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Ozzy
10-10-2011, 11:45 AM
I tried to break down all of the different defensive positions in the front seven. Positions of ILB, OLB, DE, DT and NT in the 3/4 and 4/3 defensive systems. In each position I made my best estimation as to which players might be the best at that spot, and one player can make more than one position list.


I am sure I missed some players but so far this is who I have been trying to follow and keep tabs on. Great class of linebackers coming out potentially, that is for sure.



Defensive prospects 3/4

3/4 OLB
Courtney Upshaw Alabama
Dont'a Hightower Alabama
Devin Taylor South Carolina JR
Melvin Ingram South Carolina
Bruce Irvin West Virginia
Ronnell Lewis Oklahoma JR
Jarvis Jones Georgia RS SOPH
Vinny Curry Marshall
Brandon Jenkins Florida State JR
Audie Cole NC State
Barkevious Mingo LSU RS SOPH
Darius Fleming Notre Dame
Frank Alexander OU
Chase Thomas Stanford
Kyle Wilber Wake Forest
Craig Roh Michigan JR
Nathan Williams Ohio State
Matt Broha La Tech
Brandon Lindsay Pitt
Steven Sylvester Georgia Tech
Jacquies Smith Missouri
Jacob Lattimer Iowa State


3/4 ILB
Manti Te'o Notre Dame JR
Dont'a Hightower Alabama
Vontaze Burfict Arizona State JR
Nigel Bradham Florida State
Audie Cole NC State
Travis Lewis Oklahoma
Garrick Williams Texas A&M
Michael Mauti Penn State JR
Devon Kennard USC JR
Tahir Whitehead Temple
Chris Galippo USC
Andrew Jackson Western Kentucky
Brandon Maye Miss State
J.K. Schaffer Cincinnat
Chris Marve Vanderbilt
Noah Keller Ohio
Adrien Cole La Tech
Sterling Lucas NC State


DE 3/4
Quenton Coples UNC
Jared Crick Nebraska
Melvin Ingram South Carolina
John Simon Ohio State JR
Malik Jackson Tennessee
Damion Square Alabama JR
Billy Winn Boise State
Kapron Lewis-Moore Notre Dame
Mike Martin Michigan
Jake Bequette Arkansas
Matt Conrath Virginia
Ryan Van Bergen Michigan


3/4 NT
Alameda Ta'amu Washington
Josh Chapman Alabama
Nicolas Jean-Baptiste Baylor
Casey Walker Oklahoma JR
Jacobbi McDaniel Florida State JR
Eddie Brown Jr. Texas A&M
Marcellis Williamson Ohio
Jewhan Edwards Minnesota




Defensive prospects 4/3

4/3 ILB
Manti Te'o Notre Dame JR
Vontaze Burfict Arizona State JR
Dont'a Hightower Alabama
Garrick Williams Texas A&M
Devon Kennard USC JR
Andrew Jackson Western Kentucky
Brandon Maye Miss State
J.K. Schaffer Cincinnat
Chris Marve Vanderbilt
Noah Keller Ohio
Adrien Cole La Tech
Sterling Lucas NC State


4/3 SLB
Manti Te'o Notre Dame JR
Dont'a Hightower Alabama
Jarvis Jones Georgia RS SOPH
Nigel Bradham Florida State
Audie Cole NC State
Michael Mauti Penn State JR
Shayne Skov Stanford JR
Andrew Sweat Ohio State
Devon Kennard USC JR
Tahir Whitehead Temple
Ryan Baker LSU
Greg Williams Pitt RS
Chris Galippo USC
Max Gruder Pitt


4/3 WLB
Luke Kuechly Boston College JR
Lavonte David Nebraska
Shayne Skov Stanford JR
Travis Lewis Oklahoma
Danny Trevathan Kentucky
Kenny Tate Maryland
Tank Carder TCU
Sean Spence Miami FL
Keenan Robinson Texas
Ramon Buchanan Miami FL
Jerry Franklin Arkansas
James Michael Johnson Nevada RS
Jay Dudley La Tech


