Greg has good size and solid overall athletic talent. He has played in a 4-3 defense as a pure middle linebacker. Greg looks great in his uniform. His helmet glistens in the sunlight as he waits for a play and makes certain that his opponent is either running the ball or passing the ball before he reacts. He makes sure on all of his drops that he is not too far away from the line of scrimmage because even if it is third and long, he must feel that straying too far away from the line of scrimmage will give his opponent an advantage. Greg seems to feel that meeting a guard or center who comes out to block him on running plays should be a negotiation. He does a "nice" job not offending that blocker by not pushing back too hard, shedding him quickly and insulting him by making a tackle before the runner has been able to gain the needed yardage. All I can tell you is that Greg is not an MLB for the next level. He might be a decent OLB, but definitely not an MLB.
I just think when it comes right down to it that Greg lacks the instincts, football intelligence, aggressiveness and fundamentals to play his position at the next level in a capacity that will make him an impact player for the team that drafts him. He has decent talent; maybe if he is moved to the outside, he will be better off.
Perhaps Greg's position at the next level is as an outside linebacker in a 4-3; he's just not a middle linebacker. I think that Greg should be in a position that lets his athletic talent show through and not worry about down and distance or anything else. It's possible that Greg is thinking way too much, which is causing many of the problems. In fact, that is why I put a fifth round TBR on Greg. In the film against Michigan, the offense line used him all day long. That Michigan offensive center (who is very good, by the way) and the guards simply beat on Greg all day long. Greg never once beat back on them. When you are a middle linebacker and you see a guard or center come out to block you and you don't try to blow him up before he blows you up play after play after play, it says to me that you just don't have a clue. When a team is in your red zone with 1st and 10 and the running QB floats to his right out of the pocket, your MLB cannot stand, wait and watch while the QB throws a touchdown -- particularly when it's thrown where your MLB should have dropped into coverage. Greg has to know that when a QB rolls, it's the OLB who has the 1st responsibility and Greg's responsibility is the pass. That's what made me think that he may be a better fit as an OLB, where there are less decisions to make. Greg is not a very smart or instinctive middle linebacker at the college level and expecting him to be a smart and an instinctive MLB at the next level doesn't make sense to me. Give the kid a chance -- try him on the outside. I think he might be pretty good in a couple of years.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart March/11