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3-4 OLB's that fit the Pats Defense

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Ochmed Jones, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    In 2007 I was all about taking Groves to be our OLB pass rush demon. Unfortunately it didn;t happen. In 2008 there was nobody that I saw that could step into that position, that was not a total projection. (And we know BB does not do projections.)

    So I have come up with three guys to watch in 2009 that should develop into 3-4 OLB pass rush demons.

    1.) Dunlap of Florida. He has the length BB loves 6'6" and size 270 lbs., And he can run. Should be in the 4.6 range. He can stack the edge aginst the run and should develop into a monster pass rusher.
    PS: if he came back to school and put on 10 to 20 pounds, he could become a 3-4 DE.

    2.) Romeus of Pittsburgh. He has the length 6'5" and the size 260 lbs. He should develop into a Vrabel type player. Good against the run and able to generate pressure off the edge as a pass rusher.

    3.) Lang of Troy. Should not be confused with Ware, because he is not in the same league as Ware. He has some length 6'4" but at 250 lbs. needs to put on some weight. He can run and could be scary coming off the edge on passing plays. Might struggle against the run until he gets his weight up.

    My first choice in this upcoming draft is NT Mount Cody of Alabama, but I think he will go top 15 and we will be picking at #32. My second choice is ILB McClain of Alabama, but my spies tell me Pittsburgh has had scouts in Tuscaloosa all spring thus far. I think they are watching McClain.

    OLB is a hole in our defense so that makes the most sense for this draft.
     
  2. reamer

    reamer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    It's more likely they're watching Cody, considering Hampton is in his 30s, though I could see why they're interested in McClain, who is my absolute #1 choice for the draft next year. In fact, I keep trying to work through scenarios in which we position ourselves in the middle of the first round, though I fully expect us to pick at #32.

    ***WARNING: ILLOGICAL AND HIGHLY UNLIKELY DRAFT FANTASIES TO FOLLOW***

    If Brace plays well enough to supplant Wilfork, how about we tag and trade the big fella? He gets his new contract, we get a first rounder (at least; maybe a 1st and 3rd?), and everyone is happy. In fact, why not target a team that's terrible against the run, like Detroit? I'm sure they'll improve by a few wins this year, which means it's more than likely they'll still have a top-ten first round pick. Once we acquire their pick, we can shop it to the Niners, who have two first rounders. Most likely, they'll win 8 or 9 games, due to their weak division, strong defense, and smash-mouth running game. Their quarterbacks, however, suck. With the star quarterbacks coming out next year, I have to believe that Singletary wants to get "his guy" in the draft. And instead of waiting for someone to fall to where his mid-round picks are likely to be, we entice him to trade up and secure the Future of the Franchise.

    Last step: draft McClain and Cody. Check. Mate. :D


    ***BACK TO OUR NORMALLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING***

    Dunlap is already touted as a top-ten or top-five pick. A good year at Florida will do nothing to change that. He's out of our range, and I doubt he's fluid enough in space, anyway.

    Romeus is a guy I've had my eye on for a while. He's big, fast, athletic (former basketball player), and is still just learning the game. I'd be completely happy with that pick up with one of our second rounders. In fact, he's one of my top three choices for next year.

    Hardy seems like the ideal Pats OLB, except for his history off the field. Perhaps BB is willing to overlook that in exchange for one of the nastiest pass rushers in the last few years? Hardy owned the SEC before his season-ending injury last year, putting up at least a sack a game. Did I mention he's a former TE, like another recent binky? :p

    Sapp is slightly smaller, though still has decent size (6'4, 250), and is reportedly very fluid in space. He's a quick, long-armed defender who isn't receiving a lot of buzz right now, but he looks like a legit pass-rusher.

    Wootton is one of my favorite prospects, largely because he has a great last name, but more because he has huge size, excellent fluidity, and surprising suddenness for such a big man. Reminds me of Julius Peppers; though he isn't as dominating of a pass-rusher, he's a lot better against the run.

    And my sleeper pick: Austen Lane, a big, fast, athletic monster who had over a dozen sacks and twice as many tackles for a loss last year; could be a good gamble for greatness in later rounds.

    Wow, now I want to write up a 2010 mock draft for the Pats. Thanks a lot, Ochmed! Now I have the draft bug all over again.
     
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With 4 first day picks, we have a lot of options and relatively few major holes. Some of the prospects of particular interest to me include:

    1. Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech. My absolute #1 prospect for the Pats right now, and I'm a defense-first guy. I would love to see a power running game to complement the blitzkrieg pass attack a la Corey Dillon in 2004, and Dwyer seems like a Jonathan Stewart type prospect. With the tendency of RBs to fall into the late 1st round (such as Rashard Mendenhall to Pittsburgh at 23 in 2008 and Beanie Wells to Arizona at 31 last year), it's not out of the question that Dwyer might be within trade-up range, and we have plenty of ammo to trade up.

