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OLB a need?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Patsmaniac, Dec 19, 2008.

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  1. Patsmaniac

    Patsmaniac Practice Squad Player

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    Maybe some of you can answer the question. With AD, Woods, and Crable, is OLD a huge need as these boards make it appear. Wouldn't it depend on how the staff feels about Crables long term ability and development?
    If they feel he really contribute next year then while we would certainly need depth, would we really need to have a first rounder? Would a first rounder really be able to start in our program? I am sure a great prospect would certainly be able to contribute? Wasn't Crable signed as our pass rusher? I guess we need more than one. Wouldn't a pick in the second round or later be better?

    I appreciate the insight.
     
  2. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Who the hell is Woods? or Crable? I mean really, who knows what they are... I see a lot of bodies but not a play maker in sight, so I put OLB in the same boat as a lot of other positions, if a difference maker / pro bowl type player is available, then hell ya, lets do it but clearly there are more pressing needs at Safety, Cornerback, ILB, RB,TE, O Line and future D line depth.

    Don't forget Vrabel as well... and hell even Colvin.

    Sorry for three 'hells' in one single post, happy holidays.
     
  3. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    Yes, a pass rushing demon off the edge is our single biggest need by far.
     
  4. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There are a couple threads that have touched on this, the problem with drafting someone to play OLB in BB's 3-4 is the conversion time needed for college DEs or SLBs to adjust.
    - Pierre Woods played in a college system that allowed him to get experience at 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB, in his third year he was able to step in as an injury replacement and show promise before going on IR.
    - Tully Banta-Cain was adequate as an injury replacement in his fourth year before going to SF and fading away.
    - Shawn Crable is a question mark. He came from the same system as Woods so we might expect him to start showing progress in his third year - which might be in time for Vrabel to retire.
    - Vince Redd has college 3-4 experience, but didn't appear to be too explosive in preseason - perhaps he can learn to create a rush with his power and technique the way Willie MacGinest did - but there's still the coverage aspects to improve on.
    - Pioli has acquired two college players whom I liked as OLB candidates in the 2008 draft, Darrell Robertson and Angelo Craig. Both are on the Practice Squad getting coached up.
    - Gary Guyton has shown promise in emergency use, but he has a ways to go and I like him better inside anyway.

    BB now has Vrabel, Thomas, and Colvin as veterans over 30. All have been hit by injuries in the past couple years and are on the backside of their careers. It's too soon to write them off, but I have to worry that one of the youngsters won't be ready when needed.

    The bottom line, there is no easy fix in the draft. There might be some help in Free Agency.

    On a tangent: Virginia has 3-4 OLB Clint Sintim in this draft, watching a recording I made of their Clemson game is encouraging - he's drawing double teams and shows some coverage skills. He's also regularly ranked fairly high at OLB by draftniks. I'm also impressed by their ILB Antonio Appleby, I suspect he could play OLB too if needed.
     
  5. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    I don't know about biggest need but there should be some available, the draft is very deep at LB, especially OLB. If a true play maker was available Thomas could always shift inside. The defense was very solid when he was at ILB early in 2007.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  6. BritPat

    BritPat In the Starting Line-Up

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    #54 Jersey

    That was with a healthy Colvin on the outside though.
     
  7. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It will be interesting to see how Woods comes back and whether he can apply the pass rush the coaches see in practice to game situations with a little more playing time and a more experienced defense surrounding him.
     
  8. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    OLB is a huge need, but I don''t think you will see them use a hig draft pick on one...........expect a substantial FA signing
     
  9. mmasterkillah

    mmasterkillah On the Game Day Roster

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    #11 Jersey

    I'd be satisfied with somebody like Karlos Dansby (who we will all see this weekend) playing the OLB spot for us in the future. The good thing is that he also has experience playing ILB in the 3-4 as well.

    He has really good size and speed, but he doesn't have the most agile hips in coverage, nor is he the best fundamental tackler (though these deficiencies have improved). I'm not entirely sure what type of money he is in line for as a FA this next off-season, but he is somebody to keep an eye on.

