So, are 40 times overrated for ILBs or not hhhhmmmmm?
So, are 40 times overrated for ILBs or not hhhhmmmmm?
Personally, yes, I do think that 40 yard dash times are overrated for Linebackers. However, I found it interesting that people questioned Minter's athleticism, before using his poor 40 time at the combine as further confirmation for that criticism. Now, he's run a time even closer to Ogletree's (4.64 at Georgia's Pro day) and faster than Greene (4.7 at Rutgers Pro Day), both of whom are considered more athletic. As a matter of fact, it was equal to Arthur Brown's 40 time at K State's Pro Day.
While Brown had the better shuttle (4.31), Minter had the better vertical (34 1/2)
Jarret Johnson ran a 4.8. He seemed to play well here. I was looking at all the Ravens LB picks over the years. The guys were ran the fastest times (besides Ray Lewis) were all gone. No good. T. Gooden, A. Barns, etc. They were fast but could play. J. Johnson could play. Ellerbe was in the 4.6+ range as well.
ILB is more about instinct than about athleticism. Safety and ILB are positions where instincts far outweigh athleticism. A false step is like adding a half second to a 40.
1) With Pro Days you have players often running on tracks or surfaces that are faster than what the combine uses in Indy. For instance until this year USC used a track. So seriously, buyer beware with Pro Day 40 times. I am sure the teams know this and adjust accordingly, but this is rarely reported by the press. And, yes, LSU's surface they use for their 40's is faster than most.
2) 40 times are in fact important to an ILB in two ways. The first is sideline-to-sideline coverage against the run. A guy who runs say a 4.8 will struggle to run sideline to sideline because he simply ain't fast enough. The second is being able to cover TEs, RBs, and possibly slot receivers. If you ain't fast enough then, no you can't cover those receivers and you become a 2 down ILB at best.
Obviously other factors come into play besides just speed. For example Ogletree is criticized for often taking a wrong initial first step. In the SEC he could usually make up for it with his speed. In the NFL? He has to learn how to diagnose plays better pre-snap or he's toast. srobert96 says as much right above my post. On the other hand, you can learn to play faster and that is one of the reasons why the Ravens are able to coach up so many undrafted fre agent ILB's.
40 times are a very good base to work off of in assessing how good an ILB might become.
You can't teach pure speed, but really, what does a fast 40-yard time for an ILB signify outside of the probably futile pursuit of a ball carrier who's broken through into the secondary? How fast a prospect can cover the first 10 yards or so--& more to the point, how quickly he can read a play & react to it & how nimble he is at slipping blocks--is IMHO far more important.
Give a (soon-to-be) professional athlete a couple of months to specifically train for one event, and that athlete will do it well.
A fast 40 (or a slow one for that matter) doesn't change how he plays on the field, and from my perspectiv, having watched multiple full games doing nothing but paying close attention to Minter, he is not an impact defender worthy of a 1st round pick. He would be a nice complimentary player who is a steady, run-stuffing 2-down ILB.
For my money, that type of player is good value in the 3rd or 4th. A (slightly) faster 40 yard dash does nothing to change that.
40 times are so overrated.
Even the combine official 40 times are hand started. Pro day 40s are even more unreliable.
Didn't Suggs drop to the Ravens at number 10 because of a slow 40, when initially he had been projected as a top 3 pick? I realize he's not an inside LB, but still, same concept. I remember Ozzie took about 3 seconds to make the pick! He said afterwards that Suggs was the only top 10 player going into the draft that they could think of no scenario in which he would fall to number 10. Lucky for us, teams overrated the importance of the 40.
Pro Days are bullshit. That's why they founded the Combine. Teams were fed up with the manipulation and wanted a controlled environment these tests. At Pro Days players have to out do whatever they did at the Combine because there is doubt as to their validity.
You all might as well face the reality that Kevin Minter fits the bill of the type of defender Ozzie likes to draft. As another poster mentioned, very few of the ultra athletic defenders Ozzie has drafted were successful here. I could count them on one hand: Chris McAlister, Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, Lardarius Webb.
Terrell Suggs was considered slow. Courtney Upshaw was considered slow. Jarret Johnson was considered slow. Ed Reed was not considered the most athletic Safety in the draft either.
Those players are guys who will play their assignment, with high quality technique and will do far less to lose you a game. As a result, collectively, they took over games.
Posters are getting caught up in this idea that they need speed to keep up with these TEs and so forth. The real weakness was run defense and Ozzie has focused on that first. If you can't run the ball, you can try to TE somebody to death for four quarters, but there are only a few QBs with the ability to do it.
All of those years with Jarret Johnson and while everyone loved JJ, posters were dying for someone on that side with more athleticism. They tried Sergio Kindle, he cracked his head and who did they follow that up with? Drafting Courtney Upshaw a few years later.
Minter is not a snail. He has the instincts. He is a reliable tackler, and he does a better job of shedding blocks than any other ILB in this draft.
One of two things are going to happen. Either Ozzie will decide that none of the ILBs are worth taking early.....and speaking of which, who was Ozzie going to draft at ILB if New England hadn't traded up to get him? Slow poke Dont'a Hightower. Back to the point, in this first scenario, Ozzie will once again rely on UDFAs to fill spots at ILB.
If Ozzie takes a ILB in the first two rounds, you guys are just going to have to accept the reality that Kevin Minter fits the bill of who they would pick. The ILB's main job is to see the play, attack the play and stop the play. Ogletree is more athletic, but plays ILB too reactive to perform well here. T'eo works, but he's just as athletic as Minter yet had to drop weight to get there.
Not sure if this is true or just speculationQuote:
and speaking of which, who was Ozzie going to draft at ILB if New England hadn't traded up to get him? Slow poke Dont'a Hightower.
Lance Zierlein from The Sideline View summing up Minter. I think it is pretty good:
It is good to see what Zierlein says about the other ILB's and other prospects too. (He places Minter 4th and at best he thinks the top guys here are borderline 1st round prospects at best.) But he really nails Minter I think: solid with no spectacular traits. He could very well be the Ravens pick...but so could Ogletree or Brown or Te'o or a little later Greene, or Alonzo or Bostic or hell Ozzie might just wait til the draft is over and pick up some unknown and undrafted guy who is made to learn the ILB position like he's done so many times before. Or do a combination of ILB moves.Quote:
Kevin Minter isn't going to wow you with anything he does in all honest. He's fluid with his movements from sideline to sideline, but his closing burst is just average. He's a solid tackler but nothing spectacular. He's serviceable in coverage, but nothing more. What I do like about Minter is that he's productive in the box against physical offenses. He's NFL-ready.
Minter is definitely on the radar of the Ravens but does he stand out as much better than his peers? Nope. None of them really do to be honest. But Sword, tell us this: what does Minter bring to the table that Upshaw or McClellan or even Bynes don't? Coverage skills? No. Blitzing? No. Tackling? No. Range? No. Honestly Minter does not bring a different skill set.
Of the better rated ILB's probably only Brown in particular and maybe Ogletree, Te'o, and Greene could enhance our current ILB corps because they look like they could cover on passing downs better than what we already have. Otherwise we'll be seeing a lot of nickel and dime secondary sets because we have to do better at covering over the middle than we have the last couple of years. If so we could be seeing a CB drafted high...