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  1. #1
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    After extensive analysis.....



    I have come to the 'unquestionable' (remember that word please) determination that Kevin Minter is the best Inside Linebacker in this draft.

    I preface my reasoning with the acknowledgment that Minter is not a true first round prospect (By true, I mean no doubt about it in any year). If Tavon Austin is off of the board by 32, Minter is certainly worth drafting in a trade back move.

    The top three names that most have discussed at Inside Linebacker, are Alec Ogletree, Manti Te'o and Kevin Minter. Kevin Minter is the best pro prospect of the three.

    I have found that much of Ogletree's high praise as an NFL prospect, comes from the reality that his athleticism translates better to the new passing league. However, that is where it ends for Ogletree.

    Yes, Alec Ogletree is the best coverage prospect of the three. However, if he is asked to be a three down Inside Linebacker, it will be difficult for his best skills to shine, because he will struggle to get teams to those third downs and obvious passing situations. His technique needs a lot of work and, through extensive research, his character is not one that will lend itself to him working 'Raven hard' to improve it.

    Coverage is his strength, but it's more or less his only one. He can line up against a TE spread wide in man coverage and can handle deeper drops into zone coverage than most ILBs. His ball skills are unquestioned and his instincts in coverage are much better than in run defense.

    He is a 'reactive' run defender who plays like a man when he has a free run at the ball carrier. However, he plays way too high and lacks the explosion on the field that his athleticism should dictate. As a result, whenever he does make tackles, ball carriers tend to get that extra yard or two before going down.

    Now, when he has to deal with taking on a blocker, he does not play with the same intensity.
    1.) He is not powerful at the point of attack with blockers.
    2.) He can't get off of them
    3.) Many times, he will try to run around the block to get to the play, preferring to chase the play down from behind.
    4.) He actually tends to give up on plays when he has to deal with getting off of good blocks.

    The one move that he has against blockers is using his speed to angle himself in a way that he dips his shoulder and rips through to the ball carrier, if he can get a running start.

    Again, he plays big when he's got a free run, but completely different when he can't bully his target. His effort is certainly in question.

    His vision and instincts are lacking in run defense. He struggles to stay at home and, again, plays too 're-active', instead of pro active, dictating to the offense.

    Along with his previous drinking issues and the word around town that he lied to front office guys in interviews at the combine, there is not much about him to rave about right now.

    If you are looking at him as an ILB prospect, he is all athlete.

    Oddly enough, the system that would best suit Ogletree, a converted safety (It shows in his tendencies), would be a Tampa 2/Cover 2 scheme.

    Two teams that will be running that type of scheme in 2013 come to mind, Dallas and Cincinnati. Go figure.

    As far as Manti Te'o is concerned, there are things to like and things not to like.

    Effort is not a question with Te'o. He is always in pursuit of the play and is far from shy about taking on blockers. The instincts that people rave about, definitely show up on tape. Even in the Alabama game, he often had the right idea on the play.

    In run defense, he is a more reliable tackler and stronger at the point of attack, with more power and better technique. His closing speed is notable as well, in short quarters. If you give him a short zone coverage, he can handle it. If you ask him to cover an RB out of the backfield, he can handle it. In all, Te'o does a very good job of playing his assignment. In run defense, he focuses on his hole, plugs it and forces RBs to go outside, instead of worrying about someone else's job.

    Te'o's problems, on the field, are more 'coachable'. You can teach Ogletree how to properly take on a blocker, but you can't teach the desire to. You can't teach effort.

    Now, while Te'o has the instincts to hang in coverage, his body just can't get him to where he needs to be more than about five or so yards down the field. While he embraces taking on blockers, he struggles to shed them. He doesn't do very well using his hands to deal with them. He tries to power through them upon impact and when that does not work, the problems come. As many plays as Te'o made last year, he left many on the field, because he tends to lunge and lower his helmet when homing in on a target. Particularly, in the backfield. Again, coachable problems.

