NFL Draft Analysis: Inside linebacker Akileis Leroy has the defensive presence needed to make a name for himself in the league

He played more career games than most on FAU’s 2021 roster.


Eston Parker III

University Press stock image of #2 inside linebacker Akileis Leroy rushing towards the line of scrimmage.

Bryce Totz, Sports Editor

With the NFL Draft set for Thursday, April 28, nine FAU players are hoping to land an opportunity. Inside linebacker Akileis Leroy is among the crowd, declaring for the draft via Instagram in January.

“It seems like it was just yesterday that I walked onto this campus as a freshman, and now my time as an Owl has come to an end,” Leroy wrote. 

His first season came in 2017 when FAU won its first C-USA Championship. Despite missing an entire season after being ruled ineligible, he played 51 games in an Owls uniform. Throughout his career, Leroy had 112 solo tackles, 99 assisted tackles, eight sacks, and three interceptions. 

Leroy’s most notable season came in 2019, as he had 101 tackles (55 solo and 46 assisted), 7.5 sacks, and all three of his career interceptions.

In 2021, he calmed down slightly, as he had to learn a new defensive scheme due to missing the 2020 season. He still finished with 65 tackles in 12 games. 

Here are the strengths and weaknesses of Leroy, and where he may fit in:


Leroy is quick and can play both pass and run defense effectively. He is more effective in the run game, as he can easily identify holes. Before he arrived at FAU, Leroy played on the offensive side of the ball, which could allow him to identify certain plays easier.

On occasion, he targets the runner for a loss or a sack. Leroy can find weak links on the opposing offensive line that allows him to shoot up the middle and achieve his goal.


Leroy has struggled with both injury and academics over his career. He transitioned to the defense due to a knee injury he suffered before arriving at FAU. 

Best Fit

Despite the adversity Leroy has faced in his career, he may earn an undrafted spot on an NFL team. The San Francisco 49ers could use a player like Leroy on their defense. 

San Francisco is in need of depth, as it is looking to get back to the Super Bowl soon. Leroy has played in big games for FAU, so he can stay poised under pressure.

Leroy may not play much during his rookie season, but he will learn the game from former teammate and current 49er Azeez Al-Shaair. Shaair is an outside linebacker for the team and can aid Leroy in adjusting to the NFL.

Linebackers coach Johnny Holland can help develop Leroy’s skills. Holland has 31 years of experience, so he knows how to help young players transition into a faster game.

Bryce Totz is the Sports Editor at the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email him at [email protected], or tweet him @brycetotz.