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does anyone have a couting report on james laurinaitis and dan connor?


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dan connor

strengths: is tall with adequate bulk and room on his frame to get bigger. displays good natural instincts. is physical, tough and aggressive, but also disciplined. plays with a mean streak and his motor never stops running. at his best when he's protected and playing in space. reads his keys quickly, takes solid angles in pursuit and shows good closing burst to the ball carrier. does a fine job of using his hands to keep blockers off his body as he pursues and shows good upper-body strength. extremely reliable tackler; he breaks down effectively in space and consistently wraps up with good power at the point of attack. gets good depth on his drops and displays adequate range in zone coverage. displays good ball skills for his position. has a nose for the ball and always seems to be in on big plays. is an instinctive blitzer with good closing burst to the qb when he gets through the line.

weaknesses: plays a bit high at times. stronger upper body than lower body. plays with somewhat of a narrow base and will struggle in some phone booth matchups versus bigger blockers. shows some stiffness in his hips. good quickness laterally and coming forward, but takes a bit too long in transition when turning and running. will have some trouble sticking with quicker rb's one-on-one in coverage. character issues could play a factor in his draft stock; he was suspended for three games in 2005 after being cited for harassing phone calls.

overall: connor has played in 33 games (24 starts) during his first three seasons (2004-'06), registering 274 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and three interceptions. he has also seen time at inside linebacker. connor spent most of his career on the weak-side before moving inside as a senior to replace paul posluszny (bills, 2nd round in 2007). if he makes a smooth transition it will only add to his value as a potential first-round pick. connor has some minor character issues that could come back to haunt him a bit and he also lacks elite athleticism. however, his speed, tackling skills and tenacious style are the reasons he ranks as one of the premier linebacker prospects in the 2008 draft class.


james laurinaitis

overall: laurinaitis is a throwback middle linebacker with ideal toughness, instincts, leadership and intangibles. his timed speed and workout numbers are obviously unknown, but he's plenty quick in pads for my liking. laurinaitis is an explosive tackler versus the run and his ball skills in coverage are remarkable.

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quote(dan connor)

connor became a star last year at the "fritz" linebacker position, playing alongside all-american middle linebacker paul posluszny. despite breaking his left hand last november, connor finished only three tackles behind posluszny for the team lead.

with posluszny entering the nfl, connor has moved to middle linebacker. if the first half of the 2007 season was any indication, connor's transition has been seamless. a strong candidate for the butkus and lombardi awards, as well as all-american honors, connor continues penn state's tradition of quality linebackers. of all of the great ones in penn state history, connor is on pace to shatter the career tackle mark, set last year by posluszny (372).

connor has excellent instincts and is seemingly always around the ball. his greatest attribute: his overall athleticism. he has the speed to meet backs at the edge and may be the country's most reliable open-field tackler due to his balance and quickness.

while connor has the instincts and tackling scouts like in a middle 'backer, to remain on the inside at the nfl level, he'll need improved upper-body strength and hand placement when dealing with blockers. connor relies too much on his athleticism to either avoid or slip blocks, often making tackles a few yards past the line of scrimmage rather than at the point of attack.

in coverage, connor has the instincts and athleticism needed to play any of the three linebacker positions.


positives: physical and mental prototype for the linebacker position. ... capable of playing all three linebackers positions because of his size, strength and instincts. ... reads the action quickly. ... seemingly always around the ball. ... athletic enough to avoid blocks to make tackles at or near the line of scrimmage. ... rare quickness and agility to break down in space and make open-field tackles. ... true wrap-up tackler who can generate explosive contact. ... has developed into an effective pass rusher. ... good burst off the snap and shows good late burst when the ball is near. ... instinctive in coverage. ... good change-of-direction agility and adequate straight-line speed to run with backs and tight ends. ... team captain known for his work ethic and instincts.

negatives: made a position switch to middle linebacker this season, a position he played in high school. ... needs work disengaging from blockers. ... cerebral in coverage and has the burst needed for a zone scheme, but may lack the straight-line speed for man schemes. ... experienced blitz threat, but lacks a variety of pass-rush moves. ... has been flanked by legitimate nfl-caliber linebackers throughout his career (paul posluszny and current junior sean lee) and their presence may hide some of connor's deficiencies. ... scouts will have to look closely at connor's off-field decision-making, as he was suspended for early 2005 for prank phone calls made over the course of several months.

quote(james laurinitis)

a returning all-american and nagurski award recipient ... will be a candidate for more postseason honors in 2007 ... took over at middle linebacker for the young ohio state defense in 2006 and not only made the spot his own, but led the buckeyes in becoming one of the best defensive units in the country ... lettered in 2005 as a true freshman and gradually worked his way up the depth chart to the no. 2 spot behind senior bobby carpenter on the strong side ... played almost the entire 2005 michigan game after carpenter suffered a broken ankle on the first play of that contest.

started the bowl game against notre dame and headed into preseason camp as the projected starter at carpenter's vacated spot, but moved to the middle where he was needed more ... added 10 pounds and has significantly increased his strength since last year ... is the first scholarship player from the state of minnesota to play for the buckeyes since the legendary sid gillman (1930-33, captain in 1933).


a rare sophomore winner of the bednarik award -- presented annually to the nation's top defender -- laurinaitis might have stepped up his game even another notch this season. the son of former professional wrestler animal, of the road warriors, laurinaitis plays with the intensity and physicality to match his father's reputation. what separates laurinaitis from the other top-ranked inside linebackers, however, is his athleticism. laurinaitis has a blend of size and speed that some veteran scouts are comparing to those of brian urlacher.

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definately love what i read about laurinaitis.

think the pats will get him with the pick from san fran?

jesus that would be scary...

if we are picking around the 10 mark, i hope he lasts until us...

ne can afford to do whatever they like though... whatever they do turns to gold dry.gif

even after spygate they will have a top 5 pick... its disgusting mad.gif

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