Steelers 2013 Draft Analysis: Outside Linebacker – Early Look At The Rankings

Christopher DiMarino

It\’s time to start looking at the positions that the Pittsburgh Steelers will look to draft in April. I like to start with a very broad scope, so if certain players surge leading up to the draft, I\’m prepared. It is also a good idea to get a feel for a player before the combine, so you can tell if players are rated high just based on one weekend of workouts. Outside linebacker is an integral position for the Steelers and regardless of the status of James Harrison, there is a good chance that one will be targeted early in the draft. LaMarr Woodley has been inconsistent and Jason Worilds has only begun to show what he can do so depth is direly necessary.

Below is a list of the top players who should figure as a possibility to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme like the Steelers\’. This list includes profile information like school, class, height and weight. It also includes 3 different ways that I\’ve ranked the players. I will get more into these rankings in a bit, but it is useful to establish a baseline. This will help us understand who should be available when, which is the hardest battle a mock drafter faces. The first category ranks the player\’s skill level out of 100. The second gives a general idea what round the player should be drafted in, while the last category guesses the draft position more precisely.

NameSchoolClassHeightWeightRankRoundPosition
Bjoern WernerFlorida StateJr6\’425692early 16
Jarvis JonesGeorgiarJr6\’224292mid 16
Barkevious MingoLSUrJr6\’424094mid 19
Dion JordanOregonrSr6\’624391late 119
Damontre MooreTexas A&MJr6\’425093early 125
Alex OkaforTexasSr6\’526182late 135
Sam MontgomeryLSUrJr6\’5260871-236
Ezekiel AnsahBrigham YoungSr6\’527491mid 155
Jamie CollinsSou MissSr6\’324566382
Brandon JenkinsFlorida StateSr6\’326080385
Cornellius CarradineFlorida StateSr6\’426585late 295
Chase ThomasStanfordrSr6\’3241792-3101
Corey LemonierAubrunJr6\’3242813102
Michael BuchananIllinoisSr6\’5252704-4114

The next chart contains the information that I gathered to create the 3 rankings above. The NFL.com and ESPN.com sites were used to establish the player ranking attribute. The WalterFootball and NFLDraftScout sites were referenced for the approximate draft round. Finally, the CBS.com and DraftTek sites were used to approximate the exact pick where the player should be drafted. Also included in the chart below are 4 sets of positional rankings to consider.

PlayerNFL.comESPNCBSDraftTekWalterfootballNFL Draft Scout
 *ScoreScorePos RkOvr RkPos RkOvr RkPos RkOvr RkPos RkOvr Rk
Bjoern Werner90.99412392top 1011st
Jarvis Jones88.8951*8134top 201*1st
Barkevious Mingo92.89539285top 2031st
Dion Jordan889372741161-271st
Damontre Moore89.296247451top 1011st
Alex Okafor85.27862564471-261st
Sam Montgomery81.49283253981-281-2nd
Ezekiel Ansah89.39241612943top 2041st
Jamie Collins68.86410*96968142-410*3rd
Brandon Jenkins82.9787*761193122-47*2-3rd
Cornellius Carradine85.48511951394112-3113rd
Chase Thomas79.4796*7317128102-36*2-3rd
Corey Lemonier71.29013120108492-3134th
Michael Buchanan69.57117171857163-5175-6th

*Rank for outside linebacker position (rather than defensive end)
With all of the information out there, at least a baseline is established for future conversation. I will try to break down this data before the combine, but if not, please give me an idea of who you like at OLB by commenting below. Please try to keep the discussion about the OLB position only for this post and I will continue thru the positions ASAP. Also, if you have any other sites that you think have thorough and insightful draft information, please post them below.

Sites:

www.nfl.com
www.espn.com
www.cbssports.com
www.drafttek.com
www.walterfootball.com
www.nfldraftscout.com

  • Mikey Hoje

    Dave should run for prez or mayor of Pittsburgh with his meticulous coverage! :)

  • steeltown

    If they don’t target one of the TOP guys in the 1st Rd.. I sure hope they can get a guy like Chase Thomas or C.Lemonier in the 3rd Rd

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ESU2VFZHEUTQEPJ7AWSN7ODBPQ Emac2

    NFL draft scout really went out on a limb by changing one of the prospects ratings after they copied the CBS list.

