FanPost

Scouting Reports 2014: Outside Linebackers

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It's that time again!!!!!!!!!!!! Scouting reports are my one of my favorite pastimes, and have been for a very long time, since I was about 15 to be exact!

Scouting reports to me are so much better when you do it yourself rather going by what someone else says and/or a players stats. You learn so much more by taking the time to watch the tape and really study each position and the players that come with it. Remember the film NEVER lies

The OLB position is not as deep as other positions, but it has some play makers as well. This position group is one of the most experienced, has loads of seniors in it, unlike other positions, which is what separates it from the pack. This group also happens to be one of the more physical group of linebackers that I have scouted in recent memory. Just like the other posts, I did not forget "this guy (insert name)" because I didn't list him. I listed the prospects I would not mind seeing in the horns but also would be a nice fit and/or brings something different or extra to what we already have.

Kyle Van Noy

BYU 6'3" 243lbs

Kyle Van Noy BYU Highlights ᴴᴰ "Beast Mode" (via Harris Highlights)

GOOD

  • Good pass rusher
  • Can play zone
  • Very aware
  • High Motor
  • Plays very smart
  • Reads the run well
  • Uses hands very well
  • Takes on blocks
  • Gets flat down LOS

BAD

  • Struggles with disengaging
  • Can sometimes rush too high
  • Not the best in man coverage
  • Only an average athlete
  • Close to his pique

Player Comparison: Sean Weatherspoon. Like Weatherspoon, Van Noy enters the NFL as the total package linebacker. He lacks the explosion and burst of Weatherspoon, but they both are excellent blitzers that know how to rush the passer, and plays the run extremely well. Also like Weatherspoon Van Noy enters the league as a very good zone coverage linebacker. He can man up against stiffer backs in coverage, but will struggle against quicker backs that are better receivers. Van Noy brings a high motor and a lot of good fundamentals and versatility. He has the ability to play any linebacker position in any style of defense.

Ryan Shazier

Ohio State 6'1" 237lbs

Ryan Shazier Highlights ᴴᴰ "You Can't Stop Me" (via Harris Highlights)

GOOD

  • Very Fast
  • Sideline to sideline defender
  • Good blitzer
  • Good zone defender
  • Physical
  • Can Cover tightends
  • Fast enough to stay with running backs
  • Very experienced
  • Ideal OLB
  • Very good lateral quickness
  • Accelerates quickly
  • Explosive
  • Above average strength
  • Instinctive

BAD

  • Tend to over run plays
  • Can take bad angles
  • Does not always wrap up
  • Will guess too often
  • Could add about 10lbs
  • Needs to use his hands more

Player comparison: Lavonte David. Shazier may actually be a better athlete than David. Although David is the superior tackler. Both players are "undersized", but both players can do it all. Shazier is actually slightly bigger than David. Shazier is a very good coverage guy like and can blitz with the best of them, much like David. Shazier has range and instincts, and he is very physical. In today's NFL that is everything that you look for in a linebacker.

C.J. Mosley

Alabama 6'2" 234lbs

CJ Mosley Alabama Highlights ᴴᴰ (via Harris Highlights)

GOOD

  • Very consistent player
  • Physical
  • Very good tackler
  • Reads the run extremely well
  • Very Aware
  • Fast
  • Sideline to sideline defender
  • Smart
  • Uses his hands
  • Can play inside and outside
  • Very good man coverage
  • Very good zone coverage
  • Has elite instincts
  • Has amazing lateral agility

BAD

  • Has a scrawny build
  • A lot of injury concerns
  • Took a lot of poor angles
  • Needs to do a better job taking on blocks
  • Struggles to disengage on the interior

Player Comparison: Jon Beason. Mosley like Beason has the ability to play both inside and out. Beason has made his living on the inside and Mosley looks like he will make his living on the outside. Former Panther had this to say about Jon Beason when he was a rookie, "some guys are athletes, some guys are big, some guys are mean, he's a football player." Does that not describe Mosley all the way to the bone? He will need to prove he can stay healthy in the NFL, as he has consistently been dinged up throughout his Alabama career, but he enter the NFL as arguably the most pro ready, and complete linebacker prospect.

Khalil Mack

Buffalo 6'3" 253lbs

Ultimate Khalil Mack Highlights | HD (via Csonka Péter)\

GOOD

  • Very physical
  • Strikes violently
  • Amazing pass rusher
  • Probably the best pass rusher in the draft
  • Uses his hands as good as anyone
  • Plays the run extremely well
  • Plays very fast
  • Sideline to sideline defender
  • Extremely explosive
  • Very quick
  • Reads plays with the best of them
  • Can cover both zone and man
  • Consistent
  • High motor
  • Often stops backs before they get started
  • Ideal size
  • Takes on blocks
  • Good athlete

BAD

  • Competition was not ideal

Player comparison: Von Miller. Miller gets a lot of credit and attention for his ability to rush the pass and get sacks. Thing that no one mentions is he is a 4-3 linebacker playing in a 4-3 system. Which means he plays more coverage than your average 3-4 linebacker. He EXCELS in this part of the game. He also plays the run extremely well. The same goes for Mack. He is such a good pass rusher, and sacks is what people want to see, that his coverage and run defense gets overlooked. Mack is a lot bigger than Miller, but he plays the same sort of game. And that is everything. They both bring everything you need from you linebacker to the table. But Mack is bigger and might be a better athlete. It is very hard to find a flaw in his overall game.

Jordan Tripp

Montana 6'3" 234lbs

Jordan Tripp vs Coastal Carolina 2nd Rd FCS Playoffs (2013) (via Josh DB)

GOOD

  • Very good instincts
  • High motor
  • Good athlete
  • Reads plays very well
  • Attacks the ball
  • Very good lateral agility
  • Very aware
  • Moves well in traffic
  • Takes on blocks
  • Physical

BAD

  • Struggles a lot with disengaging
  • will take his share of poor angles
  • Sometimes overruns the play
  • Has happy feet in coverage
  • Will struggle in both man and zone
  • Reacts more than he predicts

Player Comparison: Brian Cushing. Tripp can play on the inside of a 3-4 or outside in a 4-3. He is not as thick as Cushing but both are very well sculpted and shows commitment to the weight room. Most of all, both have a knack for attacking the ball carrier fearlessly. While this is a good thing it can be a bad thing as well, because it teaches a player to be reckless and out of control. It is because of this that he takes poor angles and overruns that play at times. Make no mistake about it though, this kid is a plug and play defender. He needs to learn to be patient and how to read routes to become a better pass defender, but has the skills and size to develop into a good one. Until then he is an immediate two down linebacker, with a lot of upside.

My top ten outside linebackers (entire class, 4-3 true OLB only) are:

  1. Khalil Mack
  2. C.J. Mosley
  3. Ryan Shazier
  4. Kyle Van Noy
  5. Jordan Tripp
  6. Christian Kirksey
  7. Christian Jones
  8. Carl Bradford
  9. Kevin Pierre-Louis
  10. Johnathon Brown

Most Pro Ready:

C.J. Mosley

Most Potential:

Khalil Mack

Most Explosive:

Ryan Shazier

Biggest Bust Potential:

Christian Jones

Sleeper:

Christian Kirksey (look out for this kid, loved everything about his film. Might be a draft day steal and looks like an immediate contributor and special teams ace)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker