Walk the Line-backers

Besides our obvious needs for a Safety or CB, we also need a lot of help in our linebacking corps. As we all know, last season, the only reliable LB on our team was Jelani Jenkins. Philip Wheeler was underwhelming, as he has been since he’s been here, and Koa Misi was average to good when he was healthy, but as we’ve seen with him, he has trouble staying on the field.

I’m going to look at some OLB prospects, some who actually project better at 3-4 OLB or 4-3 DE, and some who project both as ILB and OLB.

Dante Fowler

Dante Fowler – OLB Florida 6’3” 260

Fowler is basically the best OLB prospect in this draft. He has the size, speed, and production to make that so. He’s played DE and LB, and dropped 25 lbs to his current weight of 260. He projects best as a 3-4 OLB, but you know how it is with those projections. Just give me talent, and we’ll find a place for ya!

Fowler made 60 total tackles, 29 solo, 31 assisted. He had 8 sacks, 15 TFL, 2 FF’s, 1 FR and 17 QB hurries. NFL.com’s Lance Zeirlein has Fowler rated highest at 6.39. The AFC East college director of scouting said this . . . “He’s had to play at different weights and different spots on the field, and I think he’s finally understanding how to use his athleticism to dominate a game. He will be way better in the pros than what he is now.”

NFL Comparison – Khalil Mack


Vic Beasley

Vic Beasley OLB – Clemson 6’3” 235

Beasley is another top prospect, and outside linebacker. He goes a little lighter than Fowler, but keep in mind Fowler was playing all over the D-line and dropped 25 lbs to get to 260, so Beasley is right about where he should be a 4-3 OLB.

Last year, Beasley racked up 34 total tackles, 28 solo, 21.5 TFL, 12 sacks, 2 FF’s, 1 FR. Beasley did a lot if damage behind the LOS last year. Beasley is a 3 sport athlete, track and field, Football and Basketball. He’s a former running back who has quick feet and fluid hips, excellent pass coverage traits, and posses a great closing burst. He projects as 3-4 OLB, but an NFC Scout said this . . . “I know everyone will have him pegged as a 3-4 edge guy, but I think 4-3 defenses would be crazy not to consider him as a WILL or SAM who can bump down as an edge rusher in third downs. Denver does it with Von Miller, so why not consider it?”

Zeirlein has Beasley ranked 2nd at 6.08

NFL Comparison – Bruce Irvin


Paul Dawson

Paul Dawson ILB – TCU 6’2” 230

Dawson is a guy that projects both inside and outside in the NFL. Very instinctive player that is quick to diagnose and read the play. Excellent in pass coverage and true sideline to sideline defender. Dawson allowed only 35% of the passes in his area to be completed.

Dawson had 136 tackles, 81 solo, 20 TFL, 6 sacks, 2 FF’s, and 4 INT’s, one returned for a TD. Dawson averaged a tackle every 5.3 snaps and either caused or recovered 8 turnovers during the season. Sounds like just what we need here! Zeirlein ranking 6.0

NFL Comparison – Jessie Tuggle


Shaq Thompson

Shaq Thompson OLB – Washington 6’1” 228

Thompson is a superior athlete that has played a few positions in CFB. As a RB, he gained 456 yards averaging 7.5 YPC. He’s played safety and linebacker. Very fluid athlete with excellent speed and closing burst, really has a 2nd gear. One minus is his difficulty maintaining weight. He’s struggled keeping his weight up, which would make him too small to play LB, and would force him to play safety. He projects as a weak OLB or S in the NFL. As Thompson says though, “I want to put it out there – – I’m a linebacker”

Thompson totaled 80 tackles, 51 solo, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, which was returned for a TD, 2 FF’s and 3 FR’s.

An AFC North scout said this . . . “He was 219 pounds when I visited late in the season. I’m concerned about whether he will be able to keep enough weight on to be a 4-3 WILL. Until I see him actually play deep as a safety, I’m not sure that is a projection I’m comfortable making.”

Zeirlein gives him a 6.0 rating

NFL Comparison – Brandon Marshall (Broncos LB)


Alvin “Bud” Dupree

Alvin “Bud” Dupree OLB – Kentucky 6’4” 264

Dupree projects as a 3-4 OLB. While he’s not an ideal fit for a 4-3, I’ll include him because of his talent. Very powerful football player and a very good athlete. Very explosive athlete with an excellent closing burst. Very high character player. He can set the edge with his strength and has shown ability to cover. Excellent pass rusher, which is why he projects well as a 3-4 OLB

Dupree amassed 74 total tackles, 46 solo, 8 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT returned for a TD.