  • Kysteeler

    I know that I’m probably in the minority of this one, but I feel as though there just aren’t any good prospects projected around 17. I would much rather wait until say the 3rd round to grab a OLB. Jenkins and Collins are two guys I like.

  • Kysteeler

    Agreed Dave is the man, but Chris wrote this one.

  • steeltown

    I agree. I guess it depends how they view ‘best player available’ it very well may NOT be an OLB/DE

    I like Jenkins too… I also like C.Thomas

  • RW

    I like that Thomas can hold the edge against the run, and taking him in the 2nd or 3rd would be well worth it, but I just don’t see why we would take Lemonier – I really think he’s an average 3-4 OLB at best. He just doesn’t look fluid as a pass rusher. Ansah is a bit of a mystery, but he might be a reasonable fit for us. To be completely honest, I’m rooting for Brandon Jenkins in the third, who would present tremendous value for us as he was probably a late first/early second before his injury. I also like Jarvis Jones, but don’t think he’ll be there at 17.

  • grw1960

    My favorites , ( not at 17) are Sam Montgomery, Thomas ( though he is a little on the lite side weight wise ) and Lemonier … another at ILB ( again not at 17) OLB Arthur Brown, Kansas

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I agree as well. I think Jenkins or Collins in the 3rd round provides much more value than Montgomery or Mingo in the first.

  • Superdriller316

    Sean Porter wasn’t on the list. He had a great year as a junior in 3-4. He had like 9&1/2 sacks as OLB. He’s play fell off when A&M switched to 4-3. He can be picked up in the 3rd.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Love Thomas and Lemonier I believe both could be good quality Steelers.

  • nikgreene

    What about Arther Brown, KSU? I realize he’s not always listed as a 3-4 OLB, (some sites rank him at inside, or even as a 4-3 OLB), but he seems ranked highly enough to at least warrant consideration.

    What I find most interesting is the debate as to whether some of the highest rated players (Mingo, Jordan, Ansah) are a fit in the Steelers defense at OLB. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know exactly how the Steelers devalue players who are obviously talented, but don’t fit the system? Does Bjoen Werner, rated as a top 10 overall player consistently, but projected to play DE in a 4-3 alignment, even make the Steelers top 30?

  • nikgreene

    *Bjoern

  • lefnor

    The draft department of cbssports is powered by nfldraftsout, look at the ‘ad’.
    Don’t forget Walter Stewart! He was diagnosed with a cervical spine abnormality and almost retired, but fortunately he is cleared for practice now. Very talented guy! Natural pass rusher with good size, atleticism and technique. He is invited to the combine. Look at his game tape vs Pittsburgh (2012) on youtube!

    I would pick OLB from the Jordan-Montgomery-Mingo-Lemonier-Walter Stewart quintet.

  • charles

    How about this as a comment: Heisman trophy is a bust. These rankings are just as vile. I watched a few of the tapes (that had been posted to Steelers Depot) that had concentrated on OLB. None of those prospects were anything near to a James Harrison, Ray Lewis, Jack Lambert or LT. Raw talent goes to Anseh whether he has the meaness mentality that a good linebacker has to have is another question. But because he is new to football I think that there is a huge chance that he will be available at #17.

  • SteelerDave

    I do not believe the Steelers will find their next great LB by a 1st round draft pick. Too much talent and potential in LB’s that can be drafted in rounds three to six.

  • lefnor

    Arthur Brown is a 3-4 ILB prospect for us. And a very good one.

  • steeltown

    I like Jenkins as well

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.sanford.923 Bill Sanford

    I think the same, I think the best player on the steeler board at 17 is going to be a ol man or a wr. possibly a safety.

  • steeltown

    Would love to get one of the top Safety prospects, possibly move back and grab one