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2021 NFL Draft Preview - Linebacker

Sy'56 : 4/7/2021 9:14 am
LINEBACKER

Format includes a quick position overview, my grading scale and what the number means, the summary and final grade from my final report on my top 15, a quick additional note on the player, and my ranks 16-30 with grades only.

*I AM NOT DOING NFL COMPARISONS

QUICK POSITION OVERVIEW

One of the best signing across the NFL during the 2020 offseason was Blake Martinez. NYG has lacked a consistent and reliable presence at linebacker for years and I’ve been very vocal about that leading to a lot of their defensive shortcomings. Martinez is the general they needed. One can make a case that the talent next to him is good enough with an interesting upside player in 2020 7th rounder Tae Crowder. He certainly outperformed his draft status as a rookie, and he deserves a shot. The likes of Devante Downs and David Mayo (now with WAS) just didn’t cut it. They don’t play fast enough and only made a positive impact on special teams. Reggie Ragland will give more of the same, although he is stouter against the run and TJ Brunson is an unknown that was drafted in the 7th round. The Ryan Anderson signing is interesting to me. As I said in my year-end review, that BUCK linebacker is a hybrid outside/inside linebacker position that needs to be a legitimate force at both spots and capable of switching his skin play to play. Ryan Anderson was exactly that at Alabama (19 TFL/9 sacks as a senior) but they never gave him a ton of snaps in WAS and he simply did not fit the Rivera scheme. The one year that he did play over 20% of the snaps, he did have 4 sacks. That was an underrated signing by this front office.

The Giants are likely set at ILB + Buck (I am including Carter in the EDGE group by the way) but the player they have next to Martinez (Crowder) cannot be considered a sure thing and the depth behind those two is average. The depth behind Anderson is near non-existent (although Carter Coughlin can fill that role).

GRADING SCALE

90+ All Pro Projection
85+: Pro Bowl Projection
81-84: 1st rounder – should be able to play right away
79-80: 2nd rounder – Should be able to rotate right away – Year 2 starter
77-78: 3rd rounder – Should be able to rotate by end of rookie year – Year 2/3 starter
74-76: Early Day 3 – Special Teams – Future backup/possible starter
71-73: Mid Day 3 – Special Teams – Future backup / gamble starter
68-70: Late Day 3 – Back end of roster / Practice Squad / Development guy
65-67: Preferred UDFA
60-64: Undrafted FA


TOP 15 GRADES AND ANALYSIS

1. Micah Parsons / Penn State / 6’3-246

Grade: 84


Summary: Junior entry from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A one-year starter that was heavily involved with the defense as a freshman in addition. Earned 1st Team All American honors and won the Big 10 Butkus-Fitzgerald Award in 2019, the first true sophomore to ever do that in conference history. Parsons opted out of the 2020 season, thus there are only two seasons of experience under his belt. However, in those two seasons he showed enough to be considered one of the premiere talents in this draft class. Parsons is already built like a man with a frame that will hold more bulk. His closing speed, burst, and violence when meeting the ball carrier will make him a playmaker that can be tossed around pre-snap. He plays like he is on fire and finishes with bad intentions. Parsons will be best suited for a defense that shows multiple fronts and can change their tune weekly. He is the epitome of versatility and playmaking. There will be some issues with his ability to mentally process and stick to assignments against the inside run, but that can be hidden with a quality defensive coordinator that understands this is a player you can build around.

*In 2019, I had Devin White and Devin Bush at 83 and 85 respectively. I place Parsons right in that tier, although he is a different kind of linebacker. He isn’t the play-to-play reliable force that the other two are, but he offers more versatility and playmaking potential. I actually think a scheme like Graham’s is the ideal fit for him, considering how much they blitz and try to bring pressure from different angles. My “concern” here is how disciplined he is with making reads, fighting through blockers, and impact on the passing game. Parsons is a highlight reel type, but the 12 plays in between those highlights he can be merely average. Is that worth #11? It is debatable. In regard to some of the off-field concerns, I did not bring him down at all. Yes, there are maturity issues, but we aren’t talking about the kind of trouble where we see him on the 11 PM news in handcuffs. He is a stud, he knows he is a stud, and he has a temper issue. And to be honest, I don’t mind that in a linebacker. Parsons will be in the discussion, but I think he is behind a few guys that will be there at 11.

2. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah / Notre Dame / 6’1-221

Grade: 82


Summary: Fourth year junior entry. Two-year starter that took home a lot of hardware in 2020. Earned 1st Team All ACC and All-American honors respectively, won the ACC Defensive Player of the Year Award, and the Butkus Award to cap off his career. Owusu-Koramoah was a high school safety that played an ultra-hybrid role at Notre Dame. He led the Fighting Irish in tackles over the two seasons he was a starter while adding 24.5 TFL, 7 sacks, 7 pass break ups, and 5 forced fumbles. His versatility within his skill set matches what is seen in the box score. This is a kid that can line up in multiple spots based on what the opposing offense is showing and make an impact no matter what the opposing offense ends up doing. While there are some issues that need to be hidden, namely his stoutness inside, Owusu-Koramoah is an ideal fit for the new mold of defensive schemes looking for a hybrid defender that can stay on the field every down. He may be more safety than linebacker to some, but no matter where he lines up, he is going to be an impact player.

