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Draft a big linebacker


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I can’t remember when the colts had a big linebacker to stop the run. I think it would be a great compliment to Leonard. The run defense has been bad this year and I think we are ok on the dL. I think it would take a higher pick to get one so big lb or te would be nice with the 2nd round pick then go db and wr with later picks. There are so many wr’s coming out every year and the defense is a bigger concern than the offense. I’m not on the draft a wr high bandwagon like a lit of people.

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11 minutes ago, husker61 said:

I can’t remember when the colts had a big linebacker to stop the run. I think it would be a great compliment to Leonard. The run defense has been bad this year and I think we are ok on the dL. I think it would take a higher pick to get one so big lb or te would be nice with the 2nd round pick then go db and wr with later picks. There are so many wr’s coming out every year and the defense is a bigger concern than the offense. I’m not on the draft a wr high bandwagon like a lit of people.


Sorry, but I don’t expect this to ever happen.   Not just this year, but any year.   Our defense is built on speed and athleticism, but not size, or weight.   We appear to prefer our linebackers to be sub-240.   We want to run and hit, fly to the ball.    I think if we wanted a big linebacker we’d sign some vet free agent, but again I’d be surprised if that happens.  
 

The last two “big” linebackers we had were Walker, who we let leave,  and DQwell Jackson.   That’s just not who we are anymore.   Think smallish and fast.  

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Funny you should bring this up.  BR did an article today on trades playoff teams wish they could make before the playoffs start.  For Indy it was trading for linebacker Reggie Ragland of the Giants.  He is 28 and 6’ 2” and 252 lbs.  Not sure how fast he is but he was a high draft pick.  Primarily a run stopper who has played 46% of their snaps this year.  They said a late day 3 pick would get it done.  He is in the final year of his contract and will be a FA.  You can’t trade now but it was interesting they really thought we needed help stopping the run and he would be the missing piece we would need for the playoffs.  I thought we missed Walker this year.  So maybe they thought so too. 

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Problem is the big run stopping LB’ers are generally a total liability in the pass game. I’d much rather invest that draft capital elsewhere. They are ranked #13 against the run and it’s not like that’s what kills us.

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3 hours ago, husker61 said:

I can’t remember when the colts had a big linebacker to stop the run. I think it would be a great compliment to Leonard. The run defense has been bad this year and I think we are ok on the dL. I think it would take a higher pick to get one so big lb or te would be nice with the 2nd round pick then go db and wr with later picks. There are so many wr’s coming out every year and the defense is a bigger concern than the offense. I’m not on the draft a wr high bandwagon like a lit of people.

Trev, just joking by the way I love the Huskers, their 1995 team was the greatest team ever IMO. They would beat any Alabama team, JMO. I think we draft a WR with our 2nd round pick but we could take a LT??

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1 hour ago, twfish said:

Problem is the big run stopping LB’ers are generally a total liability in the pass game. I’d much rather invest that draft capital elsewhere. They are ranked #13 against the run and it’s not like that’s what kills us.

He colts are #25 at 4.5 ypc against. Not very good!

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You will never be good against the run with only lighter fast lb’s. It seems like the colts always go for them because you can get them lower in the draft, and there is a reason why they drop in the draft. 

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1 hour ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

Trev, just joking by the way I love the Huskers, their 1995 team was the greatest team ever IMO. They would beat any Alabama team, JMO. I think we draft a WR with our 2nd round pick but we could take a LT??

Been very disappointing since dr Tom left! Those were the days.

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17 minutes ago, husker61 said:

Been very disappointing since dr Tom left! Those were the days.

I started liking the Huskers when they had Mike Rozier, their 83 team was awesome but Miami beat them. Everyone around here loved ND, I liked the Huskers. I am disappointed in Scott Frost. I thought for sure he could turn things around. 

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5 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

I started liking the Huskers when they had Mike Rozier, their 83 team was awesome but Miami beat them. Everyone around here loved ND, I liked the Huskers. I am disappointed in Scott Frost. I thought for sure he could turn things around. 

@husker61, this is for you, my favorite team was probably 1987 - Steve Taylor and EndZone Jones. Nebraska was beating teams 70-0 every week lmao . Oklahoma came into Lincoln and got them, I was shocked. 

 

That team also had the great Neil Smith.

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25 minutes ago, husker61 said:

You will never be good against the run with only lighter fast lb’s. It seems like the colts always go for them because you can get them lower in the draft, and there is a reason why they drop in the draft. 

Huh?    Later in the draft?

 

May I introduce you to Darius Leonard, pick 36 in 2018 and Bobby Okereke, pick 89 in 2019.    It’s not just the Colts going lighter and faster, it’s spreading to much of the NFL.   They’re not falling in the draft at all.   This change has been on going for roughly the last 5 years or so.   I’m afraid you’re behind the curve on this. 