Zeirlein rates him a 5.94

NFL Comparison – Jamie Collins


Eric Kendricks

Eric Kendricks ILB – UCLA 6’0” 230

Kendricks is an instinctive LB, and one of the most productive tacklers at LB in CFB. Excellent character and a good athlete who is always around the football. Kendricks is also a leader, a good trait for a team like ours who doesn’t really have one on defense.

Kendricks racked up 136 tackles, 96 solo, 2 sacks, 1 FF, 3 INT’s, 1 returned for a TD.

Zeirlein ranks him at a 5.78, mostly because he didn’t make a lot of plays behind the LOS. Otherwise, a very productive player.

NFL Comparison – Wesley Woodyard


Denzel Perryman

Denzel Perryman ILB – Miami 6’0” 242

Thickly built, stout, prototypical ILB build. Lays the lumber when he hits. Sheds blocks well, and plays low, and keeps his eye on the target. Very physical player. Not very fast and doesn’t move specially well. Is a liability in coverage.

Perryman totaled 102 total tackles, 73 solo, with 3 FF’s, 4.5 sacks, 2 INT’s, 1 returned for a TD.

Zeirlein gives him a 5.7

NFL Comparison – D’Qwell Jackson


Stephone Anthony

Stephone Anthony ILB – Clemson 6’3” 245

Anthony is a well built LB. Very consistent and reliable tackler. Plays faster than he times. Competes through to the whistle. Does not shed blocks well and uses poor leverage to disengage. Is a liability in coverage. Doesn’t have good closing speed. Not very instinctive.

Anthony finished with 72 tackles, 42 solo, 3 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT.

Zeirlein rates him at 5.44

NFL Comparison – Zach Orr


Jordan Hicks

Jordan Hicks OLB – Texas 6’1” 234

Hicks is a very smart player, and he loves the game of football. Prepares well for games, has superb character. Not very instinctive and doesn’t diagnose plays well. Very good tackler, rarely misses one.

And NFC scout said this . . . “Hicks needed the discipline that Charlie Strong brought with him. I saw enough improvement this year to give him a much higher grade than I had on him back in September.”

Hicks racked up 98 tackles, 52 solo, 9.5 TFL, 6 sacks, 2 INT’s.

Zeirlein ranks him at 5.4


There are other prospects of course, and we may very well end up taking none of these guys, and maybe we’ll take someone else.  I think one of these is likely to be a target at least for us, but whether we actually draft any of these guys remains to be seen.

Let me know who your favorite is, and if there was someone I should have added, please post something on the blog about that player.  Thanks, and enjoy!

This entry was posted in Ask Mike, SCOUTING REPORTS. Bookmark the permalink.

338 Responses to Walk the Line-backers

  1. getterdone says:

    NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock believes West Virginia WR Kevin White is the No. 1 WR prospect in the 2015 class.
    For some time, Alabama WR Amari Cooper seemed like a lock as the No. 1 WR in the draft, however, White’s stock has risen over the last couple of weeks. Rotoworld’s Josh Norris has Oklahoma’s WR Dorial Green-Beckham as his top WR prospect, followed by Kevin White, and Amari Cooper ranking third.

    • Silly Tim says:

      Kevin White is my favorite WR in this draft at this time.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      I thinK white deserves to be #1
      I think he is the best prospect

      I’m a little surprised the DGB is ranked so highly by some

      Cooper was very productive at Alabama and that shoudl not be igonored

      Likelihood of Parker or Strong being available later in first round or in 2nd is much stronger!!! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    • D says:

      If i take what i think is best for OUR team out, and just consider them in general, its close to me between White and Cooper. White has nothing on cooper in the different routes he can run fluidly, nor does White accelerate through his cuts like Cooper, but White i think is better mostly because of size and just overall athletic ability. I also think White is a better find a lane and take it to the house guy. DGB after that, again, size plus he has top end speed to go with being the tallest pure receiver int he draft. I like it because my pick for us, as in best for us is Parker, he’s a bigger bodied, Landry, with a little less as far as hands, and a little more in terms of speed. Parker compared to all the others is probably the better red zone guy.

  2. D says:

    S or Cb more important for us this year. I think we need to take at least one of those positions in the draft prior to round 4, and previously i would have said S, no problem, but im beginning to feel maybe CB. Even though they are young, the durability issues Davis and Taylor have had, really worries me.

  3. stangerx says:

    “Oh definitely. I’ve always been a hometown fan — Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Heat and always have been associated with those three — so getting drafted by the Dolphins, that would definitely be another dream come true for me. I can’t even explain how I would feel.”

