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Old 02-18-2013, 06:15 AM   #1
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Default 2013 NFL Draft: Examining the middle linebacker class

Pat Kirwan has an excellent article on this here:

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/pa...nebacker-class

Here is a preview:

The NFL Combine begins Wednesday, and as usual the conversation centers around the the quarterback. The signal caller on the other side of the ball, better known as the middle linebacker, is facing a mini crisis at the position.

People can continue to predict the demise of the middle linebacker in the modern game all they want, but the Super Bowl had middle linebackers named Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis. That should tell you something about the type of players that lead teams. Whether it is the Mike backer in a 4-3 defense or the inside linebacker in the 3-4 defense, teams need dynamic players to man the middle. The more I look at the state of affairs at the 'defensive quarterback' position the more I realize there are problems on the horizon for NFL teams.

Ray Lewis retired right after the Super Bowl. Brian Urlacher is close to the end of his career and has said he would take a pay cut to stay with the Bears, but the club hasn't jump at his offer. The Redskins aren't sure London Fletcher can return for his 16th season as a middle linebacker and how long can Takeo Spikes go on for the Chargers?

Michael Boley, Bart Scott, and Nick Barnett have already been released before the start of free agency, creating voids at those teams. Jonathan Vilma and Demeco Ryans once played for teams that switched to 3-4 defenses. Those teams -- the Jets and Texans respectively, didn't think they were great fits in the new scheme, so they let them go. Once again they find themselves on teams switching to 3-4 defenses and it remains to be seen if they can play in the defense.

I talked with Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga this week, who's future in Cincinnati is up in the air. He's a free agent and his anxiety about the situation was obvious. The Raiders have to get rid of Rolando McClain sooner or later with his off-the-field issues and his liability in coverage. The Broncos, Chiefs, Vikings, Giants and Steelers all have to find middle linebackers in this draft or settle for someone in free agency. Add it all up and more than half the NFL may need a middle linebacker. The point is, more teams need middle linebackers than the draft pool can provide.


I think he makes excellent points here. Read the whole thing on their site to finish it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:38 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mediator12 View Post
Pat Kirwan has an excellent article on this here:

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/pa...nebacker-class

Here is a preview:

The NFL Combine begins Wednesday, and as usual the conversation centers around the the quarterback. The signal caller on the other side of the ball, better known as the middle linebacker, is facing a mini crisis at the position.

People can continue to predict the demise of the middle linebacker in the modern game all they want, but the Super Bowl had middle linebackers named Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis. That should tell you something about the type of players that lead teams. Whether it is the Mike backer in a 4-3 defense or the inside linebacker in the 3-4 defense, teams need dynamic players to man the middle. The more I look at the state of affairs at the 'defensive quarterback' position the more I realize there are problems on the horizon for NFL teams.

Ray Lewis retired right after the Super Bowl. Brian Urlacher is close to the end of his career and has said he would take a pay cut to stay with the Bears, but the club hasn't jump at his offer. The Redskins aren't sure London Fletcher can return for his 16th season as a middle linebacker and how long can Takeo Spikes go on for the Chargers?

Michael Boley, Bart Scott, and Nick Barnett have already been released before the start of free agency, creating voids at those teams. Jonathan Vilma and Demeco Ryans once played for teams that switched to 3-4 defenses. Those teams -- the Jets and Texans respectively, didn't think they were great fits in the new scheme, so they let them go. Once again they find themselves on teams switching to 3-4 defenses and it remains to be seen if they can play in the defense.

I talked with Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga this week, who's future in Cincinnati is up in the air. He's a free agent and his anxiety about the situation was obvious. The Raiders have to get rid of Rolando McClain sooner or later with his off-the-field issues and his liability in coverage. The Broncos, Chiefs, Vikings, Giants and Steelers all have to find middle linebackers in this draft or settle for someone in free agency. Add it all up and more than half the NFL may need a middle linebacker. The point is, more teams need middle linebackers than the draft pool can provide.


