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Sean Weatherspoon -- Wlb Only?


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This is more of a question than a comment -- NFL.com's depth chart for the Falcons has Weatherspoon lined up at strongside OLB over the tight end. I was of the opinion that he played weakside LB for us and that he struggled at strongside LB as a rookie?

Of the two outside positions, is Sean only a WLB? Can he play SLB? Or better yet can he move to MLB, similar to a Jon Beason kind of player in the middle?

I am asking because with Lofton out of the picture and the draft right around the corner, I'm trying to figure out what our best move may be with our first draft pick. We have Akeem Dent who I believe can capably play strongside LB or middle LB. IMO Tatupu is a stop-gap low risk signing and may not get on the field, and I also believe Stephen Nicholas can be upgraded upon.

If Dent were to play SLB in 4-3 sets with Weatherspoon at the Mike, we'd have an opening at WLB. Weatherspoon is playing "Mike" in nickel situations for the 2012 season and has done that already, so maybe he can do it full time and we can have him around the ball even more than he already is.

Three guys could be available at our 2nd round pick who could be BPA:

1) Cal's Mychal Kendricks (physical, fast 4.4 speed, 5'11 240 lbs, can cover and clean up from weakside and play Mike)

2) UNC's Zach Brown (non-physical LB, 4.4 speed, 6'1 244 lbs, can cover and clean up from weakside -- WLB only)

3) Nebraska's Lavonte David (physical, 4.5/4.6 speed, 6'1 230 lbs, can cover okay -- WLB only)

We'd have some tremendous LB possibilities for the next 8 years if we got one of these guys. IF Dent can play SLB, I'd love to get Mychal Kendricks as a Beason-esque MLB. In 3-4 alignments Weatherspoon and Kendricks would play ILB and look a ton like Willis and Bowman in San Fran -- fast and physical players who cover the entire field.

Just trying to figure some stuff out.

- TDB

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He has the talent and ability to play all 3 positions. Well he does have experience at all 3 positions so I wouldn't be against throwing him on the inside here and there. I would also like to see Spencer Adkins get some PT during passing situations. He has proved he can hold his own

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Why dnt u just leave dent at MLB and spoon at either WLB or SLB since he can play both...

because none of those 3 prospects can play SLB. If Dent stays at MLB and Spoon is best suited at WLB, then they would not make sense to be drafted.

IF Dent was just as well suited to play SLB in a 4-3 alignment, which he did some of that at Georgia, then Mychal Kendricks would be a heckuva 2nd round draft pick if he was available because he'd play in the middle. And I'm asking if Spoon can play SLB well -- I thought he struggled to do this as a rookie and broke out last year only playing the weak side?

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because none of those 3 prospects can play SLB. If Dent stays at MLB and Spoon is best suited at WLB, then they would not make sense to be drafted.

IF Dent was just as well suited to play SLB in a 4-3 alignment, which he did some of that at Georgia, then Mychal Kendricks would be a heckuva 2nd round draft pick if he was available because he'd play in the middle. And I'm asking if Spoon can play SLB well -- I thought he struggled to do this as a rookie and broke out last year only playing the weak side?

But Nic was pretty good in the SLB why get rid of him?

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But Nic was pretty good in the SLB why get rid of him?

He was decent at best when healthy, was injured last year, and is turning 29 in a month. All 3 of those guys are going to be 1) much more explosive, 2) much better in coverage, 3) much cheaper, and 4) BPA if they are available at our 2nd round pick.

It would be tough to pass on them if they had a spot on our team. If Sean is a WLB only and Dent can only be a MLB then they don't have a spot with us.

And it isn't "getting rid of anyone", it would be drafting the best player available. Giants do it all the time and they've won 2 Superbowl with Jerry Reese as GM since he took over in 2007.

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He was decent at best when healthy, was injured last year, and is turning 29 in a month. All 3 of those guys are going to be 1) much more explosive, 2) much better in coverage, 3) much cheaper, and 4) BPA if they are available at our 2nd round pick.

