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View Full Version : Who's the best coverage LB in the Draft?



justdev7
02-04-2010, 06:02 PM
I've been watching a lot of highlights and lowlights of linebackers both inside and outside. Due to the less than stellar job we did of covering the middle of the field this year I've been focusing on coverage ability. I think out of all of the ILBs and OLBs Sean Witherspoon showed the most ability to cover 1 on 1 and Daryl Washington's long arms gave him an advantage making plays on the ball. But I still don't really think I can tell which guys are going to struggle and who is going to thrive at the next level in coverage.

So the question I'm posing is who are your Top 5 or 10 linebackers in coverage?

Here's mine:
1) Spoon
2) Daryl Washington
3) Sean Lee
4) Ronoldo McClain
5) Brandon Spikes

ckparrothead
02-04-2010, 06:04 PM
I think it's A.J. Edds and for me he just barely beats out Sean Weatherspoon because he's the smarter player, though Spoon is faster.

TedSlimmJr
02-04-2010, 06:12 PM
Any list of the best coverage linebackers in the draft without A.J. Edds on it must immediately be re-evaluated...

1. A.J. Edds

2. Sean Weatherspoon

3. Rolando McClain

4. Sean Lee

5. I'm actually going to go with Daryl Sharpton here...

hooshoops
02-04-2010, 06:15 PM
i've read some stuff on edds that he may be viewed as a nickle lb...ie cover guy who isn't on the field much on first and second downs...

i guess they were saying not strong enough against the run or getting off blocks and thru trash....

like a kevin burnett when he was a cowboy...

ColonelJ
02-04-2010, 06:22 PM
IMO:
1. McClain.
2. Daryl Washington.
3. Spoon.
4. Spikes
5. Edds

ckparrothead
02-04-2010, 06:22 PM
Any list of the best coverage linebackers in the draft without A.J. Edds on it must immediately be re-evaluated...

1. A.J. Edds

2. Sean Weatherspoon

3. Rolando McClain

4. Sean Lee

5. I'm actually going to go with Daryl Sharpton here...

And a list without Roddrick Muckelroy, heh...

Seriously I agree with you. A list of coverage backers that doesn't include Edds definitely has to go back to the drawing board a bit. Not sure I'd really put McClain on the list though, to be honest. I'm not trying to hate or anything. I originally though Spikes was a better cover guy but that was a bit of an incomplete look at the two players. Spikes is better at reading the QB and flowing to the football but that's not the same as being better in coverage. When you say better in coverage I think you're generally implying man coverage. But at the same time one reason I thought Spikes better in coverage is because McClain doesn't inspire me in coverage...at all. He doesn't turn well at all. He's got length and he can also flow to where the QB's eyes are like Spikes...but as for pure coverage, not sure I'm seeing it.

One guy that I'm thinking need to be thought about in this type of question...well actually two guys...they are Keaton Kristick and Stevenson Sylvester. Kristick more than Sylvester. If it's a question of pure coverage? You give me Kristick and Sylvester, even Muckelroy, Lee...over McClain definitely. Well definitely, maybe...lol.

ckparrothead
02-04-2010, 06:27 PM
i've read some stuff on edds that he may be viewed as a nickle lb...ie cover guy who isn't on the field much on first and second downs...

i guess they were saying not strong enough against the run or getting off blocks and thru trash....

like a kevin burnett when he was a cowboy...

I could actually see that, definitely. I think he'll grow into being a good player on first and second but his immediate role, the way he could get on the field, could definitely be third down.

TedSlimmJr
02-04-2010, 06:39 PM
And a list without Roddrick Muckelroy, heh...

