Screening of the 2020 NFL Packers Draft panel at the linebacker

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Each year, those of us who cover the Green Bay Packers like to use the team’s seemingly established thresholds or benchmarks for agility testing to predict that players will be on the team’s radar. This year is no different, as we at Acme Packing Company have already tried to do it at the wide receiver, corner and security stations.

Today is the time to break off-line linebackers. For this exercise, I decided to start from scratch to try to redefine the team benchmarks by looking at Ted Thompson and Brian Gutekunst’s past draft picks. To do this, I looked at 12 draft picks from 2006 to 2019, a group that includes seven players who were drafted as off-line linebackers and four who ended up going outside linebacker at one point. of their Packers career. The groups are:

LB pure out of bullet: Oren Burks (2018), Blake Martinez (2016), Jake Ryan (2015), Sam Barrington (2013), Terrell Manning (2012), D.J. Smith (2011), Desmond Bishop (2007), A.J. Hawk (2006)

EDB off-ball LB: Vince Biegel (2017), Carl Bradford (2014), Nate Palmer (2013), Brad Jones (2009)

Here is an overview of the test numbers for these players. Pro Day numbers are indicated with an asterisk and EDGE converters are indicated in italics.

Packers LB Draft Picks

Last nameYearUniversitysizeWeightHandArmsBench40 (official)10 yardsGreenVast3 cones20 Shuttle
Last nameYearUniversitysizeWeightHandArmsBench40 (official)10 yardsGreenVast3 cones20 Shuttle
Oren Burks2018Vanderbilt60312339 1/8 33 3/8184.591.5939.51316.824.15
Blake Martinez2016Stanford602023710 7/831 5/8224.711.6128.51136.984.20
Jake Ryan2015Michigan60202409 3/831204.651.6234.51207.114.20
Sam Barrington2013USF600724610 2/832 2/8224.69 *1.60 *32.5117North Dakota4.25 *
Terrell manning2012NC State60212379 2/832 2/8224.79 (4.71 *)1.70 (1.65 *)321147.184.43
D.J. Blacksmith2011App. State51052399 6/832204.881.77311047.354.45
Desmond Bishop2007California6017239North DakotaNorth Dakota334.801.61 (1.60 *)32.5 *112 *North Dakota4.65 *
A J. hawk2006state of ohio60102489 6/831 1/8244.641.59401156.823.96
Vince Biegel2017Wisconsin60302469 1/832 3/8214.671.6433.51186.924.21
Carl Bradford2014Arizona State60102509 4/830 2/8234.761.6637.51227.254.30
Nate Palmer2013State of illinois6021248North DakotaNorth DakotaNorth Dakota4.70 *1.58 *35.5 *125 *North Dakota4.37 *
Brad Jones2009Colorado6027232North DakotaNorth DakotaNorth Dakota4.54 *1.59 *33 *119 *North Dakota4.21 *

By examining these actors, some trends emerge. Let’s examine them one by one. First, the Packers did not write a linebacker weighing less than 230 pounds, Oren Burks being the lightest at 230. However, this should not be a point of friction for this team, since they play safety frequently as linebacker and appear ready to line up Curtis Bolton (228 lbs) last season. So let’s ignore the height here.

In fact, all the size measurements seem quite varied here. The height is spread from just under 5 feet 11 inches to over 6 feet 3 inches, with hand sizes all over the map as well. The arm length appears to show a cut at 31 inches, but there was only one off-line linebacker at the Combiner 2020 with one measure below that mark.

Where we are starting to see some commonalities is in the numbers of speed and agility. All but two players on this list ran faster than 4.80 seconds in the 40’s, with nine of the 12 to 4.71 or more. The division of 10 yards is even more pronounced, ten of the 12 being 1.65 seconds or more. For this reason, we will set the ideal maximum times at 4.71 for the 40 and 1.65 in the 10 yard division.

Note that D.J. Smith is the only variant of these two numbers among the off-ball LBs – in fact, he will be an outlier on all tests – with Carl Bradford also narrowly missing among the EDGE converts. The vertical and wide jumps also show great variation, so let’s focus on the agility numbers.

Here we see the team prioritizing good times with three cones. For the eight with data, six ran at 7.18 or faster, with only two (Smith and Bradford again) outside this range. Therefore, let’s set the ideal benchmark at 7.20. Finally, the shuttle times see four players running slower than 4.25 seconds: Smith, Bradford, Terrell Manning and Desmond Bishop. There, I will use 4.25 as an ideal, but will allow a lot more room for maneuver and will consider certain players who correspond to all the other thresholds but who miss the shuttle.

