Originally Posted by RaidersFan1995
Hi I'm new and I don't know if this is the right section to post this, but I was wondering what the consensus on OLB Philip Wheeler is. I'm not a scout so im not really sure how to grade him based on some vids I found on him. Profootballfocus has him rated as a good run stopper and decent pass defender. From these videos, what makes him a good run stopper?
I don't really know much about Phillip Wheeler so I can only comment on what I see in those videos, and I only watched the top videos against Cleveland. I think he has pretty good recognition skills and for the most part understands where his run fits are on most plays. So he knows what he's doing and does a good job of getting to his fit, and on inside runs keeping outside leverage and funneling the ball back to his Mike.
However, I'm not particularly impressed with his tackling in this video and would have graded that out as poor. I would like to see him bring a little more with him on his strikes so the ballcarrier isn't dragging him for extra yardage, but in his defense Peyton Hillis is a load and has done that to a lot of defenders. I also would like to see him be a little more aggressive on plays where he has an opportunity for the TFL, he looks to second guess himself on more than one occasion when he should have taken the run through.
I also don't agree with the author of the article that he looks lost in the passing game. I thought he was very consistent in his dropback depth and displayed a nice feel for receivers that were coming into his zone. Cleveland was running a ton of play action and Wheeler was doing a nice job of not biting. There weren't a ton of flashy bat downs or anything like that, but such is life as a Sam in the Cover 2. Most of the INTs that are thrown to Sams and Wills in that D are passes that should have never been thrown by the QB.
I'd say he was all around very solid that game and didn't have many MAs, which as a coach is what you want. If he can learn to trust his ability a little more I think he can take that next step as a playmaker for his defense. Right now he's just nothing more than solid, reliable.