4/3 DE
Quenton Coples UNC
Devin Taylor South Carolina JR
Brandon Jenkins Florida State JR
Melvin Ingram South Carolina
Malik Jackson Tennessee
Frank Alexander OU
Nick Perry USC RS JR
Donte Paige-Moss UNC JR
Kendrick Adams LSU
Brandon Harold Kansas State
Andre Branch Clemson
Chandler Jones Syracuse
Kyle Wilber Wake Forest RS
Nathan Williams Ohio State
Craig Roh Michigan JR
Broderick Binns Iowa RS
Solomon Thomas Ohio State
Jacquies Smith Missouri
Jake Bequette Arkansas
Adewale Ojomo Miami FL
Matt Broha La Tech
Sean McClellin Boise State
Braylon Broughton TCU
Louis Nzegwu Wisconsin
Marcus Robinson Miami FL
Michael McAdoo UNC
Jack Crawford Penn State


4/3 DT
Brandon Thompson Clemson
Jerel Worthy Michigan State JR
Jared Crick Nebraska
Kheeston Randall Texas
Josh Chapman Alabama
Jacobbi McDaniel Florida State JR
Omar Hunter Florida JR
Jaye Howard Florida
Mike Martin Michigan
Kaleb Ramsey Boston College
Eddie Brown Jr. Texas A&M
Mike Daniels Iowa
Matt Conrath Virginia
Marcus Forston Miami FL
Christian Tupou USC
Brandon Kirksey Minnesota

keylime_5
10-10-2011, 12:09 PM
good list. though I don't think Coples is a fit in a 3-4 at all, and guys like John Simon and Melvin Ingram who play all over in college are certainly more likely to be OLBs than DEs in that system.

Gotta love Hightower and Upshaw - two guys with 3-4 experience who can play inside or out.

M.O.T.H.
10-10-2011, 12:10 PM
Melvin Ingram as a 5 tech in a 34? No.

The guy is going to get 34 OLB attention for sure, though. You're right there.

Ozzy
10-10-2011, 12:21 PM
M.O.T.H. Melvin Ingram as a 5 tech in a 34? No.

The guy is going to get 34 OLB attention for sure, though. You're right there.He could get a look at a 3/4 DE, easily gain 10-20 pounds, he can play all over the field, but yeah more one thinks about it more likely it is that he is a 3/4 OLB because of his power and athletic ability running.



keylime_5 good list. though I don't think Coples is a fit in a 3-4 at all, and guys like John Simon and Melvin Ingram who play all over in college are certainly more likely to be OLBs than DEs in that system.

Gotta love Hightower and Upshaw - two guys with 3-4 experience who can play inside or out.I do not see how Coples could not play in a 3/4, the guy is gigantic and could easily play a DE spot, kind of like Seymour did, less power than Seymour had and a little lighter, but similar height and ability to hold at the point of attack. But sure, he can easily play in a 4/3 as well. As for Simon and Ingram, yes he can be OLBs as well, that is possible, but a guy like Simon fits the bill for a DE, not sure he has the open field speed for a OLB. Ingram clearly does though with the athletic skills he shows.

bruschis4all
10-10-2011, 01:19 PM
Just an FYI. Michael Mauti - lb - Linebacker U. Tore his ACL. He's a 4th year junior. Hoping he can be ready for next fall. Surely, comes back to school. Might want to keep an eye on Ronnell Lewis - de - Oklahoma. Plays de in their scheme. Looks like a 3-4 olb. He's had some academic troubles in the past and is having a great year. I'll bet he comes out. Kiper loves him. Has him on his big board. I know a lot of work in these lists. Thanks for grouping them like that.

Duffman57
10-10-2011, 01:43 PM
Not a fan at all of Hightower. This entire year he's looked incredibly slow, really heavy and has just lost all burst IMO, wouldn't want him until after round 2 or 3...don't understand how you can have him above Burfict...

And you missed Perry, Frank Alexander, and Massaquoi on the 34 OLB prospects, their way better than alot of those guys you have listed, and all are easily athletic enough, and have shown the ability to work out of a 2 pt stance well both dropping and rushing, to play the 34 OLB spot. And Devin Taylor shouldn't even be on the 34 OLB list, he bulked up and looks much slower/less agile than he was last year which I think eliminates him from being a 34 player.