 

In a pass happy league, the days of the big thumping LB are fading.  Not gone,  but it’s not what it once was.  

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6 hours ago, husker61 said:

He colts are #25 at 4.5 ypc against. Not very good!

 

Yep, and the 6th fewest attempts too. That tells you something when teams don't try to run on you too much. Bucs are known as the #1 run D and teams average 4.3 ypc with the fewest attempts against them. So does that mean the Bucs aren't very good? A lot of it is situational and you need the whole picture to understand the YPC metrics. You get a lead on teams and play soft D to prevent the big play, are fine to concede 4-5 yards in a run play that eats up clock the other team is going against and LBs are playing deeper, that is how teams could possibly get 4.3 YPC against the Bucs because they are ahead. Top 12 in overall rushing yards given up for the Colts, I will take that any day.

 

Big LBs, we do not need with an early pick, they are a liability in the current passing league. Long and fast LBs, we do need. Teams go 3 safeties and play a safety like a hybrid LB nowadays to deal with the run and pass. There is a place for bigger LBs in certain situations but far fewer than it used to be 10 years ago.

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There aren't many "Big" linebackers drafted since 2018:

2018, pick 16, Tremaine Edmunds, Bills, 6-5 250#

2018, pick 19, Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys, 6-4 255#

2021, pick 12, Micah Parsons, Cowboys, 6-3 248#

 

But the trend for lighter, faster linebackers has already been underway

2018, pick 8, Roquan Smith, Bears, 6-0 230#

2018, pick 22, Rashaan Evans, Titans, 6-2 232#

2018, pick 36, Darius Leonard, Colts, 6-2 2018#

2019, pick 5, Devin White, Bucs, 6-0 237#

2019, pick 10, Devin Bush, Steelers, 5-11 234#

2020, pick 8, Isaiah Simmons, Cardinals, 6-4 238#

2020, pick 28, Patrick Queen, Ravens, 6-0 232#

 

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10 minutes ago, John Hammonds said:

There aren't many "Big" linebackers drafted since 2018:

2018, pick 16, Tremaine Edmunds, Bills, 6-5 250#

2018, pick 19, Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys, 6-4 255#

2021, pick 12, Micah Parsons, Cowboys, 6-3 248#

 

But the trend for lighter, faster linebackers has already been underway

2018, pick 8, Roquan Smith, Bears, 6-0 230#

2018, pick 22, Rashaan Evans, Titans, 6-2 232#

2018, pick 36, Darius Leonard, Colts, 6-2 2018#

2019, pick 5, Devin White, Bucs, 6-0 237#

2019, pick 10, Devin Bush, Steelers, 5-11 234#

2020, pick 8, Isaiah Simmons, Cardinals, 6-4 238#

2020, pick 28, Patrick Queen, Ravens, 6-0 232#

 

 

Out of those 3, the first 2 big LBs mentioned above have been huge liabilities in the passing game and are good east west against reverses and RBs that go outside the tackles but struggle stopping the run between the tackles. Remember, we ran rough shod over Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch with Marlon Mack with Luck at the helm in 2018??

 

Micah Parsons, because he is used like a DE for pass rush, they just let him loose on that role, hence he has been successful. It is like Bill Parcells said with Lawrence Taylor, "if the guy is good at getting to the QB and making tackles for a loss, just let him do it, why even try dropping him in coverage?". Ironically, production wise, Micah Parsons' rookie year has been compared to Lawrence Taylor. To me, after how Micah Parsons has been used, might be good to get a big LB that is good at blitzing and use him for DE depth if we wish to augment it. That is what they tried with Banogu but it has not worked out. Now we don't have that many picks anyways, so I doubt we try that again.

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You don't need to draft the big LB.  You sign one in FA.  They will not cost a fortune.  If we are trying to plug a hole that's the easier way.  Walker is available again since he only signed one year with Cleveland.  Ragland, like the BR article suggested, will be available in FA.  They are not necessarily full time players like Leonard but complimentary and situational.  We do after all have to face the Titans with Henry twice a year among other explosive backs.  We see how teams use their OL to push RB's for extra yardage.  They all do it.  Having an extra big guy in the pile can't hurt.  I can definitely see the need and it won't kill the cap. 

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14 hours ago, husker61 said:

You will never be good against the run with only lighter fast lb’s. It seems like the colts always go for them because you can get them lower in the draft, and there is a reason why they drop in the draft. 

For a LB to be successful in this defense, he needs to have a DL in front of him that gets penetration. 