Seriously I agree with you. A list of coverage backers that doesn't include Edds definitely has to go back to the drawing board a bit. Not sure I'd really put McClain on the list though, to be honest. I'm not trying to hate or anything. I originally though Spikes was a better cover guy but that was a bit of an incomplete look at the two players. Spikes is better at reading the QB and flowing to the football but that's not the same as being better in coverage. When you say better in coverage I think you're generally implying man coverage. But at the same time one reason I thought Spikes better in coverage is because McClain doesn't inspire me in coverage...at all. He doesn't turn well at all. He's got length and he can also flow to where the QB's eyes are like Spikes...but as for pure coverage, not sure I'm seeing it.

One guy that I'm thinking need to be thought about in this type of question...well actually two guys...they are Keaton Kristick and Stevenson Sylvester. Kristick more than Sylvester. If it's a question of pure coverage? You give me Kristick and Sylvester, even Muckelroy, Lee...over McClain definitely. Well definitely, maybe...lol.


Haha....these are great times CK...they really are...there's not much I'd rather be doing than looking at prospects and discussing our individual opinions...

...other than looking at a list some guy threw back at me with a bunch of names on it over Rolando McClain that won't even be playing on Sundays...:lol:

I do like Sylvester....in Indy or Chicago where they can stick him in a Tampa-2 defense...

I just think you're short changing McClain in coverage for some reason....which was one of his primary responsibilities for Smart....and one of the main reasons Bama's defense was able to hold so many QB's (NFL caliber QB's) to by far their worst passer ratings the last few years when they faced Bama's defense...

He comes off of his coverage and sniffs out a screen pass better than any linebacker I've seen in a long time.....he gets his hands on more passes (in zone coverage) and tips them more than any linebacker I can recall....he literally does it almost every game..

Spikes? I would have to echo your sentiments on McClain here....consider me uninspired...I haven't seen him cover a damn thing yet.....other than Ealey's facemask....

TedSlimmJr
02-04-2010, 06:42 PM
i've read some stuff on edds that he may be viewed as a nickle lb...ie cover guy who isn't on the field much on first and second downs...

i guess they were saying not strong enough against the run or getting off blocks and thru trash....

like a kevin burnett when he was a cowboy...


Since McClain is only a 2 down linebacker and Edds is only a nickel linebacker....it only makes sense to draft both and have McClain out there on 1st and 2nd down...and Edds on 3rd down....

It's fail proof...

ckparrothead
02-04-2010, 07:04 PM
What can I say? The question was who's better in coverage not who's the better linebacker.

greasyObnoxious
02-04-2010, 07:06 PM
Since McClain is only a 2 down linebacker and Edds is only a nickel linebacker....it only makes sense to draft both and have McClain out there on 1st and 2nd down...and Edds on 3rd down....

It's fail proof...

just tie them together and have a 3-down LB

TedSlimmJr
02-04-2010, 07:14 PM
What do you think about Keenan Clayton as far as a coverage backer CK? He's a converted safety and seems to have a pretty decent feel for it....he's just too damn small for a 3-4 team to even consider.....Cover-2 or bust.....special teams player...

Same for Rico McCoy...

I think Patrick Trahan is an underrated linebacker...

ColonelJ
02-04-2010, 07:26 PM
What do you think about Keenan Clayton as far as a coverage backer CK? He's a converted safety and seems to have a pretty decent feel for it....he's just too damn small for a 3-4 team to even consider.....Cover-2 or bust.....special teams player...

Same for Rico McCoy...

I think Patrick Trahan is an underrated linebacker...

A few others I like: Donald Butler, Phillip Dillard, Kavell Conner, Lee Campbell.

Clipse
02-04-2010, 07:27 PM
Would love nothing more than McClain in the 1st and Edds in the 4th.

ckparrothead
02-04-2010, 08:03 PM
What do you think about Keenan Clayton as far as a coverage backer CK? He's a converted safety and seems to have a pretty decent feel for it....he's just too damn small for a 3-4 team to even consider.....Cover-2 or bust.....special teams player...

Same for Rico McCoy...

I think Patrick Trahan is an underrated linebacker...

