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
DrillDE 5 YR AVGOLB 5 YR AVG

2013 Top 5

12345
404.884.74Cornelius Washington4.55Trevardo Williams4.57Barkevious Mingo4.58Dion Jordan4.6Corey Lemoiner4.6
Bench25.622.7Cornelius Washington36Stansly Maponga30Trevardo Williams30Sio Moore29Michael Mauti28
Vertical32.533.5Jamie Collins41.5Cornelius Washington39Sio Moore38Trevardo Williams38Barkevious Mingo37
Broad113117Jamie Collins139Barkevious Mingo128Devin Taylor128Cornelius Washington128Sio Moore127
3 Cone7.267.12Barkevious Mingo6.84Devin Taylor6.89Michael Buchanan6.91Dion Jordan7.02David Bass7.07
20 S4.464.34Khaseem Greene4.2Ezekial Ansah4.26Devin Taylor4.3Sio Moore4.31Chase Thomas4.31

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.

NameSchoolClassHeightWeightW/L ?RankingRoundPosition
Bjoern WernerFlorida StateJr6\’4256292early 16
Jarvis JonesGeorgiarJr6\’2242DNP92early 16
Barkevious MingoLSUrJr6\’4240594early 19
Damontre MooreTexas A&MJr6\’4250293mid 1st25
Dion JordanOregonrSr6\’6243591late 1st19
Sam MontgomeryLSUrJr6\’5260387early 2nd36
Alex OkaforTexasSr6\’5261282early 2nd35
Ezekiel AnsahBrigham YoungSr6\’5274591early 2nd55
Cornellius CarradineFlorida StateSr6\’4265385late 2nd95
Jamie CollinsSou MissSr6\’3245566late 3rd82
Brandon JenkinsFlorida StateSr6\’3260280late 3rd85
Chase ThomasStanfordrSr6\’3241279late 3rd101
Corey LemonierAubrunJr6\’3242481late 3rd102
Michael BuchananIllinoisSr6\’52523704th114
Khaseem GreeneRutgersrSr6\’12412New Additions
Sio MooreConneticutrSr6\’12455
Trevardo WilliamsConneticutSr6\’12415
John SimonOhio StateSr6\’1257DNP
Devin TaylorSouth CarolinarSr6\’72665
Cornelius WashingtonGeorgiarSr6\’42655
David BassMiss Western StSr6\’42624
Stansly MapongaTCUrJr6\’22563
Eric MartinNebraskaSr6\’2250DNP
Walter StewartCincinnatiSr6\’4246DNP

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.

  • 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.