One of the lone bright spots for the 2011 Colts was the emergence of MLB Pat Angerer, who at one time was leading the NFL in tackles. The former 2nd round pick had been playing admirably on the outside, but he wasn't nearly as good as he was inside. Now in new Head Coach Chuck Pagano's defense, we're going to start seeing him more in a role like Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis than that of Brian Urlacher. It's one of the few spots on the Colts roster that looks very promising into the future.
With a 3-4 Defense looking inevitable, the sheer number of LBs needs to go up, and that'll be both from getting a couple guys in the draft or through Free Agency, and some of the DEs converting to more of a stand-up role. Several guys, including the much-maligned Jerry Hughes, may see new life in a slightly different role. We may also see Dwight Freeney play a little bit of OLB, and my guess is the Colts will use their Franchise Tag on Robert Mathis until he's signed long term. Just a hunch.
This looks like a position we'll see at least one guy drafted, if not multiples, but it's tough to tell now where they'll go in free agency, so we'll need to look at both inside and outside guys. I've left out three guys that will assuredly not be there at pick #34 in Melvin Ingram, Dont'a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, and Luke Kuechly, so no need to profile those guys. There are a whole bunch of others though.
After the jump I'll show you the entire group of Linebackers, and give you my favorites in the group.
List of Inside Linebackers to watch at the Scouting Combine for the Colts:
|*||VONTAZE BURFICT||ARIZONA ST||LB05|
|AUDIE COLE||NORTH CAROLINA ST||LB08|
|CHRIS GALIPPO||SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA||LB12|
|BOBBY WAGNER||UTAH ST||LB31|
List of Outside Linebackers to watch at the Scouting Combine for the Colts:
|BRUCE IRVIN||WEST VIRGINIA||DL25|
|SHEA MCCLELLIN||BOISE ST||DL35|
|*||NICK PERRY||SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA||DL40|
|MILES BURRIS||SAN DIEGO ST||LB06|
|DEMARIO DAVIS||ARKANSAS ST||LB10|
|DARIUS FLEMING||NOTRE DAME||LB11|
A couple of my favorites:
- Mychal Kendricks - California: A big brusing guy who looks to be a 4-5th round selection. Would be a great complement to Angerer.
- Demario Davis - Arkansas St: Had a good Senior Bowl week and will be a 6th-7th rounder. Nice steal potential.
- Darius Fleming - Notre Dame: Played in a 3-4 in college, showed some promise late in season, can get to the QB.
Who am I missing? Let me know.