As I’ve done with potential first-round picks and mid-round quarterbacks recently, I’m here to make the case against popular LB prospects. This includes both inside and outside linebackers, and will go over quite a few rounds. One player is a projected first-round pick, another is projected to fall to the seventh-round.
The Bears have many questions at the LB position. Will Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene progress to starters? Will Shea McLellin be playable? How much more does Lance Briggs have in the tank? With those questions, the time may be now to add depth to the linebackers in case they retire or need to be cut. But here’s why each popular LB may be a mistake.
C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama: Mosley has all of the potential to be a superstar. Just like Dee Milliner last year, Alabama’s star defensive player is one of the sure-fire starters from day one. But he has a problem that’s very similar to many current Bears; he has the tendency to forget how to tackle. Mosley is always in the right position, but sometimes doesn’t wrap-up properly, leading to broken tackles. While he should be an upgrade over some Bears, he’s not perfect at tackling, and that was one of the top gripes of fans last season.
Max Bullough, ILB, Michigan State: Bullough has a very obvious problem in that he can’t stay out of trouble. Freshman year he and a teammate assaulted a man in a Colorado bar. This past season, as team captain, he got himself suspended for violating team rules. This occured right before the Rose Bowl. If you can’t stay out of trouble before the biggest game of your college career, how much can you be trusted?
Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State: Shazier is projected to be picked at then end of the first round, but is a player who can impress you enough physically to make you risk a higher pick on him. Athletically sound, he still makes mental mistakes and is made for a 3-4 defense. Those two problems make him a guy the Bears shouldn’t even take in the second round, much less reach for in the first.
Shayne Skov, OLB, Stanford: Skov played very well at Stanford, but won’t transition well into the NFL. He is one of the slowest linebackers in the draft, and is much too-eager to use his size. Often, he overruns plays and takes himself out, leading to missed tackles and missed opportunities. He’s a poor-man’s Bostic, which wouldn’t do much for the team.
Denicos Allen, OLB, Michigan State: The other big-time Michigan State LB, Allen might be a high-reward late-round pick. But he won’t be. Allen is small for a running back, so putting him at linebacker doesn’t make much sense. He’s more of a slow, plodding safety in the NFL. While he made plays in college, that’s not enough to get him a job in the NFL.
Is there a position or players you’d like to see me write off? Let me know in the comment section below, or tweet to me here.