2021 Position Outlook – LB

The Miami Dolphins defense made a resurgence in 2020. Some of its success was due to better play at LB, and no one player benefited from the improvements we made on defense as our own drafted LB #55 Jerome Baker. Baker had his finest season and has become one of the leaders on this defense. His signature season featured 112 tackles, 7 sacks, 7 TFL, 11 QB hits, 3 passes defensed and 2 forced fumbles. Bringing in FA’s Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, and also the big guys like Emmanuel Ogbah, Zach Sieler and Shaq Lawson and the emergence of Andrew Van Ginkel allowed Jerome Baker to be what we had hoped he could be, a playmaking LB who made plays in every facet of the defense. One could easily say if we had one more guy like #55, our defense could be elite, and it’s hard to argue. Although our secondary is the first unit you think of when you think of dominance, I feel like our front 7 aren’t far away. By the end of the season, the rotation of Wilkins, Davis, Seiler, Ogbah, and the LB’s Van Noy, Baker, Lawson, Van Ginkel, Roberts were a very solid group. Before the season finale in which we got stampeded by the Bills offense, this was a legitimate defense. Both Elandon Roberts and Kamu Grugier-Hill were one year contracts, so we have to add a LB or two either in the draft or free agency.

For the 2021 NFL Draft, there are a few LB’s that could help our team right away. The first one hails from Linebacker University (Penn St) and is the top LB prospect in this draft, Micah Parson. Big, 6’3 245 and rangy, and with excellent speed and can run sideline to sideline and cover running backs and tight ends. He really is a talented LB, one that could eventually transform our defense along with Jerome Baker. While Elandon Roberts was a run game thumper, Parsons could be that and do everything Baker can. If you liked Super Bowl linebackers Lavonte David (6’1 233) and Devin White(6’0 237), we could have that with size with Parsons (6’3 245) and Baker (6’2 230).

Another very good prospect is Tulsa LB Zaven Collins. Where Parsons could play any of the LB spots in our defense, Collins is more than likely going to play outside. Collins is big, bigger even than Parsons at 6’4 260. Collins is better in pass coverage than rushing the passer as he has just average burst. He has good speed, but not elite speed. He does have excellent length and can cover tight ends. He would need to improve his pass rush, as many prospects do. He’s a possible target and should be available at our 2nd pick if we stay at #3 and #18.

If we want to draft a LB much like the aforementioned Super Bowl Bucs LB’s Devin White and Lavonte David, that would be Missouri LB Nick Bolton. Bolton is a little smallish, especially when compared to either Parsons or Collins, but he can play. Bolton is 6’0 232, and is very fast and explosive like the two Bucs linebackers. He has the speed to also run sideline to sideline is a reliable tackler. Where Bolton struggles however, is in coverage. The instincts that serve him well in his run defense haven’t yet been developed in pass coverage. Still, he has the athleticism to become a 3 down backer.

If we’re looking for an OLB/Pass rusher, look no further than Texas’ Joseph Ossai. Ossai is a bona fide pass rushing LB. What’s more is that he is a very high effort guy, plays full out all the time. He has the size (6’4 253) and speed to be a perfect fit as a 3-4 OLB. Ossai was able to increase his statistical totals playing in only 9 games in 2020 as compared to 13 games in 2019. He compiled 55 tackles, 15.5 tackles behind the LOS which is 2 more than the previous season in 4 less games. He also topped his 2019 in sacks with 5.5 over his 5 in 2019, again, in 4 less games, also adding 3 FF’s.

There are many prospects that will be interesting but those are the guys that I feel can make an immediate impact. Another undersized player who can play multiple positions including LB and safety is Jeremiah Owusu. He’s 6’1 215 and has legit speed and explosiveness. Another interesting prospect later on is former Florida Gator and UAB transfer Jordan Smith. Smith got caught up in the alleged credit card scandal in Florida and transferred to UAB. He is raw, but shows potential as a pass rusher with great length 6’7 255. He’s also a good for fit for a 3-4 OLB pass rushing LB. He is definitely a project though, and would be probably be 3rd-4th RD pick. Let me know who you guys like, I know y’all have your favorites.

