FanPost

My view on the "Top 3" OLB prospects not named Von Miller

Based off of who I think will be available at the 30 spot:

Safest Pick: Martez Wilson ILB University of Illinois 6'4 250 pounds


http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/09000d5d81ec5cf1/2011-combine-workout-Martez-Wilson

You have to love the footwork.  He will probably not be the explosive pass rushing OLB that Clay Matthews is, but I think that he will be his own kind of player.  Hard to compare him to anyone because of his skill sets.  He is good in coverage, has great game speed along with great straight-line speed (ran a 4.49), great work ethic (recovery from herniated disk injury), solid sideline-to-sideline player, decent stats his sr year (111 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception).  All scouting reports say that he has the right body frame to convert to the outside.  You know what you're getting with this pick, possible first year starter, at the very least a solid first year special teams contributor, he has the speed and versatility to make the change to OLB if need be, and should match up well in coverage against TE's. Good, not great in coverage; could be great in coverage with some good coaching, great outside edge speed, and a hard worker.   

http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2011-03-05/nfl-scouting-report-illinois-ilb-martez-wilson

My analysis: Not a player who should be picked at 30, but if we were to trade back into the middle of the second round, then I would like this pick. Safest OLB option imo due to the fact that he can start from day 1 and isn't a gigantic experiment or even a hybrid DE, yet he still has the frame to transition to OLB and has experience at the OLB position. He could also add a good 10ish pounds of muscle and then I think he would be the exact prototype of a Rex Ryan OLB.

OLB with Biggest upside: DE Brooks Reed 6'3 263 pounds University of Arizona

Before I begin, I want to say that yes he is a project.  He did not play OLB in college, he probably will not be too good in coverage, and it might take a year or two to groom him.  However, when you have a ten yard split that is .06 seconds slower then OLB Clay Matthews, you garner a lot of attention.  He is explosive off the edge, has a small set of pass rushing moves, he is a relentless Rex Ryan kind of worker, has great upper body strength (benched 30 times), athletic talent is there, and he was a good pass-rushing DE despite when you take into account that he was a smaller sized DE and did not have good coaching.  His sr season he had 47 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.  His stats don't blow you away, but when you put see his highlight reel you notice the pass rushing ability and the potential to be a sack artist rushing from the outside.  He also overpursues at times and gets beat due to bad angling from over-pursuit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoM5_P-Pa0c&feature=related

My analysis: Won't be Clay Matthews, won't be Demarcus Ware, but he has the potential to be ab explosive OLB that'll average a good 8-12 sacks a year.  He will initially not be too good against the run, he would probably best fill-in as a situational pass-rusher in his first year, but will eventually be a starting OLB.  He might be a one trick pony and most effectively used in blitz packages not used in pass coverage to often.  He will probably be better in zone coverage rather then man.  I believe that he will have the instincts to find the gaps in between the blockers.

 http://sidelinescouting.com/rankings/de/brooks-reed.shtml

Conclusion: Project pick at 30, that WILL NOT be Clay Matthews but will have a solid career nonetheless.  Will not start his first year but will be situational OLB rushing off the edge. Good pick who is boom or bust 

OLB where I leave thinking "What're we dong?!":

OLB Akeem Ayers 6'3 254 pounds

Ayers is a versatile LB that is very balanced in all the aspects of his game.  He has very average athleticism, isn't a relentless pass rusher, no pass rushing moves, has the speed to be decent in coverage, zone not man, he is not a sideline-to-sidleine player.  Tackling is decent on tape.  Had one great season his jr year but was not good his sr year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q14Px6MLRfk

My analysis: He is a homeless man's version of Bryan Thomas.  For a first round pick he is not worthy of it on tape or off of his stats, or his athletecism.  How he gets a first round grade puzzles me. 

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