Scouting Report: Lyden Trail, DE/OLB

Does this small school prospect have what it takes to make it in the NFL?

Does this small school prospect have what it takes to make it in the NFL?

For those who were sad to hear that Shawn Oakman has decided to go back to school for another year, all hope is not lost.  Small school standout Lyden Trail is very similar to Oakman in physical stature, but how does his game translate to the NFL? Let’s take a look.

Name: Lyden Trail

School: Norfolk State (Sr.)

Height: 6’7″

Weight: 266 Lbs.



At 6’7″ Trail possesses the tall frame and long arms that the NFL covets. He is a fluid athlete who shows good flexibility and bend when running the arc.  He uses  his long arms and strong hands to his advantage to separate from the offensive lineman and has decent strength, which allows him to set the edge in the running game.  Trail has a good first step and quickness, allowing him to get after the QB.  He is athletically gifted as evidenced by his ability to play DT and DE with his hand in the ground as well as OLB and some CB.  He was also the gunner on punt coverage.  On the first play below, Trail does a nice job setting the edge, then shedding the block to make the tackle in the backfield. On the second play, Trail shows his quickness from the DT position to get around the interior lineman and again make the tackle in the backfield.



Coming from Norfolk State, the big question is whether Trail can handle the jump in competition.  He has a long, lanky frame and will need to get stronger to hold up in the NFL.  Technique wise he is inconsistent and leans on his athleticism rather than technique and pass rush moves to get to the QB.  He also plays high, allowing less talented offensive linemen to move him out of plays, as highlighted in the video below.



Trail is a raw athlete with unique physical abilities that can’t be taught.  He will need time in an NFL camp to develop both his strength and technique so he will not be a significant contributor in year one.  Although he played quite a bit as a 3-4 OLB, I think his best position will be to bulk up and play a 4-3 edge rusher. Even though he plays at a small school, he was heavily recruited and played at Florida before transferring after Coach Meyer left.  He has great potential and will probably get drafted higher than expected as a result.  I give Trail a mid day 3 pick.


24 Responses to “Scouting Report: Lyden Trail, DE/OLB”

  1. Paul Hayes says:

    Interesting that has the pats taking 4 OL in rds 3-5. They have them taking Notre Dame OG Coner Hanratty at the end of the 3rd. With the 4th rd pick from Tampa the pick is Oregon OT Jake Fisher. End of 4th rd the pick is Wisconsin ROT Rob Havenstein. That guy is huge at 6′ 7″ and 327 lbs. At end of the 5th rd OC Mike Matthews from Texas A&M. They have NE taking FSU DT Eddie Goldman in the 1st and Michigan ST WR Tony Lippett in the 2nd. Wash St. ILB Darryl Monroe in the 6th. They didn’t mock the 7th. I like the idea of loading up on the OL. What do you think of their picks? I don’t think any of the following will drop to the Pats, but Danny Shelton, Melvin Gordon, or La’el Collins would be my pick in the 1st. If they’re all gone, I would trade down and grab a couple of the top O linemen early.

    • steve earle says:

      You know Paul, after last nights game with Balt it has to be apparent to most people that taking a WR early can’t be the smart way to go ( all due respect to drafttek). Our o-line accounted for 12 rushing yards, 12. Then our d-line let Flacco sit mostly unmolested in the pocket and were unable to consistently stop their run. Ask yourself how will another WR have any effect on that? The Guys at drafttek should actually try watching some games rather then just crunching stats.

  2. Russell says:

    Signing Patriot free agents will be very important leading into the draft. Who do you like outside the Patriots as a free agent, at a low cost ???

    For me it would be LB Casey Matthews.

    • Jeff says:

      I like veteran Anthony Spencer at DE – if he continues to recover from his injury, he could contribute, if not, he can at least push Buchanan and Moore and any draft picks, like Will Smith did this season.

    • Jeff says:

      If you’re looking for low-cost guys that can compete for a spot or fill in a hole in case a target position for the draft doesn’t materialize, Bill is likely to look at guys who are cut from other teams, which avoids penalty in the compensation pick formula (for example, Pat Chung or Don Jones). Since you’re not banking on these guys for major contributions anyways, you may as well improve your compensation picks by focusing on cut players, who are often skilled but aren’t worth their contract due to age or injury. I think the Pats will be looking for a LB, DE, G, and TE as low cost FAs who can compete for roster spots and/or protect them in case they come up dry in the draft.

