3-4 OLB Rankings: Packers 2012 NFL Draft Prospects

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2012 NFL Draft

This has to be the year the Packers select an outside linebacker (OLB) early in the draft… right? Right? This is now the third draft where I’ve been expecting one of the first 2-3 picks to be a bookend linebacker to pair with Clay Matthews. I don’t anticipate being disappointed again.

So, I want you to be ready. I’m sure you’ve all read various position rankings from media experts, draftniks and bloggers, but have you seen what the real scouting organization used by NFL teams has to say? I think not.

This particular report deals with the general category of “rush defensive ends.” These are the college defensive ends athletic enough to be considered pass-rushing 4-3DEs or 3-4 OLBs in the pros.

We can’t show you everything (at least until after the draft), but here is something to help you out when the Packers select that 3-4 OLB. Which they will, right? Right?

 

CREAM OF THE CROP – MELVIN INGRAM – South Carolina

Ingram demonstrates the upper body power to stack, shed and press off coverage. He does a good job of making adjustments on the move and has the lateral range to get to the perimeter and force the outside running game back inside. When he stays low in his pads, he is capable of driving through blocks and also demonstrates functional ability to anchor at the point of attack…

For a potential move to linebacker, Ingram is explosive closing on the ball in the short area and has the valid foot speed to make plays outside the box. He hits, wraps and drives through the ball carrier with good technique, doing a good job of adjusting in space. He shows the leg drive to change direction in an instant. He also displays impressive hip snap turning and takes good angles while keeping his hands active to defeat the block…

BEST OF THE REST – WHITNEY MERCILUS – Illinois

MOST OVERRATED – BRUCE IRVIN – West Virginia

MOST UNDERRATED – SHEA McCLELLAN – Boise State

SUPER SLEEPER – JAKE BEQUETTE – Arkansas

Conspicuous by his absence on the rankings is Courtney Upshaw. The scouting organization has him pegged as a 4-3OLB.

 RUSH END RANKINGS

PRD GRD PLAYER SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT 40-YD POS
1 7.8 INGRAM, Melvin South Carolina 6:014 264 4.69 RDE
1-2 7.3 MERCILUS, Whitney (J) Illinois 6:035 261 4.67 RDE
1-2 6.9 McCLELLIN, Shea Boise State 6:033 260 4.62 RDE
1-2 6.8 PERRY, Nick (J) Southern Cal 6:026 271 4.55 RDE
2 6.7 BRANCH, Andre Clemson 6:042 259 4.68 RDE
2 6.5 JONES, Chandler (J) Syracuse 6:053 266 4.77 RDE
2-3 6.4 CURRY, Vinny Marshall 6:031 266 4.87 RDE
3-4 6.0 JOHNSON, Cam Virginia 6:034 268 4.75 RDE
3 6.0 LEWIS, Ronnell (J) Oklahoma 6:016 253 4.65 RDE
4-5 5.7 BEQUETTE, Jake Arkansas 6:045 274 4.75 RDE
2-3 5.6 IRVIN, Bruce West Virginia 6:030 245 4.41 RDE
5 5.4 MASSAQUOI, Jonathan Troy 6:021 264 4.81 RDE
5-6 5.3 SMITH, Jacquies Missouri 6:025 253 4.75 RDE
6-7 5.1 BROUGHTON, Braylon Texas Christian 6:041 257 4.55 RDE
6-7 5.1 FUGGER, Tim Vanderbilt 6:032 248 4.63 RDE
6-7 5.0 LINDSEY, Brandon Pittsburgh 6:015 254 4.85 RDE
7 4.9 VERNON, Olivier (J) Miami 6:021 261 4.73 RDE
7 4.9 ALEXANDER, Frank Oklahoma 6:036 270 4.80 RDE
7/FA 4.8 SOLOMON, Scott Rice 6:030 262 4.88 RDE
PFA 4.8 LAW, Cordarro Southern Mississippi 6:02 254 4.83 RDE
FA 4.8 JARRETT, Jamaar Arizona State 6:046 265 4.96 RDE
FA 4.8 SHELBY, Derrick Utah 6:027 266 4.87 RDE
FA 4.7 BLATNICK, Jamie Oklahoma State 6:031 263 4.81 RDE
FA 4.7 LOCKETT, Kentrell Mississippi 6:05 243 4.99 RDE
FA 4.7 NALL, Darius Central Florida 6:024 256 4.78 RDE
FA 4.6 LATTIMER, Jake Iowa State 6:017 247 4.74 RDE
FA 4.6 BRYANT, D.J. James Madison 6:034 248 4.76 RDE
FA 4.5 HUNTER, Grant Butler 6:02 243 4.70 RDE
CMP 4.5 BELL, B.J. Nevada-Las Vegas 6:02 250 4.74 RDE
CMP 4.5 SAVOY, William Louisville 6:01 240 4.69 RDE
CMP 4.4 NDUKA, E. J. Sam Houston State 6:04 242 4.71 RDE
CMP 4.4 MAYES, Chris Wesley 6:03 235 4.82 RDE
CMP 4.4 BROWN, Morkeith Temple 6:05 260 4.89 RDE
CMP 4.3 SMITH, Andrew Miami 6:02 245 4.94 RDE
CMP 4.3 RIESKAMP, Jeff North Carolina State 6:03 245 4.67 RDE
CMP 4.3 OSBORNE, Tyler Southern Utah 6:02 242 4.84 RDE
CMP 4.3 LEAK, Antonio Henderson State, Ark. 6:011 241 4.76 RDE
CMP 4.3 ADEBAYO, Bo Western Kentucky 6:03 258 4.80 RDE
CMP 2.5 MARINOVICH, Mikhail Syracuse 6:044 253 4.69 RDE