    2. 3-4 OLB pass rushers. How high a priority this is depends on how Derrick Burgess adjusts and whether we re-sign him, but even so he and AD are both in their 30's and adding a young pass rusher will be key. I had been high on Sergio Kindle but he will probably go top 15 and he's had off-field issues which suggest he may not be a great fit. The 3 players who interest me the most right now are Greg Hardy, Brandon Lang, and Greg Romeus, in that order. Ricky Sapp is also of interest depending on how he recovers from his ACL tear and adjusts to playing in space. One or more of those guys should be available sometime in the 2nd round, depending on how things play out.

    3. 3-4 DEs. How high a priority this is depends on whether we resign Richard Seymour. My favorites are Wooten and Florida's Lawrence Marsh, a 6'5" 305# junior with terrific athleticism.

    4. WR. How high a priority this is depends on how Brandon Tate looks to be developing. With Moss approaching 33 we certainly need to develop some young WR talent. Both Brandon LaFell of LSU and Mardy Gilyard of Cincinnati could be prospects of interest. Gilyard reminds me a bit of Greg Jennings, one who got away.

    Despite Ochmed's man crush on him, I don't see Mount Cody being a consideration for us unless Big Vince leaves, and even thin, depending on how Brace and Pryor develop it may not be our biggest concern. And while I like both Brandon Spikes and Rolando McClain at ILB, I think that whether we would be willing to trade up to go after one of them depends on how Guyton develops and how high the FO is on McClain. The guy who I like as an SILB prospect is Eric Norwood from Carolina (6'1", 260#, with a nose for the ball, good pass rushing skills, surprisingly good ability to play in space, and nice ability to take on blockers) who probably looks to be a 2nd round guy right now.

    My current "dream" 1st day would look something like the following (with no clue as to whether it would be even remotely possible, this early on):

    1. RB Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech
    2a. DE/OLB Greg Hardy, Mississippi, Brandon Lang, Troy, or Greg Romeus, Pitt
    2b. DE Corey Wootten, Northwestern, or Lawrence Marsh, Florida
    2c. ILB Eric Norwood, South Carolina, or WR Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati
     
  4. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Sorry, in the last post I meant to say how the FO regards McKenzie, not McClain.

    Also, I think one of the "wild cards" for us in the 2nd round next year could very well turn out to be none other than Tim Tebow. BB has been open in his admiration for Tebow and his belief that learning how to make use of such multi-purpose weapons is one of the future frontiers of the game. If Tebow falls to the 2nd round I could easily see BB gambling one of his picks on him.
     
  5. reamer

    reamer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Mayo, what do you think about Keiland Williams? Seems like an excellent mid-round pick to me, with experience as runner, receiver out of the backfield, and even part-time FB. Good fit for this offense, in my opinion. Somehow, I don't believe Dwyer will be available at the end of the round, even though I would love to bring him aboard. He's remarkably talented.

    Carlton Mitchell is another mid-rounder who intrigues me at WR. Big, physical, deceptively fast--looks to me like a Brandon Marshal type.

    I've already mentioned I'm pretty high on McClain. I'd also like to see us pick up another defensive lineman. Oghobaase, perhaps.

    Beyond that, do we really have any holes? This team has a ridiculous amount of talent, especially young talent, and I don't see many rookies making the team next year, barring mass retirement and FA exodus.

    Nothing like getting a jump on the draft process, eh? I love discussing players with you, Mayo. :D
     
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The feeling is mutual.

    You may be correct about Dwyer, but Beanie Wells was widely touted as a top 10 (potential top 5) pick a year ago, and even as early as draft day was considered a possibly top 15 talent. But he slipped to #31. A lot of teams have taken RBs over the past 3 years, with 10 going in the first round alone (Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch in 2007; Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall and Chris Johnson in 2008; and Knowshon Moreno, Donald Brown and Beanie Wells in 2009), not to mention 2nd round studs like Matt Forte. So anything could happen.

    I don't see a repeat of this year, where 8 rookies are likely to make the final 53, particularly given that we will have 2 "rookies" coming off IR who are almost certain to make the team in Brandon Tate and Tyrone McKenzie. Also, the FO has done a fabulous job of "locking down" certain areas of the team - OL, for example, was potentially a major need but now looks fairly set with the extensions of Nick Kaczur and Mark LeVoir and promising hints from Sebastian Vollmer; only if Logan Mankins is allowed to leave (unlikely as he will probably only be an RFA given the likelihood of an uncapped year) would there be a major hole to fill Similarly, the defensive backfield is pretty much set with 8 players under 27, only one of whom (Leigh Bodden) has a contract expiring in 2009.