  3. Russell says:

    My Mock updated;

    1st-OL- Cameron Erving
    2nd-DE- Henry Anderson
    3d- LB -Ramilk Wilson
    3d-(comp)- WR Kenny Bell
    4th-(tamp)-OL B.J. Finney
    4th- LB -Jeff Luc
    6th- LB Davis Tull
    7th- OL – Gregg Mancz

    • td says:

      I would agree that Erving would be a great pick, but I’m sure every team drafting ahead of us would also covet a big OLineman that can play all 5 positions, unless of course he gets injured, arrested, punches a coach or is a character witness for Aaron Hernandez between now and the draft.

      We do need a backup at RT that can spell and/or replace Solder, but his up and down play is going to result in his getting a much lower payday than Vollmer by far.

      • Russell says:

        I think there is a group of Olineman ahead of Erving on the draft board; OT Peat, OT Scherff, OT Collins, and OT Ogbuehi. Other possible guys in the area of Erving, OT Sambrailo, OC Grasu, OT Flowers, OG Cann, OT Decker, OG Kouandjio, OT Fisher, and OT Clemmings.

        • John says:

          I like the idea of taking either an OT, a projected OG with OT experience, or a DE/OLB/HYB with the 1st pick. Not sure that I like the idea of Erving, but I like position being addressed. I like the idea of going DL with the 2nd pick but I don’t like Henry Anderson, plus I much rather have a guy that plays on the edge/has the ability to get to the QB. The second round is way too early to take him, anyways. Love John Miller, I’d even maybe take him in the 3rd.

          1.) La’el Collins OT/OG LSU- Projected guard, with tackle experience. Could be a really good RT
          2.) Owamagbe Odighizuwa 43DE/HYB UCLA- Wishful thinking, believe he has a chance to go in the 1st. Severely underrated. Can rush the passer, seal the edge, etc
          3.) Grady Jarrett DL CLEM- 1st team ACC defense, super underrated
          3rd/4th.) John Miller OG LOU- Consistent, smart, good in pass protection

        • Russell says:

          Most people will agree with you John, about Henry Anderson being taken to early in my Mocks. All I can say is, IMO , Anderson is the best Patriot “Fit” into thier system,in this years draft.

        • steve earle says:

          I know you believe Anderson to be the best fit at DE for the Pats so I’ll not debate that. I’ll just ask are you convinced he could not be still available with our 3rd round pick? I’ll drop the issue after this as I don’t want to be a pain in the butt if I haven’t been already. If I have I appoligize.

        • Russell says:

          Steve no worry, HAHA, I think Anderson maybe available in the 3d round, and I could mock him there, but who do you have in mind at 2nd? I like WR Bell in the 3d and LB Wilson.

        • Russell says:

          I really like B.J.Finney as a great Patriot “fit” as well and may move him up alittle on my board. BB likes Olineman with experiance, and Finney has the second most starts for an Olineman in College football. Finney is a leader, hard nose, smart guy, who moves very well for about average speed. Able to play OG or OC he looks alot like Connolly, or Wendell, with a Mankins aggressive streak. A very personable guy, who interviews well.
          So IMO
          DE Henry Anderson
          OL B.J. Finney
          Should be drafted by the Patriots, and SHOULD be available to them.

        • steve earle says:

          Well Russell I haven’t really changed my thinking much from my last mock although not seeing Vadal Alexander being mocked much anywhere I’m begining to think he may not be coming out but haven’t heard either way. As I’d go now Arie Kouandjio is at the top of my short list. Other’s there are Danny Shelton, AJ Cann and Jordan Philips. I can go with o-line or d-line with our 1st then switch over with our 2nd. Ideal would be 3 o-linemen and a DT and a DE in the first six selections. How pratical that will be remains to be seen. So much can change with the all stars and combine that I’m just doing alot of guess and maybe right now. The 6-7th rounds might have some hidden gems but likely no one who will shock and awe so have to guess there too. Just the way it is.

