Let’s talk about which Line backers you like in the draft

I’m looking at this years LBer class and I think it’s a damn good class full of the type of LBers I like. Especially LBers that could be had in rounds 2-4.

I like LBers with size, speed and range and this class has plenty to offer. But there’s also some really good coverage style (new age) LBers in this class to.

Micah Parsons is a raw prospect but the kid is an incredible talent. He’s the type of prospect that can complete change our defenses identity. He’s a versatile piece we could build around. In my opinion he’s worthy of the 7OA pick. If we stay at 7OA it’s a toss up between Smith and Parsons for me.

Nick Bolton is a stud and will likely go round 1. Only way we get him is in a trade down scenario.

Zaven Collins is my second favorite LBer in this group. Unfortunately the only way I think we land him is in a trade down or trade up scenario. I think he likely goes in the latter part of round one.

Jabril Cox - Most mocks and rankings have him listed as the 9-10th best LBer in this class. I think he goes a lot higher than that. I think he’s a solid 2nd round talent. A former QB converted to LBer. He’s still a tad raw. He’s been used mostly as an off ball coverage LBer. But he has the athleticism and range to be a stud 3 down LBer. But he has to get better in run support. I really like this kid and if he makes it to us in round 3 we should draft him.

JOK - He’s a new age hybrid LBer. Small, athletic and is half LBer, half DB. Very athletically gifted kid but his size makes him mostly an off ball type.

Chaz Surratt is another raw LBer who converted from QB. Kid has shown athleticism, range and instincts that could help him develop into a stud LBer in the NFL.

Dylan Moses - Kid would have been a lock in round one if not for injuries. Another rangy kid who can play. Likely a 2nd or even possibly 3rd rounder due to injury concerns. He could be the steal of the draft if he can shake the injury bug and get back on track.

There’s a lot of other talented LBers in this class that I like as well. Like Cameron McGrone, Monty Rice, Baron Browning, and Paddy Fisher.

I think this draft class has a lot to offer. Who do you like and why?

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Micah Parsons . Good size: 6’3 245.
2019: 13 G 109 Tackles 14 TFL 5 sacks 4 FF 5 PD.

features I like:
background playing at DE
sound football IQ
athletic ability
can pass rush
reliable tackler
can pursue sideline to sideline
can shed opponents
few wasted movements

can bee too aggressive with hands
needs work with hand placement and usage.
missed a season
hanging allegations over his head.

I love Moses for us. Parsons at 7 I would totally understand and not be mad at all, because he’s a stud, I just want others more. I hate all of the OSU linebackers except for Hilliard and I don’t want him until the 6th or 7th. I’m not educated enough on Collins to judge him yet. I’ve liked what I’ve seen out of Surratt so far too.

Pete Werner will forgive you. I don’t watch nearly as much OSU as you do so I’m assuming he lacks consistency but when he’s firing on all cylinders he’s quite good IMO.

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I have to admit I have not checked out all the LBs in this draft. But Parsons I think is going to be special. The way he flies to the ball carrier reminds me of Ray Lewis . Real close to Lewis in size and speed to. maybe a touch bigger and at least as fast. If your going Defense at 7 Parsons is a very very solid pick

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This is the most intriguing player, but unless the Lions do a deal like this (I’d rather see Nos. 19, 51 & 74 & 82 come the Lions way in exchange for Nos. 7 & 88)

I don’t see it.

I watched LBs first because of our glaring need and after doing so, I’ve decided I don’t really think it’s a very good class.

Parsons is a stud, obvioulsy, but taking an off-ball LB at 7 is poor positional value and you’ve got to sort out the off-field stuff.

I’ve been over my extreme love of JOK. I think he’s a ten year pro bowler.

Otherwise, I’m not all that impressed.

Collins has a high ceiling but when I watch the guy I can’t help but think “if this guy was 240 he’d be a 5th rounder”. Now he’s not 240 and that has to factor in but I don’t like the way he plays the run and I don’t think you can use him as an edge (his pass-rushing skills are his weakest area). He’s great in the passing game, but so is Jabril Cox and yet you rarely see him mocked so high.

A lot of Ernie Sims comps are being thrown around but to me the one guy who comes close is Bolton. He’s the same sort of flying ball of crunch, with a lot of missed tackles along the way. I actually liked him a lot more last year but man he really struggled this year.

