Pats looking at LB O'Brien Schofield

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by carolinatony, Jan 20, 2010.

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  1. carolinatony

    carolinatony In the Starting Line-Up

    O'Brien Schofield, LB Wisconsin 6'3 - 248 lbs.
    Maybe a late round pick for us?

    per NFL Forum :: - Personal Player Interviews from the East/West Practice

    O'Brien Schofield, LB Wisconsin

    How do you feel about the transition from defensive end to linebacker?
    I came out here today to show that I can stand up and play on the outside. It's been a great time showing my skills and that I can make that transition. I'm gonna show I'm a coverage linebacker.

    What did you measure during the weigh-in?
    I measured in this morning at 6'2, 242. I was listed at 250 but I lost weight during the year.

    How was today's practice different than at Wisconsin?
    The biggest thing I noticed was that these coaches are keeping it simple. They're allowing everyone to understand the situation.

    What's your biggest asset when you step on the football field?
    I will be able to cover well, man on man and stuff like that.

    What scouts have showed interest in you the last few days?
    I had interviews from Scouts from Carolina, Chicago, Philadelphia, Kansas City, San Francisco, Washington, Atlanta and New England.

    Most of the teams are 43 teams, how do you feel about that?
    I'm likely gonna have to stand up and play strong side linebacker and I feel I can work in any scheme.
    But I would love to put my hand down and just get up and go.

    from O'Brien Schofield Scouting Report - 2010 NFL Draft Prospect

    O'Brien Schofield has a monster senior season for the Badgers. Schofield started his career playing on
    special teams for Wisconsin, getting his first start in their 2007 bowl game at defensive end, where he
    had three tackles and a forced fumble. As a junior in 2008, he registered 40 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss,
    and 5 sacks in 13 games at defensive end. This year as a senior, Schofield made the transition to
    outside linebacker, which should benefit his professional career greatly. He played in 11 games for
    Wisconsin this season with 55 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 2 passes broken up in
    coverage, and forced 2 fumbles. Schofield is too small to play defensive end in the NFL, and his
    best position would likely be as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He is an incredible pass rusher, but
    this year's experience dropping into coverage should show scouts he has the ability to make the
    transition. Because he is new to the position, he'll need a strong showing in the post season games
    and workouts to solidify his draft status. At this point, he is likely a fourth or fifth round
    selection, but has an excellent chance to improve his stock

    thoughts guys?
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    NFLDS has him projected late third/early fourth, he seems a reasonable value for NE there - the question will be how well he's making the transition and does his lack of height & weight compared to BB's stated preference for a 6'5"+ 260+ DE/OLB affect his draft grade for NE. Other than that I like what I've read.
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    I had heard that but hadn't been able to confirm it. Thanks for posting.

    Some interesting things about this report:

    1. It shows that the Pats are actively showing interest in LBs. I would hope they do diligence and take a close look/talk to many prospects.

    2. Schofield is transitioning from DE to OLB, regardless of scheme (4-3 vs. 3-4). He lacks the height/size for a classic BB 3-4 OLB, but not as a guy who could potentially play both 3-4 OLB and 4-3 SAM.

    He certainly sounds like a reasonable 3rd/4th round prospect to consider.
  4. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa In the Starting Line-Up

    He was very impressive against Miami in their bowl game. I don't think he's too slight. 6'2" 242LB as others have mentioned. He will be able to put on 12-15 lbs of muscle. Looked very active and could also drop into coverage. I don't think he lasts past round 3. I'm in the let's draft 2 olb's camp. My mock

    1. 3-4 de (dunlap,odrick,williams,a.jones.b.price)
    2a trade up 42 and 54 for early 2nd and early 3rd. OLB(graham,hughes,kindle)
    2b OL
    3 Schofield or similiar prospect.
    4 te a. quarless
  5. carolinatony

    carolinatony In the Starting Line-Up

    The reason I mention him as a late round pick is because

    -BB will likely trade down one pick so we grab a LB later
    - maybe we can go OG/DE/RB with the other 3 picks. I know a lot here like
    Spiller, C.J.
  6. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

    Well the problem with Hughes and Schofield is that they are about 3 inches too short compared to BB's 'prototypical' OLB. Now I don't know what the big deal is with the height requirement but apparently to BB it's a big deal. That's why we passed on guys in past drafts like Lamarr Woodley, David Harris, etc.