You missed Ronnell Lewis at 34 ILB (don't see him as a pass rusher in the league but looks like he could be really good as a 34 ILB. You missed Skov as well at that spot.

You missed a bunch of guys at the 34 DE anf NT spots, but ill add those when I have more time, since my boaring class that I can actually do this in is almost over...lol

Duffman57
10-10-2011, 01:47 PM
Just an FYI. Michael Mauti - lb - Linebacker U. Tore his ACL. He's a 4th year junior. Hoping he can be ready for next fall. Surely, comes back to school. Might want to keep an eye on Ronnell Lewis - de - Oklahoma. Plays de in their scheme. Looks like a 3-4 olb. He's had some academic troubles in the past and is having a great year. I'll bet he comes out. Kiper loves him. Has him on his big board. I know a lot of work in these lists. Thanks for grouping them like that.

He's got Mauti at 34 ILB and at 43 SLB.

Ronnell Lewis looks like he's coming out based on rumors on the topic. But he's not a good enough pass rusher to be a true 34 OLB

keylime_5
10-10-2011, 01:58 PM
He could get a look at a 3/4 DE, easily gain 10-20 pounds, he can play all over the field, but yeah more one thinks about it more likely it is that he is a 3/4 OLB because of his power and athletic ability running.



I do not see how Coples could not play in a 3/4, the guy is gigantic and could easily play a DE spot, kind of like Seymour did, less power than Seymour had and a little lighter, but similar height and ability to hold at the point of attack. But sure, he can easily play in a 4/3 as well. As for Simon and Ingram, yes he can be OLBs as well, that is possible, but a guy like Simon fits the bill for a DE, not sure he has the open field speed for a OLB. Ingram clearly does though with the athletic skills he shows.


In most 3 man fronts, the DE plays read and react and occupies blockers to open up the linebackers to make plays and get in running lanes. I see Coples as more of a Carlos Dunlap type than a Richard Seymour or Tyson Jackson type player. Coples isn't an elite edge rusher with the burst you want out of a top 10 pick at the position, but in a 4-3 he's a perfect base end that you can kick inside on 3rd down like Justin Tuck does in New York. You could play him at 5 tech, but it would be a waste of what makes him a high pick - kinda like if you were to put a guy like Nick Fairley there who's strength is his first step and penetrating as a pass rusher. He would use of none of that in a 3-4.

John Simon was a penetrating 3 tech DT early in his career at Ohio State, and he still plays there about 40% of the time at Ohio State in their 4-3 over front, but he's mostly been a LDE playing over the right tackle's outside shoulder....but since Nathan Williams got hurt Simon has been playing a lot of LEO too - which is basically a linebacker/DE 'tweener. At about 6'2"/260-265ish he's too small to play on the line in a 3-4 at all. If he's in a 3-4 he's a linebacker. In a 4-3 he's a DE that can play some 3 technique. Similar to Mitch King but more agile. The only reason Simon plays DT at all is b/c his upper body strength is unreal. One thing the scouts will say about Simon is that he is a 'tweener but really not in the good way, but he is a football player who has been making plays so he should find a spot.

Giantsfan1080
10-10-2011, 02:03 PM
Any thoughts on Scott Vallone? I could see him as a 3rd/4th rounder 4-3 DT.

iowatreat54
10-10-2011, 02:34 PM
Binns has been a really disappointing guy for the last 2 years at DE. His soph year was huge, and he looked like he was going to breakout (with Clayborn as a Sr.) but he had a pretty invisible year last year. He's been a little better this season, but not much.

Binns would probably be a late round, maybe even undrafted guy based only on productivity. However, I think he is going to wow a lot of scouts during workouts. He's deceptively athletic, and has a ridiculous wingspan that allows him to swat passes at the line. He lacks a lot of push in to the back field, but is capable of taking up a guy or two and still making an impact at the LOS either by deflecting passes or making a tackle.

Really, if you watch him, it just seems like he has little strength/drive. If this season keeps up, he's probably a middle-late round pick unless he explodes during workouts.

