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Belichick desired OLB measurables and the draft

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by DocE, Apr 10, 2010.

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  1. DocE

    DocE Rookie

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    I think most of us have kept in mind Bill Belichick's stated desire for OLB's who are 6'4 or 6'5 and run a 4.6 forty yard dash when discussing smaller OLB prospects like Brandon Graham and Jerry Hughes. Here are the players who have played OLB for the Pats in recent seasons.

    Mike Vrabel-6'4 261 lbs, nowhere near a 4.6 forty
    Pierre Woods- 6'4 249lbs, 4.75 forty
    Shawn Crable- 6'4 1/2 245 lbs 4.60 forty
    Adalius Thomas- 6'2 270 lbs, at one point probably ran in the 4.6's
    Rosevelt Colvin- 6'3 250 lbs, not a 4.6 forty guy when with Pats
    Tully Banta-Cain- 6'2 264lbs, I found a 4.79 time for Banta-Cain
    Rob Ninkovich- 6'3 260lbs 4.9 at combine, 4.8 at Pro Day
    Derrick Burgess- 6'3 264lbs ran a 4.9 at the combine in 2001 (dealing with a foot injury at the time, but still unlikely to meet the ideal measurables).

    Players of interest
    DeMarcus Ware- 6'4 251lbs 4.56 forty
    Shawne Merriman-6'4 272 lbs 4.64 forty

    There are very few guys in the NFL who meet Belichick's desired measurables at OLB. The only guy on the roster who meets the standard is Shawn Crable and the only other guy who is even in the ballpark is Pierre Woods. League wide, Ware and Merriman make the grade and Vernon Gholston would if he was an inch taller (he's 6'3). Lemarr Woodley is too short and too slow, Shaun Phillips was 6'3 and 4.7 plus in the forty. I am sure there are other guys in the league who fit the measurables desired, but not many. What is most interesting to me is that Coach Belichick has really never had an OLB that fit his desired measurables during his time in New England unless Willie McGinest ran close to 4.6 and I can't find a 40 time on him.

    In looking at this years draft, here's the guys who fit the requirements

    Everson Griffen
    Carlos Dunlap
    Ricky Sapp
    Tim Knicky OLB Stephen F Austin

    That's the 4 guys I could find although some other small school guys might fit the desired measurables who's pro day results I couldn't find.

    Sergio Kindle just missed the list as he's 6'3
    Jason Pierre Paul and Daniel Te'oNesheim just missed the list with recorded 40 times of 4.71 and 4.73 respectively.

    Obviously, Coach Belichick is willing to bend on his desired measurables, but this is probably the biggest class of guys who fit those numbers and it is still only 4 guys deep. Griffen and Dunlap have character/motor concerns, Sapp has the knee concern, and Tim Knicky played at a lower level of competition.

    It should be interesting to see how the Pats approach this position in the draft. I am not convinced that they will take a smaller guy like Hughes or Graham even though both seem to have the production/character. I also wonder if the rumored chemistry issues (on defense) would cause the Pats to avoid guys like Griffen and Dunlap.
  2. BritPat

    BritPat Rookie

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    I think you're off base with the 40 time - you should be looking at the 3 cone and short shuttle times for the OLB's.

    It's all about the hips and being able to move your base.
  3. BritPat

    BritPat Rookie

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    Right, I've posted what I could find in regards to the cone and shuttle times, some are from the Combine, some are from their Pro Day. In comparison to this year, Jerry Hughes posted a 6.99 in the 3 cone (4th best
    at the Combine) and a 4.15 short shuttle (best amongst all D-linemen). Brandon Graham pulled his hammy and hasn't worked out since.

    As for Woodley being slow.......yikes. I guess you've not watched much football recently.

    Kindle - 7.26 cone, 4.53 ss

    JPP - 7.18 cone, 4.67 ss

    DTN - 6.91 cone, 4.18 ss

    You should look at the Pre-Draft Contacts list - we've taken serious interest in the guys posting the best shuttle and cone times.
  4. Tyler.Durden

    Tyler.Durden Rookie

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    Vince Redd was an interesting player athletically.

    Manny Lawson i always been a fan of too.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
  5. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    BritPat makes an excellent point about the cone and shuttle times. It might also be informative to look at bench reps, too.

    But the questions that never seem to get asked when someone cites "Belchick's stated measurables" for OLB:

    1) How long ago did he make that statement?
    2) Does his thinking about the position - and the defensive scheme overall - never evolve?
  6. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback Rookie

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    Good point, I don't ever recall those words coming from Belichick, from what I recall it came from a Pioli interview and it was something like " Well there are only so many 6'5 guys who can run a 4.6 40" Him just saying that doesn't neccesarily that those are the drop dead desired measurables. On the other hand it also may explain the mind boggling decision to draft so few LB's over the years.
  7. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And even when some of those guys are there (*cough* Barwin *cough*) he still finds reasons not to draft them.
  8. Marqui

    Marqui Rookie

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  9. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    And it's pretty clear, now, that Pioli is no genius. Otherwise, he might have done something about KC's wretched O-line during last offseason when it was obviously the weakest part of their offense coming out of 2008.
  10. sebman2112

    sebman2112 Rookie

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    Since NE's OLB's also need to get after the passer, you should be looking at 10 splits. That's a better indication of explosion off the edge.

