my top five OLB's

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by patsfan-1982, Jan 24, 2010.

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  1. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #11 Jersey

    There's a reason why Eric Alexander got the start in the 2006 AFCC. There's a related reason the Colts came back from 3 touchdowns behind and denied the Patriots a great shot at a fourth Lombardi, and it had everything to do with Dallas Clark getting something like 10 passes for 170 yards in the second half.

    That's the extreme, yet real, example. When you get a team like the Colts running no-huddle, if you don't have a linebacker who can stay with the better flex TEs in the game, you're toast. Otherwise you'd have to play the entire game in the nickel and cover him with a safety or nickelback.

    Roman Phifer did this for us during the SB years. We've been missing his replacement since then.
  2. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    For a review that in some ways pans Sapp, in other ways Boylhart goes out of his way to laud him. I don't think there's any doubt that Sapp has talent.

    But where do you take a 3-4 OLB who can't play the run, who is taken out in red zone situations, who doesn't fight his way through blocks, who gives up on plays once the quick score doesn't materialize, and who has poor technique and work habits?

    If he slips to the 3rd round and Austen Lane is gone, I'd consider it. But I still see a more talented version of Shawn Crable. One per team is enough.
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    For comparison, here was Boylhart's profile on Shawn Crable in 2008:

    Shawn Crable LB Michigan


    Shawn is a tall, lanky LB who has the ability to play standing up and with his hand down. He has strong enough athletic talent to cover TE’s in pass situations and does a good job handling his responsibilities of his position. He looks like he is a good teammate and shows some leadership skills. Shawn has played in a big time program and this does mean a lot when looking for players whose LTI could be shorter than those with more talent, but from smaller programs.


    As far as I’m concerned, Shawn is a tweener and does not have starting athletic talent for the next level. He is not fast enough or strong enough to be a DE and doesn't have the athleticism to be a LB. He also does not seem to play with strong intelligence and is fooled by the same play many times in the same game. Shawn does not do a good job handling running plays right at him. For a player who has played as much as Shawn has, he should be much further along in his football maturity.


    Shawn should be a solid situational player and maybe help you on special teams, but unless he starts to play with more intelligence, I’m afraid that what you see right now is what you get with Shawn. He could be a situational pass rusher if he lets his natural burst take over his thought process and, with good coaching, that could happen. However, remember you're drafting a kid who really hasn’t improved from year to year in any aspect of his game. He seems to have good cover skills and I believe he might help in some nickel-dime situations, but if Shawn does not produce on special teams, it will be hard for him to make a team beyond his first contract. Shawn looks to be a good kid and if someone can get him to play more intelligently, he could become a solid player.

    I wish BB had read this review.
  4. alvinnf

    alvinnf In the Starting Line-Up

    The rules changed.
  5. hammertime

    hammertime On the Roster

    To be fair, Crable looked really good before he got injured in the first preseason game two years ago. He was rangy, looked solid in coverage and also created some QB pressure. If he hadn't gotten injured (twice) who knows what would have happened?
  6. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    Yes, and No. Phifer would not be asked to cover Clark in man-to-man - he'd be no better at it than Alexander was. Clark is a WR-hybrid as opposed to an H-back or "true" TE. Keller is from a similar mold. I don't reject your Edds notion, he's an excellent coverage LB who has developed his coverage instincts and has enough size to be effective engaging blockers. I'd still game plan to use a Safety - such as McGowan - or a Nickelback on Clark or Keller, but you're correct to want a solid coverage LB who can play the run well in the base set and still cover an H-back or WR-hybrid in the up tempo periods.
  7. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    He did, which is why Crable was a Third Round draft pick and not a First or Second.
  8. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    Here's a profile on Edds:

    AJ Edds LB Iowa

    - Round 1


    AJ is a complete LB who has the athletic talent, intelligence and instincts to play any one of the inebacker positions for the team that drafts him. He has excellent speed to go along with his size. He has excellent man-to-man cover skills to defend against TE's and those big slot receivers. A J is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler who can cut on a dime and change direction. He has an excellent burst of speed to the ball and can cover those sneaky tailbacks coming out of the back field in the flat. Out of all the senior linebackers in this draft A J is the best and will be the safest pick... just like Aaron Curry was last year. I call him (Ajax) Edds because he will clean up all the mistakes your defense will make.