*During the season, I was convinced Owusu was going to finish as a top 10 player on my overall board. He didn’t quite reach that tier because of a few physical limitations, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him making a big impact if he lands on a good defense that really uses him the right way. I actually think there is a subtle chance NYG goes after him. He reminds me a bit of CAR linebacker Shaq Thompson, who Dave Gettleman drafted in 2015. He is as “multiple” as it gets, a term Joe Judge uses all the time, and he brings the intangibles to the table they want.

3. Zaven Collins / Tulsa / 6’5-259

Grade: 82


Summary: Fourth year junior from Hominy, Oklahoma. Three-year starter that earned All AAC honors in both 2019 and 2020. Also earned All American honors and won both the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy to cap off his career. Collins, a high school quarterback, morphed from 2-star recruit to one of the nation’s top defensive players during his time at Tulsa. He is ultra-tools rich that can change his skin play to play. The versatility he brings to the table as an off ball linebacker, edge rushing presence, and cover-man will be sought after by defenses that want to play a multiple-scheme. Collins shows the intelligence and knack for locating the action to rightfully be considered a cornerstone player for a team. This is the kind of prospect that is hard to find.

*I have a really hard time projecting where Collins is going to go in the draft. He is a 1st rounder in my book, but I could see him slipping to day 2 but can also see him being taken in the top 15. These guys with plus-tools, but from slightly lesser college programs, are always an enigma when it comes to projecting where they will go. Collins has Anthony Barr-type numbers when looking at measurables, but he gets way too high at times and didn’t read the action the way Barr did at UCLA. He also has a little less twitch. Collins upside is really high, no denying it.

4. Pete Werner / Ohio State / 6’2-242

Grade: 81


Summary: Senior entry from Indianapolis, Indiana. Three-year starter that earned All Big 10 honors in both 2019 and 2020, 1st Team in 2020. Werner is a new-age linebacker in that he can fill multiple roles along the second level of a defense and has the skill set to really stand out in coverage. He has good size, excellent foot speed, and fluid hips. He moved around the scheme often, seeing plenty of time both between the tackles and split out. He is a smart, well-versed, experienced player that simply gets the job done play in, play out. His pop and violence on contact and ability to pursue the action stands out. Werner may not raise eyebrows in workouts or on the stat sheet, but this is a blue-collar player that appears to be a safe pick and will out-perform several players drafted ahead of him.

*I am higher on Werner than most of what I have seen out there. Not sure what else people want to see out of a linebacker in terms of projecting a quality starter. He is big enough, fast enough, and plays versatile. One of the more dependable linebackers week to week. He spent a lot of time matched up against receivers in space, but still found a way to impact the running game between the tackles. He has everything an every down linebacker needs. And I’ll tell you what, if he is there in round 2, it would take someone else really falling for me to not want this kid to play with Martinez inside.

5. Nick Bolton / Missouri / 6’0-232

Grade: 78


Summary: Junior entry from Frisco, Texas. Two-year starter that earned 1st Team All SEC honors both seasons. Bolton has a powerful, muscle packed frame that is built low to the ground with speed and burst. He has true sideline to sideline range and will make his presence known on contact. He totaled an SEC-high 202 tackles over 2019-2020 combined, showing a consistent every down presence against the nation’s fastest offenses. There are red flags on tape when it comes to processing information and working through traffic against the inside run, but he is at the very least a rotational linebacker that can make things happen athletically.

*Bolton is going to be sought after day 2. His speed and power has some thinking he is an every down MIKE. I can see what those guys like, I really do. I just wish he had more looseness in his lower half. I actually think his best fit is inside in a 3-4. A team like PIT makes a lot of sense here, and he would thrive. However, if he is THE guy in the middle of a defense, I think he will leave some to be desired.

6. Jamin Davis / Kentucky / 6’3-234

Grade: 77


Summary: Junior entry from Ludowici, Georgia. Davis broke out in his first year as a starting linebacker, leading the team with 102 tackles in just 10 games. He also intercepted three passes, forced a fumble, recovered one, and blocked a kick. It is easy to notice the versatile upside Davis brings to the table. He is all over the field, he is fast, he is long, and he is physical. Considering the lack of experience and occasional mental and technique hiccups that arose weekly, he is in the tier of prospects that a team will need to be patient with. He has a higher ceiling than most, but he may need a redshirt year in the NFL besides special teams.

*Davis is the best athlete in this group, and pound for pound may be the best athlete in the entire class. He absolutely tore up his Pro Day workout and it shows up on tape. If he can figure it out, he has the potential to be a player that can change a defense. There is a chance we see him drafted in the first round.