    What isn't coachable is this developing tendency of his to make excuses for what is going on around him. When you think he is past the hoax, he uses the rigors of getting up for the combine and all surrounding it as a reason for his poor forty yard dash time. He claims that, leading up to the combine, he was running in the 4.5s/4.6s. The 4.5 definitely does not show up on tape. He did, however, shed significant weight for the combine.

    That tells me one of two things. Either he is a dishonest person who lacks accountability or he doesn't handle pressure well. Neither one translates well to the NFL and the Ravens in particular.

    Kevin Minter is the better of the three, albeit not by a significant margin. However, as they say, this is a game of inches.

    Like Te'o, Minter is stronger at the point of attack. Also, his vision and instincts are very good in run defense. He has the ability to see where the play is going, get there and stop it where it stands, much like Te'o. His ability to shed blocks is where Minter begins to separate himself. Minter has a better understanding of leverage in his game, and also shows a better use of his hands to get off of blocks and still get to the ball carrier at that. He also has a spin move that he sometimes uses well, although he could use some coaching on when to use it.

    His tackling is a little better than Te'o's and more reliable.

    In coverage, he handles zone coverage well, although his ball skills are lacking. Unless it is tipped or thrown right to him, he will not get you many interceptions. He too does a good job of playing his assignment and staying in his gaps, forcing backs to bounce off tackle if they want yardage.

    His pursuit on the field displays more athleticism than you see in shorts, chasing more mobile QBs. His instincts are better deeper down the field in zone coverage. Whereas, Te'o tends to become stagnant after a certain point, Minter remains active.

    Minter's game best translates to the responsibilities of Ray Lewis' spot. He is the more versatile of the three ILBs and is a day one starter at Ray's spot if drafted. Te'o is not a bad prospect, but better suited for the responsibilities of Ellerbe's spot. Ogletree really doesn't fit the system here.

    Now, you also have an ILB like Kevin Reddick from Duke, who is another guy better suited for Ellerbe's role. He is a safe pick who may not wow you, but will play his assignment well.

    Arthur Brown is another intriguing prospect, but his vision is lacking and, while he's scheme diverse, you would not get the most out of him by keeping him at ILB. I can see why analysts are torn between where to place him. When I looked at the tape, I saw a guy who is indeed better suited in the 4-3 as an Outside backer.

    The guy to watch out for later in this draft, who is now my second favorite ILB prospect in this draft, is another scheme diverse talent whose athleticism at the combine definitely showed up on tape. That would be Sio Moore.

    Sio Moore may not be as fluid in his movements on the field as Kevin Minter, but he may have the best feet of any ILB in this draft. However, he's still plenty fluid and, for starters, is another guy who is not shy about taking on blockers. He does a decent job of using his quick feet and quick hands to move in and out of blocks. The only problem with him is that he lacks upper body strength on tape, and could use a little more power in his lower half. So, when blockers get their hands firm on him, they can put him on his back. A small problem for a prospect with his potential.

    The man is a heat seeking missile when he diagnoses where the run play is going. I mean, really, the man can do it all. He can blitz, although he could use some work on his edge rush. He tends to get pushed up field. He can defend the run. He can drop into a zone coverage and he can cover in the slot. His ball skills are very good as well. He tackles with good form and his explosiveness lends itself to authoritative hits.

    Now, he is a guy who could develop into a three down inside backer in a year or so, who is also used in space for coverage purposes.

    For example, if the Ravens were to draft Minter, I could see them taking Moore later in the draft. Both would make this team, in my opinion, without question.

    So, if you want to monitor Minter's snaps to help against the 'rookie wall', Moore is a guy who could come in on third down and be an asset. He would be an instant upgrade in coverage.

    I know that we all want better coverage linebackers. Let's just remember that Ravens defense is at it's best when it forces teams to be one dimensional. When teams enter the stadium with the thought in their mind that they aren't even going to bother with trying to run the ball. If you put together a linebacker group of Suggs, Ellerbe, Minter and Upshaw, that is as good as you are likely going to get in run defense. The obvious hole would be at NT and it remains to be seen how Ozzie will fill it.

    Minter is not a complete liability in coverage and his athleticism is better on tape than in shorts.

    Moore is a guy that I would take regardless.

