Monday, April 6, 2009

Mahatma's Post Combine Player Rankings: OLBs

Breaking this up in 3-4 OLBs and 4-3 OLBs once again for simplicity sake. As stated earlier in the DE preview, the tweener prospects pool especially in rounds 1-2 are as deep as they have been in years. While a number of college de's will have trouble covering backs and receivers in the flats initially, the pass rushing skills should translate to some success.
Cushing and Matthews offer the safest of picks but both are under potential steroid allegations leaked by a site not that all disimilar from this one. Orakpo, Brown and Maybin have been classified as the top pass rushers in the draft with the order rotating. I usually refrain from giving Penn State any credibility and Maybin really does nothing for me. He does a good first step but really needs to bulk up. Orakpo is still the best in my book though he might need to drop a few pounds to be better in coverage. Brown might be the best down the line because he has the frame of an OLB already with the athleticism but I keep seeing Kamerion Wimbley 2k9 in him. Not that there is anything wrong with that but with the top 15 pick you expect a difference maker.

3-4 OLBs
1) Brian Orakpo / Texas / 1st
2) Everette Brown / Florida State /1st
3) Aaron Maybin / Penn State / 1st
4) Brian Cushing / USC / 1st
5) Larry English / Northern Illinois / 1st -2nd
6) Clay Matthews Jr. / USC / 1st – 2nd
7) Micheal Johnson / Georgia Tech / 1st -2nd
8) Connor Barwin / Cincinnati / 2nd
9) Clint Sintim / Virginia / 2nd – 3rd

The 4-3 guys are less talented overall but some solid mid round depth that can benefit teams looking for some steals. Curry has been projected as either an OLB in the 4-3 or 3-4 inside guy. He is probably the safest pick in the draft and will be a dominant player in the mold of current Titan, Keith Bullock. Cushing/Mathews and Sintim are also 3-4 outside guys but have the skillsets to play in either scheme effectively. The rest are purely depth guys as of now that have fallen due to injury, lack of top end measurables and converted safeties (Harris).

4-3 OLBs
1) Aaron Curry / Wake Forest / Top 5
2) Brian Cushing / USC / 1st
3) Clay Matthews / USC / 1st – 2nd
4) Clint Sintim / Virginia / 2nd - 3rd
5) Marcus Freeman / OSU / 2nd – 3rd
6) Tyrone McKenzie / South Florida / 3rd
7) Victor Butler / Oregon State / 3rd – 4th
8) Zack Follett / California / 4th
9) Nic Harris / Oklahoma / 4th – 5th
10) Cody Brown / Connecticut / 4th – 5th
11) Gerald Mcrath / So. Miss/ 4th – 5th
12) Lee Robinson / Alcorn State / 5th
13) Jonathan Casillas / Wisconsin / 5th

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