Posts Tagged ‘Christian Kirksey’

2014 NFL Draft Positional Breakdowns: Outside Linebackers

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Buffalo’s Khalil Mack is the star talent in a strong class of outside linebacker. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

This year’s crop of outside linebackers offers exactly what the NFL wants: Versatile edge defenders who can be moved around and contribute in a variety of roles within a multi-front defensive scheme. The value is diminishing for prospects that lack versatility.

Talent should be found throughout at the position, but the sweet spot is in the second to fourth rounds, where I have 12 players graded.

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2014 Outback Bowl Prospect Preview: LSU vs. Iowa

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Jarvis Landry (No. 80) and Odell Beckham (No. 3) have formed a dynamic duo at wide receiver for LSU this season. (Photo: Crystal LoGuidice — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Eric Samulski

Injured and showing chinks in a usually stellar defense, Les Miles’ LSU Tigers finished 2013 with 9-3 record and a defense that ranked just 45th in the nation. Their offense improved with the maturation of senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger, but after he suffered a torn ACL in LSU’s regular-season finale against Arkansas, the Tigers will need to win a bowl game without him to earn its fourth straight 10-win season.

Iowa, on the other hand, came into the season with no expectations and seemed to be meeting that low bar. Their Nov. 2 loss to Wisconsin dropped them to 5-4, but the Hawkeyes seemed to flip a switch at the end of the season, beating Purdue and Nebraska on the road and coming from behind to beat Michigan at home to finish the year with an 8-4 record. On Wednesday, the Hawkeyes will put their ball control, ground-based offense up against a surprisingly electric LSU offense in the Outback Bowl (1 p.m., ESPN).

Wednesday’s game will be a battle of physicality versus explosion; the only surprise is which one the typically-stout Tigers has become.

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