    AJ just needs to get to the Senior Bowl and the Combine to show all of his talents.


    There are a few junior linebackers, if they come out, that might overshadow A J but the truth is there is not a senior or junior linebacker that is truly better. Perhaps, flashier but not better. A J can play in any system that your team is using on defense. He can rush the passer, he can cover and he is an excellent tackler in the open field. Give Ajax about six games to learn the angles as a MLB and you will think he had played that position all of his life. A J can play MLB in the Tampa 2 defense. He is as big and and fast as Brian Urlacher was when Brian came out, but the difference is that A J has played the LB position all of his college career. This Iowa team's defense was simple but outstanding all year long and the truth is they had smart, athletic players that enabled the coaches to keep Iowa’s defense simple. A J was one of these players. They all worked together and they all were like coaches on the field.

    Drew Boylhart 12/09
  9. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    Texas moved Kindle to the Strong Side for the BCS? After playing him, most of the year, on the Weak side?

    Interesting, if true..
  10. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    Mike Vrabel was SUDDEN and had a great first step. It's how he regularly beat people during best years.

    Also, having a great first step ties in directly with how you read and react, get into the passing lanes or drop into coverage.

    Either that, or you have very different meanings for those words when evaluating players.
  11. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    No Jersey Selected

    For a comparison, what was his review of Cliff Avril?
  12. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    This should cheer you up:

    Cliff Avril LB Purdue


    Cliff is a hell of an athlete who has been playing out of position for his team because he is an excellent pass rusher. This kid, for the next level, is a natural OLB in a 3-4 defense with the ability to play on the strong side. He can cover a TE and does an excellent job defending against the run. I also believe that Cliff could play any one of the LB positions in a 3-4 defense or a 4-3 defense, but his impact would be as a pass rushing LB with the ability to be used in coverage. That means bringing him to an inside LB position would limit his impact. Cliff shows excellent leadership qualities and because he is so smart and instinctive, there is no doubt in my mind about his work ethic. Cliff Avril has the potential to be a Pro Bowl strong side LB in a 3-4 defense for the team that drafts him.


    Cliff just needs to be drafted by the right team in the right defense and he will impact immediately. I suspect that he might need some time to impact in a defense or position that he has not played up until now, but give him some time and he will produce.


    Teams that run a 3-4 defense must be drooling just thinking about this kid. He is smart and will learn the OLB position real fast. Just put him on the field and let him go. This is the type of kid you can build your defense around because of his athleticism and leadership skills. Most people are not going to rate Cliff as high as I do because all they see is a undersized kid that will have to learn a new position. That's because they do not watch game film like I do. They watch the coach's film and evaluate how well Cliff is doing as a DE and then they try to suggest that he could be a good OLB in a couple of years. However, that is the problem when all you watch is the coach's film. In the coach's film you don't see the interaction of this kid with other players. You don't see how smart he is. You don't see his leadership skills. The only way you find out if the kid has leadership skills is when you ask a coach or a teammate. When a coach says "he is one of our leaders", that means nothing to me. I want to see it on the field and then I want to see how the players react to him. Cliff is a leader and his teammates react to what he says to them on the field. They may hate him off the field for all I know, but on the field, they respect this kid. That's why I'm giving him such a high talent grade. I'm not worried about his LTI being longer than normal because he may have to change positions. His natural athleticism, intelligence and leadership skills are what make this kid 1st round talent. I'm not sure when he will be drafted, but I know the team that drafts him is drafting a hell of a player. I would think that Cliff would be a perfect fit for the New England Patriots and any other team that runs a 3-4 defense.

    Drew Boylhart March 2008

    Yup. Knew it would make you feel better. :D
  13. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    No Jersey Selected

    First PayaTon on his way to a 2nd SB, now this. Groan.

    What the hell has happened to Emperor William? He can't seem to even tell sh!t from shinola any longer.
  14. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 In the Starting Line-Up

    This just in: Texas A&M’s Von Miller recently ran a 4.47 electronically time forty yard dash on campus. And as we heard, the Pats had shown interest.
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    I guess it's a good thing BB raided crazy Al's pick locker for 2011.
  16. BritPat

    BritPat In the Starting Line-Up

    #54 Jersey

    I'm beginning to get a real itch about Brandon Graham.

    He reminds me so much of Woodley.
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