Honesty's the best policy and I haven't watched Keenan Clayton much to be honest. I, like a lot of NFL scouts but for different reasons, am actually pretty behind on my watching of 2009 Oklahoma players, other than Gerald McCoy. Notice I haven't really commented much at all on Trent Williams and Dominique Franks.

You can only spread yourself so many miles-wide before running risk of being inch-deep, and that's not what I'm about. It does sound like, from other things you've said, that you know Oklahoma like the back of your own hand so I certainly wouldn't mind hearing your own thoughts on the players in question.

That sounded sexual. My bad.

Anyway as for Rico McCoy I do have plenty of exposure to him and I will say he's disappointing as a straight cover guy. He seems, to me, to make one basic kind of play in coverage...and you need to be more than that.

TedSlimmJr
02-04-2010, 10:25 PM
Clayton just looks like he has natural feel for coverage to me....which probably has a lot to do with him being a converted safety...but as I mentioned, he's just too small to really focus on too much...and if he runs well, I wouldn't think converting back to safety would be out of the realm of possibility in the NFL....at least in a backup role and playing special teams.....that's about the extent of my scouting report on him...

...just curious if you had anything on him or McCoy yourself....I tend not to spend a significant amount of time focusing on linebackers that are under 6-2, 230 pounds....

If you're watching Oklahoma's linebackers on film and paying attention to any of them except Travis Lewis....you're probably looking at the wrong guy anyway IMO....that kid looks like he could be a special player....he'll jump of the screen...pull your ears and slap you in the face...

Dez Bryant owns Dominique Franks....I'll leave it at that.....I actually like Brian Jackson more personally....

I've been focusing on the offensive tackles a lot over the past week or so waiting for a guy to really seperate himself....suffice it to say that it's not Trent Williams for me......heavy-legged-waist-bender is probably stretching it...but I definitely think he's best suited at RT in the NFL.....Hell..I think he's best suited for right tackle in college...not to mention he completely failed to recognize the blitzing linebacker that put Sam Bradford out for the season against BYU...

justdev7
02-05-2010, 04:15 AM
I think it's A.J. Edds and for me he just barely beats out Sean Weatherspoon because he's the smarter player, though Spoon is faster.

I honestly only saw Iowa play once this year and I can't find any videos of Edds, know of any?

ckparrothead
02-05-2010, 11:57 AM
Clayton just looks like he has natural feel for coverage to me....which probably has a lot to do with him being a converted safety...but as I mentioned, he's just too small to really focus on too much...and if he runs well, I wouldn't think converting back to safety would be out of the realm of possibility in the NFL....at least in a backup role and playing special teams.....that's about the extent of my scouting report on him...

...just curious if you had anything on him or McCoy yourself....I tend not to spend a significant amount of time focusing on linebackers that are under 6-2, 230 pounds....

If you're watching Oklahoma's linebackers on film and paying attention to any of them except Travis Lewis....you're probably looking at the wrong guy anyway IMO....that kid looks like he could be a special player....he'll jump of the screen...pull your ears and slap you in the face...

Dez Bryant owns Dominique Franks....I'll leave it at that.....I actually like Brian Jackson more personally....

I've been focusing on the offensive tackles a lot over the past week or so waiting for a guy to really seperate himself....suffice it to say that it's not Trent Williams for me......heavy-legged-waist-bender is probably stretching it...but I definitely think he's best suited at RT in the NFL.....Hell..I think he's best suited for right tackle in college...not to mention he completely failed to recognize the blitzing linebacker that put Sam Bradford out for the season against BYU...

That's surprising. I was under the impression for some reason that you really liked Trent Williams.

Brian Jackson I know a little better because he was at Shrine week. He looks marvelous in position drills, a real natural. Get him in scrimmage and ask him to jam at the line, and he'll look pretty good that way, too. Ask him to play off, and he's a disaster.

I'll tell you why I bring up Stevenson Sylvester and Keaton Kristick.