    Also, a lot of guys simply test better than they play, so I'd be more interested in watching game tape, than any of these agility drills.
  11. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback Rookie

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  12. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback Rookie

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    Judging by his last three drafts here, I 'm going to have to agreewith you.
  13. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    I think BB really started experimenting with the position a bit more last season and picked up TBC (a known quantity) and Burgess (another smart veteran) for that purpose. It seems clear, in retrospect, that Barwin would have fit the altered scheme and probably have begun out-producing Burgess by the end of the season. But I can also see BB passing on Barwin during a "proof of concept" stage and then intending to draft someone even better this year if the thing seemed to work out well enough for him (which we still don't really know).
  14. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    I think desperation was the reason he picked up these two guys. Pure and simple.

    As for his preferences at OLB it comes down to one simple fact. BB prefers VETERANS at that position. Except for Carl Banks I can not remember the last time a rookie started at OLB for a BB defense.

    The real question that no one can answer is why doesn't BB draft and coach up youngsters to eventually become starters at OLB. He does it with just about every othr position except maybe RB and specialists. Just think where a Barwin, Cushings, Mathews, Sintim, etc. etc. etc would be now with a rookie season under their belts. And ready to make the second year leap.
  15. reamer

    reamer Rookie

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    Funny you bring this up, because I was just looking at these numbers yesterdays. The only guy in this draft or last year's who hit all the requirements was Connor Barwin, who in spot duty managed 4.5 sacks. He's pretty well thought of by most Texans fans, and should make a big jump this year. I'm still sad we took Brace instead, but it's time to move on.

    Griffen and Te'o-Nesheim are really the only guys I've seen with the requisite size who have the speed and hips for coverage but also the power to hold up in the running game. Neither are ideal height, though I'm not going to quibble over half an inch (they're both just shy of the 6'4 mark). I wish Dunlap posted better shuttle and cone times, so that I felt more comfortable with him; he really has the best body type for what we look for.

    In the end, Griffen is my guy, but somehow I highly doubt Bill will pull the trigger.
  16. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    If BB doesn't go DE/OLB in the 1st or 2nd, Te'o-Nesheim should be the guy.
  17. BritPat

    BritPat Rookie

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    I think he'll spring a shock and draft Te'o-Nesheim at the end of round 2.
  18. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback Rookie

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    I've been thinking that lately too. Pretty close to the so called desired measureables and can rush the passer.
  19. StraightCashHomey81

    StraightCashHomey81 Rookie

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    The following exchange is from BB's 2009 post-draft press conference

    Q: Did you agree with [NFL Network Analyst Mike] Mayock that there was a lot of outside inebacker depth?

    “I mean, generally speaking, I think that there were more shorter players, maybe a little less speed than what we've seen, maybe a little more power with good production. There weren't a lot of 4.6, 4.65 [40 time] guys. There weren't a lot of 6-[foot]-4, 6-[foot]-5 guys. I'd say it was a much smaller pool of those types of players.”


    All Things Bill Belichick: 26-Apr-2009 Press Conference Transcript

    Seems pretty clear to me this is their standard and it was as recent as last offseason.
  20. StraightCashHomey81

    StraightCashHomey81 Rookie

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    In addition, if you want to argue that some of the Patriots current edge players don't fit the prototype, I would submit the following:

    Other OLBs on the Patriots 2009 Roster and how the relate to the prototype

    Adalius Thomas: At the 2000 combine, Thomas measured in at 6'3 270 lbs and ran a 4.56 40, very close to the Belichick standard. He also has very long arms and had proven he could play in the NFL with the Ravens before the Patriots acquired him in 2007. Also was valued in part because of his ILB/OLB versatility.

    Tully-Banta Cain: While he doesn’t fit the prototype, he was drafted late (7th round) and has been best used situationally as a pass rusher. When he has been asked to be a base 3-4 OLB on run downs, he struggles setting the edge. See the 2006 AFC divisional game v. San Diego (in which he was benched the following week v. Indianapolis) and his unremarkable stint with San Francisco.

    Derrick Burgess: At the 2001 combine, Burgess measured in at 6’3 264 lbs and ran 4.92 40. While he also doesn’t fit the prototype, he was used as little as possible on run downs as an OLB in the base 3-4 in 2009. Pierre Woods and Adalius Thomas got most of the snaps in the 3-4 on 1st and 2nd down.

    Rob Ninkovich: Measured in at 6'3 260 lbs. at the combine and ran a 4.71 at his Pro Day in 2006. He is close to the prototype and was also a waiver wire acquisition, not a high draft pick.

    Since 2000, the Patriots adherence to the 6-4, 4.6 formula has resulted in them being very picky in regards to OLBs in the draft (their only high pick was Crable in ’08). The only time they have gone outside this criterion is in later rounds (and even then it has been a slight deviation). Thus, if fans are waiting for the Patriots to select an impact pass-rusher high in this draft, it will more than likely be a player who is 6’4 plus, runs in the 4.6s or faster, and the Patriots feel can succeed at the NFL level.

    Some may point to some of the Patriots recent veteran acquisitions at OLB (Thomas, Burgess, Ninkovich, etc.) and conclude that the Patriots adherence to the 6’4 4.6 40 standard isn’t as rigid as advocated here. However, as explained above, these players are relative close to this prototype and/or were used situationally as pass rushing DEs in the Patriots four-man fronts and sub-packages. Given his past statements about positional value and the draft, I highly doubt Bill Belichick would spend a high draft pick on a defender he doesn’t deem to be a three-down player.

    Given their current roster situation, the Patriots need an OLB who can both rush the passer and has the size, length and strength to effectively set the edge and stay on the field all three downs. The Patriots believe that a three-down player at OLB in their 3-4 defense is someone who in addition to being a good football player, is 6’4 and runs a 40 in the 4.6s.
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