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30-Days, 30 Prospects: DAY 25 – All-American and AAC Defensive Player of the Year Ivan Pace Jr

Ivan Pace Jr. is an excellent sideline-to-sideline linebacker with exceptional instincts, placing himself in the mix of every play. In Pace’s four-year college career, Pace was amongst the best at getting after the quarterback, tallying 20 total sacks at the middle and outside linebacker position. After transferring at the conclusion of his junior year from Miami University of Ohio to the University of Cincinnati, Pace finished his college career with a bang, tallying 136 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, and an astounding nine sacks, earning first-team AP All-American and American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Pace has an instinctual knack for getting after the ball, playing the run with his powerful lower body and excellent speed on the backside pursuit. Additionally, he has the ability to set the edge well, and uses his hand and core strength to hold his ground against much larger blockers. His explosive speed and agility shines in the pass rush, adding incredible bend and a spin move to boot. 

There are concerns that Pace, at only 5′ 10″ and 230-lbs, that he will unlikely be able to hold his ground against NFL lineman. Many experts would like to see Pace add more weight, without risking the loss of athleticism and speed, in order to bang in the trenches with interior offensive lineman when defending the run. 

Pace would be a great addition for the Raiders in the 4th or 5th round. As it may seem that selecting Pace at #109-overall would be a bit of a reach, it would be ideal to see the Raiders engineer a move to move up into the mid-to-late 4th-round in order to ensure the acquisition. However, if there is word that Pace will still be available #141-overall, the Raiders should not hesitate to make the call. His explosiveness, the ability to make tackles, and the ability to get after the quarterback justify making such efforts. 

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