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Official 2021 Off Ball Linebacker Thread


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6 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

I like Jabril Cox from LSU too. This class has multiple starters. 

If one is talking pure coverage linebacker who is not just a smaller safety dude playing the position, Cox is up there with any of them.  His coverage skills are outstanding for a legit linebacker.  

 

Chazz Surratt is interesting, I do not like how thin he is in the lower body but he is very quick and athletic in the open field and can get after the QB when blitzing.  Could maybe play a ILB spot in a 3/4 defense possibly or just be an outside linebacker in a 4/3.  Pretty crazy transformation from being a QB on UNC to a star linebacker now, has a ton of upside obviously and athletic skills.  Could be a 1st rounder but no doubt will be gone by the 2nd round.

 

JaCoby Stevens is another I assume will transition to ILB in a 3/4 or OLB, really doubt he plays safety in the NFL but as an athletic linebacker could do well with his coverage skills.  Andre Anthony his teammate has greatly improve his stock because what he has shown as a 3/4 OLB pass rusher or down DE.  He has really improved as a pass rusher this year, he could play ILB as well if asked or OLB in a 4/3 but 3/4 OLB is where he stays I think.

Nick Niemann looked great for Iowa last weekend, smart player who can tackle well and is consistent.  

 

 

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is arguably the best in terms of coverage, tackling in space and blitzing.  He can really do it all where Parsons is a little more lacking in coverage but is athletic so good hard to not have him #1.  Ossai has played a ton of DE but I would like to see him in space more, not sure if he is a good open field tackler or not but he can get after the passer no doubt, not sure he is big enough to be a 3/4 OLB though.  Maybe he can but his legs do seem pretty thin and he is not very thick but is strong.  
 

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I really like Jahad Woods. He flies around like a missile and doesn’t miss tackles. 
 

Similarly, Ventrell Miller from Florida is faster than F and whacks you. He has a similar physical profile to that of Roquan Smith. He’s not Roquan in terms of pacing and processing, but he can absolutely fly and chase better than anyone in this draft IMO. He seems more like a WLB despite playing primarily MIKE for Florida. 

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22 hours ago, Counselor said:

It is a pretty good group imo. Collins is very intriguing. I’m wondering what Parsons arm length is and if he could play 3-4 OLB. 

I don’t think Parsons is nuanced enough to play 3-4 OLB. His best fit is in a 4-3 where he can occasionally blitz. Ideal SLB, but he could play WLB or ILB in a 3-4. He doesn’t do the little things well enough to be an edge or a MIKE. 
 

Not a sleight. He’s still my top rated defensive player. 

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25 minutes ago, Tetsujin said:

Browning seems like the high ceiling guy. I'd like Miami to get him.

Yeah, I'd agree with that. He seems to just be scratching his surface. I think he's the one to get from Ohio State. Seems like he could be a good 3-down guy. He's athletic enough to cover and he's big enough to rumble around. 

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One thing that concerns me with JOK is he has two games with just one tackle and another with zero, and none with double digits. For a guy with that athleticism and ability to fly all over the field I would expect more. Maybe I’m just not aware of the defensive scheme and someone can point to me as why this is the case? Maybe those were just some of those games. Parsons has two career games with 1 tackle as well so maybe I’m thinking too much into it. But Parsons also has multiple double digit tackle games. And I know tackle numbers can be situational but does it speak to the instincts of a player?

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2 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

Any opinions on the guys from Ohio State? Browning seems like he could be a really good one. I don't know much about Werner, though. 

 

1 hour ago, Tetsujin said:

Browning seems like the high ceiling guy. I'd like Miami to get him.