7. Chazz Suratt / North Carolina / 6’2-227

Grade: 77


Summary: Fifth year senior from Denver, North Carolina. Two-year starter at linebacker that originally arrived at UNC as a quarterback, where he also started 7 games. Two-time 1st Team All ACC and was the runner up for the 2019 ACC Defensive Player of the Year Award. Surratt was a record setting quarterback in high school and spent his first three seasons with the Tar Heels under center. He moved to linebacker prior to the 2019 season and the transition was completely seamless. He quickly became of the best at the position in the ACC. Surratt clearly understands the game mentally and used his experience as a quarterback to aid the transition process. Throw in the fact he is incredibly twitchy with plus-closing speed, it is easy to see how good of a player he can be in a league that now demands linebackers to cover first, play the run second. Surratt may not be big and stout, but he plays tough and knows how to work around traffic. His role is specific and there are certain schemes he won’t fit into at the second level, but this is the kind of linebacker that will provide an upgrade to the speed and athleticism of a unit and should contribute early on.

*I think the grades on him around the league are going to vary a ton. Some will be turned off by the size because he isn’t a big-time speed guy. Some will be turned off by the lack of stoutness. I think he is good enough in all those areas but brings his game to another level because of what goes on between the ears. He is really smart and twitchy. He has some pop and attitude in his game too. I think he is a quality starting weak side guy year 2. Remember, he was a quarterback just 2 years ago.

8. Jabril Cox / LSU / 6’3-233

Grade: 77


Summary: Fifth year senior from Kansas City, Missouri. Spent four seasons at North Dakota State before grad-transferring to LSU for 2020. Four-year starter between the two programs. Three-time All Missouri Valley Conference and two-time All American during his time at North Dakota State. Cox decided to take his game to the highest collegiate level in 2020 after four years in the FCS. While it took him a few weeks to get acclimated to the speed of the game, his tools and versatility were on full display by the end of the shortened season. Cox is naturally gifted with the ideal NFL body for the position, possessing length and functional lower body thickness. His speed in space is real and he can catch a lot of action from behind. He seems to be missing the quick twitch reactions that stem from recognition and instincts, however. He looks much better in space than he does in traffic, which could be a major problem if he is put into the wrong role. He has the tools to be a very good player, but the team that drafts him needs to be patient and smart about where they put him.

*As expected, the uptick in competition from the Missouri Valley Conference to the SEC didn’t do much for Cox. While he proved he can run with those guys, he didn’t perform well against blockers. I think he needs a space-friendly role. If a team can protect him in that regard, he can be a really good front seven piece that will immediately make a group faster.

9. Dylan Moses / Alabama / 6’1-225

Grade: 76


Summary: Fourth year junior entry from Alexandria, Louisiana. Three-year starter that missed all of 2019 with a knee injury. 2nd Team All SEC in 2018, 1st Team in 2020. Moses was a rising star after starting 11 games in his first year on campus and landing on the SEC All-Freshman team. He then went on to being named a Butkus Award Finalist in 2018. The knee injury that ended his 2019 before it started killed his momentum, however, and he never quite got back to the same level in 2020. Moses, a former 5-star recruit, was a standout athlete on a team full of freak athletes. His burst and speed are top notch. He seemed to really struggle with post-snap reads though. There wasn’t much natural flow through traffic, and he didn’t impact the game consistently. Moses will be an athlete that some teams want to gamble on, but this will be a high risk, high reward draft pick.

*A few too many got on the Alabama hype train when initially projecting Moses. I hand out my initial draft grades over summer for stacking purposes, and I never saw him as a day 2 guy. I do like the speed and pop he brings to the table, and he had a lot of quality tape in his career. He just never took that step up, though. Like a lot of linebackers with this kind of speed, he can make an impact for a defense if he is in the right situation. I don’t see him being a guy that will create a lot on his own without help.

10. Baron Browning / Ohio State / 6’3-241

Grade: 76


Summary: Senior entry from Fort Worth, Texas. Two-year starter that saw a lot of rotation duty in the NFL-filled linebacker room at Ohio State. Two-time All Big 10 honoree, 1st Team in 2020. Browning will test well athletically, and he has the NFL-ready body. He is thick and long with functional muscle mass from head to toe. Browning looks like a star on some plays, usually when he gets going in full pursuit and delivers violent impact on the move. Play to play, however, he doesn’t show a natural feel for the game. He has speed but lacks twitchy reaction and has proven to be a liability in zone coverage. He projects to backup duty where he can fill a specific, space-friendly role in certain packages.

*Browning in the kind of linebacker that I talk about when saying that instincts for this position are more important than pure speed. Yes, the speed (and in his case, power) can make a difference up front. He is not someone you want to be hit by with a full head of steam. However, he is too slow to see things transpire and there is a lot of catch up in his game. That works fine in the Big 10, not so much the NFL. He is a backup early on that can evolve into a solid MIKE if he learns the game.