I like Cox well enough but he is really, really bad against the run. Like, you might as well play him as a DB. But his coverage skills are the best in the class (him or JOK), and that means a lot nowadays.

I like Surratt a lot too, then I found out he would be turning 25 just after his rookie season ended. He’s basically the same age as the free agents we’ll be looking at, no thanks.

Moses is a guy I really want to like, but he was so bad this year, basically the polar opposite of the player he was in 2018. Part of me agrees with Air that we could get a steal late, that his bad 2020 was because he was still coming back from injury. But another part thinks he’ll never be the same player.

About the only other guy I really like is one CH mentioned, Pete Werner. He’s a bigger LB but still very athletic and very good in coverage. He has some plays on tape that are straight up NFL caliber. Needs to prove his consistency, but in the 3/4th round, he’d be a great addition.

Quick, what position has been chosen the most in the draft in the last 10 years??? If YOU said linebacker, you would be a winner. Last year tied for the highest at 39. What that means for us is if you wait very long you aren’t likely to get a highly ranked one. Six were taken in the first round and it wasn’t until the last two picks of the second round that the next two were taken even though 39 of them were taken in the draft. For us, I think that does put some value on trying to re-sign Davis and get him in a scheme he can be successful in.

It also means that if we get into a a trade down scenario I would look very hard at using an early pick, like first or second round, on a LB. It doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be any decent choices later, I like Paddy Fisher from Northwestern Had a great freshman year, kind of fell off the map some and then rebounded last season and made 2nd team All Big 10 Media and AP. Solid in run support, definitely not a 3 down guy but starter and depth material.

I get a looks like Tarzan plays like Jane vibe from him.

Not that he’s soft but for all that athleticism he’s not especially impactful. Some folks were bringing up Ernie Sims re: to JOK bud Moses is a lot more like Sims IMO

Potentially, anyone who replaces the over-drafted Tavai is going to be an upgrade.

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Hamilcar Rashed, jr, OLB. He’s going to fall because his numbers dipped this last season but in 2019 he was an animal.

“Rashed exploded in his redshirt junior season, amassing 62 total tackles, 14.0 sacks, and 22.5 tackles for loss. Rashed earned first-team All-American honors from a number of media outlets. He was also a consensus selection for the first-team All-Pac-12 team.”

A 3-4 OLB in the NFL, hey, aren’t we going to be running a 3-4?

Why yes… yes we are!! Put this guy at OLB opposite J Okwara. Put Collins and Cox inside. I use both 3rd rounders on Smith and Cox. Snag Daviyon Nixon with our 2nd rounder as our explosive 3t who can also play the 5, and we’ve added 3 front seven studs that will transform our defense. Still leaves our 1st rounder for offense as that is where the talent is at 7. If we can trade down, that changes the calculus, but unless anyone here has the stomach for another top 10 CB pick in two consecutive seasons, the talent, just isn’t there. Parsons is probably the closest non-CB defender that makes some sense, but he may very well come with the douche factor and I think we can get the rush LB talent later. Right now this second I’m down with:

1 Waddle WR
2 Nixon Rush DT
3a Cox ILB
3b Smith Rush OLB


DeAngelo Malone is a 3-4 OLB that really intrigues me

Hamilcar Rashed, jr, OLB I like as OLB an bring Davis back along with Parson or Z Collins an Jamie Collins an that would be are starting LB corp.
Ship out C Jones an the rest keep young guys for depth like Pittman… Shaun Dion Hamilton…maybe JRM for ST…then look for wire cuts an UDFA

I think Davis would be a wise move bring him back.

Zaven Collins of Tulsa. Won the Bednarik Award this season for the nation’s best LB. Super-versatile. Can rush the passer with speed (but not with the most advanced of moves, at least not yet), and can cover. He’s everything Jahlani Tavai is not.

Had 4 sacks and 4 INTs in 8 games this season.

Nick Bolton at Missouri strikes me as the kind of heady, on-fire LB you can build your defense around. Like a Kuechly or a Bobby Wagner.

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Payton Turner…

Like him. One of the few true strikers in the draft that still has significant range.

Don’t ignore the Pac12 guys, especially that kid out of Washington. They had a screwed up season and aren’t getting the press

Which kid out of Washington?