It would be tough to pass on them if they had a spot on our team. If Sean is a WLB only and Dent can only be a MLB then they don't have a spot with us.

And it isn't "getting rid of anyone", it would be drafting the best player available. Giants do it all the time and they've won 2 Superbowl with Jerry Reese as GM since he took over in 2007.

Nic is one of the better coverage 4-3 LB's. Not sure what your talking about.

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IF Dent can play SLB, our draft could be:

2) Mychal Kendricks, MLB, Cal

3) Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington

5) Lucas Cox, OG, Pittsburgh

6) James Hanna, TE, Oklahoma

7) Junior Hemingway, WR, Michigan

That's 3 probable starters, a big time offensive contributor at TE, and a WR with Victor Cruz-like potential as a 4th WR who can grow to a #2 WR. Yes, we could address a different position with our 2nd and keep Nicholas as a starter but then our LB is average at best with one stud. I'd rather have two studs and a progressing SLB in Dent. If we have to stop the Saints offense, the Panthers offense (going to be great next year), and the Bucs with VJax and Trent Richardson, I want stud linebackers. Period.

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He is decent. He doesn't have the speed to stay with a slot WR or a TE like Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham, or Kellen Winslow. Those 3 guys do and are simply better players.

He is better than decent. He is one of the better coverage LB's in the NFL. If i need to provide links I will. No LB is going to be able to cover Jimmy Graham and no LB is going to be able to hang with a slot WR.

I'm not going to say those 3 guys would definitely not be better coverage LB's, but Nic is more than adequate at covering so it would be more of a luxury pick.

Edited by Clark Kent
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He is better than decent. He is one of the better coverage LB's in the NFL. If i need to provide links I will. No LB is going to be able to cover Jimmy Graham and no LB is going to be able to hang with a slot WR.

I'm not going to say those 3 guys would definitely not be better coverage LB's, but Nic is more than adequate at covering so it would be more of a luxury pick.

It is hard for me to have a ton of faith in our defense against the Saints' intact offense, the Panthers improving offense, and a Bucs offense that now had Vincent Jackson and will likely have Trent Richardson as well. If they direct the offense away from Weatherspoon, I don't like our match up against Nicholas or Dent if we don't upgrade the LBs.

You can call it luxury, I can call it BPA. Semantics. The Giants took Jason Pierre-Paul with their first pick in the draft even though they had Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. Some people called it a luxury pick, Jerry Reese said it was BPA. Turned out pretty well instead of taking a player of lesser talent at a position of need.

I'm especially intrigued with the Mychal Kendricks scenario. He is being compared to Jon Beason and Patrick Willis type of MLB. Strong, physical, super fast, can do everything. If he was two inches taller we'd be talking about Top 15 in the draft no question. And why does he need two inches when he can jump out of the building to break up a pass?

Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year last year.

Had 105 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 2 passes broken up, 2 interceptions, and 1 fumble recovery in 13 games.

Ran an electronically timed 4.47 at 5'11, 240 lbs, benched 225 lbs 24 times, had a 39.5" vertical jump, 10'07" broad jump, 4.19 short shuttle (4.14 at pro day), and a 6.68 3 cone drill.

Patrick Willis was worse in EVERY metric, but is 2 inches taller. He ran a 4.51 at the combine, had 22 bench reps, a 39" vertical jump, a 9'11" broad jump, 4.46 short shuttle, and 7.23 3 cone drill. Very telling are the short shuttle and 3 cone drill which measure explosiveness, ability to change direction, and quickness.

Patrick Willis looks unbelievably quick on the field. Kendricks is significantly quicker.

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because none of those 3 prospects can play SLB. If Dent stays at MLB and Spoon is best suited at WLB, then they would not make sense to be drafted.

