Friday, April 10, 2009

Post Combine Player Rankings: ILBs

Not an extremely deep class but top heavy to say the least. Aaron Curry is projected as either an 4-3 OLB or 3-4 ILB. Either way, he'll be solid by whatever team drafts him. The concern with him is keep those big uglies off of him so he can flow around and make tackles. I've always been a fan of Maualaga who is a beast stuffing the run and crushing people. Concern with him is that he might just a two down player (i.e liability in the passing game.) I feel he can be adequate in coverage but most teams don't risk a high pick on that. Still tremendous upside from a very talented player. Laurinaitis got a lot of hype from coming out of OSU and being little 'animal' but he's your typical Big 10 Linebacker. Solid tackler, smart player but doesn't have the crazy measurables. Still I see Laurinaitis being a late 1st - early 2nd rd pick and having similar career to Big 10 alums, Paul Posluszny, AJ Hawk, nothing ground breaking but just a solid player for 10 years. Beckwith is all about speed. He can run down any play all over the field and just a purely outstanding athlete. He also translates to an outside linebacker in a 4-3. Problem with him is size. There is going concern whether he will be more than a nickle/dime linebacker. He has troubles-shredding blocks and will need to be protected to be effective. Brinkley was a top 2 round pick before shredding his knee two years ago. He recovered and played last year but a lot of that freakish ability wasn't shown. That being said it's now two years since the injury and that freakish athlete might come back and become a very good inside linebacker. Ellerbe is a versatile player who has shown an ability to take on blocks and disengage. He was a bone crusher in the middle and constantly around the play. Concern with him is height and not really great speed and agility.


1) Aaron Curry / Wake Forest / Top 5 (3-4/4-3)
2) Rey Maualaga / USC / 1st (3-4/ 4-3)
3) James Laurinaitis / Ohio State / 1st – 2nd (3-4/ 4-3)
4) Darry Beckwith / LSU / 2nd – 3rd (4-3)
5) Jasper Brinkley / South Carolina / 4th (3-4)
6) Dannell Ellerbe / Georgia / 4th (4-3)
7) Scott McKillop / Pittsburgh / 4th - 5th (3-4/ 4-3)
8) Jason Phillips / TCU / 5th ( 4-3)
9) Gerald McRath / Southern Miss / 5th / (4-3)
10) Daniel Holtzclaw / Eastern Michigan / 5th (4-3)
11) Worrell Williams / California / 5th - 6th (3-4/ 4-3)
12) Antonio Appleby / Virginia / 5th - 6th (3-4)

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