Experienced Playmakers Head Up ILB Group

Former pro scout Tom Marino isn't as enamored with physical make up and athletic ability of an inside backer as he is with playing instincts and production. "Sure you want them big and fast, but play speed and instincts are what I look for at the position." Find out which of this year's crop of top inside players Marino would want on his football team.

None of top inside backer prospects (Ellerbe, Laurnaitis, Beckwith, and Maulaluga) for the 2009 player draft are to my way of thinking are particularly flashy in their play, but are they ever football players! If I were to make a selection today, I'd probably go with Donnell Ellerbie of the Georgia Bulldogs, but realistically I would be happy with any of the aforementioned players.

Both Jasper Brinkley, an impressive physical specimen, of South Carolina and the undersized Brian Toal of Boston College were both injured in 2007 and subsequently red shirted. Both players draft standing could rise significantly with a solid 2008 season. Scott McKillop of Pittsburgh, David Philistin of Maryland and Joe Mortensen of Kansas are all steady contributors who should factor quickly at the professional level. Keep close tabs on California' Worrell Williams and University of Virginia' Antonio Appleby (one of my personal favorites), two playmakers, who should be among the among the best in the country by season's end.

Grade Last First School 2007 Stats
Solo - Assist - Total - Sack - TFL
A Ellerbe Donnell Georgia U 53-40-93-4.5-12-1
A Beckwith Darry LSU 30-35-65-1.5-6-1
A Laurnaitis James Ohio St 51-70-121-5-8.5-2
A Maulaluga Rey USC 41-38-79-6-10.5-0
B Williams Worrell California U 57-48-105-1-8.5-0
B Mauga Josh Nevada U 37-45-82-1-4-0
B McKillop Scott Pittsburgh U 98-53-151-3-9-1
B Brinkley Jasper So Carolina U 15-6-21-0-1-2
B Phillips Jason Texas Christian U 61-26-87-2-11-2
B Bobino Rashad Texas U 39-30-69-0-4-1
B Appleby Antonio Virginia U 24-36-602.5-5-0
C Toal Brian Boston College No 2007 Stats- Inj. Shoulder
C Holtzclaw Daniel Eastern Michigan U 50-75-125-0.5-5-2
C Joseph Frantz Florida Atlantic 64-67-131-2.5-12.5-2
C Nicholson Derek Florida St 53-46-99-0.5-8-0
C Leonard Adam Hawaii U 54-51-105-2-11-4
C Mortensen Joe Kansas U 50-56-106-3-15-0
C Rivera Mike Kansas U 39-57-96-3-10.5-1
C Philistin David Maryland U 54-67-121-0-6.5-1
C Mullins Clayton Miami (OH) 69-74-143-4-13.5-0
C Adkins Spencer Miami U 23-13-36-1-3-1
C Chaney Jamar Mississippi St 41-48-89-0-3.5-0
C Crum Maurice Notre Dame 35-49-84-1-4.5-2
C Heygood Anthony Purdue U 47-33-80-1-14-0
C Copper Jon Virginia U 56-53-109-3-9-2
C Arnoux Stanley Wake Forest 36-30-66-3.5-7.5-2
C Williams Reed West Virginia U 48-59-107-1-5.5-0

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