 

Thats for the run AND the pass

 

We get in trouble when a RB gets up to speed. If a RB is having to juke and jive before he hits the line, (Because of DL penetration)

the LB can clean up with a loss or very small gain

 

This is a big reason why CB keeps bringing in DL with speed 

 

Because its SO important to both RUN and Pass defense, I HOPE that we add another DE

 

The money would have been crazy right, but imagine if we were able to sign Trey Hendricson at DE (Now at Cincy with FORTEEN Sacks)

 

We desperately need that type of production (or near) for this defense to be successful

 

 

 

 

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How many er lb’s can cover todays te’s or rb’s man to man? They play zone and read the qb. That takes instinct, not just speed. Instinct is more important than speed. I don’t think one bigger lb with two smaller fast ones would be a bad thing, he could be replaced on long passing downs or as a middle blitzer. 
 

he colts got a lot of de penetration with freeney and Mathis, and offenses used that against the colts for big chunks of rushing yards. There is more to dl play than penetration.

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15 hours ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

I started liking the Huskers when they had Mike Rozier, their 83 team was awesome but Miami beat them. Everyone around here loved ND, I liked the Huskers. I am disappointed in Scott Frost. I thought for sure he could turn things around. 

nobody saw that loss coming! When they kept getting beat by faster teams dr Tom started recruiting speed and winning national championships. Should have had 4 in a row!
 

I go back to Johnny Rogers and rich glover, and the colts at the end of Johnny unitas’s career.

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16 hours ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:I am disappointed in Scott Frost. I thought for sure he could turn things around. 


He hitched his saddle to a very erratic and mistake prone qb. He never improved from his freshman year. 

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It’s not always about size. It’s about having the requisite skills to play LB and n todays NFL. And if we’re to assume you’re talking about MLB, since we all know Leonard is a stud at WILL, the necessary skills would be

 

-Speed (Need to run 4.6 or higher)

-Ability to play in coverage

-Stopping power (during a hit/tackle)

-Lateral quickness/agility

-Adequate length. At least 6’0”-6’1” and 31 inch arms

 

The days of the big hulking 6’4” 250 lbs linebackers are long gone. Now that offensive skill positions are more athletic than they’ve ever been, those guys have been phased out for guys who are smaller but more athletic and versatile.

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15 hours ago, husker61 said:

How many er lb’s can cover todays te’s or rb’s man to man? They play zone and read the qb. That takes instinct, not just speed. Instinct is more important than speed. I don’t think one bigger lb with two smaller fast ones would be a bad thing, he could be replaced on long passing downs or as a middle blitzer. 
 

he colts got a lot of de penetration with freeney and Mathis, and offenses used that against the colts for big chunks of rushing yards. There is more to dl play than penetration.

 

 Uh, not until they got Booger penetrating inside did the SB champion D have what it takes to properly disrupt an offense. It really hurts us that Grover NEVER pressures the QB off his spot. Yes his job is to occupy blockers mostly, but he also isn't knocking anyone backwards causing hesitation for a RB, or making many run stuffing tackles.
 Now a sure thing is that the speed of so many of todays QB's causes a big problem for our 4-2 D. The old 4-3 with a bigger MLB allowed for a lot of gap filling. But stopping the run has been a positive for us.
 One thing bothering me is that QB's are making quicker throws that pick us apart and our D-Lineman are not batting down nearly their share of passes.

 Read and react sometimes guys!

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15 hours ago, husker61 said:

How many er lb’s can cover todays te’s or rb’s man to man? They play zone and read the qb. That takes instinct, not just speed. Instinct is more important than speed. I don’t think one bigger lb with two smaller fast ones would be a bad thing, he could be replaced on long passing downs or as a middle blitzer. 
 

he colts got a lot of de penetration with freeney and Mathis, and offenses used that against the colts for big chunks of rushing yards. There is more to dl play than penetration.


Regarding two small linebackers and one big one… 

 

That’s the thing….  We rarely play three linebackers.   Not sure,  but maybe 30 percent of the snaps?    We typically play a 4-2-5.    I don’t want to call it our base defense, but it’s the one we run on most downs.   We also play some 4-1-6 on occasion as well. 

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1 hour ago, Defjamz26 said:

It’s not always about size. It’s about having the requisite skills to play LB and n todays NFL. And if we’re to assume you’re talking about MLB, since we all know Leonard is a stud at WILL, the necessary skills would be

 

-Speed (Need to run 4.6 or higher)

-Ability to play in coverage

-Stopping power (during a hit/tackle)

-Lateral quickness/agility

-Adequate length. At least 6’0”-6’1” and 31 inch arms

 

The days of the big hulking 6’4” 250 lbs linebackers are long gone. Now that offensive skill positions are more athletic than they’ve ever been, those guys have been phased out for guys who are smaller but more athletic and versatile.