GO DOLPHINS 2021!!!

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1,017 Responses to 2021 Position Outlook – LB

  1. ocalarob says:

    The best thing we can do with that #3 pick is draft a QB.

  2. Krishna says:

    Page turn and a joke by orob….

    Funny!

  3. CavalierKong says:

    Mike22, you moonlighting?

  4. CavalierKong says:

    The Howard situation is weird and concerning.

    • bailbondmike says:

      It does leave you wondering, but he has every right to refuse to talk to the police and there is nothing anyone can do about it. My guess is he knows who did it and does not want to be made to testify against that person.

      • CavalierKong says:

        Of course he absolutely has every right to refuse to cooperate. It just means there is likely something to hide. That is where it gets concerning.

  5. Mike E. says:

    NEW BLOG UP!!!!

    Before you go to the next blog, I’d just like to apologize, I’ve been kind of aggressive around here lately, I’m stressed big time at work, and I felt like coming here and blowing off some steam. I hope haven’t truly insulted anyone. I’m going to try and do better and stay away from those hot button topics that set me off, you know what they are. Peace – brothers and sisters!

    • CavalierKong says:

      Oh, alright. I guess I’ll take down that dartboard with your picture on it. 😉

    • stangerx says:

      Mike E — don’t apologize for being like everybody else. You’ve always been the nicest guy around here, but doesn’t mean you have to be. Holding you to that standard would be unfair.

      • Mike E. says:

        Thanks Stanger – I’m in the process of looking for a new job. I’m toasted right now. It’s been a year and 4 months and when I walk into my office lately I’m just wondering if I can make it through the day w/o snapping. That’s not ideally where I want to be. I had spoken to my boss regarding help and while he says he understands, he continually says I have to do my best not to get stressed and NO, no help is on the way so do your best.

      • stangerx says:

        So then do that look for a new job. But don’t tell anyone at your old place — not even co-workers who are your friends — until the time you have something lined up. And at that point you can ask for more money or more help at the old place if you like and see what they do.

      • Mike E. says:

        I have, I’m talking to my old boss/partner that I used to work for/with about 19-20 years ago. I really enjoyed working for him, the partnership didn’t end well necessarily, but that wasn’t all on him, just a series of unfortunate events and a poor job of getting a feel of what that neighborhood really wants. In any case, I’m on it already and of course I won’t be telling anyone my intentions until I already have a job offer in hand. There won’t be any counteroffer forthcoming from my current boss, it’s his MO. He’d rather pay 3 Opticians well than pay 4 Opticians good. Been churning and burning for years, and that’s how he seems to want it. I suppose you never know until it actually happens but I’m not expecting anything.

      • stangerx says:

        Good luck and keep it secret. I’d make confidential cause you have a position right now up front. And that is actually a plus with employers. Also keep in mind that Ted Cruz got busted cause of his wife’s texts. That’s nothing against your beauty, but also guessing the optician world is a small one.

  6. Mike E. says:

    Stanger – It is indeed a very small world in this field. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows you.

  7. mf13ss says:

    Mike E,

    You’re good here, man. Hope you can find a job that’s less stressing… been there and done that, as I used to complain here on the blog regularly about my stressful job. I ended up transferring, and things have been much better for me. Don’t know if that’s an option for you, but if it is, consider it.

    Everyone has been stressed by LIFE as of late (political climate, daily issues, COVID, etc, etc), so don’t be too hard on yourself. I’m here to talk football and I stay away from the political rhetoric here anymore: it’s much less stressful, see! 😉

    You’re a good guy, and thanks for keeping this blog up and running. Good luck to you on the job search, man.

