Rice is one of a few Bulldog defenders likely to be picked this draft. He was widely considered the leader of the defense and got respect on a national level in 2020, being named a Butkus Award finalist as the top linebacker in the country (49 tackles, four for loss, two forced fumbles in nine starts) despite playing through a foot injury.
- Reads the quarterback to anticipate and is a candidate to play outside.
- Shows a burst to close. Flashes explosive hitting ability and good lateral and downfield pursuit.
- Quick to read run, showing good agility and speed to get past blockers and finish. Experienced in coverage and gets a strong jam on outside receivers.
- Intelligent player who can play "MIKE" linebacker despite his lack of size because of his instincts and ability to find the ball in traffic.
- Handles misdirection well with quick change-of-direction ability. Comes downhill quickly against the run when he has an open lane.
- Has enough hustle and athleticism to make plays in the flat against running backs. Lacks height but has the vertical and timing to knock away passes when approaching the quarterback.
- Downhill defender and physical tackler. Uses his eyes to decipher and break down the play, showing good awareness and discipline to sniff out fakes.
- His lateral agility and burst often put him in position to make big plays, but he takes questionable routes to the ball and struggles to avoid blockers when in pursuit.
- Often avoids blocks to survive between the tackles, which gives backs running lanes. He will jump at hesitation routes.
- Needs work on angles and· finding receivers in zone. Does not possess elite quickness. Fails to break down at times, grabbing shoulder pads and lunging to allow ballcarriers to elude him.