RaiderNation
10-10-2011, 03:36 PM
On the topic of Melvin Ingram, am I the only one who thinks he would be a nice fit for the Patriots? He has the bulk they usually look for and can play in both the 4-3 and 3-4 schemes. His value IMO is right around the last 1st and that's where the Patriots will be drafting....

keylime_5
10-10-2011, 04:15 PM
I like Ingram better in a 4 man front like New England runs. And yeah, since they like to mix it up he would fit well b/c he is so versatile and the 3-4 is all about versatility and disguising things.

Robcards
10-10-2011, 04:20 PM
Coples is putting on lbs, last game against Louisville they said he was 290 lbs, but still he's such an athlete I just don't see him as a 3-4 DE, although some 3-4 schemes have the standard NT, a DT type DE on one side, and a DE like Coples on the other, so who knows, depends on the team I suppose.

Also, I would expect Worthy to put on some weight and be a 3-4 NT come draft day, he just isn't very effective at pass rushing, if he put on 10-20 lbs his value would certainly go up as teams like the Steelers and Jets would definitely draft him

M.O.T.H.
10-10-2011, 04:47 PM
I like Ingram better in a 4 man front like New England runs. And yeah, since they like to mix it up he would fit well b/c he is so versatile and the 3-4 is all about versatility and disguising things.

I'd like him better in Dallas. :D

keylime_5
10-10-2011, 04:47 PM
I have been watching Worthy a lot to see where he best fits this year. Scouting/evaluating the defensive linemen is my favorite part of the predraft process, and a guy like Worthy who is a 4-3 DT that could probably play either spot there has Suh-like arms and looks way bigger than he was in high school, and he's not that tall (listed at 6-2, some worried he was maybe 6-1 or so in reality). I am curious to see how teams like Houston and Pittsburgh view him as fits in their defense. He looks like a guy who could come into the draft at a similar size to Wilfork and then like Wilfork put on a ton of weight and be versatile enough to play in a 3 or 4 man front.

rawdawg
10-10-2011, 06:55 PM
Where's Emmanuel Acho?

MaxV
10-10-2011, 06:59 PM
No Devon Still?

TheFinisher
10-10-2011, 08:01 PM
No Devon Still?

lol was just about to post that.

He's jumped out to me every week. Real good looking player.

Duffman57
10-10-2011, 09:13 PM
Not a fan at all of Hightower. This entire year he's looked incredibly slow, really heavy and has just lost all burst IMO, wouldn't want him until after round 2 or 3...don't understand how you can have him above Burfict...

And you missed Perry, Frank Alexander, and Massaquoi on the 34 OLB prospects, their way better than alot of those guys you have listed, and all are easily athletic enough, and have shown the ability to work out of a 2 pt stance well both dropping and rushing, to play the 34 OLB spot. And Devin Taylor shouldn't even be on the 34 OLB list, he bulked up and looks much slower/less agile than he was last year which I think eliminates him from being a 34 player.

You missed Ronnell Lewis at 34 ILB (don't see him as a pass rusher in the league but looks like he could be really good as a 34 ILB. You missed Skov as well at that spot.

You missed a bunch of guys at the 34 DE anf NT spots, but ill add those when I have more time, since my boaring class that I can actually do this in is almost over...lol

Oh yah and you forgot to add Cam Johnson to that OLB list as well.

Alright now onto the DE's/NT's you forgot for a 34...

Kendel Reyes, Still, Trevor Guyton is a underrated player, Kheeston Randall, Fletcher Cox (jr.), Derek Wolf, Da'John Harris and i guess Jaye Howard and Brandyn Thompson could play there as well.

At NT, your missing really some of the top guys.

The big one being Dontari Poe, but your also missing, Hebron Fangupo, Kwaan Short, Jerrell Worthey could play there with success. Short and Poe being the top 2 after Ta'Amu IMO.

BuddyCHRIST
10-10-2011, 09:16 PM
Jacobbi McDaniel doesn't deserve to be listed, has done next to nothing this year. Being outshined by about 5 other DT's on FSU's roster.

DiG
10-10-2011, 09:21 PM
can i get some more thoughts on Luke Kuechly. what is it that makes you think he isn't a fit inside in the 3-4?

bruschis4all
10-10-2011, 09:30 PM
No Devon Still?

