Nick Vigil is a former Utah State linebacker, who was drafted in the 3rd-round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Last year was his first year as a full-time starter on a very bad Bengals team. Vigil signed a 1-year, $3 million dollar contract (if he hits max incentives) to come to Los Angeles. He is known more as a coverage linebacker rather then a run stopper. That should mean he should mesh well in the Charger’s defense, where Gus Bradley’s linebackers play lots of zone defense.
Vigil will get an opportunity to start in what is becoming a crowded linebacker room. With Denzel Perryman being the only linebacker known more for his run stopping ability, Vigil offers more in the same category then the other linebackers on the roster. Drue Tranquil and Kyzir White are very similar players as athletic linebackers who use their skills as former safeties to prowl the middle of the field in coverage. Vigil offers more against the run then Tranquil or White, but he is still very raw for the position.
When watching Vigil’s film, you notice he actually has the instincts to play the position. He is quick enough to get to the edge on outside running plays, and will set the edge to turn the play back inside. He doesn’t have the strength or power take on lineman and will be over powered, but he will use quickness to get of blocks. He doesn’t have the instincts to break down on tackles and has been on the butt end of more then a few offensive highlights. (see Lamar Jackson with the double spin move highlight that ended in a 50+ yard touchdown run)
There are occasions where Vigil will come down hill and fill hole in his gap, but too many times he’s late to the party. Also, he takes really bad angles to the ball carrier on outside run plays. His lines of pursuit will lead to chunk plays. You would like to see him more aggressive as a linebacker. He’s not one to check receivers on drag routes over the middle or check tight ends off the line of scrimmage. He is sticky in coverage though, especially when he is manned up on a runningback out of the back field. For film breakdown, check out Vigil against the Ravens and Rams below.