eifler fits with the Chiefs:
As things currently stand, Anthony Hitchens and Willie Gay Jr. are projected to be the Chiefs' two starting linebackers at the MIKE and WILL spots. A starting SAM is still needed, although that player will come off the field on obvious passing downs and plays well less than 50% of the team's snaps. Eifler's physicality projects well as a SAM, although his athleticism makes him more of a WILL right now. He's a perfect developmental linebacker — a ball of clay that defensive coordinators can mold into whatever they want.
Eifler is a great athlete who plays with a tremendous amount of intensity. It sometimes comes back to bite him, though, and he'll need to dial things back a bit in order to see the field in the NFL. If he can speed up his processor and possibly fill out his frame, he could play a variety of roles for a defense. Eifler is a worthy Day 3 pick who grades out as a sixth-round prospect with plenty of potential.