Irish On Tap 2020 NFL Draft Preview: Asmar Bilal
Asmar Bilal, Notre Dame’s lone linebacker in the 2020 draft class, could be a sneaky late-round addition to an NFL defense.
The 2020 NFL Draft is filled with talent from the 2019 Notre Dame roster. Today’s article will highlight the lone linebacker from that class, Asmar Bilal. The 6-foot-2, 227 lb outside linebacker leaves Notre Dame with 174 total tackles and 17.5 TFL’s in his 45 games for the Fighting Irish. Bilal recorded perhaps his most productive season at Notre Dame in 2019, finishing the campaign with 79 total tackles (48 solo), ten TFL’s, two PBU’s, and a fumble recovery. He has an unmatched motor and proves to be at his best when he is in the box making his run fits or on the blitz.
Upon reviewing Bilal’s tape, the aforementioned motor stands out first and foremost. He refuses to be outworked on the field and possesses great sideline-to-sideline speed. Unfortunately, Bilal was not able to showcase his athletic ability at Notre Dame Pro Day as it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bilal likely would have finished with a 40 time around 4.5-4.6, which would have been a nice boost to his draft stock.
I’m a huge believer in “the eye in the sky never lies” mindset. For Bilal, that statement holds true when it comes to his resumé. It’s an unfortunate situation for Bilal, but he does have a quality tape out there and the stats to match. One concern NFL Scouts may have for Bilal is his weight, depending on which type of scheme he lands in. Bilal is accustomed to playing in the 4-3 defense, so an extra ten pounds or so would likely help him better fit their “eye test.” If he were to land in a 3-4 defense, he would probably need to get to around 250 lbs. Due to those circumstances, one would expect the team that does take a chance on Bilal to be one that runs a 4-3 front.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to Bilal is durability. He played in 45 games over four seasons at Notre Dame, which is impressive in its own right. He was part of three ten-win seasons in South Bend, including his role as a key contributor on the 2018 CFP Notre Dame team. He displays excellent discipline and can always be found around the football. A lead-by-example type of player, Bilal would be a solid addition to any NFL locker room.
As evidenced in his film, offensive players rarely break free from Bilal’s tackles. His biggest strength outside of his motor could be his form tackling, which most (if not all) NFL teams still seem to struggle with for whatever reason. The mock draft forecast for Asmar Bilal projects him going anywhere from the fifth round to being an undrafted free agent, but the former seems more likely than the latter. Look for a team to take a chance on Bilal in the later rounds as the Indianapolis native strives to make his dreams come true in this year’s NFL Draft.