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Pretty good article on drafting a DE for an OLB position in the 3-4

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Rob0729, Apr 24, 2011.

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  1. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Since pretty much everyone here agrees that OLB is a top three need for this team, mostly likely an universal #1 need; I found this article today on the National Football Post on the difficulties of drafting a DE to convert to an OLB and how hard it is to choose a Terrell Suggs over a Vernon Gholston. It does give some insights into what to look for and some of the things that might be overrated.

    Later in the article, they give the scouts' take of which players will make the transition the easiest and who will struggle. Here is the list:

    Most Likely to make the transition
    Dontay Moch
    Chris Carter (not surprising since he plays for Pat Hill a Belichick disciple)
    Sam Acho (the scouts say he will make the transition easiest)
    Ricky Elmore

    "Would Need Some Work"
    Alondo Smith (say he is stiff and better suited to have his hand in the ground, but reminds people of Wille McGinest. My take he could take over that McGinest elephant role that revived McGinest's career)
    Ryan Kerrigan (scouts are torn on him, but he looks to be more suited for an one gap attack type of 3-4 than the 3-4, two gap, read and react one the Pats run)
    Brooks Reed
    Jabaal Sheard
    Cliff Matthews

    Probably will Struggle
    Robert Quinn (Basically says his limited football experience at the college level will make it tougher for him to change)
    Justin Houston (sees to be a pass rush specialist and can't do other things required of an OLB in the 3-4)
    Cameron Jordan (might not have the feet)

    Ironically, these scouts are down on most of the guys who are the trendiest names to be 3-4 OLBs (Jordan, Quinn, Smith). Now is that because that is how they feel or are they trying to spread misinformation to scare off potential suitors.


    NFP Sunday Blitz | National Football Post
     
  2. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    Interesting. Cameron Jordan? that's a big damn linebacker. Yeah, it's a bit of a crapshoot, that transition.

    Also, the top two guys there are 6' 1". Not sure about that analysis, but the crapshoot part seems to hold.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  3. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, now that you mentioned it. Jordan is mentioned for a lot of 3-4 teams, but as possibly the best 3-4 DE available (although most go with JJ Watts).
     
  4. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Interesting read.

    It's a good thing that the zone blitz is getting more use in college because that can be used to evaluate how well those prospects drop back in coverage.

    I too am not high on Quinn and Jordan (also Fairley, et al)- their red flags lie in inconsistent performance, and that was the same problem Gholston had.

    JJ Watt has the attributes that BB loves- leadership, intelligence, work ethic, and most of all, scheme versatility- he lines up either left or right, and even has lined up at DT.

    It remains to see if BB/Patriots will overcome their aversion to working with Tom Condon again, if they are targeting JJ Watt.
     
  5. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    But they're mentioning him as an OLB convert in that article.

    That and a 4-3 DE are interchangeable, but I've never seen a legit 3-4 DE for our defense who has any chance at all of seeing time as an OLB, just two different animals.

    Maybe, mayybbee a Jarvis Green type could be seen as an OLB candidate, but we're talking Richard Seymour, it does not compute.
     
  6. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    While I was checking out Quinn's highlight reel, I found myself being drawn to Marvin Austin, DT. This is a player with great motor, strength, and a mean streak. Looks like he has a bit of inconsistency, but great first step, violent hands, great bull rush, crunches the pocket and moves off the line well with very strong upper body strength. This guy is a solid run-stopper.
     
  7. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Understand that. I am talking the general draft discussion over the past few months has Jordan as the #1 or #2 best 3-4 DE. This article suggests he will be an OLB. I did read one of the draft publications that he could slim down and become an OLB in the 3-4.
     
  8. Peachhead

    Peachhead PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I wonder why the author of that article feels Ricky Elmore is "most likely to make the transition" yet Brooks Reed "would need some work"?

    To my eyes Reed is noticeably more athletic and better in space, and by the numbers Reed tested significantly better in every category except the VJ.

    (Not to shortchange Elmore. IMO he'd be a nice late-round flyer for the Pats.)

    Then again, ever since NFP started continually floating the idea of Cam Jordan (287 lbs) as an OLB I've been taking the things they write with a whole lot of skepticism. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  9. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    "Scouts" talking "before" the draft. Be vewy, vewy, newvous. :eek:
     
  10. bucky

    bucky 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    When I look at Cam Jordan, I see a Shawn Ellis type of player with more athleticism. He will be a fine 34 DE who can play either DE or DT in the sub package. People who are putting him at OLB are just overthinking. That can happen when there's 4 months leading up to the draft with not free agency or football of any kind.

    To me, the only guy who converts cleanly and easily to OLB is Von Miller. Everyone else, including Kerrigan, Quinn, and Smith is a risk, is a large risk and will at best be a 3rd down specialist for the first year or 2. That probably puts them out of consideration anywhere before 28. And that's just a shame because I really like Aldon Smith.
     
  11. RhodyPatriot

    RhodyPatriot In the Starting Line-Up

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    My hope is the Patriots draft both a DE and a OLB. This team needs more than one pass rusher on this roster.
    My wish list is DE, OLB and O-line at the top of the draft and looking for diamond in the rough skilled guys (RB, WR) in the later rounds.
    This team desperately needs impact players on defense.
     
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