Sylvester measured in at a full 6'2", with like 33 inch arms and 10 inch hands. You look at him and he's got a pretty long frame. He's only 225 pounds. But when you watch him play, he has more core strength than you would really expect, and both long arms and big hands suggest the bone structure to be able to put on some more weight. You're not seeking weight for weight's sake. What you want is the power that goes with the weight. If you can get beyond the skinny frame, which understandably many can't...you see that this guy is a player that packs a punch and is PHYSICAL...and has a frame that to me suggests the ability to get bigger.

As for Kristick, a lot of the same. He is a kill shot artist as a tackler, very physical, very crazy and competitive. Has the quickness and physicality to really get after much bigger TEs on the line, even knocking them to the ground. We're talking about guys that are 50 pounds heavier, and he's knocking them to the ground off the line in practice. He's also killing people with hits and knocking helmets off, and he had a reputation at Oregon State for being the biggest hitter on the team. Any time you see a guy that can, in one practice session, back pedal out to the sideline in a short outside zone as quick as as a corner, that can murder running backs and receivers with big hits that knock their helmets off, that can knock a 275 pound Tight End down to the ground on a jam, and then run 30 yards down the field with a wide receiver in two-minute, painting him in coverage (twice)...I don't care if a piece of paper says 6'3" and 226 or not, you have my attention. I think Keaton can and will gain weight. When I look at him up close he looks like just another guy, he doesn't look like a meatneck yet. I think he's got some upside that way.

DaytonaDolFan13
02-05-2010, 01:08 PM
thens lets TAKE 2

WaxOn WaxOff
02-05-2010, 01:34 PM
You are all wrong on this. Best coverage LB in the draft is Taylor Mays.

ckparrothead
02-05-2010, 01:34 PM
Here's what I mean about Keaton Kristick not yet looking like a meatneck, having some definite room for improvement in his football physique.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x098Pos31A

Look at the man. He looks like Shane Falco.

Dogbone34
02-05-2010, 02:40 PM
i think the weatherspoon kid is gonna be special.

dez bryant
rolando mcclain
sean weatherspoon
CJ Spiller

HawkDolphan
02-09-2010, 08:11 PM
As a rabid fan of both Iowa and the Miami Dolphins I would love for the Fins to pick up AJ Edds in the 4th round. CK - on behalf of the hawkeyenation, Thank You for the kind words. The title of the post made me want to come on and alert y'all to AJ, but you already had his back.

He's a special player. Started as a True Freshman and played nearly every single defensive down. He did NOT come off the field, even if he had to cover a receiver and he did it very well.

Justdev7 - He played nearly every down on defense for 4 years. Iowa was always on TV, so there should be a lot of film on him. Also, he played in the senior bowl where he had an interception and recovered a fumble. He's a very... SMART.... player. Also a team leader and Captain. (Edit - Tony Moeaki was also a team leader and captain and is EXACTLY what we need at TE, since he is Iowa's best run-blocker, great hands and great route-runner and could be had in the 4th or 5th round... but that is a topic for another day) Watch a replay of the Orange Bowl. Edds had a pick (and Moeaki had 100+ yards receiving as well as sealing the edge in the run game.)

Ozfin77
02-12-2010, 12:26 AM
As a rabid fan of both Iowa and the Miami Dolphins I would love for the Fins to pick up AJ Edds in the 4th round. CK - on behalf of the hawkeyenation, Thank You for the kind words. The title of the post made me want to come on and alert y'all to AJ, but you already had his back.

He's a special player. Started as a True Freshman and played nearly every single defensive down. He did NOT come off the field, even if he had to cover a receiver and he did it very well.

Justdev7 - He played nearly every down on defense for 4 years. Iowa was always on TV, so there should be a lot of film on him. Also, he played in the senior bowl where he had an interception and recovered a fumble. He's a very... SMART.... player. Also a team leader and Captain. (Edit - Tony Moeaki was also a team leader and captain and is EXACTLY what we need at TE, since he is Iowa's best run-blocker, great hands and great route-runner and could be had in the 4th or 5th round... but that is a topic for another day) Watch a replay of the Orange Bowl. Edds had a pick (and Moeaki had 100+ yards receiving as well as sealing the edge in the run game.)

