1. Welcome to Green Bay Packers NFL Football Forum & Community!

    Packer Forum is one of the largest online communities for the Green Bay Packers. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Inside Linebacker Prospects

Discussion in '2015 Draft Archive' started by TJV, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. TJV

    TJV Lifelong Packers Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    5,389
    Ratings:
    +4,176
    I think a player’s performance in his college career is much more important than combine results.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  2. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,775
    Ratings:
    +3,718
    As for the Player 1 / Player 2 comparison, there is little to differentiate them on Combine stats alone. If anything, the first guy leans a bit more toward a strong side backer profile being a bit slower and with a few more reps on the bench. The slightly faster, quicker guy leans more toward the weak side profile, though I'd want to see better speed out of that position. The minor height difference is offset somewhat by the vertical difference...not enough there to make a meaningful distinction.

    The scouting reports at those sights tend to be relatively static. I don't think they reflect the Combine. The mock drafts are more reactive to new information. I don't think anybody has Dawson as #2 in their mocks at this point...all of his measurables were unavoidably dismal other than the 22 lifts.

    Mayock's analytical approach makes the most sense. You start with the tape. Then you look at the Combine numbers to see if they sync with what you saw on the tape. If the Combine numbers are a surprise, good or bad, then you go back and look at the tape to see what you missed. But whatever the tape shows, there's no getting around a 4.93 40 time...you're either going to find a scheme that hid those deficiencies or the player showed up at the Combine out of shape. Either way, you've bot a big red flag.

    On the general topic of Combine numbers, it's worth noting that when you see Thompson in the draft room staring down his jumbo 22" laptop he's looking at a spreadsheet or the like which includes Combine numbers. I know this because he's said so. That should give an indication they're important. The first round picks have tended to be guys with some exceptional Combine measurables, be it Sherrod's 35 3/8" arms and 11" hands or Perry's 4.55 time at 270 lbs. Dix might be the exception; Thompson was going to take the best free safety on the board among a group without exceptional measurables.

    "Performance" is a concept that needs definition. There's "productivity", i.e., the stats. There's how they performed relative to the level of competition. There's how they move, run, cover, tackle, exhibit balls skills as projected to the NFL game; you have to project how the player will perform in the bigger, stronger, faster, smarter NFL game.

    Then there's scheme fit...did the guy show on tape the kinds of skills for the position he'll be asked to play?

    While the whole package of Combine drills give you a picture of general athleticism, some are more meaningful than others.

    The 3-cone and 20 shuttle are run out of a 3-point stance, and both involve running to points, touching the ground, then changing direction. Last time I checked, ILBs don't play with a hand in the ground, nor are they required to have transition out of a deep bend. These are linemen drills. You don't want to see bad times out of ILBs, but great times are not necessary. The drill is somewhat defective, but if you see an exciting 40 time, you don't want to see poor times in these drills that are out of sync...you need to know the speed is not just straight-line...back to the tape.

    Standing long jump...I'm not sure what this is supposed to show. In track and field, guys who can jump long are the same guys who run fast. And that's what comes out of the Combine. I suppose it might tell you something about explosiveness. It's another one of things where you just don't want to see a bad number. A great number might just get a track man not a football player.

    Height in ILBs is overrated. Everybody wants the next Kuechly who's 6'3"; he's the flavor of the day. Ray Lewis was 6'1"; Pat Willis is 6'1"; Bobby Wagner is 6'0". What all of these players showed at the Combine was sub 4.60 40 speed and the tape showed 3-down skills. Height by itself can be a problem more than a help at the position. There are a lot of 6' and under backs in the leagues. Tall guys without outstanding technique tend to play high and have trouble getting under the runners pads. McKinney's tall and fast, but from what I've seen in the clips is a guy with questionable technique, he chops steps through traffic and lacks fluidity...his speed looks like more the stright line variety. Tape wins.

    I think the 225 lifts are meaningful. Given the kinds of hits ILBs need to make and take, upper body strength is critical. 22+ is a good number. Kendricks at 19 is a bit of concern. I see him dropping out of first round mocks this week. I'm fairly certain the 6'0", 230 lbs, 19 lifts is the cause. But he has good technique, he's fluid and has a nose for the ball..a polished player...with the speed to cover. He's a weak side ILB.

    Perryman looks more like a downhill player; his coverage responsibility was limited to short zones in college. His 40 time was not much better than Barrington's. In this case, I'd have wanted to see the coverage drills that are eyeball tests, not measurements. Being away from home for an extended period without NFL Network I missed them. I have an incomplete picture of Perryman...but the 40 time is not auspicious for handling wheel routes, chasing down the faster TEs or dropping into the intermediate zones.

