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LB debate, what am I missing?


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The 2 LBs I like the most are Sintim and Lauranaitis.

I feel like Sintim would provide us the pass rush from the OLB position that we desperately need (Peterson should also help). I've read that he struggles to take on blocks, but in the videos I've seen it has been the exact opposite. In fact, Sintim has looked more impressive on video to me than any of the other LBs in this draft. I am not concerned about him being a 3-4 LB. He would be asked to line up on the end of the DL at times, just like Boley used to be. I see no reason to think he couldn't drop and cover in our scheme and has a lot of pop in his hits.

Lauranaitis screams dependable and safe pick. He is great in coverage, quick to diagnose plays, has great technique, and a high football IQ. He is sneaky and always seems to be in position to make the play. I like him at SLB because he will be in position to stop the run and has shown that he can cover and intercept in the pass game. The knock against him is he needs to bulk up and lacks elite speed. Bulking up shouldn't be an issue for him and his mediocre speed never seemed to show up in games, as he always seemed to be around the ball.

I see the USC guys as all having considerable bust potential. Rey Rey and Cushing have well documented concerns(character, steroids), and Mathews only had 10 total games as a starter. Equally important is that that defense covered up any deficiencies they may have and they don't all project to be 3 down players. I don't like the idea of taking any of them in the first.

TD seems to go for the sure thing over superstar "potential." It's interesting though, because I see Sintim as the best of both worlds. His upside is huge and he is a proven pass rush monster. He had the most sacks by an LB in college football last year. Why is it that he doesn't project well to 4-3 teams?

Lauranaitis is the prototypical "QB of the defense." He is quick enough and smart enough to play any of the LB positions and be a 3 down player. Why is it that the USC backers are projected in front of him?

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The 2 LBs I like the most are Sintim and Lauranaitis.

I feel like Sintim would provide us the pass rush from the OLB position that we desperately need (Peterson should also help). I've read that he struggles to take on blocks, but in the videos I've seen it has been the exact opposite. In fact, Sintim has looked more impressive on video to me than any of the other LBs in this draft. I am not concerned about him being a 3-4 LB. He would be asked to line up on the end of the DL at times, just like Boley used to be. He also is solid in coverage and has a lot of pop in his hits.

Lauranaitis screams dependable and safe pick. He is great in coverage, quick to diagnose plays, has great technique, and a high football IQ. He is sneaky and always seems to be in position to make the play. I like him at SLB because he will be in position to stop the run and has shown that he can cover and intercept in the pass game. The knock against him is he needs to bulk up and lacks elite speed. Bulking up shouldn't be an issue for him and his mediocre speed never seemed to show up in games, as he always seemed to be around the ball.

I see the USC guys as all having considerable bust potential. Rey Rey and Cushing have well documented concerns(character, steroids), and Mathews only had 10 total games as a starter. Equally important is that that defense covered up any deficiencies they may have and they don't all project to be 3 down players. I don't like the idea of taking any of them in the first.

TD seems to go for the sure thing over superstar "potential." It's interesting though, because I see Sintim as the best of both worlds. His upside is huge and he is a proven pass rush monster. He had the most sacks by an LB in college football last year. Why is it that he doesn't project well to 4-3 teams?

Lauranaitis is the prototypical "QB of the defense." He is quick enough and smart enough to play any of the LB positions and be a 3 down player. Why is it that the USC backers are projected in front of him?

According to an Espn Interview, Peterson is going to be manning the will position. I think that Sintim would make a better SLB in the long-term as he learns the position as a 4-3 SLB. I think that JL is going to be a solid player in the league. I honestly would address DE and Safety before I pick up a LB. I think that Nicholas can play SLB. I hope that we wait until the 4th round to address LB, this LB class is very deep with talent, and I think that we have the luxury of spending a later round pick to develop a replacement for Peterson at the WIll or Sam.

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I like Cushing for SLB because of his all around play and Laurinaitis at WLB for his leadership and intangibles. I think

we need the help more at SLB

It looks like Peterson will be at the Will and Nicholas will be at the Sam. What do you think of Nicholas at the Sam.

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I see no reason to pick a LBer early. I don't like the talent.

The USC LBers didn't play 3 downs and all seem to be a better fit in a 3-4 defense..... especially Rey and Matthews. Cushing would be the only option and he will probably be gone when we pick.

I don't think JL is what we want either. He is good, but I see him as a clone of Michael Boley. Good in coverage, but gets manhandled by blocks in the run game. That is not a good fit for SLB. If Peterson is playing Will LBer, I see no reason to draft JL.

We need to find out about the players that we have on our roster now. Nicholas could be what we are looking for at SLB, but we have to give him his shot.

