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Joined: 18 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:40 pm    Post subject: Rush Linebacker Reply with quote

So I've come to the conclusion that our selection at 18 should be a rush linebacker, we've struggled getting to the QB too often and its no longer a rushing league.

There is a possibility that Cortney Upshaw drops to us along with Mercilus and Perry. I assume Ingram and Coples are selected.

So, who would be the pick and why. I'm struggling to see who would fit best.

Cortney Upshaw seems like he has the highest floor but lowest ceiling. He's played in the 3-4 before, of the 3 he's the one most likely to drop into coverage with some success. But he went to Alabama, and Alabama guys have usually reached their potential already with that coaching staff and system. He also scored an 8 in the wonderlic, doesn't seem to bright, Bama guys scare me a bit, but of the 3 lets call Upshaw the "safest" pick.

Nick Perry will never drop into coverage. He'd be a wonderful 4-3 end, he has no hips though, but he probably has the best set of pass rush skills of the 3 and has scary quickness. When I look at our past/recent success, it was when Merriman was getting to the QB on a regular basis. Merriman NEVER dropped into coverage, so me thinks that we can be successful with having a Merclius/Perry lineup on every down and just give straight hell to the QB. To me Perry reminds me a lot of Aldon Smith. Great measurables, very raw, huge potential.

Whitney Mercilus confuses the hell out of me. The combine helped him and made me believe he can move laterally and can fit well in our defense. But he's a one year wonder, and that scares me. I try to convince myself that Mercilus is the guy I like best in this group but I have a barrier up and have no idea what to think. Maybe he'd be a perfect fit behind Liuget! I DON'T KNOW!

Someone please sell me on one of these guys as the clear cut winner of this cluster so I can sleep at night. And please let Barron be selected before our pick so we don't have to worry about that.
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The LBC


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I firmly believe that just because the the drills and times indicate that Mercilus could translate to a rush LB doesn't mean that he necessarily will all that well.

If anything I think he's got roughly the same ceiling if only slightly better than Upshaw does (he's always been an effort rusher versus an athletic-rusher), the thing is he doesn't have the same floor as Upshaw. Personally I'd take Andre Branch ahead of Mercilus. Mercilus just screams Anthony Spencer at best to me. There's nothing dynamic about his pass-rushing, and his strength - as best you could call it - against the run is more of a null factor for us now that we have Double J on the roster.

Branch has more athletic upside, more potential to be dynamic.

Perry is effectively a less dynamic Terrell Suggs. I mean look, DeMarcus Ware rushes the backfield 90% of the time (i.e. doesn't drop into coverage), and I'm not trying to compare Perry in any way to Ware, but just show that ability to drop into coverage is more an added bonus than a necessity. Where guys like Perry, Mercilus, and to some degree Branch (once he bulks up a bit more) give you an added advantage over Upshaw is that they're much more capable playing the end in a nickel and dime packages which are becoming more and more prevalent in the league today. Really depends on what Pagano is looking for:

Pass-rush strong with little upside as a multi-tool: Perry
Pass-rush as a strength (with upside) and good upside as a multi-tool: Branch
Little upside as a pass rusher but substantial floor as a multi-tool: Upshaw
4-3 LDE: Mercilus
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