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-   -   Linebackers just ain't looking too good in the draft! (http://blackandgold.com/saints/8579-linebackers-just-aint-looking-too-good-draft.html)

GumboBC 04-15-2005 05:37 PM

Linebackers just ain't looking too good in the draft!
 
Quote:

Finally, close to 30 linebackers will be selected over the two-day draft period and most will contribute on special teams and back up existing starters in the NFL. After the selection of Derrick Johnson, I don't believe this draft has a Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher or even a Keith Bulluck, but I do think there may be an Ian Gold, Dhani Jones or Dan Morgan-type. But you better reach for them because if you wait until the third round, the short supply will be gone.


By Pat Kirwan
NFL.com Senior Analyst
I've always valued what Kirwan had to say. Looks like Mr. Kiwan doesn't think too much of the LBs after Derrick Johnson.

I am dead-set against taking any LB in the draft with our first pick. Unless it's Derrick Jonhson.

Fogetaboutit!!

Danno 04-15-2005 05:50 PM

Linebackers just ain't looking too good in the draft!
 
1st round LB\'s I\'d take (if we stay at 16).
1. Derrick Johnson
2. Thomas Davis
3. Shawn Merriman (if he was BPA)
4. Darryl Blackstock
5. Demarcus Ware (if he was BPA)

LB\'s I\'d gladly take in the 2nd round (at 40)
1. Ruud (I\'d wet me-self)
2. Burnett
3. Crowder
4. Thurman
5. Morrison
6. Boley (But I\'m iffy on him)

3rd rounders
Too many to mention all.
I do like what I hear about Adam Seward (UNLV), Lance Mitchell (OU) and Rian Wallace (Temple). They be OK with me in the 3rd among a bunch of others.

GumboBC 04-15-2005 05:56 PM

Linebackers just ain't looking too good in the draft!
 
Quote:

After Johnson, things get a little cloudy for linebackers. There will be a few conversion-type players who were defensive ends in a 4-3 scheme that may get selected by teams in the 3-4 defense and used as outside linebackers. David Pollack from Georgia has the talent to make the transition, while Shawne Merriman from Maryland gets a split review from people I talk with about his ability to make the transition and may be better off sticking with his defensive end skills, which happen to be excellent. Georgia linebacker Thomas Davis is slated to go in the first round but as a safety, and that leads us to the true linebackers who should all go between the 25th pick late in the first round and the bottom of the second round. Odell Thurman of Georgia and Channing Crowder from Florida have good skills for inside players, but the safer pick when you factor in maturity, off-the-field issues and down right production is Barrett Ruud from Nebraska. Ruud is a tackling machine and would be a nice fit for the Patriots, who like smart players.

As for outside linebackers, Darryl Blackstock from Virginia played in a 3-4 defense in college so there\'s no conjecture about how he fits in that scheme. Keep in mind the top three teams in this draft -- San Francisco, Miami and Cleveland -- are all in the process of switching to a 3-4 package, while Dallas and San Diego, who also play the 3-4 defense, both have two picks each in the first round. Former Bill Parcells assistant Al Groh coached Blackstock in college and NFL people know he\'s well prepared. Kevin Burnett from Tennessee is making a late charge to get into the run on \'backers in this draft with his 4.57 40-yard dash time at his Pro Day.
Danno -- Here\'s the rest of the article that I got the quote from.

It appears to me that any LB after Derrick Johnson would be a reach in the FIRST round and you could probably get one with as much talent in the 2nd round.

Point me in the right direction, Danno. I really don\'t know.

Danno 04-15-2005 06:07 PM

Linebackers just ain't looking too good in the draft!
 
