I think he and Ellerbe would be a pretty good combo...assuming we get the Ellerbe we got this year.
If Ellerbe leaves, I think we need to look to maybe double dip at ILB if we stay in a 3-4 or get a fast OLB if we go to a 4-3.
Gota what's your take on minter?
Geno Smith apparently is planning to skip the Senior Bowl.
Personally, I think that is a mistake. I understood why Luck skipped it last year because he was likely to be the top pick, but I think Geno Smith could have really shown his stuff and made a lot of folks on the fence believers.
I think Te'o gets by on smarts and instincts more than athleticism. I don't think he'll have a great combine.
Right now, I wouldn't be surprised if he runs the 40 in the high 4.6's (similar to Hightower). However, Te'o is also about 2" shorter (at least) and 15-20lbs smaller than Hightower. Ideally, if Te'o runs in the 4.5's then he will really bump his stock up.
Doesn't really matter about height when your an ILB. Ray Lewis is the greatest ever and is only 6'1, while London Flecther is only 5'10. I still think Te'o is better than both Kuechly and Hightower, I think he'll be gone well before we pick.
Alec Ogletree is not going in the first round, and I would not like him as our first round pick, Kevin Minter is better and may go late in the first round.
I think he's scared of falling even more, frankly. He's just going to keep his mouth shut and hope and pray that people fall in love with his numbers instead of watching the tape of his late-season collapse. I'm actually growing to really dislike him as a prospect.
I think Kuechly is a significantly better prospect than Teo.
And he was far from average this year...lol. He led the NFL in tackles and was the defensive rookie of the month in December. He was so good that the Panthers are going to move Jon Beason, a Pro Bowl level MLB to OLB and keep Kuechly there.
He had an outstanding rookie year and is the running for defensive rookie of the year.
I definitely haven't seen Hightower being "lights out". He missed 2 games granted, but he also had like a third of Kuechly's tackles and didn't force a single turnover (he recovered 2 fumbles).
Hightower has been pretty good but the Patriots don't play him at ILB, they play him on the strong-side in their 4-3, where he doesn't have to go sideline to sideline. They also use him pretty much only as a pass rusher in their nickel package, Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes play more in coverage. I liked Hightower a lot when he came out but I didn't think he could play 4-3 Mike at all and I still don't. I think he could be a good 3-4 ILB just like Te'o but Kuechly is on another level, he can play any LB spot in the 4-3 as well as 3-4 ILB, and be elite (if he keeps playing at his current level or better.)
He's very smart, good tackler (despite the bowl game) and pretty strong. He is not a huge sideline to sideline guy like Kuechly, but he is much better at taking on blocks of lineman (IMO).
I would not expect a huge combine in terms of 40. But I would expect at least the low to mid 20's in the bench.
Meanwhile all 3 of ND's DL are going to be top-150 picks, Nix and Touitt are going to be 1st rounders. Yet Te'o still got owned by Alabama's OL which is pretty much 100% NFL-caliber. I'm not going to let 1 game overshadow my evaluation of Te'o, he is still a great prospect, but it is what it is.
The same is true for Hightower. Alabama's DL was amazing during his time there (except maybe for Cody, LOL) and New England has Vince Wilfork keeping him clean of blockers. Frankly of the 3 prospects (Kuechly, Te'o, Hightower) I'd rank them in that order. I like Hightower but he was even stiffer and slower sideline to sideline than Te'o. Those 2 are closer to each other than to Kuechly, though--that kid is just on a different level. I can easily see him being the NFL's best MLB/ILB in a few years.
I never knew he played that well this year lol, but who cares about Carolina anyway?
Chris Faulk, the LT out of LSU is reportedly going to declare for the draft.
He was considered a top 20 pick before the season started before he tore his ACL midway through the season.
He likely won't be able to work out so I wonder where he will go in the draft. Interesting prospect.
What are peoples thoughts on Eric Reid? I'm really intriguied by him at the bottom of the 1st. Him, John Jenkins, and Barrett Jones I all like at the bottom of the 1st. I won't mind trading down and getting someone like Minter in the early 2nd. I don't think he has 1st round talent, but definitely top of the second and picking up an extra 4th would be nice as well for a project at ILB/DL/CB
Man I don't care, all this shit is giving me a headache. But we NEED either through FA or the Draft, a:
All as immediate contributors and starters and probably in that order. And we need depth on the Defensive side as well. I don't think we've EVER gone into a offseason with this many holes and this little cap space to work with.
And...Taylor Lewan is apparently going back to school.