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Small ILB Recap & Conclusions

Discussion in 'Draft Talk' started by HardRightEdge, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Let's remind ourselves of the attraction: a Will backer who can cover while contributing in the run game.

    I've looked at a lot of these small ILBs and what I see are quick-twitch, read-flow-attack box players. That's good for the run game. But I keep looking for the ones who make a play on the ball downfield, and I'm not seeing it with the exception of the occasional horribly thrown ball. Jaylon Smith would have been head and shoulders above anybody else of this type.

    These small ILBs are not asked to do much in coverage, except the occasional short zone drop. They're job is to go sideline-to-sideling to defend the spread/option. I'm beginning to think these college schemes have done to the ILB position what has been obvious with respect to the QB position.

    So, we turn to the Combine numbers to see developmental potential. These small ILBs who flash and trash in the run game, surprisingly run in the 4.7's and 4.8's...they have 20 yard quickness which makes them look faster than they are. C'mon...Barrington ran 4.69 at his Pro Day and Ryan ran a 4.65 at the Combine, and these guys can come up in the hole and take on a back, not something you'll get from many of these small guys.

    If anybody can show tape of one of these small flow-and-strike ILBs making a play in man coverage, I'd sure like to see it.

    For me, that leaves the safety/LB hybrids and 4-3 OLBs who might be converted.

    - Miles Killebrew: Good athletic measurable for an ILB tweener, even if you'd like something better than 4.65 speed, but beggers can't be choosers. Good fundamental tackler who packs a punch that's bigger than his SS dimentions. He might be an average coverage guy for a college SS, but that qualifies as above average among these small ILBs who haven't done it and lack any long speed. He won't hurt you when the opponent runs between the tackles. I had him on my list as tweener, then took him off. I'm putting him back on for ILB on the depth chart.

    - Joe Shobert: I'm not a Badger fan so there's no homer-ism in this assessment. This is an OLB coversion candidate as I'm sure many of you know. He's got the size of a traditional ILB, and this would be his best position for the NFL. His 22 reps fits the bill. He has very short arms which may explain why he's had a tendency to get engulfed by OTs; this would be less of an issue at ILB. I see a little bit of Will backer, a little bit of SAM backer, but the 4.76 speed is a concern. Plenty of experience dropping in zone though.

    The most interesting thing in his workouts is his 11.59 in the 60 yard shuttle which NFL.com shows as the best time among all LBs. That is quite surprising. It suggests outstanding directional change and play endurance.

    Now, Ragland would be a steal at #27 in this draft, but it's hard to see how all of the 4-3 D's drafting above that spot would pass him up, particularly in a draft with thin first round talent.

    That leaves Plan B.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
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  2. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    If Ragland is gone by the time the Packers are on the clock in the first round Leonard Floyd might be another option to play inside linebacker in a 3-4.

    While Schobert had the best 60 yard shuttle time of all linebackers at the combine you have to realize that only four LBs participated in it. As a comparison, Killebrew ran a 11.02 in the drill so Schobert´s time isn´t actually that impressive.
     
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  3. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    I like Schobert, but think he will be a project and not an instant starter. If you followed Schobert's college career, he came into Wisconsin quietly, kind of Chris Borland like. He looked too small and somewhat lost. But every year he got bigger, smarter and finished his career with the Badgers as a major disruptive force on defense, looking like someone with an NFL future. I would love to see the Packers draft him. With a year in an NFL weight program and his eagerness to learn, I see a bright future.
     
  4. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    From a talent standpoint he´s for sure best suited to play outside linebacker in a 3-4. There are legitimate concerns that he´s undersized to play the position at the pro level though. Unfortunately he reminds me of Carl Bradford.
     
  5. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I don't see him as an NFL edge rusher.
     
  6. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Me neither, but I´m not convinced he´s capable of playing inside at the pro level either.
     
  7. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I'm not convinced of that either. Then again, it's hard to be convinced of much in the middle to low rounds.

    At ILB, he'd be kind of a Sam/Will tweener. He's a pretty physical guy and has the build for Sam, but he looks like more of a technique tackler than a guy who takes guys on in the hole. On the other hand, he looks good on inside blitzes, which fits. On the third hand, as a Will, he has experience in zone coverage and he's a savvy player, but he doesn't have the speed you'd like at that position.

    He's smart, hard working and was very productive in a major conference.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
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  8. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    Most of what I have read on Schobert has him playing ILB in the NFL. I agree, I don't think he has the size to play OLB and needs more work to become an ILB. He isn't the short term solution at ILB, but then again who is at this point? I really don't think Ragland drops to us and kind of see him as the only immediate starter at ILB available in the draft. So if that is the case, you need to go with draft and develop, which is why I'm not opposed to a guy like Schobert and even better.....Jaylon Smith.
     
  9. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Mostly I agree with the draft and develop philosophy but if Thompson's plan all along was to have to develop a starter at inside linebacker over the next few years and not get any immediate help in the draft then I don't agree with it and the position should have been upgraded in free agency.
     
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  10. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    Agreed. He definitely has taken enough swings and misses at this position that someday he might realize that maybe, just maybe a FA could finally fill the position effectively. I am hopeful for Ryan potentially being one of the ILB's of the future, but he has a ways to go and not sure if he will ever be a 3 down ILB either.
     
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  11. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I would not rule that out. Vets get cut after the draft. Whoever takes Ragland, or whoever decides it is time to go with new age backers, may release a guy worth having at a reasonable cost.
     
  12. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    While it's possible I don't hold my breath for it to happen either.
     
  13. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Forgot to mention: In Thompson's quest to build the finest NFL basketball team, Schobert might quality.

     
  14. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I'm not much for swimming, so I rarely hold my breath. ;)
     
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  15. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    While true, that can happen, I don't think relying on other teams "scraps" to fill starting positions is the prudent thing to do. Barrington and or Ryan could be Pro Bowlers too, but I doubt it this year. I honestly would love to know how MM, Capers and Moss feel about the ILB position right now. It just seems to be a glaring need and has been that way for far too long. I just hope there is a plan in place that will keep Clay at OLB for the remainder of his career.

    But HRE could be correct, maybe there is a player out there that the Packers have their eyes on and are just waiting?
     
  16. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    I give you exhibit B counselor..... :coffee:

     
  17. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Remember what your mama told you..."Don't dunk drunk".
     
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  18. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    They can be better than some of the home grown scraps we've seen in the starting lineup.
     
  19. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    As I've said above it's possible but highly unlikely that a highly talented inside linebacker will be cut before the start of the season.

    There's no doubt that relying on it is a terrible approach though.
     
  20. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    Maybe AJ Hawk will be released? The best of both worlds, home grown scraps. :D
     
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  21. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Who said anything about "highly talented"? Those guys cost cap the Packers don't have. I'm thinking about "somewhat talented", and not quite as worn out as Jeff Saturday.
     
  22. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    Haven't we already used up our quota of "somewhat talented" ILB's?
     
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  23. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    True, still I don't think a lot of inside linebackers presenting an upgrade over either Barrington or Ryan will be cut. The Packers might be able to find an improvement over their current backups though.
     
  24. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Ryan is somewhat talented. Barrington is somewhat talented but those foot injuries can be troublesome. Matthews is talented at another position, not ILB. That's it in recent years. The Packers are nowhere near the quota. ;)
     
  25. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Adding another somewhat talented player to the position isn't good enough in my opinion though.
     

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