11. Cameron McGrone / Michigan / 6’1-234

Grade: 76


Summary: Junior entry from Indianapolis, Indiana. Two-year starter that never quite lived up to the hype after being a five star recruit out of high school. He played in just 18 career college games and flashes his top-shelf speed and burst but failed to consistently put together quality production. McGrone’s shortcomings mainly came from slow reading post-snap and a lack of stoutness between the tackles. His athleticism will make him a solid run and chase defender and potential solid cover man at the second level, though. Taking a chance on a plus-athlete that is a solid kid off the field is worth the risk. The debate will center around his lack of experience and inconsistent impact against the inside run.

*McGrone is worth gambling on day 3. He is really explosive, has a nice frame with good weight, and plays hard. Smart kid too. He is a really raw football player and lacks experience. He just never found a long groove at Michigan and I think the shortened season hurt him a bit, more than most. As a football player, he is a 6th or 7th round pick. But the upside is worth looking at early day 3. Worst case, he will be a really good special teamer. Keep an eye on this kid with NYG if he is there mid to late day 3, it is a good fit.

12. KJ Britt / Auburn / 6’1-235

Grade: 74


Summary: Senior entry from Oxford, Alabama. Two-year starter that earned 1st Team All SEC honors. Played in just two 2020 games, as he injured his thumb and needed surgery. Britt thus only started 15 games over his career. There is enough tape to see how effective he can be as an interior run defender. He is a violent thumper with plus speed and power. Britt plays the game like an old school, classic Mike. With that said, he doesn’t appear to have a high ceiling against the pass and there is some agility-based tightness in his hips. Britt is a solid two-down linebacker that will provide on special teams, but he may be too limited to make an every down impact as a starter.

*Britt is worth drafting for special teams and providing depth at MIKE. I don’t see him ever making a big impact, but these are the kinds of guys I like to have on the depth chart. Smart, physical, and straight-line speed.

13. Monty Rice / Georgia / 6’0-233

Grade: 74


Summary: Senior entry from Huntsville, Alabama. Three-year starter that earned 2nd Team All SEC honors in 2019 while also winning the co-MVP for the Georgia defense. Rice took a step back in production as a senior, as he saw a chunk of his playing time taken away from a couple of future NFL linebackers. He was still very much a part of the Georgia defense, he simply rotated in and out more. Rice is a really instinctive, physical linebacker that tackles well and always seems to be around the action. He isn’t blessed with elite size and it does show up time to time, but he has underrated speed and plus intelligence. This is a linebacker that carried Alabama speedster Jaylen Waddle up the seam in coverage. He gets the most out of himself and should carve out a role on special teams early on and will stick as a solid backup with the potential of someday being a starting inside linebacker.

*Rice is similar to Britt, a guy I would love to have in a backup role and on special teams. It was a little bizarre how Georgia used him. There is a lot of young talent on that roster at linebacker and it definitely impacted Rice’s playing time. He wasn’t an every down guy, but I think he could have been. He simply doesn’t have the size + power those younger kids had. One of the best speed + instincts combos in the class, against the run. Didn’t see him much against the pass but I’ll never forget the time he carried Jaylen Waddle up the seam and ran with him all the way down the field. He may be entering the league really underrated because of how he was used at Georgia. Another interesting name to keep an ear out for.

14. Charles Snowden / Virginia / 6’6-243

Grade: 74


Summary: Senior entry from Silver Spring, Maryland. Three-year starter that earned All-ACC honors in 2019 and 2020. Had his 2020 cut short because of a broken ankle and then suffered a minor foot injury during the Senior Bowl practices. Snowden is a very unique player with a blend of tools and skills that don’t come around often. He has an enormous wingspan, he shows a good feel for the game, and his production is versatile. He has proven to be a factor against the pass as both an edge rusher and cover man (16 career pass break ups, 15 career sacks, and 18 career QB pressures). He is a smart and vocal player. He plays hard. All of these traits are sought after but there are concerns surrounding his lack of true power and burst. He is really thin and had hard time against true strength. He also looks awkward when his pad level isn’t low when it comes to his high-hip movement. Snowden is a player that will need time on the depth chart performing backup and situational roles before he can be an every down defender. Thew upside is high.

*I had high hopes for Snowden after watching his 2019 tape in prep for 2020. He had a slightly lower level-Anthony Barr look to him and a similar style. Some coaches are going to love his wingspan and he has some decent stride speed. I downgraded him a bit during the season though, as he lacks lower body stability which creates balance issues. He also has the body type I don’t trust when it comes to staying healthy. That in mind, he still is worth looking at day 3 because he can do a few things against the pass. He can run with tight ends, his wingspan can make life difficult for passers, and he has pass rush upside. Can be a solid situational player.

15. Grant Stuard / Houston / 5’11-230

Grade: 73


Summary: Senior entry from Conroe, Texas. Two-year starter that earned All-AAC honors in both 2019 and 2020. Stuard was a hybrid-safety until the team moved him to a full-time linebacker role as a senior. The former accomplished high school track athlete plays at a different level of speed and energy, somewhat hiding the fact he is very undersized for play near the line of scrimmage. Despite that red flag, Stuard was a very productive and impactful player. He is all over the field every week. There aren’t many prospects that bring the intensity like Stuard, but the question will revolve around the team’s ability to hide his size issues. His ideal role may even be more on the safety side. Stuard is going to be a demon on special teams and a defender that will instantly raise the energy of whatever unit he ends up on.

