I strongly believe we do not need a OLB in the first, or second round. I will stand by my belief that we have 4 starters on our current roster. Now before my horrible grammer makes you want to
stab me with a butter knife repeatedly throw a beer can/bottle at me, hear me out.
I do not like to use stats in stating if one player is better than another as football is a team sport and stats can be miss leading. Instead I use what I see from games to judge a player. I will a case for each lineback that I believe will start for us and what position.
1. Demeco Ryans(Strong Inside Backer) - he has earned the right to
attempt a comeback. He was by far one of the most consistently good players we had, on either side. Yes he has trouble in coverage but atleast he attempts to cover unlike Ewww.
2. Brian Cushing( Strong Outside Backer) - He's the fastest "natural" linebacker we have. There is a case that he will not be as dominant as before but even after the accusation he was good enough to start. He has size to cover TEs and to rush the QB. He hustles regardless if he makes the tackle he wants around the ball. He's not great in coverage but he can make plays against TEs and RBs coming out of the backfield.
3. Darryl Sharpton (Weak Inside Backer) - He's small but he can hit. He is also technique sound and fills on runs. In coverage he is a huge weakness, but his ability to hit and stop runs, from what I saw, can be on par with a rookie Cushing. He's the controversy I see everyone having with my belief. He was prone to falling for Play Action alot. But his ability to support the run.
4. Connor Barwin(Weak Side Outside Backer) - Imagine being a QB for anyteam and seeing Anotonio Smith foaming at the mouth and a crazed Connor Barwin behind him. That's what your left tackle would have to deal with, all game long. You'd have to put alot of faith in your LT that your neck won't get snapped from one of the two.
Connor Barwin would be a project, but he's too small for a 3-4 DE. He is only on our team because of his ability to rush the passer. if it wasn't for that we would not have looked at him, and must I say he's a damn good pass rusher. Coverage would be a huge liability but most QBs wouldn't want to throw to their backside when you have Brian Cushing and Mario Williams facing you already. The coverage can be worked on and is easier to fix when you have a fast guy like Barwin.
Now just imagine the front 7 line up. Antonio Smith, any given NT, Mario Williams as the D linemen. Connor Barwin behind Antonio Smith, Sharpton and Ryans in the middle, and Cushing on the outside.
Please wait for me to find my unbrella before throwing rotten tomatoes at me, and if you have any other idea's leave them in the comment so I can learn from the wise.