Here's an argument/discussion we had as OSU/Browns fans for what it's worth...:

On 12/7/2020 at 8:43 AM, MSURacerDT55 said:

Baron Browning needs to be talked about more 

 

On 12/7/2020 at 9:00 AM, MWil23 said:

Athletically, he's how you design the perfect LB with prototypical height, weight, and athleticism. Instinctually, he leaves a LOT of meat left on the bone for me, and surprisingly isn't as good of a tackler in space. I think he's ideally suited as a 4-3 WLB or a 3-4 OLB and should be utilized more in pass rushing situations. His success as a blitzer last year is undeniable, but I personally don't buy into him as an ILB/MLB yet.

 

On 12/7/2020 at 9:03 AM, MSURacerDT55 said:

Historically yes, but I personally think he is ascending at the right time, he has getting better each game and has been making critical plays at critical moments. I think all of his ills are coachable, but what isn't is his size and athleticism and nose for the ball

 

On 12/7/2020 at 9:09 AM, MWil23 said:

I LOVE his size.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE his athleticism.

I REALLY LIKE his ability to rush the passer.

I LIKE that he's getting better.

I DO NOT LIKE his ability to tackle unblocked in gaps at the point of attack.

I REALLY DO NOT LIKE his lack of ability to process misdirection, power, and playaction passing plays.

Would I be upset if we got him in the 2nd/3rd Round? Absolutely not...but he's not a top tier LB prospect either. He's a guy that you wish you could combine with Malik Harrison, who excelled at tackling in the hole, had a very high football IQ, but was stiff hipped at times and not great in coverage, albeit was serviceable.

 

On 12/7/2020 at 11:21 AM, MSURacerDT55 said:

Well the good thing about him is he is multi skilled and can serve multiple purposes while developing as a MLB, initially, he could be the bigger Genard Avery off the edge with his explosion, and from what I saw he is really active in pass coverage as well. 

As far as him misdiagnosing plays, tbh, I haven't seen many of those, maybe you can give some examples because he/the front 7 has been pretty lights out against the run so I cannot speak to that.

 

On 12/7/2020 at 11:33 AM, MWil23 said:

Rewatch the first half of the Wisconsin game last year (B1G Title), which is more of a pro style attack as well. He also struggled in the 2nd half vs. Clemson, and really struggled to tackle Lawrence in space.

 

On 12/7/2020 at 2:11 PM, MWil23 said:
On 12/7/2020 at 1:23 PM, MSURacerDT55 said:

I was speaking on this year, he could be a totally different player from last season, as other media members have noticed. Hell, if we judged Damon Arnette based off of his previous season, we all would have thought he was an UDFA...

It's hard to gauge this year good or bad for me IMO. We haven't really seen a good/balanced offense and what he can do yet based off of last year's deficiencies. IU couldn't run the ball and basically went spread downfield, and every other team they've played is lousy since PSU wasn't what they should be.

 

On 12/7/2020 at 3:03 PM, MSURacerDT55 said:

 

Thats fine, we have two different opinions, I guarantee NFL scouts quietly covet this guy. He will test well, in the upper percentage of his position and coaches will feel good that his problems are all correctable, he has flaws but none fatal. And no, just because he wears #5 doesn't mean he compares to Raekwon McMillan. These clips contradict what you all have been saying of him..... yes he can do those things you said he cant, maybe slightly inconsistently but he can, and has the ceiling to get better being a plus athlete

Also:

0:05 - Picture perfect scrape to a TFL

0:12 - Ideal fill

0:20 - "diagnosed" play action, got down hill and pressued QB to throw ball out of ball

0:36 - "diagnosed" tunnel screen got to the ball and made tackle for a 2 yard gain

0:46 - Change of direction (which suggest loose hips and fluidity, as well as ankle flexibility)

0:55 -  A) secured his gap, took OUTSTANDING angle to the ball in support 

1:32 - Simple A gap fill

1:51 - Took great angle to the ball vs jet sweep

2:20 - Simple A gap fill while beating the guard to the POA and making a tackle for no gain 

2:41 - Simple A gap fill while beating the LT to make a tackle for no gain

2:49 - Simple fill, diagnosed play, made play

3:25 - Picture perfect scrape for TFL

3:37 - Perfect scrape for no gain 

3:50 - Stupendous angle and display of athleticism to make a no gain vs an elite runner 