I've been talking about Edds for weeks - nobody thanked me!!:confused::lol:

#1dolphinsfan
02-12-2010, 01:15 AM
Would love nothing more than McClain in the 1st and Edds in the 4th.
IMO if they are both better Cover LBs then Run stuffing LBs i would rather have McClain in the first and Micah Johnson in the fourth that way we have a down hill LB in Johnson, and a cover LB in McClain

MadDog 88
02-12-2010, 01:47 AM
Good stuff guys. Thanks

Clipse
02-12-2010, 01:58 AM
IMO if they are both better Cover LBs then Run stuffing LBs i would rather have McClain in the first and Micah Johnson in the fourth that way we have a down hill LB in Johnson, and a cover LB in McClain
They're not. McClain is a run stopper who's good in coverage and good at blitzing while Edds is strictly a cover backer for the most part. McClain would be an excellent Mike, while Edds after a couple years as a nickle backer could turn into a very solid Will.

ckparrothead
02-12-2010, 01:59 AM
One stipulation, McClain is not a "good" blitzer.

#1dolphinsfan
02-12-2010, 02:01 AM
They're not. McClain is a run stopper who's good in coverage and good at blitzing while Edds is strictly a cover backer for the most part. McClain would be an excellent Mike, while Edds after a couple years as a nickle backer could turn into a very solid Will.
Well if Edds is strictly a Cover backer i dont know if i would want him i would still prefer McClain and Johnson of course i am a huge Johnson fan which if anyone reads my threads they would relize that but i would love Johnson be the run stuffer and let McClain be the cover backer

Clipse
02-12-2010, 02:04 AM
One stipulation, McClain is not a "good" blitzer.
I disagree. He's above average imo.

Clipse
02-12-2010, 02:05 AM
Well if Edds is strictly a Cover backer i dont know if i would want him i would still prefer McClain and Johnson of course i am a huge Johnson fan which if anyone reads my threads they would relize that but i would love Johnson be the run stuffer and let McClain be the cover backer
Johnson reminds me too much of Crowder. I don't think Edds is necessarily just a cover backer though, just where he excels at.

#1dolphinsfan
02-12-2010, 02:09 AM
Johnson reminds me too much of Crowder. I don't think Edds is necessarily just a cover backer though, just where he excels at.
to me he is better then Crowder he is a better Tackler which isnt hard to do me or you could be a better tackler then crowder and he doesnt get blocked when he is healthy he is a very dominant run stuffing LB

Clipse
02-12-2010, 02:13 AM
to me he is better then Crowder he is a better Tackler which isnt hard to do me or you could be a better tackler then crowder and he doesnt get blocked when he is healthy he is a very dominant run stuffing LB
He's certainly very talented. The question though is where he would get drafted. I'm thinking the 3rd even after the injuries. I think I'd rather try Edds in the 4th than Johnson is the 3rd, if we get McClain. If not I'd be willing to draft both, since we all know how much the FO likes drafting in pairs.

#1dolphinsfan
02-12-2010, 02:17 AM
He's certainly very talented. The question though is where he would get drafted. I'm thinking the 3rd even after the injuries. I think I'd rather try Edds in the 4th than Johnson is the 3rd, if we get McClain. If not I'd be willing to draft both, since we all know how much the FO likes drafting in pairs.
yea i think right now unless Johnson Wows people at the Combine and his pro day he will be there in the fourth and i really hope he is or maybe we could just go
#1: Dez Bryant
#2: Cam Thomas
#3: Micah Johnson
#4: Aj Edds/ or Dickson or Graham TE if we can Sign Dansby in FA

and Sign Rolle as our FA FS now that IMO would be a great draft that fills 4 huge needs 2 ILB a #1 WR and a NT and a FS in FA