Another underclassman will declare for the NFL Draft. Metro has learned Cal linebacker Khairi Fortt will forgo his final year of eligibility at the Pac-12 school.
Fortt, a transfer from Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky scandal, made 22 appearances for the Nittany Lions. He sat out the 2012 season but earned the starting linebacker spot this past season and finished with 64 tackles, third on the Golden Bears.
He had a career-high 13 tackles in a 52-34 loss to Ohio State on Sept. 14 and was one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award this year, given to the nation’s top linebacker.
One NFL scout, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, thinks the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Fortt has the makings of a solid NFL outside linebacker and could be ideal for a 3-4 defense.
“He covers a lot of ground, from sideline to sideline,” the scout said. “He’s quick with good instincts. He’s a sure tackler.”
The scout specified that Fortt “needs to work on his coverage ability” to become an every-down linebacker in the NFL but that “he has all the right tools.”
As far as a draft grade, the scout said he would feel comfortable with Fortt being taken “in the third to fourth round but he could test well and teams will love the eyeball test. He looks great coming off the bus.”
Fortt played in the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.