No Prototype for Outside Linebacker Prospects


My latest article for NFL.com’s Blog Blitz has been posted and in it I smash the commonly held notion that a player has to have a build like Willie McGinest in order to play outside linebacker for the New England Patriots. Analysts and draftniks usually perpetuate this myth when looking in the draft for OLB prospects to play in Bill Belichick’s 3-4 defense. History and the current roster suggest that there is no prototype that Belichick looks for, at least size-wise, when scouting for OLBs. What he does look for is the ability to contribute and make plays. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Mike Vrabel is the only player, at 6-4 and 261, that comes close to the McGinest mold. Rosevelt Colvin, who back in the Dynasty days was the team’s biggest free agent signing, was 6-3 and 250, well below the prototype. Chad Brown was 6-2 and 245. The Patriots’ biggest free agent signing, Adalius Thomas, met the weight requirements at 270 but was only 6-2.

To read the full article, click here.

Tags: Bill Belichick New England Patriots NFL NFL Blog Blitz NFL Draft NFL Draft Prospects NFL.com Willie McGinest