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Patriots Draft Week in Preview: Outside Linebackers

1. Von Miller, Texas A&M

2. Robert Quinn, UNC

3. Aldon Smith, Missouri

4. Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue

5. Justin Houston, Georgia

Mentions: Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh; Akeem Ayers, UCLA; Brooks Reed, Arizona; Sam Acho, Texas; Dontay Moch, Nevada; Chris Carter, Fresno State

The first two rounds are packed with solid talent at outside linebacker. While there may not be an athlete who can "do it all" in a sense that they can set the edge and stop the run, rush the quarterback on passing downs, as well as drop into coverage against tight ends and running backs, there are still two-out-of-three players. Since they're not every down players, I feel like the Patriots won't take an outside linebacker in the first because they expect their first round picks to be able to handle all facets of the position. There are plenty of prospects who should still be around in the middle of the second round, so look for a lot of movement by the Patriots to get in a prime position to take their player of choice.

Who are some outside linebackers you'd want me to look at?

Fastest 3 Cone Drill: Sam Acho, Texas, 6.69s

Fastest 40 Time: Dontay Moch, Nevada, 4.44s

Most Bench Press Repetitions: Bruce Miller, University of Central Florida, 35 reps

Fastest Short Shuttle Time: Von Miller, Texas A&M, 4.06s

Longest Broad Jump: Dontay Moch, Nevada, 10'8

Highest Vertical Jump: Dontay Moch, Nevada, 42.0


The Patriots will be looking for depth and stars at the outside linebacker spot. Tully Banta-Cain was exposed last season as a one-trick pony and should be considered expendable. Young Jermaine Cunningham showed a lot of promise, as did new, but still old, pick-up Eric Moore. Rob Ninkovich could benefit from a more reliable defensive line, but he's far from untouchable. With Cunningham as the only certainty heading into the future on defense, look for the Patriots to grab one OLB early in the draft and another in the middle rounds.