    • Mike E. says:

      Thanks M, appreciate it. I’m already on it, I have to do what’s best for me and I know I can’t count on my employer to do the same. If the opportunity I’m currently looking at falls through I’ll widen my net some. I do know now that change is imminent. I’m just totally fatigued from it, even on my day off because I’m burnt out.

  8. The Flying Pig says:

    Mike

    Don’t worry about anything you said, I generally think you are a jerk anyway….😃

    Also I bought a new iPad yesterday
    I dowloaded the new photoshop but not sure how I feel about it bc it’s a monthly charge

    But I did draft a blog yesterday. I just can’t figure out how to post photos anymore…lol

    I’m gonna play around with it later, hopefully I can pitch in an add to your posts

    I just got to work through some of the tech stuff

  9. mf13ss says:

    Regarding Xavien Howard…

    Why would Bilbo (Baggins) only recently name him as a possible link to the shooting that took place last June (2020)? It was on January 10th (a little over a month ago), 2021, that Xavien signed with David Canter… meaning, Xavien was still under Bilbo’s employ at the time of the shooting.

    A single shot was fired from a 9, and it was clearly not a ‘death shot’ (seemed to be a warning shot)… suspect drove off immediately afterward. I get that the driver allegedly seems to have a link to Xavien (phone records), but that doesn’t mean Xavien had anything to do with it. I’m sure MANY people had links to the alleged driver, and this may have had NOTHING to do with football.

    With the little that we know (and I know Bilbo’s history as an agent), it would seem to me that this is sour grapes. Bilbo is pissed off that Xavien dropped him some 6 months after the shooting, going with Canter instead, and Xavien just had a DPOY-type season.

    Pleading #5A should not implicate Xavien, either. To me, this is a non-story but for one thing: Bilbo is jealous of Canter (who I know rather well, too… we’ve talked privately from time-to-time about players), and Bilbo is trying to drop the stock of Xavien as a result.

    That’s the way I see it. The timeline is not in Bilbo’s favor, IMO.

  10. mf13ss says:

    PS: David Canter and I were following each other on Twitter for a long time, that’s where I was able to talk to him privately about many things/players. But one day, he said something extremely politically unnerving (not to me, but to the public in general), and I unfollowed him immediately.

    Thus, I do not have contact with Mr. Canter any longer. I was foolish to have made such a decision what with the connect I had to him. Talking politics is just bad, in general.

    • mf13ss says:

      To be clear, being we followed each other on Twitter, we were able to have what’s called “private chats”, or direct messaging, thus keeping our convos from the public eye. I really like Canter, but politically speaking, he’s my converse. I was foolish to allow politics to close me off from him.

  11. Krishna says:

    Mf13ss…don’t know where you got all that info….hope you are right and it’s a non issue.

    • mf13ss says:

      Research is how I got all that info, man. So if the facts are indeed facts, I do believe it will be a non-issue. That, and I know the personalities of both Bilbo and Canter (Canter more so than Bilbo, of course). Bilbo really is a douchebag, IMO.

    • stangerx says:

      Why don’t you guys go to the new blog? This convo is interesting and would fit well there.

  12. pheloniusphish says:

    https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2021/02/21/nfl-declines-comment-on-xavien-howard-situation/

    I disagree with MF’s analysis of the Howard situation. One shot, ten shots, 100 shots fired blindly into a house is attempted murder. Caliber doesn’t matter – If your house isn’t stone, there is little in most houses that will stop a bullet from traveling through multiple room. Second, Howard’s phone number wasn’t the only connection. Read the initial post. The car belongs to a woman associated with Howard. At least one of the names in the report is an associate of Howard. The person of interest has disappeared.

    Howard may be and is in the eyes of the law innocent until proven guilty. But then there would be no reason not to talk to the police. I think it is more likely that, as someone suggested earlier, Howard knows something about the situation, perhaps the whereabouts of the person of interest, that he does not want to share with investigators.

  13. Krishna says:

    Lost as usual….

  14. Krishna says:

    I’m at my favorite dive bar. Lmfao!!!

    Fuck off!!!!

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