 

 

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2 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

Any opinions on the guys from Ohio State? Browning seems like he could be a really good one. I don't know much about Werner, though. 

tOSU fan here.+

Browning - ++ Athlete, explosive, great size, scheme diverse, has value pass rushing, has value in coverage. He is basically ascending the right time, has all the tools to be an impact LB

Werner - CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED,  I think the world of the guy, he has pretty much everything you want, is a good athlete, cerebral, takes good angles, can tackle well (with violent intentions at that). I think he is a day 1 starter for 8-10 years

Borland - I have such a love/hate relationship with this guy, I wouldn't be surprised if he back doors his was into significant snaps somewhere, but as a player, he has it all except God given athletic ability. IMO, he is strictly a package guy who gives you a 2 down thumper, but he is pretty good at that, but you almost shouldn't ever put him in a situation to be taken advantage of in coverage 

 

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3 minutes ago, MSURacerDT55 said:

Borland - I have such a love/hate relationship with this guy, I wouldn't be surprised if back doors his was into significant snaps somewhere, but as a player, he has it all except God given athletic ability. IMO, he is strictly a package guy who gives you a 2 down thumper, but he is pretty good at that, but you almost shouldn't ever put him in a situation to be taken advantage of in coverage 

He's going to make a FANTASTIC coach somewhere. He's unbelievably smart and knows exactly what to do. He just can't physically do it at the level you need him to/expect him to.

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22 minutes ago, MSURacerDT55 said:

Werner - CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED,  I think the world of the guy, he has pretty much everything you want, is a good athlete, cerebral, takes good angles, can tackle well (with violent intentions at that). I think he is a day 1 starter for 8-10 years

Werner as BUCK ILB in a 3-4? How do you think he'll test?

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6 hours ago, MSURacerDT55 said:

tOSU fan here.+

Browning - ++ Athlete, explosive, great size, scheme diverse, has value pass rushing, has value in coverage. He is basically ascending the right time, has all the tools to be an impact LB

Werner - CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED,  I think the world of the guy, he has pretty much everything you want, is a good athlete, cerebral, takes good angles, can tackle well (with violent intentions at that). I think he is a day 1 starter for 8-10 years

Borland - I have such a love/hate relationship with this guy, I wouldn't be surprised if he back doors his was into significant snaps somewhere, but as a player, he has it all except God given athletic ability. IMO, he is strictly a package guy who gives you a 2 down thumper, but he is pretty good at that, but you almost shouldn't ever put him in a situation to be taken advantage of in coverage 

 

I agree with that, Browning physically is absolutely elite and is one of the strongest most powerful linebackers in the draft, will be gone by the 2nd or 3rd round and will be a steal.  He can do a variety of things and physically is as powerful as they come at linebacker, he has played very well this year and will be interesting to see how he does in the up coming games especially they playoff.

 

Werner is outstanding as well, right with Browning as one of the top OLB in the draft.  But both could play ILB as well I feel in the right system, Werner has got better and better, at first in his career he was more just a coverage linebacker and a little thin, but now he is a lot stronger and plays with more aggression than he did as a younger player.

 

 

 

 

Isaiah McDuffie Boston College RS JR, will be curious if he comes out, he has arguably been one of the best more productive linebackers in the nation no doubt about it.  Might be drafted higher if he returns to school though with another fine season.  I think he is better than his teammate Max Richardson but he is good as well.

 

 

Payton Wilson NC State RS SOPH will be interesting if he comes out early, big kid who can run and is a good tackler with great size possibly for a 3/4 defense.  And Edefuan Ulofoshio Washington RS SOPH is a blur at linebacker, super quick and athletic, really glides around the field and makes plays but he would be a bit of surprise if he came out early but is talented enough to do so, but it is a good ILB group and he is not better than Britt, Rice, Fisher etc.  

 

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