        • steve earle says:

          Thinking a little more on it if the draft was today and based on what I think we know I’d try to make my draft look like this:
          1) Arie Kouandjio OG Ala
          2) pkg with our 4a) Markus Golden DE Missu.
          3a) Ty Sambrailo OT/OG Colo St.
          3b) Tyrus Thompson OT Okla
          4a) Pkg with our 2nd
          4b) Terry Williams DT E. Car.
          5) traded
          6) Kyshoen Jarrett SS Vir Tech.
          7) Zach Zinner RB S. Dak. St.

    • Russell says:

      Some back ground about my mock picks. I have 31 players on my Patriot draft board at present. These are guys IMO that “fit” the Patriots system/Family, and are Prospects that WILL likely be available to the Patriots in the draft. Other players, OT Peat, Scherff, LB/DE Fowler, etc. are on a second draft board, as “want” but LIKELY unavailable.
      I watch Games in my area, recorded game tape, and do computer research. My back ground is in Sports & Sciences, as a Personal Trainer, (College, High school Athletes), a Fitness Consultant, and I had a Try-out with the Patriots in 1980.
      Last year I was one of a very few, who had the Patriots picking a QB in the 1st-2nd round. (My pick was QB A.J.McCarron)
      Studying the Patriots Roster for next year, IMO there MAYBE 3-4 openings on the Oline, and 3-4 openings else where, on 53 man Roster. So, IMO BB will choose 2-3 Olineman and 2-3 LB in this draft. QB, P,K, LS, TE, are NOT on MY player want list.
      Some players move up-down my player board, which effects my Mocks, which I also do at;
      Thanks for your comments, this is a VERY enjoyable/informative site to read!

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Interesting Mock Russell,
      One name that popped out to me was Ramik Wilson. I have watched him and currently have him with a 3rd day grade. He is another one of those undersized guys, and while he has speed and athleticism, I worry about his lack of aggressiveness. He seems to wait for the play to come to him, and if I am going to go with a undersized guy, I am looking for someone who plays bigger and is aggressive.
      What did you see that i am missing?

      • Russell says:

        You are right-on Mike ,about Wilson’s lack of aggessive play, and his size. If you want arressive guy LB Jeff Luc is your man, with better size 6’1″ 255lb, but Wilson is alittle better in coverage. Wilson also tackles well, and is a smart guy for understanding the Patriots D system. When watching his tape he’s always around the ball. I like Davis Tull as well as a LB project similar size, 6’2″ 245 better speed 4.58 40yd.
        If they were to make the Patriots 53 man roster, LB White,(645K) LB Casillas,(1.4 mil.) would be replaced by these two on Speical Teams, at a low rookie cost.

        • Russell says:

          Forgot to say; Tull and Wilson IMO have more upside on the D, than White for sure, and maybe Casillas. If you noticed in my Mock I have LB jeff Luc as well, and his tape reminds me of Mayo, aggressive guy, solid body type, not Mayo speed however.

  4. Mike Gerken says:

    Can I ask the logic behind the Petty pick? Taking another QB that high seems like a waste of resources don’t you think?

    • Dan Sullivan says:

      Sure here are my reasons. 1) Petty is the best value in round 2.
      2) He can probably take over as back-up QB.
      3) Injuries
      4) The one I really feel can take over for Brady once he retires.

    • Russell says:

      I have QB Petty Mocked to the Jets in the second round.

    • Russell says:

      Interesting about DE/LB Trail. What about OLB Shaquille Riddick?

  5. Dan Sullivan says:

    Play smart Saturday Patriots and Good Luck!

    Mock Draft for Patriots
    1 Lorenzo Mauldin OLB Louisville
    2 Bryce Petty QB Baylor
    3 Ben Koyack TE Notre Dame
    4 John Miller G Louisville
    4 Xavier Cooper DL Washington State
    6 Tye Smith CB Towson
    7 Brett Boyko OT UNLV
    7 Sam Carter SS TCU

    Best GM’s for Boston teams.
    1 Cherington Red Sox
    2 Belichick Patriots
    3 Chiarelli Bruins
    4 Ainge Celtics

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