*Want to watch a fun player? Go get some Stuard clips on YouTube. This is one of the most energetic players I have ever seen, and it is literally every play, every game. His size is below the minimum that some teams have when it comes to overall reach, but enough teams will still see a stud special teamer. Stuard plays really fast too and knows how to avoid contact in traffic. You will hear about this kid someday; just not sure it will be on anything more than special teams.

16. Paddy Fisher / Northwestern / 6’3-240: 72
17. Hamilcar Rashed Jr / Oregon State / 6’3-254: 72
18. Garrett Wallow / TCU / 6’2-220: 71
19. Ernest Jones / South Carolina / 6’2-230: 70
20. Riley Cole / South Alabama / 6’3-225: 70
21. Buddy Johnson / Texas A& M / 6’1-230: 70
22. Tony Fields II / West Virginia / 6’0-222: 69
23. Derrick Barnes / Purdue / 6’0-238: 69
24. Anthony Hines III / Texas A& M / 6’2-230: 68
25. Isaiah McDuffie / Boston College / 6’1-227: 68
26. Amen Ogbongbemiga / Oklahoma State / 6’0-235: 68
27. Erroll Thompson / Mississippi State / 6’1-239: 68
28. Justin Hilliard / Ohio State / 6’1-227: 67
29. Tuf Borland / Ohio State / 6’0-229: 66
30. Trajan Stephens-McQueen / Georgia State / 6’1-230: 66

NYG APPROACH


While I think NYG is more than fine moving forward with Martinez and Crowder, especially considering that second ILB doesn’t play a ton of snaps, there are a lot of interesting names in the that top 15. If a value drops into day 3 that NYG likes, I think it would be smart to bring in another young depth piece. I think Devante Downs is very replaceable and to be honest, I would take any of those guys in the cluster of #9-#13 right now over Downs, and I think all five will go day 3. Something to think about. The biggest early-on question will be whether or not NYG should use #11 on Parsons if he is there. I can see why some would give the thumbs up; he is electric and could be the star of a defense because of how much base-level help there is around him. This NYG defense is put together really well, and it could handle a “freelancer” that Graham moves around and creates with. I wouldn’t criticize the pick at all, I just think the NYG defense could better-use that 11th pick and still bring in a quality player later on. The off-field stuff? Again, from what I have been told we aren’t talking about a guy that has jail time coming his way. I don’t think it will factor in to the grade. NYG could use a new star defensive player, he is the one that has that All Pro ceiling.
Nice job per usual, Sy  
Anakim : 4/7/2021 9:21 am : link
A couple of things:

I notice you listed Hamilcar Rashed Jr. as a LB. Why not put him in the EDGE class?

What are your thoughts on Buddy Johnson? He's more of a two-down thumper, but he was the heart and soul of that Texas A&M defense. People rave about his character and smarts.


I agree about Paddy Fisher, but why was he so highly thought of earlier in the Draft process? To me, he always seemed to project as a two-down run-stuffer who can accumulate a bunch of tackles ala Scooby Wright and Tyler Matakevich.
Great read...  
Brown_Hornet : 4/7/2021 9:21 am : link
...thanks!
thank you Sy agree about the need level  
Eric on Li : 4/7/2021 9:21 am : link
this defense needs more speed and while Crowder exceeded expectations he looked more like a good backup/role player than starter. If Davis is on the board in round 2 that would be really interesting but more likely I could see someone like Moses in round 4.
McGrone would be my target as well  
Anakim : 4/7/2021 9:23 am : link
I've seen most project him sneaking into Day 2, but if he's there in the sixth round, I would absolutely pull the trigger. Physical, athletic and smart. He's just so inexperienced.
Thanks Sy  
HMunster : 4/7/2021 9:24 am : link
Appreciate the commentary on Parsons. I know a lot of us are questioning him as a possible #11 pick because of the off the field issues. Good to hear your take on him regarding that.
Thanks for the write-up  
Chris684 : 4/7/2021 9:30 am : link
I agree with you on Werner. Forget the workout stuff, he just seems like a football player. I have little doubt he's going to be an every year starter and tackling machine for the team who takes him.

In this draft I'm very interested in finding that impact 2nd level defender to go along with the steady Martinez. We have Dex and Williams up front, the secondary is stacked. Parson, Collins, Werner and Ojulari all intrigue me very much. Parsons at 11 and the others via trade back/round 2.

Nice! thanks Sy  
ryanmkeane : 4/7/2021 9:41 am : link
I had McGrone to NYG in my 4 round mock in round 4. I think he's a guy they will look at for upside as a starter at LB and a special teamer right away.

