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Middle Linebacker isn't as valued a position as it was when Lewis came into the league. I think we have talent at the position already, but not anyone who can carry the respect Lewis does or lead. Maybe Jameel McClain, but with his injury, who knows. It'll be interesting to see what Ed Reed does after this season, depending on the outcome.
Te'o would probably be the most ideal replacement, but I'd have to see how the draft process plays out and where out final drafting position will be before I think that's feasible or not. He's moved from a late first rounder to mid first rounder in most mock drafts. With his Heisman nomination, I think his performance in the Championship game can only help his draft stock, not hurt it. Ozzie doesn't like moving up like that. He did it once for Kyle Boller since the Pats block us from getting Byron Leftwich and we all know how that worked out...
There's just something about Manti Te'o which makes me think that something won't work on the pro level. It's like Sam Bradford and all of them. Players who looked good on the college level, but something about their eye test told me that they wouldn't translate to the pro level well. I never liked Vince Young, regardless of him winning a national championship, in college and it didn't work out for him on the pro level.
Manti Te'o, as you said, doesn't seem to have any of the obvious problems that players who fail to translate over to the pro level usually do, but as we've discussed before, MLBs aren't nearly as important as they used to be and while his numbers look great on the college level, he's not going to get all of those picks or sacks from his position. He hasn't really faced any decent QBs, nor has he faced any really top notch OLs, and I just don't think that he'll work on the pro level. I think he'll be exposed on slants and routes by WRs and I don't see him being as effective against NFL OLs. Now, if Te'o goes to a great defensive team where there's a great DL, he'll be in a much better position to do stuff, but I don't think that if he goes to a team with a mediocre defense that he'll be effective at all. He's not someone that I see being able to do it on his own.
I could see Belichick taking a chance on him at around 20, perhaps, although that would require us to move up, and if we're moving up, I'd rather see us get Matt Barkley, but he'll probably go in the top 10 because plenty of teams need QBs.
Flacco's career stats compare well to Jason Campbell's. Actually, they are nearly identical.
Middle Linebacker hasn't been considered a high impact position since the 70'sQuote:
Ray Lewis was an exception, most MLB are run stoppers that generate few high impact (sacks, interceptions) plays. Lewis himself was drafted late in the first round, the 26th pick in 1996. He was the Raven's second pick in 1996. Only rare athletes at the position are drafted in the top ten; Urlacher (a college safety), Luke Kuechly, and Rolando McClain are good examples.
Te'o will be probably be drafted in the second half of the first round. He's not that great an athlete, a lot of his playmaking ability won't translate to the NFL. He's not going to be able to run with "joker" tight ends, and he won't be able to drop into as many soft zones, reducing his interception numbers. His football IQ is very high, his presence will solidify the middle of a defense. But he won't be viewed as a high impact, defensive center piece. I can't imagine a team trading multiple picks to move up and get him either.Quote:
Last edited by Kaiten; January 03, 2013 at 02:32 PM.
And if Jason Campbell had the talent around him like Flacco has had, he might not be a backup. Stats don't tell the whole story. Jason Campbell came into an awful situation with too many OCs for most QBs with a modicum of talent to thrive.
I'm a realist about Flacco, as much as a like to get my feathers up about it. But I can't accept the notion that we win despite him. That's nonsense.
And of course he was an exception, he's a legend. He wasn't drafted higher due to size. This was around the same time you saw a lot more of the faster LBs that could run with receivers over the middle and chase down runners off of the stretch play. When you go for speed, you usually sacrifice size, except in rare cases. Ray Lewis and Zach Thomas are the prototype for this type of trend you saw in the 90s.
Honestly, I see a lot of teams moving towards a base defense with 3 Safeties, a lot like what the Giants do. This requires a big, fast Safety hybrid. Most likely a player who was a Linebacker in college. Sort of like what Polamalu was in his prime, Adrian Wilson and what Bernard Pollard is now. We've been seeing the OLB /DE hybrid for years now as a rusher/edge defender. Seeing more of these sort of roaming hybrid DBs seem like a natural progression with all these Freak TEs coming out of college.
Last edited by xi0; January 03, 2013 at 03:24 PM.
Super Bowl picks?
I'm going to say the The Broncos have what it takes. I wouldn't be surprised
Denver and Seattle are the two most complete teams in the postseason right now.
Does that mean they're my SuperBowl choices? Hell no.
Honestly, I think that the Broncos have been a bit overrated this season. During their vaunted 11 game win streak, I think eight of the games were against horrible opposition.
Their defense isn't that great and better QBs expose them. Von Miller has been really solid, but the rest, not so much.
I want to say that we'll win, but I just don't see it. I'm thinking that it could be someone like the Packers, even though they can't stop the run at all.
So what do we make of the freakshow Minnesota has going on offense right now? It looked sort of dangerous at first...but...
This game is quickly turning uninteresting. The vikings had a good first drive, but not much success after that. Webb established he can definitely run the ball especially around the edges, but his passes are inaccurate. The Vikings need to make some serious adjustments at halftime.
Joe Webb is embarrassing himself
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Jesus Christ...it's almost painful to watch