    Any questions?
    Last edited by The Excellector; 02-28-2013 at 05:50 AM.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  2. #2
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    Re: After extensive analysis.....

    I would be surprised if Ozzie to an ILB with his first pick in the draft if he resigns Ellerbe. If he can't resign Ellerbe then it's a different situation. In the past he's always had The Man, Ray, and different fill in guys for that other spot. None of those guys was ever a high draft pick. Tavares Gooden might have been the highest.

    Now I think Ellerbe becomes The Man and Ozzie does the same thing at the other spot.
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  3. #3
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    Re: After extensive analysis.....

    Ex. By your opinion of Minter, I seriously have to ask. Have you watched Minter much?

    While he is good, areas you listed as his strength, IMO are his weaknesses.
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  4. #4
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    Re: After extensive analysis.....

    Quote Originally Posted by NCRAVEN View Post
    Ex. By your opinion of Minter, I seriously have to ask. Have you watched Minter much?

    While he is good, areas you listed as his strength, IMO are his weaknesses.
    Such as?
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  5. #5
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    Re: After extensive analysis.....

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    Minter is stronger at the point of attack

    He handles zone coverage well

    His instincts are better deeper down the field in zone coverage


    His ability to shed blocks is where Minter begins to separate himself

    His vision and instincts are very good in run defense. He has the ability to see where the play is going, get there and stop it where it stands

    His tackling is a little better than Te'o's and more reliable.

    Minter's game best translates to the responsibilities of Ray Lewis' spot.
    The first 3 are the ones I disagree with the most. The fourth, I think he is okay, but I would say it's where he separates himself is not accurate

    His tackling is not more reliable than Te'o (Who was credited with 2 missed tackles all year).

    And the last, I think both of them are actually Ellerbe's long lost twin brother.

    I posted his Alabama game in another thread. But watch this game, he does not shed blocks well, often takes the wrong angle. He makes some plays (just like the Bama game) But I don't see some great prospect or someone that is clearly or even slightly better than the rest of the group.

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  6. #6
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    Re: After extensive analysis.....

    Quote Originally Posted by NCRAVEN View Post
    The first 3 are the ones I disagree with the most. The fourth, I think he is okay, but I would say it's where he separates himself is not accurate

    His tackling is not more reliable than Te'o (Who was credited with 2 missed tackles all year).

    And the last, I think both of them are actually Ellerbe's long lost twin brother.

    I posted his Alabama game in another thread. But watch this game, he does not shed blocks well, often takes the wrong angle. He makes some plays (just like the Bama game) But I don't see some great prospect or someone that is clearly or even slightly better than the rest of the group.

    "Like Te'o, Minter is stronger at the point of attack", as in, compared to Kevin Ogletree.

    He does handle zone coverage well

    His instincts are better deeper down the field...than Te'o.

    Are you really going to go by 'credited' missed tackles?

    Where do you feel Minter begins to separate himself? I look at run defense first. That is where I choose to begin. Both Minter and Te'o are very good run defenders and have similarities. I feel that Minter is better at shedding blocks. Thus, that is why I feel that is where he begins to separate himself. Especially, considering my analysis of Ogletree in run defense.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




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    Re: After extensive analysis.....

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    "Like Te'o, Minter is stronger at the point of attack", as in, compared to Kevin Ogletree.

    He does handle zone coverage well

    His instincts are better deeper down the field...than Te'o.

    Are you really going to go by 'credited' missed tackles?

    Where do you feel Minter begins to separate himself? I look at run defense first. That is where I choose to begin. Both Minter and Te'o are very good run defenders and have similarities. I feel that Minter is better at shedding blocks. Thus, that is why I feel that is where he begins to separate himself. Especially, considering my analysis of Ogletree in run defense.
    We'll just agree to disagree. Especially since you didn't watch the video I posted...
    We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. - Benjamin Franklin




  8. #8
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    Re: After extensive analysis.....

    Quote Originally Posted by NCRAVEN View Post
    We'll just agree to disagree. Especially since you didn't watch the video I posted...
    I've already watched the video you posted, before I even started this thread.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  9. #9
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    Re: After extensive analysis.....