    With 4 first day picks I see 2010 being a draft more to fill a few key long term needs than anything else. RB seems like the biggest long-term position of need, with 3/4 RBs in their 30's, Kevin Faulk a FA after 2009, and Maroney, Morris and Taylor all having contracts up after 2010. Maroney is nice with some room to run but hasn't shown the ability to be a feature back, so I could see extending him and drafting a complementary power back like Dwyer as the #1 priority. WR also seems a possible need, depending on how Tate looks, given that Moss is aging and we need a long term successor as well as a long-term #3 WR. And, as for the past 4 years, I wouldn't mind drafting a long-term solution at punter. But with few true "needs" I can see BB going for value even more than usual.

    The defensive needs are likely to be dictated by how certain players develop or adapt (Guyton, Burgess) and which potential FAs we can keep (Seymour, Wilfork).

    Keiland Williams and Carlton Mitchell are nice prospects to keep an eye on. Too early to tell. Mitchell's kind of scrawny and needs to put on more weight. Williams is definitely worth a look. Vince Oghobasse should definitely be on any sort list of 3-4 DE prospects, and probably is a solid 2nd rounder right now.

    It will be fun to see how these guys look over the course of the college FB season and see how the Pats roster progresses.
     
  7. Taxed in Maine

    Taxed in Maine On the Game Day Roster

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    My gut feeling says DE right now depending on what happens in the off-season. Oghobaase and Odrick are on my list as possible late 1st rounders.

    Then with 3 second rounders, in no particular order:

    RB- A Kevin Faulk replacement could be an option, a kid like Demarco Murray who is comfortable catching the ball. I'm not so sure they go with another power back, (but would keep BJGE as a hedge in case maroney fails to impress)

    OLB- I can see room for another young player here. You guys have already listed a lot of them, here is another - AJ Edds -Iowa
    A.J. Edds, , NFL Draft - CBSSports.com - NFLDraftScout.com

    ILB- Bruschi will be gone and I think Guyton will be the starter. I have liked Mckenzie for a couple years now and he will be a good player for us if he can recover from his knee injury. But there will still be an open spot I've seen enough of Alexander, and Lenon doesn't seem to be the answer.

    TE- Could be an opening here if Thomas or Watson don't do much this year.

    And of course OL- I think OT has been firmed up with the extensions, but if Mankins goes that leaves a gaping hole at LG.
     
  8. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I can see Edelperson being developed as Faulk's replacement.
     
  9. reamer

    reamer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Mayo, you've convinced me. After watching Norwood tonight, I think he's gonna be dynamite. Good looking kid; tonight was the first time I got a chance to watch him in action, and even though he wasn't very comfortable in coverage, he's still learning the linebacker position. When he rushes, he just blows by tackles as if they don't exist. I loved the sack he got against a double-team early in the game.

    I'm keeping an eye on the rookie CB, #5. Looked very quick, very aggressive out there.
     
  10. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey

    I think Box of Rocks is the only poster to hit on a Pats LB and that was Mayo. I'm just messing with you guys but I almost truly believe this entire board could whole heartedly agree that a LB in next years draft is a perfect pick for the Pats and Bill wouldn't even glance at him on draft day.

    The Pats have missed out on quite a few LBs that I recall were consensus 2nd and 3rd rounders on this board over the last few seasons. Dansby,Woodley,Tatupu,Harris to name a few+1.

    Besides Mayo, I question BB's ability to evaluate College LB talent and the round in which they should go. Yes I will hear the wrath of this board and die hard loyalists. "In BB we trust. He's not big enough to hold the point of attack. We need smart LB's. Blah blah blah.

    Well sorry to bust BB's bubble, but Willie, Bruschi and Ted Johnson were young and dumb too. Wait, those were Parcells guys. I'm not buying these theories anymore on Pats prototypical LB's in BB's system. It's starting to get frustrating going through this year after year while we continue to have players retire. Call me a naive football fan, that's ok with me.

    It's too bad McKenzie went down for the year. I really wanted to see if BB could coach the kid up. He must of been the next coming of LT if the Pats drafted him in the 3rd round.
     
  11. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The sad thing is that most of the 3-4 LB prospects who I really liked have turned out to be terrific players, such as Dansby and Woodley. Barwin has looked terrific for Houston this preseason, and has done nothing so far to suggest that he would not have been a good 3-4 LB conversion for us as well.