I think there is a need for the big MLB on our team.  We have the faster guys in Leonard and Okerke.  But I think our run defense has regressed quite a bit from last year.  Walker gone is a big part of that I believe.  I love Franklin but he is small.  So I think we miss that bigger MLB.  We have become that old school smash mouth football team.  The Titans are similar to us.  They have the big power back that we will face at least twice a year.  I think when the situation calls for it we need that bigger player in the middle.  We are missing that player in our current linebacker group so I’m hoping we address it in the off-season.  JMO 

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5 hours ago, richard pallo said:

I think there is a need for the big MLB on our team.  We have the faster guys in Leonard and Okerke.  But I think our run defense has regressed quite a bit from last year.  Walker gone is a big part of that I believe.  I love Franklin but he is small.  So I think we miss that bigger MLB.  We have become that old school smash mouth football team.  The Titans are similar to us.  They have the big power back that we will face at least twice a year.  I think when the situation calls for it we need that bigger player in the middle.  We are missing that player in our current linebacker group so I’m hoping we address it in the off-season.  JMO 

What I’m trying to get at is that run defense is about more than one position. Having a bigger LB isn’t just going to magically solve the issues with run defense. Plus it takes more than just size to be a good LB.

 

Run defense also has to do with the defensive line though. But we’re also currently ranked 12th against the run so I don’t see where this is coming from. No offense

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On 1/4/2022 at 1:14 AM, husker61 said:

You will never be good against the run with only lighter fast lb’s. It seems like the colts always go for them because you can get them lower in the draft, and there is a reason why they drop in the draft. 

If we ran a 3-4 defense, Id want some bigger guys at the 2 ISLB spots

 

Thats not what we run though...  

 

If we can get some penetration from DL, this defense will work

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3 minutes ago, BProland85 said:

I would have rather had the Colts put in a waiver claim for ILB Zach Cunningham, who is very good at stopping the run. But of course our annoying division rival Tennessee snatched him up. 

Probably snatched him up anticipating playing us again in the playoffs.  An extra run stopper could come in handy for them.

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26 minutes ago, BProland85 said:

I would have rather had the Colts put in a waiver claim for ILB Zach Cunningham, who is very good at stopping the run. But of course our annoying division rival Tennessee snatched him up. 


Do you understand Cunningham stopped being a professional.   He was late for everything, practice, meetings, you name it.  
 

Dors that sound like a Ballard type of guy?   Do you think Cunningham was going to be happy coming to a team that would only use him on maybe 30 percent of his snaps?  We’d be inviting trouble into the locker room for a possible small gain on the playing field.   
 

Way too much downside, and not nearly enough upside.  

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17 hours ago, Defjamz26 said:

It’s not always about size. It’s about having the requisite skills to play LB and n todays NFL. And if we’re to assume you’re talking about MLB, since we all know Leonard is a stud at WILL, the necessary skills would be

 

-Speed (Need to run 4.6 or higher)

-Ability to play in coverage

-Stopping power (during a hit/tackle)

-Lateral quickness/agility

-Adequate length. At least 6’0”-6’1” and 31 inch arms

 

The days of the big hulking 6’4” 250 lbs linebackers are long gone. Now that offensive skill positions are more athletic than they’ve ever been, those guys have been phased out for guys who are smaller but more athletic and versatile.

Nobody said it is only about size! 
 

All 3 of the patriot starting lb’s are 6’ 3” 250 and up. I guess the best defensive coach in the nfl missed the small lb memo.

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1 hour ago, husker61 said:

Maybe the 1-2 linebacker defense the colts are using should change. Most talk about upgrading the offense, but I think the defense needs a lot more help.


The defense does need help.   More help at pass rush.   More help at corner,  more help at safety.    But in a pass happy league that favors offense, putting another linebacker on the field, and a big one at that, is just happening.   Ballard believes in faster, and more athletic and skilled, but not necessarily bigger/heavier. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, MikeCurtis said:

TJ Watt is more of a Pass rusher than he is a LB which is what the OP was writing about

 

 

Plus he is in a different system (3-4) that values bigger LBs with bend for pass rushers, not the same with our 4-3.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the Bears 4-3 scheme they had Urlacher (6'4" & 258) who ran a 4.59 forty and Lance Briggs (6'1" & 254) who ran a 4.75 forty.

 

It is possible to get a bigger LBer as long as they can still run and they have good instincts. Urlacher was the 9th overall pick and Briggs was a 3rd rounder so it is possible! Just gotta find them! 

 

If we do switch more to a Cover three Seattle usually had 3 linebackers on the field until they switched to the 4-2-5 on passing downs.

 

Add a thumper who comes off the field leaving Darius and Oke out there to fill the passing lanes or to cover a TE or RB.

 

The thought has merit!

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