I think he makes excellent points here. Read the whole thing on their site to finish it.
Well, if that is the case then lets resign Williams at a reduced rate and keep Irvin and Johnson as back-ups and potential starters if Williams falters. DT is a bigger need. The MLB for Denver plays in what 40% of the snaps?
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:04 AM   #3
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Well, if that is the case then lets resign Williams at a reduced rate and keep Irvin and Johnson as back-ups and potential starters if Williams falters. DT is a bigger need. The MLB for Denver plays in what 40% of the snaps?
Snap % deals with the ability to be a 3 down LB as a Mike. The great defenses have those guys as leaders. The average defenses have 2 down thumpers and replace the Mike on Passing snaps. The thing about DEN's scheme is you can get away with a lighter Mike than most 4-3 defenses due to the way they protect the Mike with the DT's.

So, that brings smaller guys like Arthur Brown, Khaseem Greene, and Steve Beauharnais into the mix. Guys who can cover and can play Mike getting covered by the DT's and keeping OG's from getting to them at the next level. Also, those guys have natural leadership characteristics, something every good Mike needs at the next level.

Like him or hate him, Ray Lewis not only lead that defense, he made them transcend their capabilities individually. They always Played Better than their individual talents and covered each others backs. That is the type of Guy DEN needs.

That was Al Wilson. He had those LB's and the whole defense playing together. For goodness sake, they started 6 Street FA's in the second half of the season in 2004 and still were 4th in the league in total Defense. They finished 4th against he run and 6th against the pass when Big Al was manning the middle and being the Mike in the Tampa 2 drops or covering WR in the Slot.

We need the Elite Coverage MLB and team Leader. Someone who is fearless in both run and passing games. Someone who can change playcalls against the top Offenses No huddle and get the defense out of exploitable plays pre-snap. We need the next Al Wilson on the roster to take the next step defensively IMHO.

Sure, we can upgrade other positions and get decent return on Investement. But there is no other position on defense that can make this team better than getting a Stud 3 down MIKE with an attitude, great playmaking mentality, knowledge of the Playbook to QB the defense, and cover skills.

The MIKE needs to be the QB for the defense, and right now, we do NOT have one of those guys.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:04 AM   #4
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Well, if that is the case then lets resign Williams at a reduced rate and keep Irvin and Johnson as back-ups and potential starters if Williams falters. DT is a bigger need. The MLB for Denver plays in what 40% of the snaps?
Well, if you have a true 3-down MLB, doesn't that increase the snaps you'd have him on the field? Seems to me that's the way to go, but finding one and being willing to draft high for him is the problem I guess.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:12 AM   #5
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Do we have enough cash to sign Wes Welker, Dwight Freeney, Ed Reed, Aqib Talib, Kevin Vickerson and all our draft picks?
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:12 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mediator12 View Post
Snap % deals with the ability to be a 3 down LB as a Mike. The great defenses have those guys as leaders. The average defenses have 2 down thumpers and replace the Mike on Passing snaps. The thing about DEN's scheme is you can get away with a lighter Mike than most 4-3 defenses due to the way they protect the Mike with the DT's.

So, that brings smaller guys like Arthur Brown, Khaseem Greene, and Steve Beauharnais into the mix. Guys who can cover and can play Mike getting covered by the DT's and keeping OG's from getting to them at the next level. Also, those guys have natural leadership characteristics, something every good Mike needs at the next level.

Like him or hate him, Ray Lewis not only lead that defense, he made them transcend their capabilities individually. They always Played Better than their individual talents and covered each others backs. That is the type of Guy DEN needs.

That was Al Wilson. He had those LB's and the whole defense playing together. For goodness sake, they started 6 Street FA's in the second half of the season in 2004 and still were 4th in the league in total Defense. They finished 4th against he run and 6th against the pass when Big Al was manning the middle and being the Mike in the Tampa 2 drops or covering WR in the Slot.

We need the Elite Coverage MLB and team Leader. Someone who is fearless in both run and passing games. Someone who can change playcalls against the top Offenses No huddle and get the defense out of exploitable plays pre-snap. We need the next Al Wilson on the roster to take the next step defensively IMHO.

Sure, we can upgrade other positions and get decent return on Investement. But there is no other position on defense that can make this team better than getting a Stud 3 down MIKE with an attitude, great playmaking mentality, knowledge of the Playbook to QB the defense, and cover skills.

The MIKE needs to be the QB for the defense, and right now, we do NOT have one of those guys.
Complete and utter co-sign. This is the last puzzle piece that could bring home the Lombardi Trophy for us.