    I think if BB can't find an OLB he likes in the draft, he should just draft Rolando Mcclain and try to get pressure up the middle, the way Ray Lewis does for the Ravens.

    If I were picking and I liked all the scouting reports on Schofield, I'd certainly consider him in the 3rd or 4th, but I'm not convinced that BB will take one look at the lack of height and pulls him off the board. I'm not saying I know that BB does that, but that appears to be how he operates with regards to OLBs.

    Just look at imposing physical specimen Shawn Crable (6'5 243, who can't get on the field). And UDFA pickups like Pierre Woods (6'5 250) and Vincent Redd (6'6 260). Tully Banta Cain is really the only 'short' OLB (6'2 250) that BB has ever drafted that worked out, and he wasn't selected until the 7th round. Is this going to change any time soon?
  7. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa In the Starting Line-Up

    This whole height thing is puzzling to me. He coached LT. What was LT 6;2"-6'3"? The greatest olb ever. How tall was Tippett? 6'3"?? That Dumervil kid at Denver is a midget.
    I wouldn't call Freeney rangy.
  8. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

    Would you rather have Lamarr Woodley now or Brandon Meriweather? And Taylor Mays looks like he is going to be available around pick #22 in this year's draft.

    So the question could be framed, would you rather have Woodley and Mays or Meriweather and whoever we get at pick #22? Hmmm?

    Another thought is that since Woodley was a mid second round pick, you could have traded down from the 1st, gotten Woodley, and then gotten say an extra 3rd round pick to take another prospect or trade into the next year's draft!

    You can't look at these numbers, 11.5 sacks in 2008 and 13.5 sacks in 2009, and not help but think that Woodley would have helped us a lot more than Meriweather.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  9. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 In the Starting Line-Up

    Yes, BB has a size preference for his OLBs -- at least in terms of the draft. But that may be in his perfect world. AD, TBC, Burgess, and Ninkovich are all listed as 6-2, with TBC as the only draftee.

    So, BB may hope for one of the "prototypical" OLBs, but if the only ones available are 6-2 -- is he going to pass?
  10. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

    He has passed before! Clay Matthews apparently wasn't big enough either. He was 'only' 6'3 and 245 lbs. Yeah he had 10 sacks for the Packers this year. I'm not in BB's head, I can only judge based on his actions. And he has passed on guys that he has deemed are too 'small' for his system.
  11. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    I sometimes wonder if a concern that smaller guys may get washed out against the run is a selection factor, at least recently. Two or the top four running teams in the league are in our division. This season, 10 of 17 games were against teams in the top ten and, in 2010, 9 regular season games will be against top ten running teams.

    That said, it was interesting that BB had guys who were sorta "hybrid" DE/OLB in sub-packages (TBC, Burgess, Ninkovich - 6'2", around 260 lbs) - more 4-3 DE-sized than prototypical 34 OLB or 34 DE size. I've been wondering where (if anywhere) BB might be going with this - trying to generate a better pass-rush without sacrificing run defense? If so, I'm not sure it worked consistently well, though that may have just been the particular players.
  12. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    That's not a new phenomenon. BB has always preferred height and length in his OLBs, and has valued the ability to set the edge and play the run above pure pass rushing. We've had 6'5" 270# Willie McGinest, 6'4" 260# Mike Vrabel, and 6'2" 270# Adalius Thomas. Our smaller guys were 6'4" 250# Bryan Cox, 6'3" 250# Roosevelt Colvin and 6'4" 250# Matt Chatham.

    I'm guessing, but I think BB's logic is something like the following:

    1. He prioritizes LBs who can set the edge, play the run, take on blockers, read and react, block the passing lanes and cover over those who are more pure speed rushers. That's what is required in his 2 gap scheme.

    2. Being able to set the edge and play the run requires a certain amount of heft. 240 lb. OLBs aren't going to stand up well over the course of a season to the pounding that they take. He's looking for guys in the 250-270 lb. range with the lateral mobility, quick hips, agility and explosiveness to do all the things that are required.