IF Dent was just as well suited to play SLB in a 4-3 alignment, which he did some of that at Georgia, then Mychal Kendricks would be a heckuva 2nd round draft pick if he was available because he'd play in the middle. And I'm asking if Spoon can play SLB well -- I thought he struggled to do this as a rookie and broke out last year only playing the weak side?

i dnt remember him playing any SLB since he didnt even have any extensive action till his senior year when he started every game... He played MLB in the 43 N ILB in the 34 his senior year...

Dent is a lofton clone and is best suited to be on the inside.. spoon can play over the TE or on the weak side he did it all last year yall...

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i dnt remember him playing any SLB since he didnt even have any extensive action till his senior year when he started every game... He played MLB in the 43 N ILB in the 34 his senior year...

Dent is a lofton clone and is best suited to be on the inside.. spoon can play over the TE or on the weak side he did it all last year yall...

This is actually entirely false (no offense). He played SLB at Georgia his entire career and moved to MLB his senior season.

Third-round pick linebacker Akeem Dent, who played outside in his first three seasons at the University of Georgia, played inside last season. He projects to play on the strong-side with the Falcons — the position he played through his junior season.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/atlanta-falcons-offseason-review-steep-price-paid-for-julio-jones-052911

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It is hard for me to have a ton of faith in our defense against the Saints' intact offense, the Panthers improving offense, and a Bucs offense that now had Vincent Jackson and will likely have Trent Richardson as well. If they direct the offense away from Weatherspoon, I don't like our match up against Nicholas or Dent if we don't upgrade the LBs.

You can call it luxury, I can call it BPA. Semantics. The Giants took Jason Pierre-Paul with their first pick in the draft even though they had Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. Some people called it a luxury pick, Jerry Reese said it was BPA. Turned out pretty well instead of taking a player of lesser talent at a position of need.

I'm especially intrigued with the Mychal Kendricks scenario. He is being compared to Jon Beason and Patrick Willis type of MLB. Strong, physical, super fast, can do everything. If he was two inches taller we'd be talking about Top 15 in the draft no question. And why does he need two inches when he can jump out of the building to break up a pass?

Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year last year.

Had 105 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 2 passes broken up, 2 interceptions, and 1 fumble recovery in 13 games.

Ran an electronically timed 4.47 at 5'11, 240 lbs, benched 225 lbs 24 times, had a 39.5" vertical jump, 10'07" broad jump, 4.19 short shuttle (4.14 at pro day), and a 6.68 3 cone drill.

Patrick Willis was worse in EVERY metric, but is 2 inches taller. He ran a 4.51 at the combine, had 22 bench reps, a 39" vertical jump, a 9'11" broad jump, 4.46 short shuttle, and 7.23 3 cone drill. Very telling are the short shuttle and 3 cone drill which measure explosiveness, ability to change direction, and quickness.

Patrick Willis looks unbelievably quick on the field. Kendricks is significantly quicker.

Falcons agreed to terms with OLB Stephen Nicholas on a five-year, $17.5 million deal.

So much for that talk Nicholas would end up with the Giants. One of the best coverage linebackers available heads back to Atlanta where he'll likely start on the strong side. The Bucs were reportedly the primary competition for Nicholas' services, as he played at South Florida in college.

There are several other similar pieces giving praise to Nicholas's coverage ability.

Hey i'm not against adding someone to the front 7, but the whole JPP situations is different. If we were talking about a DE I would be all for jumping all on that, but for a OLB I don't think its necessary when we already have a good coverage LB with Nicholas. I just don't think any 2nd round LB we bring in is going to beat out Stephen Nicholas who is already a good coverage backer and has been in our system a few years. And because he is 29 that is supposed to be a red flag? He is 28 years old. His age doesn't concern me at all.

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Falcons agreed to terms with OLB Stephen Nicholas on a five-year, $17.5 million deal.

So much for that talk Nicholas would end up with the Giants. One of the best coverage linebackers available heads back to Atlanta where he'll likely start on the strong side. The Bucs were reportedly the primary competition for Nicholas' services, as he played at South Florida in college.