    I do see some talented kids in the draft, but certainly no individual who would independently shore up the pass rush.

    I also wouldn't be shocked to see us take a flier on the aging Jason Taylor after this season, as he is very good friends with TB and wants to play for a contender. Terrell Suggs would be the ideal fit, but it's not going to happen.

    Sintim kind of reminds me of an Elvis Dumervil type (though they are in vastly different defenses). He isn't particularly fast or big or quick, but somehow he beats the line to get in the backfield.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'd love to see him come in and platoon with Vrabes, but I don't want to do it at the expense of a promising youngster.
    Clemson had clearly game planned for him, that's enough to get my attention.
     
  11. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    if the pats are going to put big $$ on someone in FA this year, it should be the terrell suggs.......I am not sure that there is that player that will have the kind of rookie impact the pats will need at OLB next season

    this would also allow the pats to use their draft resources in other positions that may lend more immediate impact next season and beyond (SS will moore, OT jason smith, TE jermaine gresham, ILB spikes) in the first round, and allow them to go BPA in round 2
     
  12. p8ryts

    p8ryts Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    To me our most critical need is speedy pass rusher to help out the secondary. A candidate is George Selvie from South Florida. He has been playing with I believe a bad toe all year but he looks like a perfect fit for the outside rusher. Maybe Woods, Crable or Redd will be the ones but I'm not convinced.
     
  13. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Selvie has been playing with a bad ankle.. but he's also been playing at around 235.. Not the 252 that is listed for him.. Selvie is probably a better fit as a 4-3 OLB than a 3-4 OLB. Also, Selvie would have to declare, since he's only a junior.
     
  14. billdog3484

    billdog3484 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    i would have to think olb is our #1 priority. probably even more so than DB
     
  15. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    People seem to forget that there are many different types of OLBs. Unfortunately for most people, they don't realize that what the Patriots need is the type of player who can rush the passer, set the edge against the run and stop on dime and drop into coverage. Unfortunately for the Patriots, that type of player isn't immediately available in the draft.

    People also seem to not understand that those types of players don't just walk through the door and start creating havoc day 1. One of the best out there during his prime, Adalius Thomas, took 3 years to earn his starting spot. The other GOOD ones in the 3-4 have been very similar. Yes, you'll get the rare players like Shawne Merriman and Demarcus Ware, but they aren't the norm.

    People shouldn't over-look Crable, Pierre Woods or Vince Redd. People also shouldn't overlook Craig and Robertson. While Vrabel and Thomas haven't been what we expected, they also haven't been failures at OLB either. People also should remember the lesson that Matt Cassel taught us this year. That you never know how a player is going to react to starting.

    This year's draft doesn't have that Pass-rushing demon at OLB that the Patriots need. That prospect just doesn't exist. There are several players who know how to rush the passer and are good against the run or good in coverage. And that is what the Pats may have to settle for. In either case, as fans, we are probably looking at a 1-2 year wait for that player to be truly effective.
     
  16. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa In the Starting Line-Up

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    Just a hunch. But, I think Brian Cushing - USC - OLB will be very difficult to
    pass on if he's on the board when we pick. Looks like he can step right in for
    Vrabel after a year in training. I don't think P.Woods is a full-time starter. And,
    who knows about Crable. If we don't take an olb high. I'm assuming CRABLE
    has impressed. But, I wouldn't be shocked if take an olb early. Waiting to hear
    if a couple of underclassmen are coming out. A.Maybin - PSU. And, Sergio
    Kindle - Texas. Both play end in a 4-3. But, look like olb's in a 3-4.
     
  17. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I think some of this talk about conversions is garbage.

    for so many years we wait for a LB then they finally draft mayo, so maybe he's a first rounder, but what about guyton?

    we need to draft a guy like suggs who was known for sacking the quarterback in college.

    we need to identify a guy who excels at sacking the qb. even if he's a one trick pony at this time and you get him in the 2nd or 3rd that's fine.

    we need a sack specialist
     
  18. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    First off, who is this great "SACK SPECIALIST" who is in the college ranks right now that could come in and help the Pats?

