Bobby Carpenter  LB  Ohio St

Strengths

The size-speed ratio on this kid is very high.  He is a good tackler and has excellent coverage skills. He is strong at the point of attack and can shed his blocker very easily.  Bobby is a smart player and plays within the context of the game plan.  He is a team player and can dominate a game when he wants to.

 

Needs to Improve

It looks to me that Bobby has a tendency to play to his competition.  He doesnít dominate in games against lesser talent and shines against the more talented teams. This is a problem for players that are smart and find it difficult to get inspired against less talented teams.

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND   1

Bobby is an excellent strong side LB and for a long time, I had a hard time figuring out what bothered me about his play.  At first, I thought that perhaps he wasnít the sharpest tool in the shed but, then I realized that it was just the opposite.  He might be too smart for his own good.  This kid knows his position and knows it well; however, I couldnít figure out why he shows up for a game like Michigan St and then disappears against other teams.  I thought for the longest time that it might be an injury that he was hiding or he wasnít sure of his assignments.  For a kid with as much talent as he has, he should be a lot more impactful on a consistent basis. Watching him closely from tape to tape, I realized that when he plays well and impacts, he plays with a lot of emotion.  When he plays an efficient game, he plays with less emotion.  Now I know some of you are going to criticize me and say I donít know what Iím talking about, but this kid is way too athletic and smart to just be out there doing nothing more than his job.  He should be ripping the place apart.  Bobby recently had an ankle injury, but to be honest, I donít think that it will make a difference in where heís taken in the draft.  He will be a high pick and I do like this kidís game, but I hope the team that drafts him learns how to push his buttons for a 16 game schedule because if they can, he should be a dominating LB.  When this kid wants to dominate a game, there is no other LB in this draft that is better.  He is equal in talent and bigger in size than his counterpart A J Hawk, but his heart is not as big and his game is not as consistent.

 

Bobby reminds me of Cornelius Bennett.  A very efficient LB, but not as dominating as everyone thought he would be.  Cornelius was picked in 1987 in the 1st round -- the 2nd pick of the entire draft.  Cornelius was efficient, but not dominating.  If Bobby is picked sometime after the 20th pick in this draft, then I think that he will be considered good bang for the buck.  If teams are going to draft him thinking they are going to build a defense around him, then they may be making a big mistake.  Maybe a move to MLB in a 4-3 would unleash this kidís consistency.  Maybe itís because he plays with Hawk and Schiegel.  Personally, I think these are just excuses. I like his game, but not until later in the draft -- sometime after the 20th pick would be just about right.  If he drops to the second round, he will be a steal.  Remember this is a business and if Bobby has athletic talent equal to the best LB in this draft, but doesnít impact like the best LB in this draft, then you arenít being smart if you pick him with the thought that heís going to impact.  Thatís just bad business.
by Drew Boylhart

THR

December 2005