In regards to Parsons - it would appear as you said that he's in that White/Bush mold - so what exactly about him is worse than White coming out? White went #5 overall and did have some off field stuff too (which you could argue was worse than Parsons). Is there something we aren't seeing with him that has people down on him a bit?
ILB  
JoeyBigBlue : 4/7/2021 9:45 am : link
Is one position that I feel comfortable at. I wouldn’t spend a premium resource on one, but if the right one falls, I wouldn’t mind taking one in Day 3.
Super read Sy.  
section125 : 4/7/2021 9:50 am : link
If Parsons were the pick at #11, would that alleviate the need for and Edge Rusher as a high priority? He'd be taking over Fackrell's spot?
RE: ILB  
ryanmkeane : 4/7/2021 10:20 am : link
In comment 15212398 JoeyBigBlue said:
Quote:
Is one position that I feel comfortable at. I wouldn’t spend a premium resource on one, but if the right one falls, I wouldn’t mind taking one in Day 3.

that's kind of where i'm at. I'm not sure that Parsons makes this team a lot better.
RE: Nice! thanks Sy  
JB_in_DC : 4/7/2021 10:33 am : link
In comment 15212395 ryanmkeane said:
Quote:
I had McGrone to NYG in my 4 round mock in round 4. I think he's a guy they will look at for upside as a starter at LB and a special teamer right away.

In regards to Parsons - it would appear as you said that he's in that White/Bush mold - so what exactly about him is worse than White coming out? White went #5 overall and did have some off field stuff too (which you could argue was worse than Parsons). Is there something we aren't seeing with him that has people down on him a bit?


Sy had had an 83 grade on White:

Quote:
2: Devin White – LSU – 6’0/237

Grade: 83

Summary: Junior entry. Two time First Team All SEC defender that has finished at the top of the conference in tackles/tackles per game each of the past 2 years. Was initially recruited and graded as an athlete coming out of high school. Has rare speed and explosion for the thickness he has on his frame. The kind of versatile linebacker that can impact the game in several ways each week. White is a tone-setter that plays the game tough and violent but also has the speed to make things happen up and down the seam and sideline to sideline. There isn’t a role that White will struggle to fill from the linebacker position. He has some areas to improve when it comes to defeating blockers, but he is a sure-thing to be an impact player.

*While I am not sold on him being an elite player like some, I do think White is a week 1 starter that can add the physical brand to a defense that many teams are looking for. His standout traits revolve around burst and pursuit speed. He is such a hungry player and excels in reaction-based assignments. I think he can be better off on the weak side, not so much at MIKE linebacker. He isn’t the most instinctive guy and there are a few whispers about intelligence/knowledge of the game. No matter what, he can be a game wrecker.

NFL Comparison: Bobby Wagner / SEA
I am a huge fan of Chazz Surratt  
Jay on the Island : 4/7/2021 10:39 am : link
I hope that the Giants are able to land him in round 3.
I love Parsons  
Rjanyg : 4/7/2021 10:41 am : link
One thing I have learned about him is he played Rb and Edge in High School and was recruited to play OLB/Edge at PSU but was moved to ILB based on need. He has only played LB in college and is killing it. He has the experience and mentality to play the Edge as well and has ball skills of a tailback.

He is my hopeful target in round 1 for NYG.
RE: Super read Sy.  
Victor in CT : 4/7/2021 11:12 am : link
In comment 15212400 section125 said:
Quote:
If Parsons were the pick at #11, would that alleviate the need for and Edge Rusher as a high priority? He'd be taking over Fackrell's spot?


great question. I was thinking the same thing.

great stuff Sy!
Thanks Sy  
Lines of Scrimmage : 4/7/2021 11:38 am : link

Parsons; Seems like he can do it all. Hopefully Spencer can give some insight to how well he processes and what his potential is regarding that. It may just be a case that he needs to play more. With his speed and our front it gives a lot of flexibility to shoot different gaps.

The ND LB is really light. Hopefully he can add some more muscle and not sacrifice speed.
Nick Bolton  
The Mike : 4/7/2021 11:41 am : link
I agree that Parsons will probably not be the pick at eleven, although his comps of Devin White and Bobby Wagner make it a very plausible value assuming the off the field stuff is not disqualifying.

I was surprised by the grade and ranking of Bolton. He plays with great instinct, is a ferocious tackler and reacts with burst as quickly as any defender I can recall in recent memory. I immediately see Ray Lewis when I watch him play.

Assume his height and lower ceiling in comparison to Collins and Davis are what drives his value down. I think he would be a day two steal if he is still there.

Thanks Sy - great stuff as usual.
Thx Sy. Great read as usual  
Earl the goat : 4/7/2021 11:45 am : link
Zaven Collins is best all around LB in this class

Hamelcar Rashed. I thought he was projected more as edge rusher

awesome as always  
Platos : 4/7/2021 11:49 am : link
i don't see us going ILB at 11 this year.
Snowden sounds like Cam Brown. Not bad but unusual.  
Ivan15 : 4/7/2021 12:43 pm : link
.
I just don’t see LB  
lugnut : 4/7/2021 1:42 pm : link
to Giants in this draft hardly at all, certainly not high up. We got a BEVY of LBs in last year's draft, and got Anderson in FA this year. Just as a matter of resource allocation... That said, any FOUR of the top LBs do seem like what Giants would be looking for for their new "multiple" culture. If it's a choice between Parsons and, say, Smith or Waddle, I would be shocked if we went Parsons. And given the relative O-D strengths, 4 of our 6 (right?) picks should be on O.
Thank-you, Sy!  
Nomad Crow on the Madison : 4/7/2021 1:57 pm : link
Wonderful insights as always. Older NYG fans are used to electric LB play. Would be fun to return to that kind of defense. I know offenses have changed dramatically, but speed and nastiness at LB might recharge the electricity.
Thanks Sy'56  
M.S. : 4/7/2021 1:58 pm : link

Great read.