    Manti Te'o also had a much easier competition level than Minter had. Minter had to play the likes of Florida, Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia, etc....

    The toughest team Te'o ever had to face (apart from Alabama, in which he looked really bad, and a lot worse than Minter did) this year was an underwhelming Stanford team that lost loads of talent in the draft last year. Te'o looked better in 2011 against a much stronger Stanford team, which puzzles me. Te'o looked out of shape at the combine too, in 2011 he looked to be in much better shape.

    I will also add that I'm not the biggest fan of Alec Ogletree either. He REALLY struggles in run defense, and even though a lot of people are high on him because of the passing game obssesion, there is no getting away from the fact that if you want to be a 3 down LB in this league, you need to be able to stop the run ASWELL as the pass. Run defense was a real weakness of ours in 2012, and it must be upgraded, and IMO Minter is the best run defender out of the three.

    Now, I'm with GOTA on this one. If we do end up re-signing Ellerbe, there really is no point in using a high round pick on another ILB. I'd be good with a 4th/3rd round pick on a Kevin Reddick/Gerald Hodges/Kiko Alonso/Jelani Jenkins type player, who would IMO offer better value anyway. But it's the Dline that needs to be improved, we need to get a legit NT to replace Cody, because even with an average LB next to Ellerbe like a Jameel McClain, he is going to look better behind a better Dline like 2011. I am a big fan of Josh Bynes, and I like Albert McClellan too. I wouldn't be against McClellan as the two down run stuffing LB, and Bynes as the nickel LB/coverage LB. We can easily get by with that with a good Dline. If you don't beleive me, go watch the 2011 49ers game where we had Jameel McClain and Albert McClellan as our two starting ILBs and they both had really good games behind a Dline that was possessed that night. Thats what we need to get back to, it all starts in the trenches.




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    Re: After extensive analysis.....

    I think all our current ILBS are UDFA's. McClain, Bynes, Ellerbe and McClellan (who can fill in there but is more a fill in when needed). Even Ayenbadejo is a UDFA. Am I missing/ wrong about anybody?

    Could it be that this whole "Ravens are interested in an early-round ILB" is an Ozzie smokescreen....
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  11. #11

    Re: After extensive analysis.....

    Quote Originally Posted by leachisabeast View Post
    Manti Te'o also had a much easier competition level than Minter had. Minter had to play the likes of Florida, Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia, etc....

    The toughest team Te'o ever had to face (apart from Alabama, in which he looked really bad, and a lot worse than Minter did) this year was an underwhelming Stanford team that lost loads of talent in the draft last year. Te'o looked better in 2011 against a much stronger Stanford team, which puzzles me. Te'o looked out of shape at the combine too, in 2011 he looked to be in much better shape.

    I will also add that I'm not the biggest fan of Alec Ogletree either. He REALLY struggles in run defense, and even though a lot of people are high on him because of the passing game obssesion, there is no getting away from the fact that if you want to be a 3 down LB in this league, you need to be able to stop the run ASWELL as the pass. Run defense was a real weakness of ours in 2012, and it must be upgraded, and IMO Minter is the best run defender out of the three.

    Now, I'm with GOTA on this one. If we do end up re-signing Ellerbe, there really is no point in using a high round pick on another ILB. I'd be good with a 4th/3rd round pick on a Kevin Reddick/Gerald Hodges/Kiko Alonso/Jelani Jenkins type player, who would IMO offer better value anyway. But it's the Dline that needs to be improved, we need to get a legit NT to replace Cody, because even with an average LB next to Ellerbe like a Jameel McClain, he is going to look better behind a better Dline like 2011. I am a big fan of Josh Bynes, and I like Albert McClellan too. I wouldn't be against McClellan as the two down run stuffing LB, and Bynes as the nickel LB/coverage LB. We can easily get by with that with a good Dline. If you don't beleive me, go watch the 2011 49ers game where we had Jameel McClain and Albert McClellan as our two starting ILBs and they both had really good games behind a Dline that was possessed that night. Thats what we need to get back to, it all starts in the trenches.
    This difficult schedule thing could not be further from the truth. Have you looked at LSU's schedule?