    That’s WR Phillip Dorsett of UM……and he reportedly ran a 4.21 40. Should be there in the 2nd. Hoping it works out with Wallace but if it doesn’t…….

    • D says:

      There is a lot to like about that kind. His interview have made me like him even more than his 40 time and what i have seen of him on videos.

      • stangerx says:

        We don’t need two of them, but if we need a stretch guy we could do worse.

      • D says:

        Dont think Dorsett is like Wallace, with excpetion of they both have straight line speed. Dorsett i think would be better/more vesatile because he can play in the slot and line up most every spot of the field and run most routes inside and out. Whether he is ready this year to supplant him, or if he would need a year to cook is my only question, in the end, he will fit our offense better.

      • stangerx says:

        And unlike this year…..Wallace will be fiscal smart cuttable in 2016. Interesting.

  4. Try Pod says:

    Every thing I have read says he is a “take it to the house” kinda guy, and would be a great addition to our “dink and dunk” offense.

  5. Rockphin says:

    Bill Parcells traded center Samson Satele in 2009 in part because he felt he couldn’t handle the big nose tackles in the AFC East, such as Vince Wilfork. So it was very interesting to see Satele, signed off the street in training camp once Mike Pouncey injured his hip, absolutely dominating Wilfork in the run game. Wilfork got his butt kicked Sunday by Satele and guard Shelley Smith. If he wasn’t getting pancaked to the ground, he was having a tough time coming off his blocks. The big man just didn’t look like the dominant player he used to be.

    • stangerx says:

      Satele was a much better fit for the zone blocking scheme……plus he was a 911 replacement after Pouncey wasn’t there. More importantly — you hanging in there Rock?

  6. D says:


    Im keeping a close eye on this one. I think we could do a trade, he for Wallace which would help the Cards out in the tune of almost 10mil on their cap, which they are about 10mil in the hole right now.Only bad part is that would be a 7mil additional year cap hit unless we could convince Fitz to re-structure once he got here. Article says thats what the cards are going to try to get him to do but given their cap situation id bet money they would be asking him to cut a lot more than we would. I think Fitz would also see it as a way to move up, as i think he is over Arizona. Probably unlikely this will happen but Fitz for Wallace would make me pretty happy.

    • stangerx says:

      We could take him if Wallace was gone. $8 mil next year. 2016 it is $15 mil. No way anyone pays that. Key is the bonus hit would fall on the Cards.

  7. D says:

    Looks liek Leveon Bell is going to get a 2 game suspension for pot. These kids need classes on keeping their shit together lol, “How to handle fame 101”

    • The Flying Pig says:

      Theymake them take classes at the rookie syposium
      that sound slike nap time to me

      I feel like I’m the resident athlete apologist
      but I don;t think anyone should be suspended, fined or disciplined in any way for smoking weed

      • D says:

        I know its probably unfair to think of it this way, but to me, a business is a business, and most of the time you get pretty sever punishment in most any other business for popping positive for a drug test. Most times, unless you have, prior to the test asked for help, you are terminated on your first offense. We see football as a sport, but to those guys and their employers this is a business, and they are employees.

  8. D says:

    Colts may cut Richardson. I know he has few fans here, but i wonder if he might not be worth kicking the tires on. I know it was Alabamas bad ass OL that made him look better than he was but dude had skills in college and it still puzzles me why he hasnt been able to get it together in the NFL. Rookie year, he looked ok, looked like it might happen and then BAM, big fucking wall.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      He would porbably be a good short yardage guy

      but with RBs they usually don;t come back fromd ecline
      I just think he was a bit overused at alabama and ran out of juice pretty quicklyin the NFL

      he was a good back as a rookie

  9. D says:

    Walker -ESPN seems to think the Colts also would be a viable trade partner for us for Wallace. They do have a bunch of cap space, so they could make that move, and they have been notoriously generous with their offers in the past. I bet we could easily get a 2nd rounder from them for him.

    • Mike E. says:

      That sounds great. They definitely need playmakers, and Wallace would kick major ass with Luck at QB. He slings the ball all over the place.

      • D says:

        I think it would be better match, yes. Luck is definately more gunslinger, and i think would fit and complement their offense more. He and TY Hilton would make for a pretty sick WR corp.

      • Mike E. says:

        Hell yeah he would. Indy will be known as the Dolphins rehabilation center. lol

  10. D says:

    LOL Eagles chose Riley Cooper to be the spotlight player for February…….

  11. Mike E. says:


    While I agree that no one should be penalized for smoking weed, the NFL has rules, and players have to abide by them, just as any other employer has rules. If your law firm had a rule that you could be terminated if you failed a routine drug test, whould you still smoke pot?