I really do not want Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to land in Washington's lap.

I don't like the idea of a heat-seeking missile loaded onto what is already a very strong defense.

I'd much rather the Giants take him at 11 (and that's coming from someone who prefers loading up on offense.)
Love Collins  
jeff57 : 4/7/2021 3:22 pm : link
He’s a real Swiss Army knife.
I'm not one to spend a ton at ILB  
JonC : 4/7/2021 4:54 pm : link
especially when we're weak at Edge, but Parsons is a prospect I wouldn't pass over unless they're scared his maturity issues are going to be too much to bother.

The ND prospect would be a harder sell for me at #11, he's definitely more of a Rover, maybe a trade down target.
Quality, in depth work, as always  
ColHowPepper : 4/7/2021 5:02 pm : link
Thank you, Sy'

I just hope Giants are not getting locked in on Paye as a supposed ER
CHP  
JonC : 4/7/2021 5:07 pm : link
I'm in the boat with you, need to see something that shows he can play more than 4-3 DE looks.
... with impact  
JonC : 4/7/2021 5:17 pm : link
and worthy of the #11 pick.

Justin Tuck (since the comparisons drift to him) was more of a 4-3 DT than a DE, and he wouldn't have played OLB in a 3-4. Point being, if Paye is similar positionally it's an awfully pricey pick to use for the skill set, imo.
Parsons  
Thegratefulhead : 4/7/2021 5:27 pm : link
Has some dog in him. Likey.
Whatever LBer we draft  
Simms11 : 4/7/2021 5:34 pm : link
has to be dynamic. This Defense has been lacking that guy for quite some time. I think Parsons would be a real dynamic piece to this defense and Graham would know how to use him IMO.
Nice to be back in the same boat  
ColHowPepper : 4/7/2021 5:48 pm : link
JonC, we've been ships passing in the night. LOL

Yeah, Tuck playing inside/outside once he found a home, there were a lot of complementary pieces to enable him to become a 'pass rusher', certainly not an ER. Paye seems like he would be a similar piece to what they have in LW and DL and not adding key pass rush talent to apply max pressure on opponent.
With such effusive praise about...  
bw in dc : 4/7/2021 6:15 pm : link
Jamin Davis I'm surprised he's not higher. It sounds like you think he can be great...

Good stuff as usual.
*I AM NOT DOING NFL COMPARISONS  
Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy : 4/7/2021 6:48 pm : link
I know you mentioned that early but I really liked your comparisons from Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Shaq Thompson) and Zaven Collins (Anthony Barr).

It's funny you mentioned that Gettleman drafted Shaq Thompson, because IIRC the Giants were also rumored to be interested in him during the pre-draft process. Either way, he's a very versatile player. But I'm guessing that having Jabril Peppers and Xavier McKinney on the team already makes him an unlikely Giants selection.

Zaven Collins is another interesting player and I also like the Anthony Barr comparison. Barr is just a solid and versatile player, although he's been a little inconsistent over his career. I'm disappointed that Collins didn't run the 3-cone or SS though, because he does seem to lack some "twitch" like you mentioned and it would've been interesting to see how he performed in the Change of Direction/Quickness drills.
I don't know if this is a good comparison  
robbieballs2003 : 4/7/2021 7:41 pm : link
But when I see how versatile Zaven Collins in, he seems like the perfect Patriot-style type of defender and the first player that came to mind was Jamie Collins.
...  
christian : 4/7/2021 7:57 pm : link
Parsons is my favorite player in the draft for the Giants. He can play inside or rush the edge if the Giants play 3 safeties and bring Peppers into the box.

Cover line backer is the Giants biggest defense need in my view.
thanks Sy -  
Del Shofner : 4/7/2021 8:03 pm : link
I think we're taking one of these guys, but I have no idea which. We need more at LB. but whether that's at #1 or third day, can't say.
RE: With such effusive praise about...  
Sy'56 : 4/8/2021 6:16 am : link
In comment 15213096 bw in dc said:
Quote:
Jamin Davis I'm surprised he's not higher. It sounds like you think he can be great...

Good stuff as usual.


He can be Tremaine Edmunds. But he needs time, not sure I see him being a factor in year 1. That is a deal breaker for most situations when it comes to a round 1 grade
RE: Nice! thanks Sy  
Sy'56 : 4/8/2021 6:18 am : link
In comment 15212395 ryanmkeane said:
Quote:
I had McGrone to NYG in my 4 round mock in round 4. I think he's a guy they will look at for upside as a starter at LB and a special teamer right away.

