Draft Analysis: Outside Linebacker – Post Combine Winners & Losers


By Christopher DiMarino

Now that the combine is over, it\’s time to see how it affected each player\’s draft stock. I will start with outside linebackers and there is no shortage of stories to discuss. While these posts are mainly for discussion sake, please keep in mind that certain players will be left out. In particular, 3-4 outside linebackers is a hard position to discuss because it\’s easy to argue both sides for most defensive ends and outside linebackers in the draft. Also, let\’s not waste time arguing about how much the combine matters. You can\’t win that argument, it is a necessary gauge, but it must be supported by film. First, I\’ll provide some links if you\’re looking for more information.

Pre Combine Analysis:

3-4 OLB Combine Stats
Drill DE 5 YR AVG OLB 5 YR AVG

2013 Top 5

1 2 3 4 5
40 4.88 4.74 Cornelius Washington 4.55 Trevardo Williams 4.57 Barkevious Mingo 4.58 Dion Jordan 4.6 Corey Lemoiner 4.6
Bench 25.6 22.7 Cornelius Washington 36 Stansly Maponga 30 Trevardo Williams 30 Sio Moore 29 Michael Mauti 28
Vertical 32.5 33.5 Jamie Collins 41.5 Cornelius Washington 39 Sio Moore 38 Trevardo Williams 38 Barkevious Mingo 37
Broad 113 117 Jamie Collins 139 Barkevious Mingo 128 Devin Taylor 128 Cornelius Washington 128 Sio Moore 127
3 Cone 7.26 7.12 Barkevious Mingo 6.84 Devin Taylor 6.89 Michael Buchanan 6.91 Dion Jordan 7.02 David Bass 7.07
20 S 4.46 4.34 Khaseem Greene 4.2 Ezekial Ansah 4.26 Devin Taylor 4.3 Sio Moore 4.31 Chase Thomas 4.31

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/02/steelers-2013-draft-analysis-outside-linebacker-early-look-at-the-rankings/

Combine Results:

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013-nfl-combine-results-defensive-linemen/

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013-nfl-combine-results-linebackers/

Let\’s begin by taking a look at average and exemplary values for each combine measurable.

Name School Class Height Weight W/L ? Ranking Round Position
Bjoern Werner Florida State Jr 6\’4 256 2 92 early 1 6
Jarvis Jones Georgia rJr 6\’2 242 DNP 92 early 1 6
Barkevious Mingo LSU rJr 6\’4 240 5 94 early 1 9
Damontre Moore Texas A&M Jr 6\’4 250 2 93 mid 1st 25
Dion Jordan Oregon rSr 6\’6 243 5 91 late 1st 19
Sam Montgomery LSU rJr 6\’5 260 3 87 early 2nd 36
Alex Okafor Texas Sr 6\’5 261 2 82 early 2nd 35
Ezekiel Ansah Brigham Young Sr 6\’5 274 5 91 early 2nd 55
Cornellius Carradine Florida State Sr 6\’4 265 3 85 late 2nd 95
Jamie Collins Sou Miss Sr 6\’3 245 5 66 late 3rd 82
Brandon Jenkins Florida State Sr 6\’3 260 2 80 late 3rd 85
Chase Thomas Stanford rSr 6\’3 241 2 79 late 3rd 101
Corey Lemonier Aubrun Jr 6\’3 242 4 81 late 3rd 102
Michael Buchanan Illinois Sr 6\’5 252 3 70 4th 114
Khaseem Greene Rutgers rSr 6\’1 241 2 New Additions
Sio Moore Conneticut rSr 6\’1 245 5
Trevardo Williams Conneticut Sr 6\’1 241 5
John Simon Ohio State Sr 6\’1 257 DNP
Devin Taylor South Carolina rSr 6\’7 266 5
Cornelius Washington Georgia rSr 6\’4 265 5
David Bass Miss Western St Sr 6\’4 262 4
Stansly Maponga TCU rJr 6\’2 256 3
Eric Martin Nebraska Sr 6\’2 250 DNP
Walter Stewart Cincinnati Sr 6\’4 246 DNP

Winners:

I want to separate the players into two groups, the expected and the unexpected. I fully expected Barkevious Mingo, Dion Jordan and Ezekial Ansah to tear up the combine, their athletic talent is well documented. Mingo to me was the clear standout athletically, but neither he nor Jordan did the bench. Ansah\’s numbers might be the most impressive given that his frame is 20 lbs heavier. All three players are raw and will take time to develop. They are a little tall for traditional 3-4 outside linebackers, but they are also more athletic than traditional 4-3 defensive ends. It\’s a toss up, but I would be very surprised if any of the three drop to 17.

