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  • ILB/OLB hybrid players

    A discussion in another place just brought a question to my mind, and I figured I'd ask the assembled gurus for opinions. It has been said many times that Josh McDaniels prefers versatile guys who can play more than one position and play them well. We've seen a bit of that recently with Mario Haggan apparently being eyed up to replace Andra Davis after spending a year as the starting LOLB. (if I remember correctly, it was originally thought that he'd play inside last year before he won the OLB spot in training camp)

    Assuming Haggan does move inside, that leaves us with Dumervil, Ayers, Fields, Moss, and Baraka Atkins (about whom I know nothing) at OLB. I think we are all expecting the other shoe to drop and for Moss to be cut at some point. Reid is really a situational guy. We could use some upgrade to depth. Now, for my question:

    Are there any guys in this draft who would fit the Haggan mold of being good-decent material (possibly even developing into a starter at one of the spots in a year or two) at ILB and OLB both? I'm thinking replace Moss at ROLB on the depth chart and back up either DJ or Haggan, with an eye toward being the starter on the inside in a year or so, or rotating with Doom for a bit of pass coverage and run stopping. If there was a talented enough guy out there, we could add valuable depth to both inside and outside 'backer positions with one draft pick. Realize that I'm not asking for a guy who is all-pro caliber -- that type of player would be taken in the top half of the first round -- but rather a guy who is a dependable, solid all-around linebacker that can cover, tackle, and maybe rush the QB on occasion. He might not be all-world at either position, but that would be expected and understood.

    Thoughts? Suggested names? Have I gone soft in the head?
    sigpic

  • #2
    I think it's a legitimate thought and I'm sure there's someone out there that fits the bill but I don't follow closely enough to give you a name.
    \

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    • #3
      sean weatherspoon IMHO the lb in this draft 6'2 240 4.5 speed. can play all the lb positions. i know im going to get flamed for this but i think hes way better then macclain.

      macclain 6'4 250 speed 4.7 reps 225 21
      weatherspoon 6'2 240 4.5 speed reps 225 32

      spoon hits harder and tackles better. hes more versital and is just as instinctive as macclain
      Last edited by JayCutler06; 04-02-2010, 10:07 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JayCutler06 View Post
        sean weatherspoon IMHO the lb in this draft 6'2 240 4.5 speed. can play all the lb positions. i know im going to get flamed for this but i think hes way better then macclain.

        macclain spoon
        6'4 250 6'2 241
        speed 4.7 4.5
        reps 225 21 32

        spoon hits and tackles better. hes more versital and is just as instinctive as macclain
        I was wondering about Witherspoon. Seems he's projected as a 4-3 MLB? I'd think an athletic MIKE or SAM might be close to the skill set that I'm thinking of. I think someone like Aaron Curry last year could do it, but I'm trying to find names that would be available later on -- late 1st is fine, through maybe 4th or 5th rounds. Someone who might not be expected to start immediately, but could grow into that role.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Broncos Bassist View Post
          I was wondering about Witherspoon. Seems he's projected as a 4-3 MLB? I'd think an athletic MIKE or SAM might be close to the skill set that I'm thinking of. I think someone like Aaron Curry last year could do it, but I'm trying to find names that would be available later on -- late 1st is fine, through maybe 4th or 5th rounds. Someone who might not be expected to start immediately, but could grow into that role.

          if hes your guy you take him at 11 hell go around 15-20 max. weatherspoon could start day 1 and make a impact

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Broncos Bassist View Post
            I was wondering about Witherspoon. Seems he's projected as a 4-3 MLB? I'd think an athletic MIKE or SAM might be close to the skill set that I'm thinking of. I think someone like Aaron Curry last year could do it, but I'm trying to find names that would be available later on -- late 1st is fine, through maybe 4th or 5th rounds. Someone who might not be expected to start immediately, but could grow into that role.
            I think these are exactly the kind of players you look for in the later rounds. They can contribute on ST while they learn. Bart Scott is a good example. He didn't become a starter on defense until his 5th season.
            \