    Vertical jump is important to anyone who catches or defends passes. Long arms help. Again, you don't want to see a bad number. You'd like to see a good number from a shorter player to compensate somewhat for height.

    But to repeat, it's best to look at the collection of numbers to paint a picture of the level of athleticism, the stuff that cannot be taught. Combine drills, though imperfect, are one piece of the puzzle.

    The NFL announced they'll be reviewing the drills with an eye to making them more position specific. I'd say "about time" to that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
    • Informative Informative x 4
  3. TJV

    TJV Lifelong Packers Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    5,389
    Ratings:
    +4,176
    From what I've read about the ILBs in the draft I will be surprised if Thompson takes one at #30.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  4. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,775
    Ratings:
    +3,718
    Thanks for the kind words. We'll see what free agency brings.
     
  5. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    12,655
    Ratings:
    +6,612
    Palmer's only experience at ILB stems from the last preseason game in which he got hurt, so he doesn't have a lot more than Bradford.

    I expect the Packers to use their first round pick either on a NT or ILB assuming Cobb, Bulaga and Williams or House are re-signed.
     
  6. TJV

    TJV Lifelong Packers Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    5,389
    Ratings:
    +4,176
    My general impression is there will be a player at NT or CB or another "more important" position than ILB at #30 Thompson won't be able to resist.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  7. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    12,655
    Ratings:
    +6,612
    I think ILB is the most important position which has to be addressed early in the draft (depending on what happens in free agency of course). I wouldn't be opposed to pick either Phillips or Goldman in the first round. If Williams or House is re-signed I don't feel the need to draft one that early.
     
  8. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,775
    Ratings:
    +3,718
    For what it's worth, Palmer played in weeks 1, 2 and 4 in preseason. Which games he might have played at ILB I could not say.

    While preseason play is better than nothin', beware snaps against 2nd. and 3rd. stringers. If one were to put a lot of stock in those snaps, Elliot would have been a 15 sack man last season instead of a having a handful of unimpactful snaps.

    Thx, while safety and ILB tend to be the defensive positions where resources are conserved (vs. edge rushers, cover corners and D-Line anchors) I don't think you can call ILB a "less important" position when the team's top edge rusher and play maker had to be moved inside, just as free safety was elevated in importance when Jennings became a 3rd. degree burn victim with nobody better behind him on the bench.

    When a player has a serious inadequacy, he'll be attacked in the NFL...you can't ignore the need.

    I have big concerns with Palmer and Bradford. They were drafted to play OLB and that means some edge rushing capability. That potential was misjudged; the moves inside look more like salvage projects. I cannot see the Packers fielding Barrington (who's play experience is limited to 1/2 season) and a gamble with a guy who's never played the position in a money game (and with little experience even in the games that don't count).

    While the #30 pick is "first round", it's probably more constructive to think of it as in the 25-50 tier. Need and scheme fit separates those guys.

    I'm somewhat encouraged that kendricks has fallen out of 1st round mocks, having evaporated as a favorite to go to AZ, especially if it's based on physicality concerns. Instincts, technique, a nose for the ball, speed and good feel in zone coverage trump a few lifts on the bench and an inch or two in height, particularly with Barrington having strong side stamped all over him.

    I think we'd get from kendricks what we got from Dix...a guy who does not project as a Pro Bowler but shows solid competency and solid 3-down starter capability...which is a win at 25 - 50.

    Like I said earlier, we need to see what free agency brings...in terms of both who we lose and who we gain.

    Regardless, I'll be shocked and amazed if the Packers take the field in week 1 with Barrington and one of those bench guys.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. ThePerfectBeard

    ThePerfectBeard Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    635
    Ratings:
    +224
    I still say no to Jordan Phillips. This guy is too tall and plays like it at NT. There's a ton of tape with him being handled by one lineman and being pushed out of the play. We don't need that on top of the back problems. Is he physically gifted? Yes, and maybe he can be coached to play lower, but how low can a 6'6" NT play against a center?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. TJV

    TJV Lifelong Packers Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    5,389
    Ratings:
    +4,176
    With Guion’s status questionable I see NT as a bigger need.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  11. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    12,655
    Ratings:
    +6,612
    It's likely though that only Phillips or Goldman will be available at the time the Packers pick in the first round.
     
  12. Vrill

    Vrill Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,782
    Ratings:
    +828
    If you go by a body of work, Paul Dawson put up as good statistics as any LB in this draft. Yes, he had a bad combine. What does that mean though? He didn't exactly play against horrible competition being in the Big 12 either. His Senior year, he had 131 tackles, 5 sacks and 4 INTs (two returned for TD's) - He had 24 tackles in a single game against Baylor. He has the production and he was extremely well coached at TCU under Gary Patterson. He was their defensive Captain and play caller.

