Me again, looking for more help with the Pride of Detroit mock. I figure by now its extremely likely I'm going to be going with defense, and with Raji already gone, I'm thinking that, at least at pick 12, its going to be LB or DE. I wanted to get some thoughts on these positions in the 3-4, as I'm not all that familiar with the nuances of it.
My extremely basic understanding of these positions is that the DE is generally bigger and more of a run stopper than a pass rusher, while the OLB are often "Tweener" types, deemed too small to be full time DE but bigger than the ideal LB. I'm not sure about MLB, but I think that the only one I could take at 12 is Maualuga, as Laurenitis would be a big time reach there.
A cursory glimpse at Scout.com's rankings, and I put together a list of players I think might be available at 12, and what position I think they would fit in.
DE: Tyson Jackson looks to be the one here, maybe Robert Ayers but Jackson should still be there and is the better prospect. Jacksons a big dude, and a run stuffer, probably the best fit out of all the DE's in this draft, as most of the top ones seem to be undersized.
Tweener OLB: Lots of them here, Everette Brown, Brian Orakpo are likely gone, but either would fit in nicely, the top one likely still there is Aaron Maybin out of PSU. Now, I'm probably biased because I live in Big Ten country, but Maybin was an absolute animal in college, and he played in a very similar situation to what he would be in with the Bronco's.
Normal OLB: Curry is gone here, and the other 2 that I could consider are the duo out of USC, Cushing and Matthews. Now, Cushing is the guy who really brings the wood, but Matthews is the guy I would want. Matthews is better blitzing off the corner, and I think is the better all around athlete, which I think is more important in this offense than Cushings physicality and ability to flow with the ball. It's an attacking defense, and Mathews is the better attacking LB.
MLB: Only 2 worth a first rounder at all, Maualuga and Laurenitis. Now, as I said before, I see a lot of Big Ten football, and I've seen a lot of Laurenitis. I'm not impressed, I think he's solid, but nothing spectacular. If you are taking a LB at 12, he should at least have the potential to be something great, and Maualuga has that, he is the complete package, and I think is head and shoulders above Laurenitis.
Now, that leaves me with Jackson, Maybin, Mathews, and Maualuga as the players I think will be the best available at their position, and fill a spot in the 3-4. Here is where I'm stuck, who would I pick? I really like all of them, and I think that I should be able to get another on the 2nd time round. Any ideas on players I might have missed, anyone disagree with my assessment of the players or of the 3-4 defense?
Any help is appreciated.