I went to the PSU/Bama game. He played very well against a pretty damn good OL. He had a couple of big injuries early in his career. Tore his acl in 07 frosh year. Red-shirted. Broke ankle right before start of 08 season. Caused him to miss almost all of 2 seasons. Came back very late in 08 season. Backed Odrick up IN 09. Started last year. De's were terrible and he got doubled constantly. This year he got in better shape and is finishing plays. Worked on cutting his body fat down. Supposedly down to like 11pct. Which is good for a 300lb dude. Early in his career he would get penetration and miss the tackle/sack. Now, he's making plays in the backfield.

Ozzy
10-10-2011, 11:24 PM
Duffman57 Not a fan at all of Hightower. This entire year he's looked incredibly slow, really heavy and has just lost all burst IMO, wouldn't want him until after round 2 or 3...don't understand how you can have him above Burfict...

Ronnell Lewis looks like he's coming out based on rumors on the topic. But he's not a good enough pass rusher to be a true 34 OLB
If you were speaking of last year, you are correct, watching Bama this year he has that explosion and conditioning back to what it should be. Hightower is a physical freak and can absolutely destroy blockers along with play multiple linebacker positions. I agree with Ronnell Lewis, I need to see some more of him this year though, need to watch the Texas-OU tape, but yeah potentially Lewis could be a fine 3/4 OLB.


iowatreat54 Binns has been a really disappointing guy for the last 2 years at DE. His soph year was huge, and he looked like he was going to breakout (with Clayborn as a Sr.) but he had a pretty invisible year last year. He's been a little better this season, but not much.
I agree, he has been crazy disappointing, sophomore year like you said he was awesome but ever since then down hill, not a good sign for him. Still has the season left to play but at this moment not so hot.


MaxV No Devon Still?I have not really got a chance to watch Penn State much this year, but yes I have heard he has been playing great for them. Good for him this DT class overall is pretty weak.



Duffman57 Oh yah and you forgot to add Cam Johnson to that OLB list as well.

Alright now onto the DE's/NT's you forgot for a 34...

Kendel Reyes, Still, Trevor Guyton is a underrated player, Kheeston Randall, Fletcher Cox (jr.), Derek Wolf, Da'John Harris and i guess Jaye Howard and Brandyn Thompson could play there as well.

At NT, your missing really some of the top guys.

The big one being Dontari Poe, but your also missing, Hebron Fangupo, Kwaan Short, Jerrell Worthey could play there with success. Short and Poe being the top 2 after Ta'Amu IMO.I have Randall on the list, just not under a 3/4 DE. I think he would be best at tackle but could play DE I guess. Howard I would not want to play there but sure he could, same with Thompson, Thompson is a 4/3 DT I feel, but really sure he could even play NT in a 3/4 hypothetically. Derek Wolf is ok but not a huge fan of him, I say he is pretty average.

Dontari Poe is a junior right? I guess he could come out, but really he is way out of shape. Sure ok talent but he should come back a year because really he is not that good and would not be the top NT selected at all.

As for these USC guys Fangupo and Harris, I guess, I would have to see more of them but really that entire defense has disappointed, and that line is far from dominating, I would not call either of those tackles elite players, but who knows, might have to watch them more.


Dirty Thirty can i get some more thoughts on Luke Kuechly. what is it that makes you think he isn't a fit inside in the 3-4?I feel because I believe he is best left free, not over the tight end and being able to run and make plays. Not be boxed in like that, but sure many linebackers could play ILB in a 3/4, just feel he is best outside in a 4/3.


BuddyCHRIST Jacobbi McDaniel doesn't deserve to be listed, has done next to nothing this year. Being outshined by about 5 other DT's on FSU's roster.That is true he is having a down year, but really that entire team is having a down year. Has ideal size and is built low to the ground and is tough, but yes the freshman Erving is outplaying him.

underscore
10-11-2011, 12:04 AM
Devin Still is having an excellent year so far, and is doing so basically with no DEs to take the pressure off him. Still is playing himself into a first day pick.