 

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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  • Adam Czech

    I’d put McClellin over Ingram. I think McClellin’s ceiling is higher.

    I see Mercilus more as a 4-3 DE.

    If Ted doesn’t like any of the 3-4 OLBs left at the end of the first round, I’d be fine with getting a DT or DE in that spot, then landing Curry in the second.

    • ThomasMagnumPI

      Wow, that’s pretty bold, putting McClellin before Ingram.

      That being said–his “climbing up draft boards” seems like standard BS from the media, but I’ve also read that he’s been high on scouts’ lists for quite some time due to his versatility, among other things.

      I can’t wait til Thursday!

  • Ron LC

    Move up if necessary and get Perry. Fast, strong and good size. He will provide the rightside pressure that was so absent in 11′.

    • BubbaOne

      Rush-wise, yes but he has the coverage ability of a 3-toed sloth. I don’t think he fits Capers scheme, seems better suited for Pats or Ravens D.

      I like McClellin’s upside especially now that he can just focus on OLB instead of also including DE and ILB.

      The later round guys I like besides Bequette, Smith, Broughton, Law, and Lockett.

      TT should also bring in Jake Lattimer. I’m laughing already thinking how Wayne and Larry and other broadcast teams will have to deal w/ Lattimer and Lattimore playing LB at the same time.

      • Ron LC

        ROLB’s are not used in coverage very much in the GB scheme. Proof, you ask. Visualize Bishop and Hawk trying to cover all-pro TE’s. Plus, 4.55 speed for a 271 pounder give him some recovery potetial. Much of the 3rd down prolem last year was the ROLB not being to hold the end. He wouold solve the problem.

        And measure his coverage skills against Walden, Zombo and So’oto (has’t really played enough to know yet), I say better than anything they put on the field last year.

        One of the worse Stats from 2011 – Dead Ass Last in Sacks.

  • ELo

    Whatever it takes – OLB has to be filled with talent.

  • cow42

    If Ingram falls into the 20’s (doubtful) I would LOVE to see TT go up and get him.

    Otherwise if Ingram, Mercilus, McClellin, & Perry are all gone by 28 I want TT to trade down if possible.

    I don’t like any of the DE’s that would be available at that spot…

    Worthy, Still, Thompson all play “sometimes”. I hate the idea of getting a fat guy who played “sometimes” while in college, giving him a bazillion dollars and then expecting him to play ALL THE TIME.

    Get Reyes or Wolfe later on.

    • Mark

      Reyes later on would be nice, but I wouldn’t expect him to last past pick 45 or so.

      It sure would be nice to a trio like McClellin, Reyes and Brandon Thompson but that seems to be pie in the sky.

      • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

        They don’t like Reyes as a 3-4DE…

        • ThomasMagnumPI

          Oh man, I was thinking Cullen Jenkins after reading up on Reyes.

          How about Keeshton Randall in the 4th round then? He doesn’t seem to have too much pass rush to him, but he seems to be pretty solid at 2-gapping.

    • Pete Kliman

      I agree,but I would be shocked if they are all taken.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      I would argue that it’s hard to really assess “bad motor” defensive linemen because it’s the nature of the position. Sometimes defensive linemen have the responsibility to keep offensive linemen occupied, hence it may look like they aren’t slipping off their block to get to the quarterback, but in reality they are holding up an offensive linemen so that someone else can get to the quarterback as part of the play; that isn’t an indication of a bad motor, that’s an indication of a good team player.

      • PackersRS

        Agreed. What I look for is a guy that is dominant in some plays then he’s pushed around at times.

  • Ron LC

    The key to this draft is simple. They need to get 2 difference makers ready to play from day 1. Right now I’m hoping for an ROLB (#1) and Safety (#2). After that fill in with defelopment choices.

