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The Case for an OLB

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by HardRightEdge, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    It occurs to be me that since this is a defensive rebuilding year, with zero urgency evidenced in plugging the existing holes or shoring up the lousy depth, a 2-year view might be in order.

    Peppers is not getting any younger. Perry and Neal are in their contract years with neither being particularly effective as edge rushers. Neal is forever the tweener, a step too slow. Perry has one more year to develop some kind of move to go with the bull rush; after 3 years without it he hasn't given us much more than Frank Zombo in 2010. Neal and Perry look like just OK depth and rotational players only. Perry looks bound for a 4-3 DE prove-it deal in 2016 which is where he should have been all along.

    Assuming Raji is signed, and with McCarthy's guidance that Matthews will continue to take snaps at ILB, the better long term pick might be an OLB with 3-4 pass rush credentials, then backfill with lower ILB and CB picks.

    I would not be particularly surprised if Thompson drafted Eli Harold if he's still on the board, as mocked by USA Today, though my reasons are somewhat different.

    USA Today's thumbnail rational is, "GM Ted Thompson doesn't draft for need, so he can address inside linebacker later. Harold could eventually replace Julius Peppers while exploiting teams overly focused on containing Clay Matthews."

    I reject the notion Thompson does not draft for need. But if you look out to the 2016 season, he can draft the best available defensive player, other than at the safety position, and he'll be filling a position of need.

    Harold has the length Thompson (or is it Capers?) likes at the position. In fact, his physical dimensions and Combine and Pro Day drill numbers are strikingly similar to Matthews. He's a burst-and-lean edge rusher ready for that role in the NFL game; like Matthews, his noted weakness is getting pressure when the OT gets his hands on him. He needs work in other aspects of his game; he's probably a nickel player in year 1 with Matthews moving to ILB, not a bad scenario and upgrade from Perry in the same alignment.

    Harold played both upright and hand-in-the-dirt at Virgina, and looked worlds better standing up. He's a clear 3-4 OLB fit, something Perry was not. That's one problem solved until an ILB shows up to get Matthews back to the edge full time when Peppers winds down.

    I now have 4 preferred picks who have a chance of being available at #30, depending on what happens with additional signings between now and the draft, and who's left on the board: ILB Kendricks, ILB Anthony, DT Goldman, OLB Harold.

    I'd like to add a cover corner to the list, but with the readily available clips you just can't see a cornerback's deep coverage technique throughout the route.
     
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  2. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Additional thought:

    All of the offensive starters are signed through 2016. Rebuild the D over 2 years. The logic is compelling.
     
  3. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Interesting idea, but I'd rather have Thompson address the ILB and NT position early in the draft. I would be fine to spend either a day 2 or 3 pick on an OLB but I don't think it should be a top priority.
     
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  4. Greenbayphil

    Greenbayphil Cheesehead

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    I also saw the same draft just there. I wouldn't mind taking an OLB here. I think we can get a ILB in the 2nd round, and assuming Raji and Guion are resigned I also wouldn't mind taking a CB as well. P J Williams looks good but not sure where he is predicted to go.
     
  5. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    With Elliott and Hubbard in the mix as well I really don't see the need to spend an early round pick on an OLB in this year's draft.
     
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  6. Pack-12

    Pack-12 Cheesehead

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    I think there's a good chance an Edge rusher is the BPA at 30. If that's the case then yeah take it.
     
  7. TeamTundra

    TeamTundra Cheesehead

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    What are your thoughts on Utah OLB Nate Orchard? I've seen some mock drafts with him as
    Our 3rd round pick.
     
  8. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    The problem I have with the hotshot pass rushing OLB's coming out of college is that most of them are one trick ponies. A big first step speed move to the outside is pretty much all most of them have when first coming in.
    NFL LT's tend to eat that kind of thing up.
     
  9. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    I don't want the Packers to draft another DE and try to turn him into a productive OLB. Orchard probably won't be on the board for the Packers second round pick.
     
  10. Pack-12

    Pack-12 Cheesehead

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    That's why it's not a bad idea to grab one a year earlier than you NEED to if a good one is available in the draft.
     
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  11. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    That's a good point, but for a team looking to get over the hump and win a super bowl next season, it's no help.
     
  12. Pack-12

    Pack-12 Cheesehead

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    Probably no rookie is going to put a team "over the hump" you hope some of them can contribute right away but even very few that do contribute really excel as rookies no matter how badly you had a need at a position. All I'm saying is good pass rushers are rare if you've got a pass rusher at your draft spot rated higher than anyone else you really can't pass him up.
     
  13. Vrill

    Vrill Cheesehead

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    All of the best edge rushers will be gone by pick 20 I'd imagine. ILB/CB needs to be our pick at 30.
     
  14. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    No argument there. He'd be a nickel pass rusher with Matthews moving to the middle this season.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  15. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    It depends who's on the board. It's a thin CB class, and after Kendricks none of the ILBs look like 3-down players as rookies.
     
  16. thequick12

    thequick12 Cheesehead

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    The only olb TT should consider is a trade up for Vic Beasley if he slides out of the top 10/15. 6-3 246 4.53 could start his career on inside allow cm to stay outside. While giving defense a matthews like player at ILB.
     
  17. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    The Packers should use their first round pick either on an ILB or a NT. I don´t see the need to spend it on a CB as I hope that we only need a dime corner and some added depth at the position.

    Kendricks should be considered the obvious choice for Thompson at #30. I think there are some CBs available in the later rounds fitting the Packers needs.

    Beasley won´t drop out of the top 10. If the Packers would somehow be able to draft him I would rather continue to play Matthews inside than to move a rookie out of position.
     
  18. RyanO4

    RyanO4 Cheesehead

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    I completely agree with all of these statements. Good stuff man, but what do you think of Mckinney at #30 or trading back for Anthony? I do like Kendricks better, but he may be taken by the Cardinals, Cowboys, or Colts at that point.
     
  19. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    It´s true that there´s no guarantee Kendricks will be avaiable at #30. If he´s off the board by the time the Packers pick I think that Anthony is a better fit for the team´s need than McKinney.
     
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  20. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    Anthony, IMO, seems to have the best potential of the group, but he needs a lot of work in his game, so he'd probably be a 'long term' guy.
    Problem is, we need help now.
     
  21. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    IMO Kendricks is by far the best option to provide immediate help at the position.
     
  22. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    Just throwing this out there but I would be ecstatic if the Packers chose Bud Dupree with the first pick in the draft. Obviously I would prefer NT but it doesn't appear that any of the best ones will be available and CB tends to be a position the Packers can develop players at so I'm not sure how much a first rounder at CB improves the situation. Dupree was very productive in college, has the perfect OLB build, was off the freaking charts at the combine and has experience playing all over a defense (including 3-4 OLB). You could draft Dupree, slot him into the defense and have the option to slide Matthews all over the place. Dupree looks to be a better player than any of the best ILBs and I really don't want the Packers to draft a guy just because it says 'ILB' next to his name.
     
  23. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Dupree will mostly likely be a top 15 pick though.
     
  24. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    I know, that's why I'd be super excited if the Packers got him...
     
  25. Vrill

    Vrill Cheesehead

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    Well, Randy Gregory failed his drug test at the NFL Combine apparently. Wouldn't it be something if he fell all the way to us due to that? It's highly unlikely that happens, but hey, you never know I guess.

    ....but what if we falls into that pick 20-25 area? Think TT would trade up for a guy like Randy Gregory? That dude is a elite pass rusher. But apparently he loves to toke that green.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015

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