Kent State NFL pipeline should continue with Mixon and Lainhart

Quietly, Kent State has become a solid pipeline to the NFL.

Everyone knows superstars James Harrison (Steelers) and Antonio Gates (Chargers) to the NFL.

In recent years, the Golden Flashes have also sent wide receiver Julian Edelman (Patriots), defensive tackle Daniel Muir (Colts), wide receiver Josh Cribbs (Browns), free safety Usama Young (Saints) and safety Abe Elam (Browns) to the NFL.

This year, the Golden Flashes could have two players drafted in safety Brian Lainhart and linebacker Cobrani Mixon.

The two were high school teammates at Cincinnati powerhouse Colerain. After high school, Lainhart went straight to Kent while Mixon went to Michigan.

After Lloyd Carr left Michigan, so did Mixon. He started almost three full seasons for Kent and was the team's best player in the front seven. As a senior, he finished the year with 82 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.

Mixon has solid size and good athleticism for the position. His speed could translate into good special team ability for Mixon.

As for Lainhart, he has a nose for the ball. On his career, he had 17 interceptions, with seven coming in 2009. Lainhart isn't simply a one-dimensional coverage safety, though. He's good coming up to the line and supporting against the run. He has been called a coach on the field and was the team's leader on defense.

Although neither of them were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine at the end of the month, they're working out together in anticipation of Kent State's March 9 pro day.
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