I know it's a passÚ pick, but Manti Te'o really does seem to fit the bill for the Broncos....
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:13 AM   #7
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Snap % deals with the ability to be a 3 down LB as a Mike. The great defenses have those guys as leaders. The average defenses have 2 down thumpers and replace the Mike on Passing snaps. The thing about DEN's scheme is you can get away with a lighter Mike than most 4-3 defenses due to the way they protect the Mike with the DT's.

So, that brings smaller guys like Arthur Brown, Khaseem Greene, and Steve Beauharnais into the mix. Guys who can cover and can play Mike getting covered by the DT's and keeping OG's from getting to them at the next level. Also, those guys have natural leadership characteristics, something every good Mike needs at the next level.

Like him or hate him, Ray Lewis not only lead that defense, he made them transcend their capabilities individually. They always Played Better than their individual talents and covered each others backs. That is the type of Guy DEN needs.

That was Al Wilson. He had those LB's and the whole defense playing together. For goodness sake, they started 6 Street FA's in the second half of the season in 2004 and still were 4th in the league in total Defense. They finished 4th against he run and 6th against the pass when Big Al was manning the middle and being the Mike in the Tampa 2 drops or covering WR in the Slot.

We need the Elite Coverage MLB and team Leader. Someone who is fearless in both run and passing games. Someone who can change playcalls against the top Offenses No huddle and get the defense out of exploitable plays pre-snap. We need the next Al Wilson on the roster to take the next step defensively IMHO.

Sure, we can upgrade other positions and get decent return on Investement. But there is no other position on defense that can make this team better than getting a Stud 3 down MIKE with an attitude, great playmaking mentality, knowledge of the Playbook to QB the defense, and cover skills.

The MIKE needs to be the QB for the defense, and right now, we do NOT have one of those guys.
Complete and utter co-sign. This is the last puzzle piece that could bring home the Lombardi Trophy for us.

I know it's a passÚ pick, but Manti Te'o really does seem to fit the bill for the Broncos....
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:55 AM   #8
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This is why you don't draft for need. Just because your team needs something doesn't mean it's there. And teams that make the mistake of taking what they need hoping it's going to turn into more than it ever was are teams that are hovering around 4-8 wins every year.

It might just be me, but it seems like there haven't been very many great middle linebackers lately. It seems almost harder to find than a pass rusher.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:29 AM   #9
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.........................

We need the Elite Coverage MLB and team Leader. Someone who is fearless in both run and passing games. Someone who can change playcalls against the top Offenses No huddle and get the defense out of exploitable plays pre-snap. We need the next Al Wilson on the roster to take the next step defensively IMHO.

Sure, we can upgrade other positions and get decent return on Investement. But there is no other position on defense that can make this team better than getting a Stud 3 down MIKE with an attitude, great playmaking mentality, knowledge of the Playbook to QB the defense, and cover skills.

The MIKE needs to be the QB for the defense, and right now, we do NOT have one of those guys.
I hope they can find one, but it seems like they don't want to put the money or the high draft pick into a 3-down MLB. And they're hard to find otherwise, correct?
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:35 AM   #10
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I really hope we pick up T'eo.

I seriously fell in love with the prospect of drafting T'eo while watching some inside footage of Notre Dame's season on ESPN. I don't care about the whole imaginary girlfriend thing... T'eo was well-spoken and driven. I'm aware of his production dropoff, and the fact that he had a terrible BCS game, that in combination with the scandal will be enough to drop him to 28.

Then again, Kyle Orton was once considered a top 15 pick until his production dropped off his senior year.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:49 AM   #11
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Snap % deals with the ability to be a 3 down LB as a Mike. The great defenses have those guys as leaders. The average defenses have 2 down thumpers and replace the Mike on Passing snaps. The thing about DEN's scheme is you can get away with a lighter Mike than most 4-3 defenses due to the way they protect the Mike with the DT's.

So, that brings smaller guys like Arthur Brown, Khaseem Greene, and Steve Beauharnais into the mix. Guys who can cover and can play Mike getting covered by the DT's and keeping OG's from getting to them at the next level. Also, those guys have natural leadership characteristics, something every good Mike needs at the next level.

Like him or hate him, Ray Lewis not only lead that defense, he made them transcend their capabilities individually. They always Played Better than their individual talents and covered each others backs. That is the type of Guy DEN needs.

That was Al Wilson. He had those LB's and the whole defense playing together. For goodness sake, they started 6 Street FA's in the second half of the season in 2004 and still were 4th in the league in total Defense. They finished 4th against he run and 6th against the pass when Big Al was manning the middle and being the Mike in the Tampa 2 drops or covering WR in the Slot.