    With that said, his 4.9 40 does scare me. However, if you watch his highlights, he does not look like a 4.9 guy. He looks more like a 4.4 or 4.5 guy because he runs away from people. I am curious if he was injured at the combine. I'm almost willing to bet that he puts up a WAY better 40 time at his pro day. If he runs in that 4.5 range like a lot thought he was to begin with, he may slide in the 1st round.

    Honestly, I think Paul Dawson's pro day maybe one of the more important ones that are coming because a lot of people thought his combine results were going to be worlds better then what was displayed. His pro day could be the difference between him being picked on day 1 or day 2.

    In the end though, Paul Dawson is a "Football Player" and there is no denying that he makes plays.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  13. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    12,655
    Ratings:
    +6,612
    We'll see what happens in free agency but I think the Packers could bring back both Raji and Guion on cheap contracts. In that case NT wouldn't be the biggest need in the draft while I would still like Thompson to address it. The depth at the position isn't exciting after the first round though.
     
  14. ExpatPacker

    ExpatPacker Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,483
    Ratings:
    +630
    I think you meant Kendricks as in Eric Kendricks? I do agree with you that Kendricks' not shining at the Combine may have dropped him out of round 1, although I would be pretty stunned and surprised if he lasted all the way until the Packers picked at #62 in round 2. That creates a bit of a dilemma. If a NT like Malcolm Brown, Goldmann or Phillips is on the board at #30, they seem to be worth the pick. Kendricks at #30 may not be, but if the Packers don't trade back he'll probably be gone by #62.

    Funny how Bernardrick McKinney's stock also dropped for a while, but he did well enough at the Combine. He doesn't have Kendricks' instincts, but if he's there at #62 I wonder if he might not be worth taking. I have the feeling Kendricks and Perryman will go before him.
     
  15. Vrill

    Vrill Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,782
    Ratings:
    +828
    Honestly, I think we'll have the pick of the litter at ILB with our first round pick.

    All signs are pointed toward us drafting an ILB at #30.

    Since we are on the cusp of being in the SB again, if there were ever a draft to draft for need over BPA, this is the draft to do it in.

    But as its been mentioned, what we do in FA will dictate what we draft in round 1. If we don't sign any FA ILB before draft day, I think its clear we go ILB in round 1. Its common sense.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  16. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,975
    Ratings:
    +2,226
    Its a good year for big men. I would not be surprised if our pick is a NT. I think TT is as pure a BPA as any GM in the league. But I would love it if TT fell in love with a player at a position of perceived strength and went in that direction. I don't think ILB is as necessarily a position of need anyway. I would not doubt TT would rather go with Barrington and Clay or maybe one of the other ILBs currently on the roster. Better to do that than reach on a guy in the draft.
     
  17. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    12,655
    Ratings:
    +6,612
    There will be several good NT prospects available in the first round but not a lot of depth afterwards. Teams drafting the BPA without even considering position of needs is a complete nonsense and no GM in the league does it.

    ILB is a position in dire need of an upgrade. Barrington is the only player with some experience on the roster and he has only started seven games. Matthews playing inside shouldn't be a permanent move.
     
  18. Packerlifer

    Packerlifer Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,760
    Ratings:
    +517
  19. ThePerfectBeard

    ThePerfectBeard Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    635
    Ratings:
    +224
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Vrill

    Vrill Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,782
    Ratings:
    +828
    Yep, hes 6'2
     
  21. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,975
    Ratings:
    +2,226
    I think we argue about this every year. :)


    Any GM who reaches in the draft for need, is not a GM for long. TT, I believe, takes the BPA every year, every pick. Just as all the successful GMs do. I think the biggest misunderstanding for fans is the idea that there is 1 definitive BPA at each draft pick. There may be 2 or 5 players identically rated when the Packers pick at 30 comes up. Will they take a ILB or NT instead of a QB? Yes, but they are still taking the BPA. Suppose, though, that an OLB they have rated a tier above anyone else drops? Will they take him? Yes. I think they would over a NT or a ILB.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  22. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    12,655
    Ratings:
    +6,612
    Succesful teams mostly take the player presenting the best value to their roster with position of need factoring into the evaluation. If there´s a player clearly ranked above all others on a team´s board is available they will draft him no matter what (Thompson drafting Rodgers in 2005 could be considered as such a pick) but that´s the exception to the rule.
     
  23. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,975
    Ratings:
    +2,226
    See, we agreed all these years. Thats the definition of BPA drafting. Usually at each pick there are several players that rate about the same. Choosing one at a position of weakness rather than of strength only makes sense.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  24. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,775
    Ratings:
    +3,718
    Nope. Dawson measured 6' 1/8" at the Combine.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  25. Vrill

    Vrill Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,782
    Ratings:
    +828
    meh, potato potahtoe
     

Share This Page