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
|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|
Let\’s begin by taking a look at average and exemplary values for each combine measurable.
|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|
|Khaseem Greene||Rutgers||rSr||6\’1||241||2||New Additions|
|John Simon||Ohio State||Sr||6\’1||257||DNP|
|Devin Taylor||South Carolina||rSr||6\’7||266||5|
|David Bass||Miss Western St||Sr||6\’4||262||4|
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.
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.