We need the Elite Coverage MLB and team Leader. Someone who is fearless in both run and passing games. Someone who can change playcalls against the top Offenses No huddle and get the defense out of exploitable plays pre-snap. We need the next Al Wilson on the roster to take the next step defensively IMHO.

Sure, we can upgrade other positions and get decent return on Investement. But there is no other position on defense that can make this team better than getting a Stud 3 down MIKE with an attitude, great playmaking mentality, knowledge of the Playbook to QB the defense, and cover skills.

The MIKE needs to be the QB for the defense, and right now, we do NOT have one of those guys.
Good post. So, Who then, does DEN draft?
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:01 AM   #12
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Well, if that is the case then lets resign Williams at a reduced rate and keep Irvin and Johnson as back-ups and potential starters if Williams falters. DT is a bigger need. The MLB for Denver plays in what 40% of the snaps?
Because DUI sucked as a MLB. If anything we'd be better off getting rid of his salary and bringing back Brooking for a year as insurance should Irving and Johnson fail. Or take a look at a guy like Maualuga or Vilma who will be free.

DUI's tenure as a Bronco really needs to be ovee
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:06 AM   #13
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This is why you don't draft for need. Just because your team needs something doesn't mean it's there. And teams that make the mistake of taking what they need hoping it's going to turn into more than it ever was are teams that are hovering around 4-8 wins every year.

It might just be me, but it seems like there haven't been very many great middle linebackers lately. It seems almost harder to find than a pass rusher.
Actually middle linebackers are easy to find, you have to be willing to sacrifice. Every year between 4 and 6 pass rushers are drafted in round 1, on average about 2 of them pan out very well, and 2 of them fail completely.

The last 10 mlb/ilbs that have been drafted in round 1:

Luke Kuechly (DROY)
Donta Hightower (starter, but not great)
Rolando Mclain (bust)
Jerod Meyo (stud)
Patrick Willis (stud)
Lawrence Timmons (stud)
Jon Beason (stud but injury problems)
Chad Greenway (stud)
Bobby Carpenter (bust)
Jonathan Vilma (good)

2 outright busts, Hightower can't be projected yet and plays mostly SLB. Beason have run in to injury problems and Vilma is a douchenozzle but both are good players.

In the top of the 2nd round you have guys like Demeco Ryans, Paul Puslysny, Curtis Lofton, Dqwell Jackson, James Laurinaitis. If you want a MLB you find one worthy of a 1st round pick and you are pretty sure he will turn out to be a decent player, but there aren't many players like that. Taking a MLB in a lower round is a much worse proposition since LBs are so relatively easy to project.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:45 AM   #14
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Sure, we can upgrade other positions and get decent return on Investement. But there is no other position on defense that can make this team better than getting a Stud 3 down MIKE with an attitude, great playmaking mentality, knowledge of the Playbook to QB the defense, and cover skills.

The MIKE needs to be the QB for the defense, and right now, we do NOT have one of those guys.
That all makes sense but If you put Shariff Floyd next to Vikerson and the best MLB between Williams, Irvin and Johnson I think Denver might be better served. I think JDR will agree. Get the big stud DTs clogging the middle and they will make your MLB much better.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:47 AM   #15
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Actually middle linebackers are easy to find, you have to be willing to sacrifice. Every year between 4 and 6 pass rushers are drafted in round 1, on average about 2 of them pan out very well, and 2 of them fail completely.

The last 10 mlb/ilbs that have been drafted in round 1:

Luke Kuechly (DROY)
Donta Hightower (starter, but not great)
Rolando Mclain (bust)
Jerod Meyo (stud)
Patrick Willis (stud)
Lawrence Timmons (stud)
Jon Beason (stud but injury problems)
Chad Greenway (stud)
Bobby Carpenter (bust)
Jonathan Vilma (good)

2 outright busts, Hightower can't be projected yet and plays mostly SLB. Beason have run in to injury problems and Vilma is a douchenozzle but both are good players.

In the top of the 2nd round you have guys like Demeco Ryans, Paul Puslysny, Curtis Lofton, Dqwell Jackson, James Laurinaitis. If you want a MLB you find one worthy of a 1st round pick and you are pretty sure he will turn out to be a decent player, but there aren't many players like that. Taking a MLB in a lower round is a much worse proposition since LBs are so relatively easy to project.

