Draft Notes – The Plight of ILBs

Does the free agency period tell us anything about the draft?  If so, Luke Kuechly won’t be a Top 10 pick.  Top 15?  Could he slide?

We just had the deepest crop of ILBs in free agency in a long, long time.  Teams could choose from Curtis Lofton, Stephen Tulloch, David Hawthorne, London Fletcher, and even lesser guys like Barrett Ruud and Jameel McClain.  None of those guys got the deals they wanted.  Teams sat and waited and waited until the players caved in and signed lesser deals.  Simply put, MLB ain’t what it used to be.

We have a talented group in the draft.  Luke Kuechly (aka Luke Kuechwalker), Mychal Kendricks, and James-Michael Johnson are all 4-3 guys.  Dont’a Hightower might be, but can be a star in the 3-4.

The question now is how early Kuechly goes.  12 to KC?  13 to ARZ?  15 to PHI?  Is there anyway a Top 10 team could take him?  Based on how FA played out, you might have to shift your thinking.  Maybe 15 is the earliest he goes.  Maybe Luke slides into the 20s.

Is Hightower a lock for the 1st round?  Do the Steelers grab him or does he slide into the 2nd round?  Kendricks is value in the mid to late 2nd.  JMJ should be a 3rd round pick.

The flip side is that we saw OGs get big deals.  Carl Nicks, Ben Grubbs, and Evan Mathis had teams willing to give them major money.  Does that mean that David DeCastro and Cordy Glenn will be Top 15 players for sure?  Will Amini Solatu sneak into the 1st round?

We know some people will slide.  Will it be Luke/Dont’a or DeCastro/Glenn?  Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

* * * * *

How weak is the TE class?  The guys generating buzz are players like Taylor Thompson and Derek Carrier.

Thompson was a star TE coming out of HS.  He went to SMU and became a DE.  Scouts had him work out as a TE at an all star game and then again at his Pro Day.  Thompson put up terrific numbers and looked good in the TE drills.  Gil Brandt thinks he could be a Top 100 player.  Here are the workout numbers:

6-6, 259
VJ – 37 inches
BJ – 10’6
SS – 4.41
3C – 7.40
22 reps

Amazingly, the only major difference in his workout and Jimmy Graham’s is the 3-cone time.  Other than that, very similar (size too).

Derek Carrier played at Beloit.  He was so far under the radar that they had to track him with sonar.  Not any more.  Check out his workout numbers:

6-3, 239
VJ – 38 inches
BJ – 10’2
SS – 4.07
3C – 6.65

Wow, huh?  The agility times (SS/3-cone) are phenomenal for a guy with his size.  Is he a big WR or TE?

TE is one of those spots where it doesn’t matter where you came from.  You can have 10 career catches or 200.  All that matters is that you have a good combination of size and athletic ability.  Beloit has a good frame and he absolutely has NFL athleticism.  I can’t wait to see where he’s drafted and how he plays.

* * * * *

Adam Schefter is reporting that the Vikings would like to move out of pick 3.  Say what?  Stay there and take Matt Kalil.  Do the safe, smart thing.  I think the Vikings are trying to see if anyone wants their pick.  I fully anticipate them shopping it publicly and then staying put to take Kalil.  We’ll see.

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6 Responses to Draft Notes – The Plight of ILBs

  1. Pingback: Iggles Blitz » Blog Archive » Brandon Graham Update

  2. Arby says:

    The way I interpreted Pete Carroll’s comment you refered to yesterday is: why sign a FA when there are so many draftable LB’s? It’s not necessarily that the position is devalued per se, as there is a lot of value in this year’s draft. And it allows him to find a better match for his specific defense, for less money. Still not convinced Luke gets past Seattle at 12, but we’ll find out soon enough…

    • Tommy Lawlor says:

      Seattle cut Lofa Tatupu. They let David Hawthorne walk. They re-signed Leroy HIll, but only after he sat on the market for a month.

      I wonder if Pete feels that LBs can be gotten in the middle of the draft. They did replace Aaron Curry with KJ Wright and got as good, if not better play from him.

      Also, Pete seems enamored with special players. He loves big guys, physical freaks, and/or special playmakers. I’m not sure Luke fits any of these categories.

      We’ll update this discussion after the draft. We really don’t know. Just a matter of guessing right now. I think Pete passes on Kuechly.

  3. eaglezgreen says:

    What do you think about taking Lavonte David in the second if he’s available there? I know he’s undersized but beside Ryans I feel like he could be a very solid SAM, especially since he’d be playing more off the ball than in our old D. His game tape’s pretty impressive, shows great instincts and flashes playmaking ability all over the place, something I could see complementing the reliable but less playmaking Ryans well (fingers crossed he plays up to his pre-injury years)

    • Tommy Lawlor says:

      Lavonte David is a terrific player and could be a good SAM for the Eagles. He lacks ideal size and isn’t great at shedding blocks, but I love his tackling and production. He shows up on tape. He does have issues (mostly size), but he’s the kind of tough, overachiever that I think can be worth taking a risk on. Zach Brown has very good size, but doesn’t play up to it. That’s the kind of guy who really makes me nervous. Lavonte plays bigger than he is.

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