    3. Height is a factor in 2 ways. First, he likes tall guys who can get their arms up and block the passing lanes. 2nd, height is a surrogate for weight. There are 6'2" guys who can play at 260-270 effectively (Adalius Thomas, LaMarr Woodley), but most are going to be to slow. A guy with a 6'4"-6'6" frame is much more likely to be able to carry the kind of bulk needed to stand up against blockers.

    As I've argued on other threads in this forum, most of the "3-4 OLB hybrids" that draftniks talk about probably aren't of interest to BB because they are too light to be able to set the edge and play the run effectively. BB tried taking 6'5" Shawn Crable with the idea of bulking him up to the 260 lb. range where he would be more effective against the run, but so far he has had trouble putting on weight. 6'4" 248# Ricky Sapp, 6'4" 254# Sergio Kindle, and 6'3" 257# Jerry Hughes are all options (especially for the weak side where BB has played 250# guys like Colvin and Cox in the past), but I really see BB taking guys who are more college DE's then DE/OLB hybrids, but who have the size/speed and agility to play 3-4 OLB for us. Guys like 6'6" 270# Carlos Dunlap, 6'6" 265# Jason Pierre-Paul, 6'5" 265# Greg Hardy and 6'6" 260# Austen Lane. Next year there will be 6'6" 270# Greg Romeus, 6'3" 263# Jeremy Beal and possible 6'5" 260# Robert Quinn and 6'6" 260# Aldon Smith. There's more guys with the kind of length, size and athleticism that BB seems to like coming out in the next 2 years than ever before.
  13. Nonentity

    Nonentity Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Disable Jersey

    I asked Mike Reiss this week to try to dig out Bill's comments on the size/speed he likes in OLBs, and he brought it up in an answer to someone else.

    Patriots mailbag full of offseason questions - ESPN Boston
  14. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #11 Jersey

    Word out of Shrine practice is that he's looked very fluid in coverage. He's not going to be the impact pass-rusher we covet. So physical attributes may need not apply.
  15. Koettbulle

    Koettbulle Practice Squad Player

    Can he play inside in the 3-4? His "short" stature might be a positive inside taking on guards rather than tackles.
  16. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    Brought this up in a previous thread noting the similar situation with drafting Bruschi. I think this only makes sense if Schofield has similar intangibles to Bruschi.

    Worth noting that the coaches at the Shrine Bowl have taken a practice look at Schofield inside. So while I still think it is a long shot and the conversion may take a while, it may not be out of the realm of possibility.
  17. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Yeah, I saw that, too.

    Based on the consensus (more or less) of practice notes I've been reading from Lammey (DraftGuys), Reuter (CBS) and Bunting (NFP), DE Doug Worthington (6'5", 288#, projected 4.96) has been the only consistently proficient front seven guy there. Average projection of several sites (as of December) had him going in the 7th round. I presume his stock is rising, though. I'll certainly be watching both him and Schofield Saturday.
  18. PatsCanDoIt

    PatsCanDoIt Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    He already made the transition to linebacker for the Badgers. He was able to pick 8 sacks while playing linebacker. That's what the fftoolbox site said atleast. He seems like McKenzie insurance at ILB to me. Either that or outside in a 4-3.

    The reason Ninkovich is still in the league is his agility. His short shuttle is really quick for 260lbs. Well, Crable isn't agile, strong or explosive. He just runs fast in a line. After height and weight comes short shuttle, vertical and college production.

    Like what Mayoclinic said, Bill has a number of qualifiers for OLBs before passrushing.
  19. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    In addition to Schofield, watch for Dexter Davis and Jason Beauchamp in the game. Davis is a DE converting like Schofield and Beauchamp is a 3-4 OLB from the UNLV system - both are getting positive press from their practices this week.
  20. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    I sorta remembered that about Ninkovich and Crable. But only "sorta", so I had to go look it up. Yep, Ninkovich had a 4.18 SS, 11.33 60-yd shuttle, and a 6.96 3-cone. Only guys quicker were Gocong and Kiwanuka. Crable had a (Pro Day, I think) 4.41 forty with a 1.26 10-yard split (helluva first step), but relatively poor shuttle/3-cone times.

    Interestingly, it appears that Mayo, Guyton and McKenzie were all maybe a bit speedier than agile wrt Combine/ProDay numbers. Hmmm . . .
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