LBer has always had the best success rate for 1st round picks. They only thing I could say about that is the position doesn't change much from college and they are easier to scout.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:54 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by gyldenlove View Post
Actually middle linebackers are easy to find, you have to be willing to sacrifice. Every year between 4 and 6 pass rushers are drafted in round 1, on average about 2 of them pan out very well, and 2 of them fail completely.

The last 10 mlb/ilbs that have been drafted in round 1:

Luke Kuechly (DROY)
Donta Hightower (starter, but not great)
Rolando Mclain (bust)
Jerod Meyo (stud)
Patrick Willis (stud)
Lawrence Timmons (stud)
Jon Beason (stud but injury problems)
Chad Greenway (stud)
Bobby Carpenter (bust)
Jonathan Vilma (good)

2 outright busts, Hightower can't be projected yet and plays mostly SLB. Beason have run in to injury problems and Vilma is a douchenozzle but both are good players.

In the top of the 2nd round you have guys like Demeco Ryans, Paul Puslysny, Curtis Lofton, Dqwell Jackson, James Laurinaitis. If you want a MLB you find one worthy of a 1st round pick and you are pretty sure he will turn out to be a decent player, but there aren't many players like that. Taking a MLB in a lower round is a much worse proposition since LBs are so relatively easy to project.
I guess I'm looking at it from an entire NFL perspective. Sure, there will be HOF caliber players at almost every position in every draft. However the ratios don't seem that great. You basically just showed that there are one to two really good mike linebackers every draft. That's not very good odds...
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:56 AM   #17
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LBer has always had the best success rate for 1st round picks. They only thing I could say about that is the position doesn't change much from college and they are easier to scout.
I don't know where you got that, but it isn't true. Statistically offensive linemen, and especially tackles, have the lowest bust rate of any first round selection.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:01 AM   #18
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I don't know where you got that, but it isn't true. Statistically offensive linemen, and especially tackles, have the lowest bust rate of any first round selection.
I bet I could compile a list of busts at the OL position (OT in particular) over the past ten years that is much higher than linebackers.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:02 AM   #19
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Pat Kirwan has an excellent article on this here:

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/pa...nebacker-class

Here is a preview:

The NFL Combine begins Wednesday, and as usual the conversation centers around the the quarterback. The signal caller on the other side of the ball, better known as the middle linebacker, is facing a mini crisis at the position.

People can continue to predict the demise of the middle linebacker in the modern game all they want, but the Super Bowl had middle linebackers named Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis. That should tell you something about the type of players that lead teams. Whether it is the Mike backer in a 4-3 defense or the inside linebacker in the 3-4 defense, teams need dynamic players to man the middle. The more I look at the state of affairs at the 'defensive quarterback' position the more I realize there are problems on the horizon for NFL teams.

Ray Lewis retired right after the Super Bowl. Brian Urlacher is close to the end of his career and has said he would take a pay cut to stay with the Bears, but the club hasn't jump at his offer. The Redskins aren't sure London Fletcher can return for his 16th season as a middle linebacker and how long can Takeo Spikes go on for the Chargers?

Michael Boley, Bart Scott, and Nick Barnett have already been released before the start of free agency, creating voids at those teams. Jonathan Vilma and Demeco Ryans once played for teams that switched to 3-4 defenses. Those teams -- the Jets and Texans respectively, didn't think they were great fits in the new scheme, so they let them go. Once again they find themselves on teams switching to 3-4 defenses and it remains to be seen if they can play in the defense.

I talked with Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga this week, who's future in Cincinnati is up in the air. He's a free agent and his anxiety about the situation was obvious. The Raiders have to get rid of Rolando McClain sooner or later with his off-the-field issues and his liability in coverage. The Broncos, Chiefs, Vikings, Giants and Steelers all have to find middle linebackers in this draft or settle for someone in free agency. Add it all up and more than half the NFL may need a middle linebacker. The point is, more teams need middle linebackers than the draft pool can provide.


