I have seen a lot of people on here that absolutely do not want him on the Patriots and I am prett confused why. I posted this on another thread but didn't really get the responses I was looking for, so I figured I would try again. When I watch him play I see a guy who would be almost perfect at SILB next to Mayo. He already is used to playing on the strongside as he was the SLB for USC, but also spent time at MLB and the "elephant" DE, making him one of/if not the most versatile defender in the draft. He is great against the run and does a very good job taking on and shedding blockers to get to the ball. He is an explosive athlete who can really lay the lumber and is a pretty good special teams player as well. A smart, instinctive player, he also is solid at blitzing up the middle. If you look at the numbers listed on CBS Sportsline NFL Draft - 2009 Draft Prospects - CBSSports.com Football you will see that Cushing's numbers come pretty close to Barwin's, who we all must admit is an athletic freak. (For the record I'd love Cushing at 23 and Barwin at 34). OVR Pos. Rank Player Pos. School Ht. Wt. Proj. Rd. Stock 40 Time Bench Reps Vert. Jump Twenty Yard Ten Yard Broad Jump Shuttle Cone 15 2 Brian Cushing OLB Southern California 6-3 243 1 same 4.64 30 35 2.62 1.53 10'00" 4.22 6.84 31 4 Connor Barwin OLB Cincinnati 6-4 256 1-2 up 4.59 21 40 1/2 2.68 1.53 10'08" 4.18 6.87 I wouldn't doubt that at one point in his career he took something he wasn't supposed to, but it wasn't recently as all his drug tests have shown, so I don't seeing that being a problem anymore. He also had durability concerns, but after playing all of last season seemed to work through those as well. The guy has been starting at USC, a perennial powerhouse, on a great defense since his freshman season. He is flat out a football player. Some experts talk about him not being fluid in coverage, but he proved at USC that he could match up with TEs. I think a lot of the talk about his hips came from the fact that Matthews was so fluid -but we aren't looking for another Mayo, we are looking for someone to partner him for the next decade, and that's where I think Cushing fits better than any other backer in this draft.