Originally Posted by The Hurricane
OK, I readily admit that I've paid zero attention to all the draft chatter this year and I could just be missing something obvious, but why in the world has there been no talk about us drafting James Laurinaitis? He seems to be one of the more logical choices in my opinion. The guy has real undeniable talent and hes not dumb as a brick like the USC linebackers appear to be. Rey Maualuga is a good athlete, but I just don't think he has the requisite intelligence to succeed in our system.
I too like Lauranitis, and privately I think the Patriots would probably draft him if he falls to #23.
There are fans who think we need another TJ runstuffer ILB. Maualuga is that to them. But I think football has moved on, and other ILB abilities are needed more, now.
But Ibeleive that make the 3-4 go, you need to augment the OLB pass rush with an unpredictable ILB pass rush. Mayo is a rising star but he has displayed no talent to do such a thing. In addition, the ILBs have to be able to drop into pass coverge in Belichick's version of the 3-4. Mauluaga has displayed no talent for that.
Lauranitis is not a runstuffer par excellenace
, he is merely very good all around, and has plenty of INTs and blitz sacks. His speed is not spectacular but, with very good instincts, and smarts, he makes up for it. In addition to the typical "Butkus" and and other awards to LBs, he was also an Academic All American. BB likes smart, intense players and in the Mike position he needs someone smart to call the plays and adjustments.
The reason I think the Pats would take him is that there are only a couple of high pick ILBs, with the size BB likes. But ther are a basketful of OLB candidates. Bill will take the hard ones to find, and then take an OLB candidate to finish the LB rebuild for another generation.
Bil has also said he plays safe with his first round picks, and takes safe picks there. He prefers to gamble with other picks. Lauranitis is an eminently "safe" pick.