    Second, would you care to explain how the Coach who says that SACKS are the most over-rated stat that is kept by the NFL is going to draft someone who is a SACK SPECIALIST?

    Sorry, but the Pats don't NEED to draft a SACK SPECIALIST because a sack specialist isn't going to come in right away and help them. That is the concept you don't seem to understand and its YOUR concepts that are garbage. They need to add a person who has shown he can put PRESSURE on the QB. And there is a difference.

    The Pats have a couple of guys in Vince Redd and Shawn Crable who got to the QB in College. They also added Darrell Robertson and Angelo craig. Two guys who ALSO got to the QB in college.

    What you and others don't realize is that the really good 3-4 OLBs like Demarcus Ware and Shawne Merriman are the exceptions, not the rule. But you also fail to realize that those two play is a different type of 3-4 system than the Pats.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  19. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    I don't buy the sentiment that there isn't a legitimate passrusher out there in the 2009 draft. What makes this year's crop any weaker than others when in fact it's a pretty darn deep draft for linebackers? Either the draft is deep with good talent available, which I think it is, or it's shallow with slim pickings which is the way some people are talking.

    Just because you haven't personally identified any good passrushers in the draft doesn't meant that they aren't out there. Luckily BB and his scouting staff will be doing the homework. And if they identify pressuring the QB as a high priority, and I think they will, don't be surprised to see one of these so called 'phantom' passrushers in a Pats uniform come 2009.

    Do the Pats have players in the pipeline for OLB? Sure. But excuse me if I don't place all my faith in 2 practice squad walk ons and 2 young olb in Woods and Crable who have shown us close to nothing, not that the injuries were their fault, but that's how it stands. And please don't tell me we are set at linebacker when the Pats had to bring Seau out of retirement and picked up a jobless Rosevelt Colvin to get some warm bodies out there!
     
  20. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Okay, that's what you think. Remind me when BB drafts and starts a rookie at OLB.

    Guyton wasn't starting ahead of Tedy. If he had been ready to play OLB Rosie would still be attending Open House's for his kids. Guyton is a blessing who has done wonderfully, but he was also brought on at a slower pace focusing first on coverage where his speed could be used - additionally, ILB isn't a conversion for him, it's a position he played in college as a WLB.

    Orakpo: "he lacks great explosion and pass rush off the edge. Can be easily pushed around the pocket if he tries to use an outside speed move. Gets sacks from hustle and effort." And he's NFL Draft Scout's #1 DE; the other top sack masters in this draft are similar, they're effort guys who did well in their systems. Orakpo reportedly has played up in a two-point stance, but how often has he dropped in coverage? You may choose to disagree, but BB doesn't favor one-trick ponies unless they are studs at that one trick.

    There are a number of DE/OLB types in this draft whom I like and would love to see in Training Camp for NE, but off the top of my head, only Curry, Sintim, Barwin, Cushing, and Matthews strike me as quicker conversions to a NE 3-4 OLB. Curry I'd rather play inside, Barwin has only one season as a DE, Cushing has a significant injury history and was taken out in Nickel situations, Matthews appears to be in the same boat as Crable and would need to bulk-up; which leaves Sintim who currently plays OLB in a 3-4 - he has good sack numbers, but I don't expect him to bust loose with 10 sacks in his first year as a pro.

    I see no "stud" pass rusher in this draft class, I do see a decent number of good kids who will come in to the pros and work hard to be productive. Guys who can be the next Bruschi or Vrabel, both of whom were noted for sacks while in college, but took a few years to find starting niches in the NFL.

    We've now disagreed with each other in general, though I did list some specific prospects for you, please feel free to propose prospects whom you feel meet your critieria and we'll bat their potential around. :cool:
     
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