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Ravens Draft: LB Value Picks

The Ravens have selected a linebacker in all but three drafts (1999, 2002, 2011).  If you look at the defense as a whole currently, linebacker should be targeted for this year’s draft; with the need of adding youth and depth. If the Ravens go either ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ linebacker in round one, they still could still target the position throughout the draft.  There are some good (value) prospects on day two/mid-rounds.

 

Bobby Wagner, OLB/ILB, Utah State

‘Wagner was extremely productive in his senior season. He had 147 tackles with 11.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks and two interceptions. Wagner is a smart player with a nose for the ball. He is well built, but his frame looks maxed out. That could push Wagner to being an outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense at the next level.’

Projected Round: 2-3

Analysis: If available Ozzie Newsome would scoop him up—great skills and tenacious.

 

James-Michael Johnson, Nevada

“Is a good athlete who can run, close on the football and play with power in the run game. Needs to play a bit lower in coverage, but overall does everything at a pretty solid NFL level. Is a guy who can win a starting job at the next level.

Projected Round: 3-4

 Analysis: Ravens like athletic players.

 

Audie Cole, ILB, North Carolina State

“Good overall athletic skills in strength, speed and quickness for a young man his size. His quickness can be seen in his reaction to most plays as he’s gets their fast. He’s the type of linebacker that makes a lot of big plays right at the line of scrimmage with collisions. Cole seldom gives up on a play, but too often he’s trailing the ball carrier, especially on plays at the boundary.”

Projected Round: 4

Analysis: As mentioned, good at attacking the line of scrimmage. Sometimes he can be taken out of the play, however, I’d like to see him be coached up.

 

Emmanuel Acho, LB, Texas

“When blitzing, his long arms help him fend off blockers well and create leverage. Since NFL offenses are working the middle of the field more often due to the league’s rule changes, Acho’s coverage skills make him an ideal strong-side linebacker who can also be used as a blitzer.”

Analysis: Good coverage skills which going to be valued covering all the NFL’s athletic tightends, and in time can help in the pass-rush department.

Projected Round: 5

 

Najee Goode. LB, West Virginia

Analysis: Goodie is 6-0, 239lbs. I like he way attacks the line of scrimmage and has a physical presence. Solid tackler and played all the linebacker positions in college.  Tenacious and excellent leadership ability. Check out this video.

Projected Round: 6

 

Shawn Loiseau, ILB, Merrimack University

Shawn is an in-your-face type of player, who fits the mold of a very aggressive, mean looking, blue collar linebacker (6ft, 241). In his sophomore year in 2009, Loiseau started every game for the Warriors defense. In 2009, Shawn set the school record with 123 tackles on defense and was named first team all defense. In his senior year, Shawn broke his own record with 133 tackles which was 10 higher than his 2009 performance and was able to add 5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.”  

Analysis: This could be one of those Ozzie finds—guy is a brawler, physical tackler.

Projected Round: 7 (FA)


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