Scott Wright
10-11-2011, 12:45 AM
In case you missed it I wrote a blog entry about one of the guys on this list:


***

Blog - Audie Cole, LB, North Carolina St.
http://draftcountdown.com/blog/NFL-Draft-Blog.php#oct10

***

underscore
10-11-2011, 06:03 AM
Just an FYI. Michael Mauti - lb - Linebacker U. Tore his ACL. He's a 4th year junior. Hoping he can be ready for next fall.

Penn State players are pretty notorious for being slow recoverers from ACL surgeries, so it wouldn't at all surprise me to see him not near 100% for at least the first part of the season.

Matthew Jones
10-11-2011, 06:29 AM
Ronnell Lewis should go on the 3-4 OLB list, and I'd put Alan Branch on there too. I could see Branch being a good fit for New England if they go back to a 3-4.

Ozzy
10-11-2011, 07:39 AM
Scott Wright In case you missed it I wrote a blog entry about one of the guys on this list:I agree, I LOVE that guy, awesome size, great speed in the open field, can cover, blitz, tackle is space. Very talented player, and clearly since not every star junior will come out, Audie should be a 2nd round pick easily I feel. Really rare combination of size and speed. Could maybe sneak into the 1st depending on who comes out.



RavenOfProphecy
Ronnell Lewis should go on the 3-4 OLB list, and I'd put Alan Branch on there too. I could see Branch being a good fit for New England if they go back to a 3-4.Sad thing is, everyone that follows the draft have been suggesting the Patriots get this or that player to try and improve that defense which is really in some ways holding that team back from greater success. Easily for over four years though they have yet to fill that OLB spot, ILB they have done great, yet to get that great OLB who can pass rush I feel.

Jermaine Cunningham, Fletcher, McKenzie, Gary Guyton, Ruud, Oscar Lua, Corey Mays, Jeremy Mincey...That was since 2006, really only two linebackers they hit on were Spikes and Mayo, let us not even speak about Shawn Crable, who is still such a surprise he did absolutely nothing.

SolidGold
10-11-2011, 07:46 AM
Isn't Derek Wolfe a pretty good DL prospect?

MaxV
10-11-2011, 08:41 AM
Penn State players are pretty notorious for being slow recoverers from ACL surgeries, so it wouldn't at all surprise me to see him not near 100% for at least the first part of the season.

Is it the same injury that he suffered last season also?

It sucks. Mauti is every bit as talented as Sean Lee and Navarro Bowman. And both of those guys are turning into big-time players for their respective teams.

Ozzy
10-11-2011, 08:42 AM
As being one of the few teams that play a successful 3/4 defense, along with Cal and a few other schools. Alabama consistently brings in the best 3/4 prospect in the country I feel. They always have massive defensive lineman, huge men that can eat blocks and get off the ball. Then you have their massive linebackers, bigger than any in the nation arguably on a consistent basis, just look at stud freshman Adrian Hubbard who will be next in line.

Really consistent defense that cranks out real solid 3/4 defensive players recently, one could argue this entire group will get a shot at playing in the NFL as some point potentially.


http://web-images.chacha.com/alabama-crimson-tide/alabama-crimson-tide-feb-21-2011-80.jpg

DE Damion Square/ Quinton Dial
NT Josh Chapman
DE Ed Stinson, Jesse Williams
OLB Jerrell Harris/ Adrian Hubbard
ILB Dont'a Hightower
ILB Nico Johnson/ CJ Mosley
OLB Courtney Upshaw/ Alex Watkins

Ozzy
10-11-2011, 11:56 AM
bruschis4all
Surely, comes back to school. Might want to keep an eye on Ronnell Lewis - de - Oklahoma. Plays de in their scheme. Looks like a 3-4 olb. He's had some academic troubles in the past and is having a great year. I'll bet he comes out. Kiper loves him. Has him on his big board. I know a lot of work in these lists. Thanks for grouping them like that.I had him on my other lists, but yes I agree now, just watched the Texas tape and yes Lewis is a fine 3/4 OLB prospect, so strong at the point of attack. And like some others have said, could argue Frank Alexander might be able to play that position as well. Then you have Casey Walker who is a good looking NT I must say along with Travis Lewis who I underrated originally, he could possibly play ILB in a 3/4.

