I last posted a LB draft watch in September, here. I figure it's time to look at these guys again. We seriously need some help at the center of our D. Great segue, huh? My top 5 MLBs after the break.
1.) Ray Maualuga, USC (Sr.): He's a combination of Urlacher and Polamalu. He has Urlacher's footwork with Polamalu's nose for the ball; he's a combination of Urlacher's tackling with Polamalu's intangibles. He's 6'2", 260 lbs. He's legit.
2.) Brandon Spikes, Florida (Jr.): I love this guy. I don't think he'll come out this year, but I'll put him ahead of Laurinaitis. I see him as a Patrick Willis-type. By the way, Willis has to get off of the 49ers. He is way too good and they are way too not.
3.) James Laurinaitis, Ohio St. (Sr.): He's just so polished. The Urlacher comparisons will be left and right on draft day. Plus, Ohio St. has been pumping out solid LBs on par with Penn St. Systems are as important to NFL coaches as stats (though both are less valued than combine results). Speaking of, his combine will be very interesting.
4.) Worrell Williams, Cal (Sr.): I only one Cal game this year (the USC-Cal game in early Nov.), and Williams looked solid. Hell, Cal's entire D looked solid, holding USC to just 17 points. He's very thick and not very tall, so his height/weight ratio might play into his draft position. I feel the same way about Darry Beckwith who dropped off since my September LB watch. LSU's defense was just gross, and I can't let Beckwith off. He drops down to 6th on my MLB list.
5.) Joe Pawelek, Baylor (Jr.): I'm hearing very good things about this guy. I say hearing because I didn't catch any Baylor games this year; there were too many solid Big XII matchups. In any case, the experience he's gotten this year in playing against Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. has to be paying dividends. Those are serious offenses. I'll see what I can dig up on this guy over the next two months.