If it doesn't workout, we have guys like Sean Weatherspoon, Mark Herzlich, Sergio Kindle, and Brandon Spikes coming out who are better fits for 4-3 OLB than JL (MLB/ILB), Clay Matthews (3-4 OLB), Mauluaga (3-4 ILB), and Cushing (????).

I say we figure out what we have on our roster this year and target OLB next year.

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I see no reason to pick a LBer early. I don't like the talent.

The USC LBers didn't play 3 downs and all seem to be a better fit in a 3-4 defense..... especially Rey and Matthews. Cushing would be the only option and he will probably be gone when we pick.

I don't think JL is what we want either. He is good, but I see him as a clone of Michael Boley. Good in coverage, but gets manhandled by blocks in the run game. That is not a good fit for SLB. If Peterson is playing Will LBer, I see no reason to draft JL.

We need to find out about the players that we have on our roster now. Nicholas could be what we are looking for at SLB, but we have to give him his shot.

If it doesn't workout, we have guys like Sean Weatherspoon, Mark Herzlich, Sergio Kindle, and Brandon Spikes coming out who are better fits for 4-3 OLB than JL (MLB/ILB), Clay Matthews (3-4 OLB), Mauluaga (3-4 ILB), and Cushing (????).

I say we figure out what we have on our roster this year and target OLB next year.

What about Sintim? He may be the best of the bunch. Also, I agree that with Nicholas and Wire we don't have to get an LB early. I just think there is enough depth at LB that we'll have a chance to get a very good one and Peterson is only a 1-2yr stop gap.

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I see no reason to pick a LBer early. I don't like the talent.

The USC LBers didn't play 3 downs and all seem to be a better fit in a 3-4 defense..... especially Rey and Matthews. Cushing would be the only option and he will probably be gone when we pick.

I don't think JL is what we want either. He is good, but I see him as a clone of Michael Boley. Good in coverage, but gets manhandled by blocks in the run game. That is not a good fit for SLB. If Peterson is playing Will LBer, I see no reason to draft JL.

We need to find out about the players that we have on our roster now. Nicholas could be what we are looking for at SLB, but we have to give him his shot.

If it doesn't workout, we have guys like Sean Weatherspoon, Mark Herzlich, Sergio Kindle, and Brandon Spikes coming out who are better fits for 4-3 OLB than JL (MLB/ILB), Clay Matthews (3-4 OLB), Mauluaga (3-4 ILB), and Cushing (????).

I say we figure out what we have on our roster this year and target OLB next year.

If we are to pick a LB later in the draft I would like it to be Jason Williams from Western Illinois. He is projected in the 3-4th round and he is a SLB. we could groom him for a year or two and then let him step in

Well that could be an idea if don't like drafting a LB early in this years draft

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According to an Espn Interview, Peterson is going to be manning the will position. I think that Sintim would make a better SLB in the long-term as he learns the position as a 4-3 SLB. I think that JL is going to be a solid player in the league. I honestly would address DE and Safety before I pick up a LB. I think that Nicholas can play SLB. I hope that we wait until the 4th round to address LB, this LB class is very deep with talent, and I think that we have the luxury of spending a later round pick to develop a replacement for Peterson at the WIll or Sam.

Absolutely agree. But, I'd rather see either DE or CB addressed first. I think DeCoud will do fine as a starter and one of the top corners could fall to 24 and be a great value pick. What I really want to see is Larry English at 24 and.....anyone they deem as a starting corner in the second round.

I think DT, LB, S, TE and OL can be found in the later rounds. Would prefer DT and LB in 3-4 rounds.

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Neither of those guys fit with what the Falcons do on D. Sintim is a 3-4 LB who is best playing up field. He is not good enough in coverage for our system. While the pass rush ability would be a plus, I just don't see him in ATL b/c he is a better fit for the 3-4 system where his lack of coverage ability could be less exposed. Part of the responsibility of a Strongside LB is to line up on a TE, or a RB that splits out and cover him down the field, one on one. This is where Sintim struggles, just like most of the TE's in this draft class struggle when asked to block inline.

Laurinaitis is an inside linebacker. He is not athletic enough to play outslide LB in the pros. There is a lot of talk about him on the boards b/c he is a big name, but that is about it. We don't need another middle LB and Lofton is not moving to the outside. For all the love Laurinaitis gets, I think NFL teams think he didn't really show up big in the two national championship games. You may not think that is a big deal, but those two games were indicative of the type of speed and skill he will face every week in the pro's.