    I have to agree with you to a certain extent - I feel reasonably confident picking players who would be good fits for 3-4 LBs, but much less confident that the Pats would actually go after those guys.
     
  12. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    No Jersey Selected

    Add 3 others:

    -Mark Anderson instead of the released RT Ryan O'C at the top of the 5th round in '06;
    -Jacob Ford instead of the lost Justin Rogers at the top of the 6th round in '07;
    -and Cliff Avril instead of the IRed (again; what an effin unfunny joke) Chicken Legs Crable last year.

    Are these 3 future All-Pros? Probably not.
    Are these 3 better than TBC, Ninko, Woods & the possibly washed-up Burgess? Goddamn right they are.

    As for the ILBs, all one needs to say is this:
    Eric Effin Alexander is our one & only backup.
     
  13. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Norwood looked very good against Ole Miss last night, with 10 tackles and 2 sacks despite getting double teamed much of the evening.

    Right now Norwood and Sean Weatherspoon of Missouri interest me the most in terms of hybrid players with positional versatility who can probably play in different schemes. Norwood can probably play 3-4 SILB, 4-3 SAM, and 4-3 DE. He's too short for a typical Pats 3-4 OLB, but he could certainly add some depth at that position as well. Weatherspoon is a totally different style player, a tackling machine and speed demon with good size (6'2" 246#, around 4.55 speed) who makes plays all over the field. He would be a Guyton-type player but better, and could play 3-4 ILB or 4-3 WLB next to Mayo. I could see BB coveting those kind of guys. Brandon Spikes is probably the other guy who has good versatility, but I'm assuming he won't be available when we pick. I'm not sure where Rolando McClain or Micah Johnson would fit except as 3-4 SILBs.

    In terms of the more typical 3-4 DE/OLB type players, there's still a lot of good options out there: Sergio Kindle, Greg Romeus, Derrick Morgan, Greg Hardy, Ricky Sapp, Jerry Hughes, Lindsey Witten, Brandon Lang, etc.
     
  14. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    As 3-4 Pats type OLB's I have taken Norwood and Lang off my draft board and after last night, I am taking Hardy off as well. I just can't see him in space and he has such poor technique that BB would never stand for it.

    I still have Dunlap of Florida as the best 3-4 pass rushing demon OLB since Groves.
     
  15. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I haven't seen Groves do much so far for Jacksonville, and I didn't consider him anything special coming out, so I'm not sure I'd take that as a recommendation for Dunlap. I didn't see the Tennessee game, but a number of analysts blasted Dunlap for his performance in that game. And I have yet to see anything to suggest that he's capable of playing in space. From what I've seen, I can't figure out why you think Hardy has poor technique and can't play in space but Dunlap can.

    Weren't you blasting Mayo as a prospect prior to the 2008 draft?

    Norwood's not a typical 3-4 Pats OLB because of his height, which is why I listed him separately as a hybrid. But he's a playmaker, as is Weatherspoon. We need more playmakers, and with mixing up more 4-3 and 3-4 schemes we need more players capable of playing both schemes.
     
  16. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Groves is playing DE in Jacksonville but projects differently in our defense.

    I was not blasting Mayo prior to the draft. He was not on my draft board prior to the draft. After the draft however; that was a different story.
    I am not a fan of Mayo. Never have been, probably never will be even though he had some success making tons of tackles 4 plus yards down field.
     
  17. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Fair enough. Your loyalty to your guys is admirable. Of course, Connor Barwin is still my binky. :D
     
  18. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey

    Add some more, too:

    Ed Reed instead of Daniel Graham and Larry Foote over Rohan Davey in 2002.
    Anquan Boldin instead of Bethel Johnson and Usi Umenyura over Eugene Wilson in 2003.
    Chris Cooley instead of Marquise Hill and Jerricho Cotchery over Guss Scott in 2004.
    Marion Barber instead of Nick Kaczur and Jay Ratliff over Ryan Claridge in 2005.
    DeAngelo Williams instead of Laurence Maroney and Leon Washington over Garrett Mills in 2006.
    Brent Celek instead of Kareem Brown and CJ Wilson over Oscar Lua in 2007.

    My God does Belichick suck at drafting. Anybody with access to box scores and draft history could tell you that.
     
  19. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Don't forget Greg Jennings of Chad Jackson, Owen Daniels over Dave Thomas, and Michael Turner over Cedric Cobbs.
     
  20. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Watching some of the other games, it is easy to see why BB prefers the 3-4. Having more LBs on the field gives much more flexibility.

    I hope thye don't do it throught the draftand go after a premium free agent (Peppers, Merrimen, etc.).
     

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