Welcome to the second part of Finding Playmakers Using the Production Ratio. This time we shall look at the Linebackers and where they fit in. I took the top 7 Inside Linebackers as listed by CBS Draft Rankings. It looks to be a very shallow draft for ILB's since the 7th player, Casey Matthews, is projected to go in the 5th round. But in order to get a realistic picture, a larger sample is usually better.
I took the liberty of listing the career Tackles, Tackles per game, Passes Defended and Interceptions along with the Sacks, Tackles For Loss and the Production Ratio. One thing though. You'll notice that some of these guys have more sacks and some have better coverage numbers. This would indicate that each player was asked to do something different in their respective systems.
There is one other thing I need to stress. I don't know where any of these players fit, 3-4 ILB or 4-3 MLB. That will be for you to decide. This is just an indicator to determine if the player can be a playmaker and leader as opposed to just another guy. The other thing is, an ILB needs to make a ton of Tackles no matter which scheme he's playing in.
As a reminder, I will list the formula being used. It is taken from Pat Kirwan's book, "Take Your Eye Off The Ball."
|58||Greg Jones||ILB||Michigan St.||16.5||46.5||52||1.21||465||8.94||7||2|
|88||Quan Sturdivant||ILB||No. Carolina||7||27.5||46||0.75||309||6.72||8||4|
|105||Colin McCarthy||ILB||Miami (FL)||4||33||48||0.77||303||6.31||6||3|
|143||Nate Irving||ILB||No Carolina St||9||40||35||1.4||214||6.11||11||4|
Unfortunately for the Broncos, the top two ILB's don't fall into the area where they are currently drafting. Greg Jones looks like a bargain in the late 2nd round. Martez Wilson has ideal size (6' 4", 250) for the MLB spot, but he will likely be gone by the time the Broncos are on the clock. And barring any trades of course. I have a couple of familiar names for comparison: James Laurenitis rated a .76 and Rolando McClain, a .94 Production Ratio score. Current Bronco D.J. Williams had a .70 for his career in Miami
Now we'll look at the Outside Linebackers. This group is a little deeper in talent and numbers, so like Nigel Tufnel's guitar, this goes to 11.
|7||Von Miller||OLB||Texas A&M||33||50.5||47||1.78||182||3.87||11||1|
|48||Bruce Carter||OLB||No. Carolina||8.5||24||49||0.66||215||4.39||9||3|
|77||Mark Herzlich||OLB||Boston Coll.||5||31.5||55||0.66||314||5.71||18||7|
|106||K.J. Wright||OLB||Mississippi St||8||22.5||47||0.65||258||5.49||14||0|
Von Miller is the clear-cut dominant guy in this draft and is sure to go in the top ten. The Broncos can't afford to make a play for him though, in my opinion. Akeem Ayers has promising numbers. Jeremy Beal looks like an intriguing player too. I don't know if he has played the SAM position, but at 6' 2", 268 lbs, Beal has good size to handle a Tight End and he has cover experience. Some recent OLB's to compare these guys are; Clay Matthews - .41, Larry English - 1.78, Aaron Maybin - 1.56, Aaron Curry - 1.08 and Brian Cushing with a .81 score.
Again, Denver has the number 2, 36, 46. 66 and 3 more to be determined. Maybe one of these players will become Broncos in the near future. After the Combine numbers are released, I will introduce you to the second half of the equation. It's called The Explosion Number. Stay tuned and...