Courtney Upshaw - Overrated slightly and maybe more of a 4-3 SLB.
I have had a funny feeling about Courtney Upshaw for a while now. I read alot about how he's top 15, how he's a solid bet as a 3-4 OLB, and that that's pretty much that. When I hear something so conclusive so early into the draft season it just feels to me like that leaves plenty of time to wonder how that conclusion came so quickly.
Anyway basically the guy is:
1 - Slow. He just is. It's what kills him for me, and I think it's the root of my skepticism. He's not slow in that he won't be successful. He's slow in that I don't think he's a high end 3-4 OLB prospect (pre-workouts).
2 - Not all that great of a pass rusher. 17.5 college sacks isn't all that badass, though he does get points for having them come in bunches the last two years.
3 - Not very big for the 3-4 OLB position in the NFL. Ware is taller and slightly heavier. Suggs is in the 260's. Same for Pace, Woodley, Orakpo, Kerrigan, and so on. They're all also taller for most part. He's not as long limbed as any of them either by my hack guess.
I wonder if he's not unlike Akeem Ayers from last year. Ayers was a really good looking LB prospect who caught the eye of most 3-4 teams when they thought he was 6'4 254 with a strong 40 time. He went on to have a strong rookie season for the Titans.
I actually wonder if Upshaw might be better of going to a 4-3 team. If he does find his way into a 3-4 he'd kick inside ala Derrick Johnson/Karlos Dansby/Bart Scott.
Or maybe I just buy more into DEs converting to OLB than most for this D...I honestly see no reason not to as the best 3-4 OLBs were all college DEs who maybe dabbled at LB because of raw athleticism + the coaches thought of more ways to get them free on a blitz....I don't see that with Upshaw...Different type of player, and still a damn good prospect...To me more of a really strong 2nd round pick who would make a weak first round pick.