    The SEC was not head and shoulders better than the rest of the country. Alabama with months to prepare is going to smoke just about any team in CFB.

    LSU schedule:
    North Texas
    Washington
    Idaho
    Auburn - Terrible this past year
    Towson - close game for 3 quarters
    Florida - almost lost to a 1aa team and smoked by Louisville of the might Big East in a bowl game
    South Carolina - Good team but squeaked by Michigan in a bowl game. Tight game with Clemson
    Texas A&M - Essentially a Big 12 team that was playing its first season in the SEC. Never won the big 12.
    Alabama - Best team in CFB
    Miss St - Smoked by Northwestern in a bowl game. Lost to every good SEC on schedule. A ton of of out of conference patsies
    Ole Miss - Smoked by Texas. Lost to every good SEC and Vandy
    Ark - Train wreck and lost to Rutgers
    Clemson - Lost to Clemson in the bowl game.

    Your thoughts on Stanford really show how little you watch these teams. Stanford did not lose loads of talent. They lost Andrew Luck. They have a great Oline and some really good players on defense. They are in a lot of preseason top 5s for next year.

    ND had one of the hardest schedules at the beginning of the year. USC was pre season #1. Mich and MSU were in the top 20. Oklahoma was a top 10 team when they beat them. They did not play any 1aa schools or small directional schools. From start to finish their schedule was higher quality than LSU. They lost some of the top end schools as USC, OK and Mich under performed. There was no North Texas, Idaho or Towson on ND's schedule. Didn't LSU get smoked in the NC against Saban last year when he had time to prepare but beat them in the regular season?

    Each SEC team usually has 3 very hard in conference games on their schedule. They go out of their way to make the out of conference schedule easy to compensate. People see a couple of their high profile games against Alabama or A&M and think their schedule is so difficult when in reality it is not all that much more difficult.




  12. #12
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    Re: After extensive analysis.....

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    I've already watched the video you posted, before I even started this thread.
    Okay. We must be watching a different guy. Did you see he was the one circled every play


    Quote Originally Posted by srobert96 View Post
    This difficult schedule thing could not be further from the truth. Have you looked at LSU's schedule?

    The SEC was not head and shoulders better than the rest of the country. Alabama with months to prepare is going to smoke just about any team in CFB.

    LSU schedule:
    North Texas
    Washington
    Idaho
    Auburn - Terrible this past year
    Towson - close game for 3 quarters
    Florida - almost lost to a 1aa team and smoked by Louisville of the might Big East in a bowl game
    South Carolina - Good team but squeaked by Michigan in a bowl game. Tight game with Clemson
    Texas A&M - Essentially a Big 12 team that was playing its first season in the SEC. Never won the big 12.
    Alabama - Best team in CFB
    Miss St - Smoked by Northwestern in a bowl game. Lost to every good SEC on schedule. A ton of of out of conference patsies
    Ole Miss - Smoked by Texas. Lost to every good SEC and Vandy
    Ark - Train wreck and lost to Rutgers
    Clemson - Lost to Clemson in the bowl game.

    Your thoughts on Stanford really show how little you watch these teams. Stanford did not lose loads of talent. They lost Andrew Luck. They have a great Oline and some really good players on defense. They are in a lot of preseason top 5s for next year.

    ND had one of the hardest schedules at the beginning of the year. USC was pre season #1. Mich and MSU were in the top 20. Oklahoma was a top 10 team when they beat them. They did not play any 1aa schools or small directional schools. From start to finish their schedule was higher quality than LSU. They lost some of the top end schools as USC, OK and Mich under performed. There was no North Texas, Idaho or Towson on ND's schedule. Didn't LSU get smoked in the NC against Saban last year when he had time to prepare but beat them in the regular season?

    Each SEC team usually has 3 very hard in conference games on their schedule. They go out of their way to make the out of conference schedule easy to compensate. People see a couple of their high profile games against Alabama or A&M and think their schedule is so difficult when in reality it is not all that much more difficult.
    We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. - Benjamin Franklin




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