I like surprises and there certainly were some. They are evenly split up between oversized and undersized players with one exception. Jamie Collins fits the moulding of a 3-4 outside linebacker the best based on his size and he had a disgustingly good combine. There was a pair of undersized Connecticut boys named Sio Moore and Trevardo Williams, who showed some impressive all around athleticism. At 6\’1 and just over 240 pounds, both are a little shorter and lighter than preferred but can always add bulk, although it might affect their combine numbers. Finally, the oversized prospects. Devin Taylor and Cornelius Washington are both in the mid 260 pound range and stand at 6\’7 and 6\’5 respectively. Washington had a slightly more impressive day, but Taylor is a monstrous 6\’7.

It is a tough day to be a Steelers fan who wants an outside linebacker. The top three combine performers should be long gone, and out of the rest, only one out of five has the right body size. Keep in mind that being too big or small never stopped anyone, but it will be a disadvantage. Ansah might have jumped to a top ten quality prospect, but Mingo and Jordan have already cemented their early first round status. Collins will likely also jump one round from his late third projection to around a mid second. The other four were all irrelevant to the top three rounds but now a majority of them should be gone when the fourth round begins.

Losers:

The other top rated outside linebacker prospects were Bjoern Werner, Jarvis Jones and Damontre Moore. Werner and Moore had disappointing combines, but should still end up in the firsat round. Jones could swing anywhere from top ten to top twenty depending on what teams think about his neck. Moore had a disappointing bench and 40 time, but made amends slightly by posting above average jump scores. He will need to show the first two numbers were flukes at his pro day or else he might be this year\’s Courtney Upshaw. Werner was a little less polarizing. He had an average bench and 40 time, but underperformed in the jumps, 3 cone and shuttle. That being said, he wasn\’t terrible, just below average.

I rated four non first round prospects with twos. Alex Okafor and Brandon Jenkins only did the bench and neither helped their case. By only doing one drill, you put a bit of a question mark around you, and then to not excel at the only thing you try emphasizes it. Both of these players can help themselves quite easily at their pro days. Khaseem Greene was a little slow for being small and didn\’t do well on the bench or with his jumps. His shuttle times were pretty good though. Chase Thomas was also slow in the 40 and weak on the bench, but to a larger degree, he also had no saving graces. This combine will hurt both of these players as neither were known commodities to begin with.

I think that is enough breakdown for now. The combine will slowly seep its way into mock drafts and opinions will change, however, there is usually a short overcompensation period where the combine is weighed too heavily. In a few weeks we\’ll be able to get into much more accurate mock drafts and pro days will only support our claims.

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  • DoctorNoah

    5 or 6 OLB’s in the first round? Seems like a lot when you are excluding from consideration 4-3 DE’s… Has every team gotten their QB’s, RB’s and CB’s and OL? It will be interesting to see how many of these guys are left when 17 comes along…

  • chris dimarino

    I would say next to quarterbacks and franchise caliber OTs, pass rushers are the next hottest commodity. There are so many variables that will affect how good they are at the next level. This opens the door to many “lesser” caliber guys who have the “potential” to be the next big thing. There are barely a handful of 4-3 DEs that are worth considering in the 1st and some of the guys listed above will be considered as guys for that role as well. I think Mingo, Ansah, Jordan are locks. Montgomery, Werner and Moore have a decent chance of going in the 1st, but should be available at 15. Jarvis Jones is a question mark because of injury. So I believe up to 7 can be taken in the 1st round.

  • mokhkw

    From a Steelers point of view – bearing in mind the type of OLBs they prefer- there is very little to get excited about. Some, like Jones and Moore, are converted Safeties & it really shows with their build and lack of physical play. I can’t see the Steelers drafting any OLBs until the 4th Round, if at all. Even if Jones was available at 17 I would be disappointed if they selected him.

  • HarryBackside

    I completely agree. I don’t see a Von Miller or an Aldon Smith in this draft. I don’t even see a Bruce Irvin, and everyone laughed when he was drafted in the first round last year. The problem is that all of the top guys have a “but” associated with their names. Not big enough, not enough production, degenerative back condition. Not the kind of question marks you want out of a high first round pick.

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