Quote:

Quote:

After Johnson, things get a little cloudy for linebackers. There will be a few conversion-type players who were defensive ends in a 4-3 scheme that may get selected by teams in the 3-4 defense and used as outside linebackers. David Pollack from Georgia has the talent to make the transition, while Shawne Merriman from Maryland gets a split review from people I talk with about his ability to make the transition and may be better off sticking with his defensive end skills, which happen to be excellent. Georgia linebacker Thomas Davis is slated to go in the first round but as a safety, and that leads us to the true linebackers who should all go between the 25th pick late in the first round and the bottom of the second round. Odell Thurman of Georgia and Channing Crowder from Florida have good skills for inside players, but the safer pick when you factor in maturity, off-the-field issues and down right production is Barrett Ruud from Nebraska. Ruud is a tackling machine and would be a nice fit for the Patriots, who like smart players.

As for outside linebackers, Darryl Blackstock from Virginia played in a 3-4 defense in college so there\'s no conjecture about how he fits in that scheme. Keep in mind the top three teams in this draft -- San Francisco, Miami and Cleveland -- are all in the process of switching to a 3-4 package, while Dallas and San Diego, who also play the 3-4 defense, both have two picks each in the first round. Former Bill Parcells assistant Al Groh coached Blackstock in college and NFL people know he\'s well prepared. Kevin Burnett from Tennessee is making a late charge to get into the run on \'backers in this draft with his 4.57 40-yard dash time at his Pro Day.
Danno -- Here\'s the rest of the article that I got the quote from.

It appears to me that any LB after Derrick Johnson would be a reach in the FIRST round and you could probably get one with as much talent in the 2nd round.

Point me in the right direction, Danno. I really don\'t know.
I read the same articles you do. I don\'t know anything special. I do know our LB unit is the weak link on this team and addressing it is absolutely essential. I say lets take two.

Some draft expert on ESPN (Mike and Mike I think) pointed out that every year or so people claim this year is a weak draft for this position or that position, and time proves them wrong over and over again.

There are a ton of \"quality\" LB\'s to be had in the 2nd/3rd round. Many will become excellent players in this league. If we draft two we just doubled our chances of landing one of them. I\'m hearing various rumblings about DJ not being so hot either. Who knows?

GumboBC 04-15-2005 06:15 PM

Linebackers just ain't looking too good in the draft!
 
Since the draft is next weekend .. I thought I\'d start doing my homework. I\'ve pretty much avoided all of the draft threads and haven\'t read too many articles either.

After reading the article by Pat Kirwan (who I respect as much as anyone) I don\'t think we should select LB in round 1.

There\'s \"value\" and then there\'s \"need\". We need quality players. No use in reaching with the 16th pick. We have many other needs besides LB. Like OT. Or even TE. Or safety.

I\'ll take the safe bet before reaching for a LB.

My 2-cents.

BRSaintsFan 04-15-2005 06:25 PM

Linebackers just ain't looking too good in the draft!
 
Gumbo, I agree with you. Danno covered all the LBs that might warrant first round grades. Merriman I dont think will be around when we pick. Ware is too much of a tweener for my liking. I think Blackstock will fall to possibly the second. Im OK with Davis because if he doesnt pan out at LB, he could be Jay Bellamy\'s replacement at SS. But other than that I would have to agree. I would reach for Johnson, take Merriman if he fell to us(I think his athletic ability will allow him to play in the 4-3), and maybe take the chance on Davis. I say wait around and grab Burnett or Rudd later on. One week and we\'ll find out.

FireVenturi 04-16-2005 02:07 AM

Linebackers just ain't looking too good in the draft!
 
I have no idea how anyonne can say that T Davis is a reach in the first??????

saintz08 04-16-2005 02:35 AM

Linebackers just ain't looking too good in the draft!
 
Alex Smith is the pick in the first , if he drops grab him ..... ;)

Crowder - trade up and nail him early second if he is still on the board , he knows how to open a can of whoop ass ....

