The linebackers and defensive linemen are set to test this morning so as a quick prelude to that I wanted to bring up Mike Mayock's rankings for linebackers. I previewed the defensive end and defensive tackle groups a bit last week with respect to Mayock's rankings so if you get a chance, go back and take a look at those too before testing starts at 9am.
Many of you were wondering where Courtney Upshaw was on the defensive ends list but Mayock has him listed as a linebacker. His number one linebacker, in fact. The more I read and hear about Upshaw the more he, as Rob Staton put it recently, becomes the 'ideal pick' for the Seahawks at 12, in my mind. There are a lot of guys I'd like to see the Seahawks take in round one, and there are a lot of guys I wouldn't be disappointed to see taken either. But, if we're talking about instant impact, game changing talent, Upshaw might be that guy.
SI's Tony Pauline wrote about Upshaw on Friday:
The scouting report being passed around to teams on Courtney Upshaw of Alabama includes a quote from the Tide's head coach. Nick Saban emphatically refers to Upshaw as the "meanest player he's ever coached" and someone that "would never back down in a fight.".
Now, for you nerds that follow this blog closely or stay abreast of what Seahawks' GM John Schneider is saying or has been saying the past few weeks (and even into last year), for whatever reason, JS likes to use the street fight analogy, A LOT. Pretty much every interview you hear, Schneider is referring to how he wants this team to be made up of 'guys that will punch you in the mouth' or 'guys that won't back down in a fight' or "guys that can play in the alley" or "in the parking lot" and that "can take a punch". Well, that quote stood out to me as pretty much exactly what Schneider is referring to.
Anyway, I'll get this up and posted before the testing actually begins. Below are Mayock's pre-Combine rankings, with Combine official height/weight measurements. All of these guys have been in the round one discussion, or at the very latest the 2nd round, so keep them in mind when you're watching the Combine workouts today.
1. Courtney Upshaw, Alabama (6'2, 272. 32" arms, 9" hands)
2. Luke Kuechly, Boston College (6'3, 242. 31" arms, 9 3/4" hands)
3. Dont'a Hightower, Alabama (6'2, 265. 32 5/8" arms, 9 3/4" hands)
4. Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma (6'2, 253. 32 1/2" arms, 9 1/4" hands)
5. Sean Spence, Miami (Fla.) (5'11, 231. 31 1/2" arms, 9 1/4" hands)
New entries: Lewis, Spence
Out: North Carolina's Zach Brown, Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict
Big thanks to DraftBreakdown for the excellent scouting videos they put together, JMPasq, MARI0clp, Aaron Aloysius, and the whole DraftBreakdown crew.
1. Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
2. Luke Kuechly, Boston College
3. Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
4. Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma
5. Sean Spence, Miami (Fla.)
North Carolina's Zach Brown
Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict