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Old 12-27-2013, 08:45 PM    (permalink
J-Mike88
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Default ILB & Safety

Anyone qualified to say, give me some names of the top 5 or so at each of those positions.

Every year, there are a few ILBs and Safeties who have immediate NFL impacts, and they aren't always top-10 picks.

My Packers need to find a NaVorro Bowman, Harrison Smith in this draft.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:01 PM    (permalink
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For ILB I really like Mosley, Shazier, and Skov. I've been most impressed with Shazier I think he is going to be a steal if he goes mid to late 1st.
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:09 PM    (permalink
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Shazier will be the first off the board, both Mosley & Skov are read & react guys with wonky knees. Shazier is a high cut athletic backer with higher upside. Although he may not be the collegiate player the other 2 are he will likely be the best pro.
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:56 PM    (permalink
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I just got done watching most of the safeties, save for maybe a few of the underclassmen who haven't declared yet. Here are some basic notes on my six favorite prospects in the class, alphabetically listed:

FS Terrence Brooks, Florida St. (5'11", 200, 4.50e)

Two-year starter at free safety with a somewhat stout build. Also played on special teams in the past. Aggressive, confident player with a swagger, high motor. Willing, effective run supporter. Technically a free safety but really wants to play downhill. Not too much deep coverage experience. Probably not big enough to cover tight ends.

FS Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, Alabama* (6'1", 208, 4.50e)

Tall, lanky center-fielder who has started for the past two years. Possesses good range in deep zone, takes pretty responsible angles. Has worked in the slot a bit, fast enough to run with receivers; backpedal looks pretty smooth. Good ball skills. Angles are not quite as good in run support, also has a thin build. A decent but not great tackler.

SS Dion Bailey, Southern California* (6'0", 200, 4.65e)

Three-year starter who converted from Sam, now plays the "Star" (fifth DB replacing Sam LB.) Does most of his work in the box or slot, almost never deep zone. Pretty good in run support. Not very athletic for the position but looks okay in zone. Has soft hands. Backpedal is kind of sloppy, lacks deep cover instincts. Sub package guy.

DB Dontae Johnson, North Carolina St. (6'2", 195, 4.60e)

Big guy who has played in the slot, at cornerback, and at free safety; most recently was a corner. Basically a two-year starter. Plays with a swagger, can get his head back and make a play in coverage. Decent tackler, does a nice job vs. blocks. May end up being a bit too big to play corner, although he is good enough to interest teams.

SS Craig Loston, Louisiana St. (6'2", 209, 4.60e)

Big, physical player with prototypical size and about two years of starting experience. Plays well in the box, can shed blocks, hit, tackles. Instincts/angles allow him to cover more ground than speed suggests. Relies more on his hitting to jar the ball loose than ball skills. Dealt with some injuries during his senior season.

SS Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois (5'11", 192, 4.55e)

Three-year starter at strong safety who has also contributed on special teams. A bit undersized but plays well in the box, physical with good tackling fundamentals. Has played both man and zone coverages, although not much deep zone. Plays in the slot a lot, he can do it at that level of competition. May be a bit small to cover tight ends.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:12 AM    (permalink
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I should also mention that I am projecting Lamarcus Joyner as a cornerback, which is why I didn't include him on that list.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:01 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by energizerbunny View Post
Shazier will be the first off the board, both Mosley & Skov are read & react guys with wonky knees. Shazier is a high cut athletic backer with higher upside. Although he may not be the collegiate player the other 2 are he will likely be the best pro.


Mosley's never had any sort of bad knee injury while playing at Alabama.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:04 AM    (permalink
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I should also mention that I am projecting Lamarcus Joyner as a cornerback, which is why I didn't include him on that list.
Where do you think (in terms of position and round) Telvin Smith projects in the NFL?
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:38 AM    (permalink
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Where do you think (in terms of position and round) Telvin Smith projects in the NFL?
I'm not quite as high on him as most people, but I'd start considering him in round five or so; in terms of where he'll go, I wouldn't be surprised if he were selected on the second day (round two or three.) At this point, his strong suit is blitzing, shooting gaps, etc., and he is also a valuable player on kick coverage units. The potential for him to develop into a quality coverage linebacker is also there given his athleticism.

However, as of now he would need to gain a substantial amount of bulk to be a real every-down player, and will probably never fit into a 3-4 either way; he's also only added three pounds to his listed weight over the four years. His awareness needs some work too, both in coverage and in terms of recognition vs. the run. He certainly has considerable athleticism, but I feel as though he doesn't always put it to the best use in terms of figuring out where the play's going to go. Also, how will adding fifteen pounds or so affect his athleticism?
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:53 AM    (permalink
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FS Terrence Brooks, Florida St. (5'11", 200, 4.50e)

Two-year starter at free safety with a somewhat stout build. Also played on special teams in the past. Aggressive, confident player with a swagger, high motor. Willing, effective run supporter. Technically a free safety but really wants to play downhill. Not too much deep coverage experience. Probably not big enough to cover tight ends.
This sounds like something we need in Green Bay. Healthy though.

Here's a "highlight" package on him (starts with your typical MF/F/N curse words).
Note the very first play: It would be a 15-yard penalty and a fine. And it was already a 14 yard completion.

Junior Season>

Senior Season>
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:17 AM    (permalink
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Ryan Shazier doesn't even weigh 225#. I know we all expect him to gain weight before the combine, but IMO he's more a run and chase ILB.
I really can't see him playing anytime soon other than WLB or maybe Mike in a 43.

As long as Shane Skov's knee holds up, I think he's going to be a very good ILB.

NIU's Jimmie Ward has gotta be one of the better cover safeties in the draft. I want him badly for the SKins, but I suspect he's off the board by the end of the 2nd round.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:21 AM    (permalink
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Shaziers size concerns me as well. He might be more of a hybrid ilb&safety. An enforcer to roam the middle and cover extra receivers while not being a liability on running plays like a nickel or dime db.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:25 AM    (permalink
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I see Shazier as a strict weakside linebacker in a 4-3, he'd need some big, block-eating tackles in front of him to have any chance of playing in the middle. He probably doesn't have much value to 3-4 defenses.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:21 AM    (permalink
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Mosley's never had any sort of bad knee injury while playing at Alabama.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWTv1snEpz8
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:37 AM    (permalink
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I see Shazier as a strict weakside linebacker in a 4-3, he'd need some big, block-eating tackles in front of him to have any chance of playing in the middle. He probably doesn't have much value to 3-4 defenses.
I agree with this.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:13 AM    (permalink
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I wouldnt have Craig Loston on any list other than the overrated one.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:27 AM    (permalink
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I wouldnt have Craig Loston on any list other than the overrated one.
He seems to be a pretty polarizing prospect. It seems like some people have him going in the second round, while for some, he's more of a fourth-rounder. However, aside from Jimmie Ward I would argue that he is the most advanced strong safety in the draft, with Dion Bailey and Ahmad Brooks having played more of a rover ("Star") position, while Deone Bucannon was thoroughly unimpressive when I watched at him. I still need to take a look at guys like Isaiah Lewis and Hakeem Smith, though. Kenny Ladler and Ty Zimmerman may be able to do strong safety as well, although I wouldn't rank either of them ahead of Loston.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:31 AM    (permalink
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His injury was a dislocated hip.

Top 5 Senior safeties

1. Kenny Ladler : Vanderbilt
2. Deone Bucannon : Washington State
3. Ty Zimmerman : Kansas State
4. Jimmie Ward : Northern Illinois
5. Terrence Brooks : Florida State
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:35 PM    (permalink
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He seems to be a pretty polarizing prospect. It seems like some people have him going in the second round, while for some, he's more of a fourth-rounder. However, aside from Jimmie Ward I would argue that he is the most advanced strong safety in the draft, with Dion Bailey and Ahmad Brooks having played more of a rover ("Star") position, while Deone Bucannon was thoroughly unimpressive when I watched at him. I still need to take a look at guys like Isaiah Lewis and Hakeem Smith, though. Kenny Ladler and Ty Zimmerman may be able to do strong safety as well, although I wouldn't rank either of them ahead of Loston.
Loston looks slow, has zero ball skills and takes terrible angles. I'll be interested in what LSU fans think but when I've watched him he's looked lousy.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:47 PM    (permalink
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Bullough from MSU and Morris from Iowa are not getting enough attention. Both would fit in will as ILB in a 3-4
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:14 PM    (permalink
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M*****F***** I HATE those knee/leg injuries.
Dang.........

So basically, there are NO sure-fire studs this draft at either ILB or Safety?
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:02 PM    (permalink
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I really like Christian Jones from FSU, has been forced to play rush end this year but I think he's a lot like Alec Ogletree from last year athletically. May be more of a SAM backer, but I think he can play the MIKE too. Be really good in a 3-4 ILB who could rush off the edge on 3rd down like Timmons did early in his career.

ILB:

Christian Jones
CJ Mosely
Shayne Skov
Yawin Smallwood
Denzel Perryman

I like James Morris and Jordan Zumwalt later in the draft. Both may be more SAM LBs though until they get stronger.

At safety:

Ha Ha Clinton Dix
Terrance Brooks
Deone Buccanon
Dion Bailey
Ahmad Dixon
Kenny Ladler
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:43 AM    (permalink
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I really like Christian Jones from FSU, has been forced to play rush end this year but I think he's a lot like Alec Ogletree from last year athletically. May be more of a SAM backer, but I think he can play the MIKE too. Be really good in a 3-4 ILB who could rush off the edge on 3rd down like Timmons did early in his career.

ILB:

Christian Jones
CJ Mosely
Shayne Skov
Yawin Smallwood
Denzel Perryman

I like James Morris and Jordan Zumwalt later in the draft. Both may be more SAM LBs though until they get stronger.

At safety:

Ha Ha Clinton Dix
Terrance Brooks
Deone Buccanon
Dion Bailey
Ahmad Dixon
Kenny Ladler
This is not really accurate. He just moved to ILB this past offseason, after playing OLB his first three years. He spent the first few games there and was just ok. Moved to more of a OLB/Pass Rusher after the Boston College game (which was early in the year) and has been great in that spot. He wasn't forced to play that spot, he was much much better there and FSU's defense was much better with him there. I've said it since he was a recruit, he needs to be playing downhill and getting after the QB because that's what he's built to do. Unfortunately he rarely blitzed under Stoops and spent most of his time covering guys out of the slot, where he was pretty successful despite being 6'4" 240 lbs running with little guys.

So for me, he should be projected as a OLB in the pros. Particularly in a 3-4 pass rushing role. He has displayed a lot of versatility and can play any LB position, I just think theres no doubt what his best spot would be.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:10 AM    (permalink
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I stand corrected. I saw him playing there this year and wondered why. The consensus on the web is that he's been forced to play there after the loss of 3 OLBs to the NFL. I trust you are more accurate being in Tallahassee. I don't think pass rusher solely is his best role though. Doesn't really have the elite level production rushing the passer, though I do realize he did apply a ton of pressure all year.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:13 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by rawdawg View Post
I stand corrected. I saw him playing there this year and wondered why. The consensus on the web is that he's been forced to play there after the loss of 3 OLBs to the NFL. I trust you are more accurate being in Tallahassee. I don't think pass rusher solely is his best role though. Doesn't really have the elite level production rushing the passer, though I do realize he did apply a ton of pressure all year.
Well in a lot of people's defense (and yours), FSU's defense this year is very multiple so guys play all over. Its hard to get a grasp on whose playing OLB, MLB, DE etc. We use a 4-3, 3-4, and 3-3-5 at times. They've blitzed a lot more this year and he's played with his hand in the dirt, not a ton of sacks but his pressure has been very good and with his body type and athleticism, that's where he has the most upside. That said he's not a strict 3-4 player by any means and will probably be targeted by most 4-3 teams as well. I just think he looks better playing downhill.

I won't pretend to know what NFL teams are thinking though. I remember when Lawrence Timmons was drafted by the Steelers, everyone though it was to be a pass rushing OLB. Instead he's been a staple at ILB.
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