LB still an option

Even though Big Blue just secured one of the game's top weakside linebackers in LaVar Arrington, there's always the chance that one of these players is rated so highly on their draft board that they can't help but select them at pick number 25.

Chad Greenway OLB Iowa 6'2 245 4.80

Chad is an excellent athlete with the very quick feet, agility and playing speed that is hard to find in a linebacker. For a 240+ pound linebacker he has the rare ability to drop deep down the field in pass coverage – He can run down the seam with fast TE's with ease. He can change directions quickly and has an explosive first step in the other direction. He shows excellent flexibility bending and using his hands to protect his legs from low blocks and shows the balance to keep his feet when blockers can get to his feet. He has shown the ability to bend knees and take on lead blockers with good leverage and can break down and tackle well out in space, but he has to play with his knees bent more consistently to be able to play strong at the POA and tackle consistently in space in the NFL. Overall, I believe that Chad will make an immediate impact as a rookie and will be a long time starting linebacker in the NFL with the versatility to make plays in all areas of the game. He will be drafted in the 1st round.

Bobby Carpenter OLB Ohio State 6'3 255 4.60

Bobby is a good athlete, but he does not consistently show it on the field – Despite testing out as an elite athlete, he does not play like one. He has quick feet and can accelerate to full speed quickly, but he does not have an explosive burst and does not play up to his 40 time. His playing speed gives him sideline range vs the run, but his lack of burst hinders his ability to stay with RB's out of their cuts in M/M coverage. He has the natural flexibility to bend his knees and play with a wide base – He can move and adjust to breakdown and tackle well out in space when he stays under control. He does not consistently change directions quickly and lacks the burst in the other direction to catch up once the TE crosses in front of him. I believe that he will develop into a good starting linebacker, who like many current NFL starters, makes a lot of tackles chasing down plays in pursuit, but does not make big plays to impact games. He will be a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick.

DeMeco Ryans OLB Alabama 6'1 235 4.75

DeMeco's good all around athleticism helps him consistently produce despite being shorter than ideal. He has quick feet which combine with his instincts to let him consistently read and react quickly to the play. He has very good flexibility and it shows in his ability to bend his knees to take on big blockers strong at the POA. His combination of quick feet, flexibility and good agility help him consistently stay under control to tackle well out in space. He has the acceleration and playing speed to make his share of plays in pursuit and to run with TE's downfield in M/M coverage, but he does not have the top level playing speed to catch very fast bal carriers from behind. His coordination combines with his all around athleticism to let him keep his feet consistently when adjusting to make tackles out in space. He will never be the type of linebacker who changes games, but I am confident in his ability to be a good, solid linebacker who does his job. He will be a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick.

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