I made those changes to the original list I posted. Thanks.

MURPHMAN
10-11-2011, 12:45 PM
Was Zach Brown left off on purpose?

niel89
10-11-2011, 01:04 PM
I'm real bummed because Shane Skov is a real impact player and I thought he was really going to show people what he can do this year. I really hope his knee heals up right and he comes back strong.

OLB Chase Thomas looking good so far this year. I really think he looks fluid in coverage, he just looks comfortable playing in space.

bruschis4all
10-11-2011, 05:47 PM
Penn State players are pretty notorious for being slow recoverers from ACL surgeries, so it wouldn't at all surprise me to see him not near 100% for at least the first part of the season.


Is there something in the water there that makes that happen? I would say the PSU training staff is concerned with the players health before the team. That's why they are cautious with bringing them back. Not because they are "slow recoverers" in your words. Yikes.

bruschis4all
10-11-2011, 05:50 PM
Ronnell Lewis should go on the 3-4 OLB list, and I'd put Alan Branch on there too. I could see Branch being a good fit for New England if they go back to a 3-4.

I think you mean Andre Branch from Clemson. Alan Branch was a DT a couple of years ago from Michigan.

underscore
10-12-2011, 04:43 AM
Is it the same injury that he suffered last season also?



The other knee this time.

Matthew Jones
10-12-2011, 05:54 AM
Sad thing is, everyone that follows the draft have been suggesting the Patriots get this or that player to try and improve that defense which is really in some ways holding that team back from greater success. Easily for over four years though they have yet to fill that OLB spot, ILB they have done great, yet to get that great OLB who can pass rush I feel.

Jermaine Cunningham, Fletcher, McKenzie, Gary Guyton, Ruud, Oscar Lua, Corey Mays, Jeremy Mincey...That was since 2006, really only two linebackers they hit on were Spikes and Mayo, let us not even speak about Shawn Crable, who is still such a surprise he did absolutely nothing.

To be fair, although neither one is a pass rusher, Dane Fletcher and Gary Guyton haven't been busts, Guyton is a starter and Dane Fletcher will probably play a significant amount of snaps as well, both were undrafted free agents. Tyrone McKenzie tore his ACL early in his career and it never healed properly (although I hated that pick at the time.) Cunningham looks like a legitimate bust so far, but Mincey and Ruud were sixth-round picks, Lua was a seventh, and Mays was an undrafted free agent. I'm not really sure you can bust in the NFL if you're a late-round or undrafted flier.

I agree with you though, a pass rusher is needed. Then again, we've all agreed with you for years, Belichick just hasn't attempted to address it aside from Cunningham, who I think most people would agree was very overdrafted.

Ozzy
10-16-2011, 03:54 PM
To be fair, although neither one is a pass rusher, Dane Fletcher and Gary Guyton haven't been busts, Guyton is a starter and Dane Fletcher will probably play a significant amount of snaps as well, both were undrafted free agents. Tyrone McKenzie tore his ACL early in his career and it never healed properly (although I hated that pick at the time.) Cunningham looks like a legitimate bust so far, but Mincey and Ruud were sixth-round picks, Lua was a seventh, and Mays was an undrafted free agent. I'm not really sure you can bust in the NFL if you're a late-round or undrafted flier.

I agree with you though, a pass rusher is needed. Then again, we've all agreed with you for years, Belichick just hasn't attempted to address it aside from Cunningham, who I think most people would agree was very overdrafted.It is pretty ridiculous though, that the Patriots actually went out of running that 3/4 and run a 4/3 because of the lack of true OLBs I would assume, and the assumption of depth on the defensive line with the aging Carter and the pickup of Haynesworth along with already having Wilfork. Crazy though, I heard they were the worst defense in the league, or really far down there, that is sad for a Belichick defense, shocking really.

Devon Kennard, he is now playing more of a down defensive end for USC. He could be a monster OLB, tough against the run, big, strong, can run and cover down field. If he comes out he would be an outstanding 2nd round pick or late 1st if he works out well. More and more it seems the Patriots have to get a OLB that can actually play.