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nfl.com Vic Carucci's Top 5 LBs

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    (March 9, 2005) -- One man's ranking of the top five linebackers in the NFL draft:

    1. Derrick Johnson, Texas, Outside

    Positives: Speed, play-making ability, ball skills, instincts, ability to diagnose plays, tackling, height (6-foot-3), long arms … He is not only the best linebacker in the draft, but the best defensive player in the entire college crop, and his game-changing impact should make him a top-five pick.

    Negatives: Handling running plays directed straight at him, upper-body strength.

    2. Shawne Merriman, Maryland, Outside (underclassman)

    Positives: Size (6-4, 272 pounds), pass-rushing, instincts, intensity, leaping ability, open-field tackling, outside run stopping … Although he surprised more than a few player personnel evaluators by electing not to work out at the National Scouting Combine, Merriman still offers enough elite talent as a pass rusher to be selected in the middle of the first round.

    Negatives: Hand placement, ability to gain leverage on offensive linemen, vulnerability to play action.

    3. Darryl Blackstock, Virginia, Outside (underclassman)

    Positives: Initial quickness, change-of-direction skills, intensity, discipline, recognition skills … His talent is good enough for him to become a low first-round choice or early second-rounder.

    Negatives: Lower-body strength, ability to gain separation from blockers, overall technique against the run.

    4. Channing Crowder, Florida, Inside (underclassman)

    Positives: Man-to-man coverage of running backs, intensity, instincts, big-hitting ability … He is very raw and probably should have remained in college for one more season to fully develop his skills, yet he does have the talent to likely become a second-round choice.

    Negatives: Lower-body strength, ability to shed blockers, discipline and accuracy in making reads.

    5. Kevin Burnett, Tennessee, Outside

    Positives: Size (6-2, 239 pounds), speed, athleticism, man-to-man coverage of running backs, tackling … His stock didn’t suffer because of the calf injury that prevented him from working out at the combine; he should be a solid second-rounder.

    Negatives: Recognition skills, closing speed as a pass rusher.

    http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/8273061
  2. ddh33

    ddh33 Active Member

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    I really have this weird feeling that Blackstock will be a Cowboy.
  3. TheEnigma

    TheEnigma Anomaly

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    You are not alone
  4. ddh33

    ddh33 Active Member

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    For whatever it's worth, I wouldn't be upset at all to see Blackstock become a Cowboy. I think he's the definition of a "pressure" player like Bill Parcells was talking about.
  5. tiller77

    tiller77 New Member

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    I would love for blackstock to be a cowboy one thing he knows is how to get to the QB
  6. ddh33

    ddh33 Active Member

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    I think someone else has already started the Channing Crowder bandwagon, but I think I could get on board with that idea too.
  7. ghst187

    ghst187 Well-Known Member

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    The only concerns I have:

    DJ: playmaker extraordinaire, but has to play OLB probably on the weakside. He will get beat up if team run right at him. Overall, I'd still think him a steal at 11.

    Merriman: solid player who I think would fare well at MLB or OLB. His versatility is a huge bonus. My concern is that he wasn't as big of an impact player as some of the other LBs I saw play. No doubt a good player, but not the electrifying highlights of a DJ.

    Crowder: impact player...But rumor is that he's had 5 knee surgeries..FIVE! I think he's a great player but no way do i invest a first in a guy with such serious knee concerns.

    Lance Mitchell: very good LB that can play inside or out, but once again...knee injury concerns. Being an OU alum, I saw a lot of him. He came back strong from his knee injury but I don't think he was quite as quick and I feel like he lost a little something.

    Burnett: Knee injuries. Awesome player with speed, quickness, and great tackling ability...made a ton of big plays...but had some injury concerns and reportedly hates the Cowboys.

    Ruud: Like him, good player, lacks some athleticism vs these other guys. He reminds me of Dat in that he doesn't have the overall athleticism but he will suck it up and make tackle after tackle and play through pain.

    Blackstock: can't honestly say, didn't see him play and don't know much about him other than what folks have posted on these boards.

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