• ILB Channing Crowder (Florida)
Vital statistics: 6 foot 2¼, 245 pounds, 4.67 in the 40.
Numbers game: Played mostly at tailback in high school and delayed enrollment at Florida while he rehabilitated a knee injury. Played in 20 games and started 17 of them, recording 179 tackles, 13½ tackles for loss, four sacks, one pressure, two forced fumbles, three recoveries and an interception. Voted a team captain as a sophomore. Was an all-SEC choice in 2004. Was twice suspended, one game on each occasion, for scrapes with the law.
Upside: Has an undeniable swagger to him. Plays with a sense of urgency. Vocal on the field and just a naturally intense defender. Cuts through the traffic to get to the ball and, when he arrives, is an explosive hitter. Tries to de-cleat the ball carrier every chance he gets. Fancies himself an intimidator and, at times, certainly fills the role. Sheds nicely, really uses his hands well, strong enough to slap blockers away. Makes plays outside the box and can get out on the edge. Has some rush ability and times his blitzes well.
Downside: Not as fluid as you want, especially through the hips, and falls into the habit of not breaking down into a textbook football position. Sometimes allows his emotions to take over and will play out of control and with a lack of discipline. Got away with some freelancing in college that won\'t cut it at the next level. Has had knee problems and some off-field issues that could be a factor.
The dish: Teams are looking hard at his character and examining some of the off-field incidents in which he was involved, but seem almost as concerned with his knees. Might still sneak into the bottom of the first round, depending on individual teams, but could just as easily slip into the third round.

GoldenTomb 04-16-2005 04:58 AM

Linebackers just ain't looking too good in the draft!
 
Quote:

Alex Smith is the pick in the first , if he drops grab him ..... ;)

Crowder - trade up and nail him early second if he is still on the board , he knows how to open a can of whoop ass ....

• ILB Channing Crowder (Florida)
Vital statistics: 6 foot 2¼, 245 pounds, 4.67 in the 40.
Numbers game: Played mostly at tailback in high school and delayed enrollment at Florida while he rehabilitated a knee injury. Played in 20 games and started 17 of them, recording 179 tackles, 13½ tackles for loss, four sacks, one pressure, two forced fumbles, three recoveries and an interception. Voted a team captain as a sophomore. Was an all-SEC choice in 2004. Was twice suspended, one game on each occasion, for scrapes with the law.
Upside: Has an undeniable swagger to him. Plays with a sense of urgency. Vocal on the field and just a naturally intense defender. Cuts through the traffic to get to the ball and, when he arrives, is an explosive hitter. Tries to de-cleat the ball carrier every chance he gets. Fancies himself an intimidator and, at times, certainly fills the role. Sheds nicely, really uses his hands well, strong enough to slap blockers away. Makes plays outside the box and can get out on the edge. Has some rush ability and times his blitzes well.
Downside: Not as fluid as you want, especially through the hips, and falls into the habit of not breaking down into a textbook football position. Sometimes allows his emotions to take over and will play out of control and with a lack of discipline. Got away with some freelancing in college that won\'t cut it at the next level. Has had knee problems and some off-field issues that could be a factor.
The dish: Teams are looking hard at his character and examining some of the off-field incidents in which he was involved, but seem almost as concerned with his knees. Might still sneak into the bottom of the first round, depending on individual teams, but could just as easily slip into the third round.
I\'m glad I\'m not alone on the Crowder bit. He\'s a beast, and the only other LB I\'ve seen extensively besides DJ that I would be delighted for the Saints to pick. The guy is intense and would help light a fire under the D\'s azz.

[Edited on 16/4/2005 by GoldenTomb]

Zulu--King 04-16-2005 05:19 AM

Linebackers just ain't looking too good in the draft!
 
The draft is fine, when lookin to merely upgrade or build depth. When it comes to a glaring need, I prefer a proven FA. Too many rookies never pan out. Haz claimed no LBs were available, but I was dissapointed to see Spikes & others flee their squads. I didn\'t even hear of us inquiring about Spikes. He went to the Pro Bowl.

Besides DJ, I don\'t see any LB that will help Haz keep his job. I\'m not sure this team can handle another possible suspect character like Crowder. We have enough knuckle heads.

I admire how the Vikes went after their needs in the secondary, while still having two #1s. We\'ve been needing LBs for far too long.


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