In regards to Parsons - it would appear as you said that he's in that White/Bush mold - so what exactly about him is worse than White coming out? White went #5 overall and did have some off field stuff too (which you could argue was worse than Parsons). Is there something we aren't seeing with him that has people down on him a bit?


To be simple, he doesn't feel the action the way White did. He isn't nearly as stout either. White was a menace when he chased action down, as was Parsons. But the difference is White is also a monster when stuff comes right at him. Parsons is not.
RE: Super read Sy.  
Sy'56 : 4/8/2021 6:19 am : link
In comment 15212400 section125 said:
Quote:
If Parsons were the pick at #11, would that alleviate the need for and Edge Rusher as a high priority? He'd be taking over Fackrell's spot?


Fair question. If you're asking me? No.

But when looking at how NYG would answer that question, I think their thinking is they simply need ti enhance pass rush, not the edge. So Parsons would solve the pass rush issues (to a point)...and that could be the end of their thought process.

Hope that makes sense?
RE: RE: Super read Sy.  
section125 : 4/8/2021 8:18 am : link
In comment 15213417 Sy'56 said:
Quote:
In comment 15212400 section125 said:


Quote:


If Parsons were the pick at #11, would that alleviate the need for and Edge Rusher as a high priority? He'd be taking over Fackrell's spot?



Fair question. If you're asking me? No.

But when looking at how NYG would answer that question, I think their thinking is they simply need ti enhance pass rush, not the edge. So Parsons would solve the pass rush issues (to a point)...and that could be the end of their thought process.

Hope that makes sense?


Yes it does.

Graham thinks outside of the box and uses what he has to achieve pressure.
But then again, Parsons would not be setting the edge as he most likely attacks inside.
I know Micah  
MyNameIsMyName : 4/8/2021 8:51 am : link
And his family pretty well. You nailed it, he has some maturity issues, but he’s not a bad kid. The media concerns are BS.
Keep in mind Parsons was recruited to PSU as a pass rusher  
Rjanyg : 4/8/2021 9:13 am : link
He has only played LB at PSU so is still growing in the position. He can be an edge rusher or an inside rusher he is a front 7 play maker with speed.
thanks Sy  
ryanmkeane : 4/8/2021 10:32 am : link
...perhaps Parsons then is a great run and chase and rusher as a LB but likely will be average against the run. I'm thinking NYG won't love that
Parsons  
ryanmkeane : 4/8/2021 10:34 am : link
has mentioned Sean Spencer as a guy who pushed him and made him better as a player, almost to the point where it seemed like he was saying he needs someone like that to push him.....maybe i'm taking that the wrong way but i don't love the sound of that
RE: thanks Sy  
Sy'56 : 4/8/2021 10:42 am : link
In comment 15213588 ryanmkeane said:
Quote:
...perhaps Parsons then is a great run and chase and rusher as a LB but likely will be average against the run. I'm thinking NYG won't love that


It really comes down to what the NYG coaches think they can do to maximize his tools, and hide the issues. If hiding those issues are more trouble than its worth, I think they will pass.

My opinion? I think his skill set can work well with what NYG has in Martinez and what those guys have up front.
RE: Parsons  
Sy'56 : 4/8/2021 10:42 am : link
In comment 15213592 ryanmkeane said:
Quote:
has mentioned Sean Spencer as a guy who pushed him and made him better as a player, almost to the point where it seemed like he was saying he needs someone like that to push him.....maybe i'm taking that the wrong way but i don't love the sound of that


I'm on the same page as you.
RE: RE: Parsons  
ryanmkeane : 4/8/2021 11:03 am : link
In comment 15213610 Sy'56 said:
Quote:


I'm on the same page as you.

good stuff, yeah, it just seemed odd to me, almost like "i need you coach to keep me accountable!" or something like that. i'm not sure i want to take that risk in round 1, the guy is clearly an immense talent though
RE: RE: RE: Parsons  
Sy'56 : 4/8/2021 11:06 am : link
In comment 15213626 ryanmkeane said:
Quote:
In comment 15213610 Sy'56 said:


Quote:




I'm on the same page as you.


good stuff, yeah, it just seemed odd to me, almost like "i need you coach to keep me accountable!" or something like that. i'm not sure i want to take that risk in round 1, the guy is clearly an immense talent though


Again, same page.

I think you are on the right path.
i can see DG and Judge  
ryanmkeane : 4/8/2021 11:10 am : link
being on the same page with building the roster - you take OT/Edge/WR/CBs in round 1-2 and then can get your multiple LBs and interior OL in the mid rounds

That's how I hope this draft plays out. WR/Edge/OG in rounds 1-2-3
They must have liked the mental stuff  
ryanmkeane : 4/8/2021 11:13 am : link
with Thomas at #4 overall, they viewed him as a really bright dude. we also didn't hear or even know about the foot injury until after the season, and he played every snap he was asked. He also seemed to take to coaching extremely well, even in post game and practice interviews, he mentions it all the time
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