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            • #7
              I think the ideal situation is to have a guy trained to excel either at ILB or OLB instead of being okay at both positions. In the end it's all linebacker, but with different field positions, angles, reads, responsabilities...
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Broncos Bassist View Post
                A discussion in another place just brought a question to my mind, and I figured I'd ask the assembled gurus for opinions. It has been said many times that Josh McDaniels prefers versatile guys who can play more than one position and play them well. We've seen a bit of that recently with Mario Haggan apparently being eyed up to replace Andra Davis after spending a year as the starting LOLB. (if I remember correctly, it was originally thought that he'd play inside last year before he won the OLB spot in training camp)

                Assuming Haggan does move inside, that leaves us with Dumervil, Ayers, Fields, Moss, and Baraka Atkins (about whom I know nothing) at OLB. I think we are all expecting the other shoe to drop and for Moss to be cut at some point. Reid is really a situational guy. We could use some upgrade to depth. Now, for my question:

                Are there any guys in this draft who would fit the Haggan mold of being good-decent material (possibly even developing into a starter at one of the spots in a year or two) at ILB and OLB both? I'm thinking replace Moss at ROLB on the depth chart and back up either DJ or Haggan, with an eye toward being the starter on the inside in a year or so, or rotating with Doom for a bit of pass coverage and run stopping. If there was a talented enough guy out there, we could add valuable depth to both inside and outside 'backer positions with one draft pick. Realize that I'm not asking for a guy who is all-pro caliber -- that type of player would be taken in the top half of the first round -- but rather a guy who is a dependable, solid all-around linebacker that can cover, tackle, and maybe rush the QB on occasion. He might not be all-world at either position, but that would be expected and understood.

                Thoughts? Suggested names? Have I gone soft in the head?
                You and me are totally on the same page, seriously this same thought popped into my mind today as well.

                I went on draft scout and looked at OLB's that could play ILB as well.

                Sean Weatherspoon
                Jerry Hughes}
                Koa Misi} they are listed with DE as their second position but both have the speed to play ILB imo.
                Eric Norwood..

                Link

                Like we saw last year the transition from college DE to OLB is not a one year process, i think the same could be said for any off these guys with the 'potential' to play inside and outside, plus they wouldn't be asked to be starters just come in for specific jobs like Ayers, Larsen and Woodyard did last year.
                Plenty of others in that list as well further down in the draft.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Roddoliver View Post
                  I think the ideal situation is to have a guy trained to excel either at ILB or OLB instead of being okay at both positions. In the end it's all linebacker, but with different field positions, angles, reads, responsabilities...
                  It could be that the inside vs. outside positions aren't similar enough to be good at both. Whatever the case is, I'd like to see a good all-around linebacker somewhere in this draft. I think we've got enough guys who can do one thing well, but very few (if any) who can do it all with a degree of success. Maybe that's the thing to stress as versatility for linebackers, rather than positional versatility.
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                  • #10
                    Probably Koa Misi is the best example of what you're talking about. He could play any position at LB. We've also spent some time with him.

                    Problem is, he's a 2nd Round pick. I think we have bigger needs than a super reserve at that point. So, we'd be looking at a later round versatile LB type.

                    Maybe a Thaddeus Gibson, Eric Norwood, Kevin Basped, George Selvie, Antonio Coleman, or Auston English. All are DEs that are too small to play there in the NFL, but have enough athleticim to play OLB. It's kind of a rare deal to have a super sub at both OLB and ILB in the 3-4. Haggan is kind of rare in that regard, but then, he wasn't very good as an OLB except against the run.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mat'hir Uth Gan View Post
                      Probably Koa Misi is the best example of what you're talking about. He could play any position at LB. We've also spent some time with him.

                      Problem is, he's a 2nd Round pick. I think we have bigger needs than a super reserve at that point. So, we'd be looking at a later round versatile LB type.