    • D says:

      One is Philosphical (should/Shouldnt) and the other is contractual (will not/shall not) and they are legally obligate to abide by those or pay the consequences.

      • D says:

        Meant (shall/shall not)

      • Mike E. says:

        Yup. I think it’s a silly rule, because they’re allowed to drink alcohol, but it doesn’t matter, it’s a rule, and if they want to be in the NFL, it’s really a small sacrifice to make.

  12. D says:


    “The Steelers should look at Jameis Winston … that way they can groom the next rapist behind their current rapist.”

  13. herdfan says:

    Try Pod says:
    February 12, 2015 at 3:40 pm (Edit)

    How do I turn off email from the website? It is killing me!

    Did you click on the follow button that appears in the lower right corner of the blog when you aren’t signed in? It asks for your email and then sends an email when there is a new post….I think. I haven’t clicked it but I think that’s how it works. At any rate, click on your avi in the upper right corner, then account settings. Click the Notifications tab at the top, scroll down and click block email notifications. Again, I haven’t clicked the follow thing so I’m not sure if this will stop them. If it doesn’t, let me know and I’ll try to find out what you need to do. 🙂

    And I’m hurt you don’t want to get tons of email from us. lol

  14. manitobafinfan says:

    Couple Re-posts from Late last night..
    Answer to 4000/300 Club:

    Tannehill became only the eighth quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 4,000 yards and rush for at least 300 in the same season. He joined Cam Newton (2011), Aaron Rodgers (2009), Daunte Culpepper (2004), Jeff Garcia (2000), Steve Young (1993, 1998), Mark Brunell (1996) and Don Majkowski (1989).
    manitobafinfan says:
    February 12, 2015 at 1:27 am

    Had a fun night tonight.. Went to see “The Pink Floyd Experience” , band from San Diego that does an Awesome job on Floyd tunes.. Spent time with the Flying Pig, Sax player looked like Al .. Keyboardist TOTALLY reminded me and the missus of Rockphin.. Besides playing the keyboards, he also did the Maniacal laff from Brain Damage/Eclipse, as well as the female Wailing solo part.. That Rockphin is one talented dude.. I have always been a huge Floyd fan, but have just never been right place/ with right person to see them live, MAN have missed something..wife went in saying she could not name three songs, i told her she’d be surprised how many she would recognize.. she was very pleased with the show as well.. Anyways, anyone gets the chance , go see these guys well worth the 50.00 .. Go Arthur Lynch !!!!!! 🙂

  15. manitobafinfan says:

    AS for the Chris De Burgh discussion, by FAR his best work was Spanish Train album.. title song, Patricia the Stripper, The Painter.. Was a classic ..

  16. manitobafinfan says:

    Try pod: BTW I Loved your how i became a fins fan post..

  17. Mike E. says:

    Hey Manitoba – We’re you tripping or something? What’s with this band looking like everyone from this blog? 🙂

    • manitobafinfan says:

      LOL, i only inhaled 2nd hand my friend i swear.. It was bizarre.. Bass player was off the charts, but did not resemble any one that i had met though..

      • Mike E. says:

        Josh Gordon said the same thing Manitoba. Just sayin’. lol

      • manitobafinfan says:

        i was only speaking of last night, was not a “Blanket Statement”.. oh goodie off to Costco.. Could be worse, could be Fleetwood Mac LMAO..

  18. Silly Tim says:

    Mike E, I could send you my blog article for how I became a Dolphins fan if you’d like to post it. I have the images too.

  19. Mike E. says:

    Speaking of Fleetwood Mac, the song “Whenever I Call You Friend” by Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks is playing on my iPod. Call me a wuss, but I really like that song, and I think Stevie Nicks sounds great in that song.

    • Silly Tim says:

      She sounds great in a lot of songs, but I get why her voice isn’t for everyone. The thing I like about her too is when I hear her voice I know it’s her immediately. I like uniqueness.

      • Mike E. says:

        I agree 100%. I have the “Tango in the Night” album, and there a couple of songs where her voice just annoys me, and I can’t listen to the song. There’s a song called “Sara”. Can’t hack it. lol

  20. Mike E. says:

    Got the article Tim – Thanks! Can’t see the pics at work, I’ll check it out when I get home.

  21. dbolt48 says:

    Black history month in 2015 is going to be on for the record books. Reilly on the Eagles calender & JRW stripped of the LLWS title. There’s got to be a march coming soon from Sharpton.