    • ThomasMagnumPI

      I don’t know–is a S really that critical? Peprah was serviceable in 2010 when replacing Burnett but he sure looked lost last year.

      I’m hoping that they can get by with a 3rd round type FS/SS (like Burnett was) and get their true impact players with the top two picks for the defensive front 7.

      Of course, it all depends on what players are available, and whether TT gets any phone calls for some blockbuster deals (like if the Falcons want to get back into the 1st this year for an OT and are willing to give up pick 55 and a 1st rounder in 2013 or something).

      • Ron LC

        That assumes, of course, Nick is not coming back. And the longer the anouncement is dealy, the less likely that he will return. Safety was abysmal last year. And that can be laid entirely on Pepprah. It is a must replacement. Someway – somehow.

        • PackersRS

          A poster at CHTV (don’t remember who) made a great point about it.

          Basically, they’ve already made that decision. But for draft strategy, they haven’t disclosed it.

    • Pete Kliman

      No Sammy Brown on the list, good. He would be a great free agent possibility.

  • PackersRS

    Love Ingram, to me he’s the best pass rusher in the draft. Great athlete, great instincts, great motor. Best fit for a 3-4 scheme.

    Really afraid of Mercilus, the game highlights against UCLA, he looks lanky and sluggish. Only 1 year of productivity, and I think JPP was the exception, Mercilus doesn’t have 1/3rd of JPP’s athletic ability.

    McClellin, as I’ve said, will be a very good player, I have no doubt. 3-4 only. His ceiling is not high, he doesn’t have enough athletic ability to be elite, but if he goes to a team that has a #1 pass rusher, he’s going to get 6-10 sacks per season.

    Perry won’t be able to play standing up, Branch looks worse than Mercilus, and I don’t know what to make of Chandler Jones.

    • CSS

      I haven’t really watched anything on Jones, but was pretty taken aback when Mike Mayock placed him #9 on his big-board out of the top 100 overall prospects.

      Not that Mayock is always right, but I respect his analysis quite a bit.

      • PackersRS

        Mayock explained it, he said that scouts told him to watch Jones’ 2010 tape. That Jones put up too much weight in 2011 and it affected his play.

        There’s one highlight video of him in 2010, and it shows him slimmer, faster, more athletic. But that’s not enough to say one way or the other.

        I think the hype with him is more his brother, who’s a fantastic MMA fighter, than with him. He has the same traits, the long body, long arms and fast hands. But ranking him at 9 is projecting. He doesn’t have measurables for when he was lighter, and the production is not there for a top 10 pick.

        And about Mayock, I still remember him falling in love with Larry English. Heck, even this year he ranks McClellin ahead of Ingram as a 3-4 OLB. I love McClellin, but Ingram is special. When a guy his size is blocking kicks, returning fumbles and ints, that’s a rare athlete with instincts.

        • CSS

          Like I said, I haven’t watched him personally so I just don’t know. I do think Mayock is above being influenced by the MMA, however.

          I agree with English, and will throw in an Ayers as well. But he nailed it with guys like Aldon Smith, too.

  • Two Bears, One Cup

    Re: McClellin. At first I wasn’t very high on him – he seems solid but unspectacular. But we don’t necessarily need an All-Pro opposite CM3, and we do need some solid players who won’t take up too much cap space down the line (a la Hawk). And if he’s as versatile as they say, maybe next year we draft an OLB and McClellin replaces Hawk.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      The thing with McClellin, he was a skinny kid entering college, has worked really hard, built himself up and made big improvements in his game every year. Needless to say, teams covet those kinds of guys…

  • Tarynfor12

    I’ll stay off the 1st and 2nd picks since I’ve been all in on Curry and Reyes.
    But,I have mentioned Jacquies Smith as a 4th comp or 5th rd grab as he may be the steal of the draft for the Packers this year.
    IMO,there’s a tad too much air being pumped into the McClellin balloon.

  • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

    With regards to Mercilus, when I did the OLB rankings for the CheeseheadTV draft guide, I just wasn’t that impressed. Thought he was weak against the run and got a lot of “soft” sacks.

    Yet, my contact at the scouting organization is really high on him. He loves the physical attributes, but sees him as 4-3 DE and went so far as to compare him to Richard Dent.

  • Ron LC

    Dent? That’s a serious stretch. I remember the UW vs Ill game and he was handled by the Badger Oline.

  • http://jerseyal Bobalou

    I know McClellin seems to be shooting up the boards but I really have reservations. Primarily because I saw Boise in person last year and don’t recall even noticing him. Level of competition always a concern with these schools as well. I guess we’ll see but I have a hunch he may be our pick at 28.