  • 40-yard dash: 4.71 or faster
  • 10 yard division: 1.65 or faster
  • 3 cones: 7.20 or faster
  • Shuttle: 4.25 or faster (ideal, but more flexible)

A return to these thresholds shows very good results. Smith is a total outlier, which doesn’t match any of the benchmarks, but he was a sixth round draft pick who racked up huge numbers for the Appalachian state. Bishop is probably the other biggest outlier, below 40 and well back in the shuttle; however, he was also a late pick (fifth inning) and had a great senior year for Cal. The latest oddity is Bradford, an EDGE convert who was very likely to do this as a rusher before a final effort to move him indoors – plus, he was right on the border for virtually all of the tests.

Aside from these players, all of the other draft picks have swept the numbers 40 and 10, and all of those who have been tested have reached the cone time of 7.20. As mentioned earlier, the shuttle is the area where the team seems to have a little more leeway, having spotted Manning and Bishop well outside the ideal range; as such, we will treat this period as a flexible reference.

2020 Draft Board

In 2020, obtaining reliable times of agility was difficult. Many players at the top of the draft boards at the position did not complete the cone or shuttle exercises due to injury or the combination schedule. For these players, no Pro Day time comes, thanks to the coronavirus.

That said, there are five players who have reached all the benchmarks with the test numbers we have, plus six who are on the verge of shuttle exercise and even more who would likely have reached the ideal number s they had tested in Indianapolis. Here is the table to watch for Packers linebacker. (Note: the projected litters come from Dane Brugler at The Athletic.)

Reach all references

  • Zack Baun, Wisconsin (R1-2): 6023, 238; 4.65 40, 1.65 10; 7.00 3 cones, 4.31 shuttle (4.20 shuttle to Pro Day)

  • Tanner Muse, Clemson (R4-5): 6020, 227; 4.41 40, 1.56 10; 6.84 cone (Pro Day), 4.12 shuttle (Pro Day)

  • Casey Toohill, Stanford (R6-7); 6043, 250; 4.62 40, 1.59 10; 7.08 cone, 4.21 shuttle

  • Mykal Walker, Fresno State (R7): 6030, 230; 4.65 40, 1.62 10; 7.09 cone, 4.25 shuttle

  • Shaun Bradley, Temple (R7-FA): 6005, 235; 4.51 40, 1.59 10; 7.07 cone, 4.24 shuttle

Reach all landmarks except the shuttle

  • Willie Gay, Jr., State of Mississippi (R2): 6011, 243; 4.46 40, 1.55 10; 7.08 cone, 4.30 shuttle
  • Malik Harrison, Ohio State (R2-3): 6025, 247; 4.66 40, 1.64 10; 6.83 cone, 4.32 shuttle

  • Logan Wilson, Wyoming (R3): 6021, 241; 4.63 40, 1.60 10; 7.07 cone, 4.27 shuttle

  • Davion Taylor, Colorado (R4): 6004, 228; 4.49 40, 1.55 10; 6.96 cone, 4.26 shuttle

  • Joe Bachie, Michigan State (R5): 6010, 230; 4.67 40, 1.59 10; 6.93 cone, 4.34 shuttle

  • Azur Kamara, Kansas (FA): 6032, 245; 4.59 40, 1.63 10; 7.20 cone, 4.46 shuttle

Finally, there is a large group of players who did not pass the agility drills and / or the 40 yard dash at Combine 2020, but who would likely have reached the thresholds. This group includes the top three off-line linebackers by most scouts, including two (Patrick Queen and Kenneth Murray) who are popular picks from the Packers to 30 in simulations. Here are these names, along with the test information we have so far:

  • Isaiah Simmons, Clemson (R1): 6035, 238; 4.39 40, 1.55 10

  • Patrick Queen, LSU (R1-2): 6002, 229; 4.50 40, 1.58 10

  • Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma (R1-2): 6024, 241; 4.52 40, 1.59 10

  • Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian State (R2): 6014, 224

  • Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech (R2-3): 6000, 240; 4.54 40, 1.62 10

  • Markus Bailey, Purdue (R4): 6001, 235

  • Tincture Troy, Oregon (R4-5): 6032, 231

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