There are several other similar pieces giving praise to Nicholas's coverage ability.

Hey i'm not against adding someone to the front 7, but the whole JPP situations is different. If we were talking about a DE I would be all for jumping all on that, but for a OLB I don't think its necessary when we already have a good coverage LB with Nicholas. I just don't think any 2nd round LB we bring in is going to beat out Stephen Nicholas who is already a good coverage backer and has been in our system a few years. And because he is 29 that is supposed to be a red flag? He is 28 years old. His age doesn't concern me at all.

I agree we are going to be staying with Nic... hopefully he will be used more if we go LB in the 2nd it will signal to me that we are not confident with Dent or Tatupu and have drafted Lofton's replacement.

However I think we have much bigger needs than our LBer core and if we do go BPA I hope we take out WR, QB and LB to that equation.

Any other position I am ok going BPA (RB is a marginal one but if a true STUD is there maybe)

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Weatherspoon and Nicholas can play all 3 LB positions. I think it makes more sense to let them stick to the outside and just go with Dent/Tatupu on the inside.

If we wanted to put Weatherspoon in the inside, then Dent obviously kicks out to SLB and Nicholas moves to WLB.

I'm not a big fan of drafting a LB early to throw into the mix.

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Weatherspoon and Nicholas can play all 3 LB positions. I think it makes more sense to let them stick to the outside and just go with Dent/Tatupu on the inside.

If we wanted to put Weatherspoon in the inside, then Dent obviously kicks out to SLB and Nicholas moves to WLB.

I'm not a big fan of drafting a LB early to throw into the mix.

Ive just never been a fan of Nicholas. When he first got here I thought he had some nice potential but he never really got better, he has always been just decent. Decent isn't good enough to me. It's great that we have one stud at LB in Weatherspoon and I want more.

LB may be BPA by far when we're on the clock. There won't be a DE that is a better prospect than any of those 3 LBs, nor a WR if Alshon Jefferey and Stephen Hill are both taken. No CB, S, or OT will be either. So you're looking at maybe Brandon Thompson at DT, maybe Coby Fleener at TE, and maybe Brandon Brooks at OG. I don't think any of those guys are better prospects than Mychal Kendricks, and Thompson and Fleener are good bets to not be available.

I agree we'd have a log jam at LB, but we would be able to find takers for Stephen Nicholas and/or Akeem Dent in trades for draft picks.

It's very hard for me not to love the idea of Weatherspoon on the weakside, Kendricks in the middle, and Nicholas or Dent at SLB. I know we likely won't be going in that direction and in my mock I don't have us taking a LB since we seem to be high on Tatupu and Dent vying for MLB and we are higher on Stephen Nicholas than any other team.

If Weatherspoon could play SLB, than Kendricks could even play WLB at 5'11, 240 lbs with 4.4 speed and Dent/Tatupu can battle for MLB as planned. We can trade Nicholas to a team like the Giants and get a mid round draft pick which we badly need and could use to get our TE.

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You don't really have to have a stud SLB though. Those guys are usually the ones that just eat up blocks and cover the TE. It's just not a position of high value.

If we decided to grab a MLB, then the upgrade would be very minimal and we have a 1 year pro 3rd round pick already looking to get some substantial playing time this year.

I just don't really like the idea too much.

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This is actually entirely false (no offense). He played SLB at Georgia his entire career and moved to MLB his senior season.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/atlanta-falcons-offseason-review-steep-price-paid-for-julio-jones-052911

so he did play oon the outside? Ok i forgot that but he obviously was drafted to back up n play MLB for us... Whoever stated he is projected to play outside must not kno that we dnt have any spots there...

He averged about 30 tackles a yr until his senior yr when he exploded... I just dnt see him playin outside with that very lil experience and him proving he may be better sutied for MLB anyway... He really is a llofton clone... Both played on the outside and moved inside and produced...

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