I think he makes excellent points here. Read the whole thing on their site to finish it.
It's been said often that MLB is the QB, anchor, captain of the defense. I'd love to get Ryans if he becomes available. I'd also love to find the "Von Miller" of MLB in the draft. I doubt that happens. We need to win now.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:13 AM   #20
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I guess I'm looking at it from an entire NFL perspective. Sure, there will be HOF caliber players at almost every position in every draft. However the ratios don't seem that great. You basically just showed that there are one to two really good mike linebackers every draft. That's not very good odds...
True, but it also means that drafting MLB outside the top 35 is a very bad bet, not only are you probably not getting the player who will turn out to be a pro-bowler you are drafting a player who has very low chance of success at all.

Compare that to pass rushers, where every year you can find pro-bowl level pass rushers in lower rounds, like Dumervil, Jared Allen, Charles Johnson, Michael Johnson, Cliff Avril, Greg Hardy, Justin Houston.

Actually MLB has excellent odds, it is a position that is very easy to project and the vast majority of people projected in the 1st round have success. If you can't get one of the players who are projected high, you shouldn't draft the position at all, but if you can get one of those players you are pretty good. This year the players who are projected well are Ogletree, Minter and Teo.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:19 AM   #21
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I bet I could compile a list of busts at the OL position (OT in particular) over the past ten years that is much higher than linebackers.
I bet your number of hits would be higher too.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:40 AM   #22
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That all makes sense but If you put Shariff Floyd next to Vikerson and the best MLB between Williams, Irvin and Johnson I think Denver might be better served. I think JDR will agree. Get the big stud DTs clogging the middle and they will make your MLB much better.
I believe Med was emphasizing a 3-down MLB, a guy that can drop into coverage as well as play the run, and is savvy enough to make calls at the LOS.

I bet JDR would love to have a 3-down MLB so he doesn't have to adjust so much to cover for the 2-down MLB. Trouble is as people have pointed out the 3-down MLB just doesn't come around too often. To get one you have to spend a high draft pick if there is even one available in the draft. They don't come open in FA, that's for sure.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:57 AM   #23
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True, but it also means that drafting MLB outside the top 35 is a very bad bet, not only are you probably not getting the player who will turn out to be a pro-bowler you are drafting a player who has very low chance of success at all.

Compare that to pass rushers, where every year you can find pro-bowl level pass rushers in lower rounds, like Dumervil, Jared Allen, Charles Johnson, Michael Johnson, Cliff Avril, Greg Hardy, Justin Houston.

Actually MLB has excellent odds, it is a position that is very easy to project and the vast majority of people projected in the 1st round have success. If you can't get one of the players who are projected high, you shouldn't draft the position at all, but if you can get one of those players you are pretty good. This year the players who are projected well are Ogletree, Minter and Teo.
I agree the stud MLB's are only available in round 1, and they don't come around often. Minter seems to be the stud MLB in this draft, I wonder if Elway will try to get him even if he has to move up.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:02 AM   #24
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The thing about DEN's scheme is you can get away with a lighter Mike than most 4-3 defenses due to the way they protect the Mike with the DT's.
That's why getting a real MIKE is so important tho. I don't think this is the scheme they want to be playing, I think it's one they are forced into because the MLB position is so incredibly bad.

They'd love to create more pressure up the middle by stunting those tackles and mixing things up a bit more. Until they solve the problem in the middle, they can't.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:07 AM   #25
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I believe Med was emphasizing a 3-down MLB, a guy that can drop into coverage as well as play the run, and is savvy enough to make calls at the LOS.

I bet JDR would love to have a 3-down MLB so he doesn't have to adjust so much to cover for the 2-down MLB. Trouble is as people have pointed out the 3-down MLB just doesn't come around too often. To get one you have to spend a high draft pick if there is even one available in the draft. They don't come open in FA, that's for sure.
It's this^^^^

DEN does not need Penetrating One gap DT's in this scheme, it needs big bodied 2 gappers with a little wiggle. Monsters who can clog the middle agaisnt the run, and bull rush the interior pocket and get teh QB off the mark inot the outside pass rush. When you protect the MIKE with big DT's he can flow to the run plays with little trouble, ie OG's getting in the way.

As I said earlier, the MLB can be smaller in stature with greater lateral quickness like Arthur Brown, Khaseem Greene, and Beauharnias. They can flow to the ball in the run game, and not get smashed by pulling OG's in the power run game. They also get inot the hole quickly and stop it from being a gaping hole.

Then, they can also cover zone underneath and Man. This is what you need in today's NFL. Very Rarely do you get the 6'4 255 guy who can run like Urlacher when he was coming out in the draft.
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