The guys that I think are a better fit, Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews, and Tyrone McKenzie. I think McKenzie is way underrated and is the best coverage backer of the three and he could get a strong look from Atlanta, especially in the 2nd or 3rd round.

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What about Sintim? He may be the best of the bunch. Also, I agree that with Nicholas and Wire we don't have to get an LB early. I just think there is enough depth at LB that we'll have a chance to get a very good one and Peterson is only a 1-2yr stop gap.

3-4 OLB. We need LBers who can cover and that is definitely the weakest part of his game.

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Neither of those guys fit with what the Falcons do on D. Sintim is a 3-4 LB who is best playing up field. He is not good enough in coverage for our system. While the pass rush ability would be a plus, I just don't see him in ATL b/c he is a better fit for the 3-4 system where his lack of coverage ability could be less exposed. Part of the responsibility of a Strongside LB is to line up on a TE, or a RB that splits out and cover him down the field, one on one. This is where Sintim struggles, just like most of the TE's in this draft class struggle when asked to block inline.

Laurinaitis is an inside linebacker. He is not athletic enough to play outslide LB in the pros. There is a lot of talk about him on the boards b/c he is a big name, but that is about it. We don't need another middle LB and Lofton is not moving to the outside. For all the love Laurinaitis gets, I think NFL teams think he didn't really show up big in the two national championship games. You may not think that is a big deal, but those two games were indicative of the type of speed and skill he will face every week in the pro's.

The guys that I think are a better fit, Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews, and Tyrone McKenzie. I think McKenzie is way underrated and is the best coverage backer of the three and he could get a strong look from Atlanta, especially in the 2nd or 3rd round.

I agree with everything you said. I also think McKenzie is extremely underrated and will be a great pick up.

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you say it's good to get sintim because he line up on the line like boley used too...

but didn't we let Boley leave and bench him because he didn't fit are scheme?

Boley was benched because he didn't do his job- vs the run or the pass. I think Sintim would've been great in whatever scheme he played in. He really wasn't asked to cover, so it's hard to know how good he'll be at it. He is fast and strong. He would upgrade our pass rush more than a new DE IMO. He just strikes me as the type of player who is gonna make an impact, he is the type of talent that will produce double digit sacks if used properly. He has shown he can stop the run and rush the passer, we could put him at WLB on third down and turn him loose.

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I think and also believe that Maluagua would be the preferrred guy--don't know if we try (or even could get him) but he's that old school "thumper" type that really changes a game.

Barring Maluagua i'm beginning to think Beckworth might be the guy. He'll be a really good WLB.

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Clint Sintim is a prototypical 3-4 rush linebacker. He could provide a pass rush for us but i don't think it's a smart pick, he is a great player though.

We have been showing tons of interest in Rey Maualuga out of southern cal. He can be a three-down player in the NFL. He brings a nasty attitude, he's tough, physical and a down-hill player. He can provide a swagger for our defense. Did i mention he provides bone-jarring hits. was one of the most feared players in the ncaa, nicknamed "sting-rey"...

James Laurinaitis has been good for soo long that people are getting bored of him. The fact is Laurinaitis is a consistent player who does everything right, he can play the run and pass, he can play all three positions, he has lead by example, he's smart and instinctive.

Darry Beckwith has gotten a whole lot of looks from us and TD has made his interest in him pretty public. Beckwith was a 3 year starter and moved to MIke in his last year. He can play either WILL or MIKE. He provides a lot of versatility and is a young player with immense potential and is on the rise.

Sting-Rey, Laurinaitis and Beckwith all are great players who fit our scheme. TD and Smitty value LBs who can play all three positions, providing versatility within the scheme, three-down players.

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I see no reason to pick a LBer early. I don't like the talent.

The USC LBers didn't play 3 downs and all seem to be a better fit in a 3-4 defense..... especially Rey and Matthews. Cushing would be the only option and he will probably be gone when we pick.

I don't think JL is what we want either. He is good, but I see him as a clone of Michael Boley. Good in coverage, but gets manhandled by blocks in the run game. That is not a good fit for SLB. If Peterson is playing Will LBer, I see no reason to draft JL.

We need to find out about the players that we have on our roster now. Nicholas could be what we are looking for at SLB, but we have to give him his shot.

If it doesn't workout, we have guys like Sean Weatherspoon, Mark Herzlich, Sergio Kindle, and Brandon Spikes coming out who are better fits for 4-3 OLB than JL (MLB/ILB), Clay Matthews (3-4 OLB), Mauluaga (3-4 ILB), and Cushing (????).

I say we figure out what we have on our roster this year and target OLB next year.

Hakim, You are dead on. I would not mind a LB later, but not in the first round. The value at #24 for LB's is weak.

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