  22. Silly Tim says:

    Mike E, ‘Sara’ is that droning song like she started singing right after she woke up. LOL

    I like ‘Edge of Seventeen’ and the song she does with Don Henley.

    • Mike E. says:

      Yes, it’s unlistenable. At one point in the song, she just keeps saying “Baby” in this Elmer Fudd voice, I could scream! lol

  23. Silly Tim says:

    What do you guys think of us drafting CB Trae Waynes at #14? He looks like a good prospect but I’m not feeling a 1st on a corner. I don’t have an issue with one in the 2nd because that’s historically a good round for them and we do need depth.

    • Mike E. says:

      I do like Waynes, but it really depends on who’s there with him. Depending upon whether we get a G in FA, or if we let either Starks or Ordick go, or both, or if Wallace is gone, we may have to go O-line, DT, or WR.

    • dbolt48 says:

      I’m not big on a corner in round 1. Depending on FA the 1st pick is probably WR, DT, or ILB.

      • Silly Tim says:

        I wouldn’t take an ILB 1st rd unless he’s a 3 down stud. You can’t take a 2-down run stuffer at #14 when he may need some time to get up to speed.

      • dbolt48 says:

        Depends on where we are at…are we at 14 or have we traded down. You get to late first round then Kendricks & Perriman are in play

  24. Ken says:

    Mike E:
    Awesome job. Between you and Piggy who needs Kiper and McShay

  25. Silly Tim says:

    At #14 I want a guy who is on the field a lot because he’s good. Regardless of position. You have to add good players in the 1st round or you fucked up.

  26. Ken says:

    I still think we should go OL very early, even 1st round if need be.

    • Silly Tim says:

      I want to see FA first. If we don’t address OL significantly there and I think we should, get a guy who knows what’s he doing to protect your franchise QB, then yes target a potential stud at #14.

  27. Mike E. says:

    Thanks Ken!

  28. Mike E. says:

    OK, closing up the office. Catch ya later!

  29. Try Pod says:

    Speaking of Stevie Nicks, Herr she is on south parkhttp://southpark.cc.com/clips/104197/looks-like-were-going-to-afghanistan

  30. Try Pod says:

    Thanks Manitoba and Mike for the kind words- of course, Manitoba also made fun of me for having to go to Fleetwood Mac, so screw you!

  31. Ken says:

    Listening to Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan the other day on NFL Radio. Interesting idea they had is to sign Wisnewski at OC. Move Pouncey to LG. So your OL would be Albert, Pouncey, Wisnewski, Turner and James.

  32. Ken says:

    Alright. I have to be up early tomorrow. I am out. Peace to you all.

  33. Mike E. says:

    I don’t know if any of you guys that play First Picks Draft game get as frustrated as I do. It’s not even about scores, it’s almost like when you’re watching the draft, and you see the prospects that you want come off the board, I get so pissed off! I’m like DAMN!, I was just going to take him!

  34. Mike E. says:

    Your score is: 5176 (GRADE: A-)

    Your Picks:
    Round 1 Pick 14: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville (A)
    Round 2 Pick 15: Denzel Perryman, ILB/OLB, Miami (Fla.) (A-)
    Round 3 Pick 14: Derron Smith, FS, Fresno State (A-)
    Round 4 Pick 15: Rob Havenstein, OT, Wisconsin (B+)
    Round 5 Pick 14: Charles Gaines, CB, Louisville (A)
    Round 6 Pick 15: Tyeler Davison, DT, Fresno State (B-)
    Round 7 Pick 15: Zach Zenner, FB/RB, South Dakota State (B)

    • The Flying Pig says:

      Me likey

      • Mike E. says:

        It’s OK – It does fill a few needs, and I like getting Havenstein in the 4th, because if Albert isn’t ready, I think Havenstein could settle in nicely at RT while James plays LT. Not thrilled about the DT Davison, but all the good ones were gone early.

  35. Mike E. says:

    Last draft, just for Tim, (NO VARGA!) Time for sleepy! I think it’s the highest score I’ve received.

    Your score is: 5430 (GRADE: A-)

    Your Picks:
    Round 1 Pick 14: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia (A)
    Round 2 Pick 15: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State (A)
    Round 3 Pick 14: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest (A)
    Round 4 Pick 15: Durrell Eskridge, FS/SS, Syracuse (B)
    Round 5 Pick 14: Jordan Hicks, OLB, Texas (A-)
    Round 6 Pick 15: Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland (B-)
    Round 7 Pick 15: Craig Mager, CB, Texas State (A)

    • D says:

      One you posted before was the betters f the two. Thought that one we excellent and Davison was a good late round DT. Gaines was a nice 5th round pick too.

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