2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Shaquille Quarterman
Position: Middle Linebacker
School: The University of Miami
Weight: 240 pounds
Of anything you watch on film, nothing becomes more readily apparent than the strength of Quarterman in this aspect. Although he projects as a terror, he displays restraint and technical acumen that negates yards after contact. When Quarterman strikes you, listen for the whistle. Why? Basically, watch his feet. When driving on a target, Quarterman’s feet stay in prime position, aligning the rest of him to make the stop. From there, he contacts with force and excellent leg drive through the ballcarrier making the stop. Yet, an underrated aspect to his tackling remains the nimble hands and wrist used to change levels, depending on the angle of approach and relative size of the opponent.
If you are going to grade Quarterman in this trait, understand how he uses this trait. He shoots through grasp effectively, equally well versus the run or pass. Next, he displayed good closing speed in traffic and will beat blockers to the ball. Now, he won’t be a chase linebacker over wide areas of greenery.
Blesses with enough mobility, Quarterman can operate in the shorter area and in the flats. He does not feature the knack for manning the sea of deep middle in any defense. While that may feel like a knock, know that he attends to the near zone better.
Quarterman sees before he acts and quickly processes the unfolding play. You will not observe him gambling or guessing. Instead, he stays within himself to diagnose.
If you buy into Paul Guenther’s patterns, you will see he will ultimately approve of Quarterman. Physically, and in approach to legal contact, he conjures up thoughts of Vontaze Burfict. Versus the run, Guenther loves toughness in the A gap. He wants a middle linebacker to destroy a play, blowing up the run. Meanwhile, what Burfict lacked the ability to blitz effectively from the middle.
For all of the potential in the secondary and defensive line, the Las Vegas Raiders lack a tone-setter in the middle. Quarterman offers a penchant for technically sound but powerful play from the linebacker position. Versus the run, he will meet opponents in the hole, arriving with controlled malice and a sound fundamental base. If they need him to meet the back on the boundary, he will bring the hammer. While not flashy or excessively twitched, Quarterman commands attention from blockers. More importantly, he provides genuine leadership that the linebacking corps lacks. On Day Three, the Las Vegas Raiders could starting rebuilding that group with the addition of Shaquille Quarterman.