The Texans' linebacker position group is coached by Mike Vrabel, who had a chance to move up to defensive coordinator for the 49ers and chose to stay put in Houston. Vrabel coaches Brian Cushing, Whitney Mercilus, Jadeveon Clowney and Benardrick McKinney, among others. The team has a slight problem in that Mercilus and Clowney both play best in the same position, along with a bigger problem in that John Simon doesn't like to contain or tackle. The position group also includes Max Bullough, who is slow but works hard, and Brian Peters, who we poached off the Vikings' practice squad in September. We still need some help at this spot--someone once said a 3-4 defense can never have too many quality linebackers--so we're obviously interested in who is in the draft.
Because of how Draft Breakdown categorizes players, there are some names you'd expect to see in this position group that are missing, like Wisconsin's Joe Schobert (On Wisconsin!). The position group does include Notre Dame Fighting Irish Jaylon Smith and USC Trojans Su'a Cravens, among others, though.
NOTE: Because CBS and Draft Breakdown characterize players differently, there will be a total of seven posts about defensive linemen and linebackers. Later today, the inside and outside linebacker posts will appear.
So what do you think about our linebacker group? How can we improve it? Do you think John Simon will master tackling and contain this offseason so that we don't cry when he's not deactivated?