                      Maybe a Thaddeus Gibson, Eric Norwood, Kevin Basped, George Selvie, Antonio Coleman, or Auston English. All are DEs that are too small to play there in the NFL, but have enough athleticim to play OLB. It's kind of a rare deal to have a super sub at both OLB and ILB in the 3-4. Haggan is kind of rare in that regard, but then, he wasn't very good as an OLB except against the run.
                      I'm beginning to think my real preference is for a guy with a more well-rounded skillset, rather than an ILB/OLB hybrid. I'm guessing that depending on strengths, that guy could play inside or out.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mat'hir Uth Gan View Post
                        Probably Koa Misi is the best example of what you're talking about. He could play any position at LB. We've also spent some time with him.

                        Problem is, he's a 2nd Round pick. I think we have bigger needs than a super reserve at that point. So, we'd be looking at a later round versatile LB type.

                        Maybe a Thaddeus Gibson, Eric Norwood, Kevin Basped, George Selvie, Antonio Coleman, or Auston English. All are DEs that are too small to play there in the NFL, but have enough athleticim to play OLB. It's kind of a rare deal to have a super sub at both OLB and ILB in the 3-4. Haggan is kind of rare in that regard, but then, he wasn't very good as an OLB except against the run.
                        I agree totally. The inside and outside spots are so different in a 3-4 that it's extremely rare to find a player who can excel at both. Haggan can play both, but I don't think he exceled on the outside. He wasn't quick, explosive, or agile enough to be a pass rush threat. He's a better fit inside where he can use his size, strength, and ability to shed blocks to stuff the inside run. He also has some experience inside. Misi is probably the best example of a guy who can play inside and outside. He reminds me of his former teammate Paul Kruger from last year. Kruger could play numerous positions including end, outside linebacker, and inside linebacker. The problem is, like you said, he would require a 2nd round pick and we have much bigger needs. It would be very dumb to use a 2nd round pick on a backup linebacker when we need to address other positions. The only other player who I think fits this mold is Norwood, but I wouldn't draft Norwood at where he should be picked either. I think we need to get a pass rushing outside linebacker in the later rounds. He doesn't need to be a complete player. He just needs to be more of a pass rush specialist. We have Reid to backup Ayers at the more of a run stopping outside spot. We need a player somewhat similar to Dumervil to develop behind him. Two players who I like in the later rounds are Brandon Sharpe and especially Arthur Moats. Moats is similar in size and playing-style to Dumervil. He is small, but he is quick, explosive, agile, and fairly strong for his size. He excels at getting after the passer, which I believe is what we need. I would love to see us draft him in round 6 or round 7.
                        Go Broncos!!!:thumb:

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                        • #13
                          I think Weatherspoon can play OLB in a 4-3 but not a 3-4. He's too small to be a consistent run defender on the outside and doesn't have the pass rush skills you'd want out of somebody who can't stop the run.

                          I dunno... 3-4 OLB to ILB is kind of a funky transition. You need to be like 275 ish but have been playing LB for a long time so you're used to standing up and dropping back in coverage etc. Most 3-4 OLB's are converted DE's who are big enough to outweigh proper technique in stopping the run early on and due to their time at DE are used to rushing the passer.

                          I'm sure there are some potential candidates out there, but I don't know who they are

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                          • #14
                            How about AJ Edds of Iowa? Good size and speed, good pedigree and good intangibles. He may not be an elite difference-maker but if you're looking for a solid all-around LB who can play inside and out, he may be (y)our guy.
                            Official 2010 Adopted Bronco: Justin Bannan

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hoserman117 View Post
                              I think Weatherspoon can play OLB in a 4-3 but not a 3-4. He's too small to be a consistent run defender on the outside and doesn't have the pass rush skills you'd want out of somebody who can't stop the run.

                              I dunno... 3-4 OLB to ILB is kind of a funky transition. You need to be like 275 ish but have been playing LB for a long time so you're used to standing up and dropping back in coverage etc. Most 3-4 OLB's are converted DE's who are big enough to outweigh proper technique in stopping the run early on and due to their time at DE are used to rushing the passer.

                              I'm sure there are some potential candidates out there, but I don't know who they are
                              mayock thinks he can. macclain is only 2in taller and 10lbs heavier then weatherspoon and a hell of alot slower

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