A bunch of Rumbler's want to draft OLB Courtney Upshaw. I think he'll wind up being a solid prospect, but I don't think he solves the problems of our defense. Most pressingly, we need an OLB prospect who can rush the passer. Upshaw would work well in this regard, but what about his other responsibilities? Does he have the speed to chase down running backs in the flat? I'm sure he's faster than S.Johnson, but (unfortunately) Upshaw has below average speed for the position. I also wonder if he has the speed / agility to drop and cover TE's. He's not much (if any) faster than Sheppard / Kelsay so I doubt we would see any improvement to the team there.
One Prospect that COULD make a dramatic difference at is Zach Brown. In many ways he's everything Upshaw isn't (agility and speed vs. strength). Brown is an elite athlete who's excellent in coverage and runs a 4.4 40 (if not faster). He could make a dramatic improvement to our outside run defense, as well as our ability to cover TE's. But.... At 6-2, 235 he would be slightly small for OLB, (would be 1" and 10lbs smaller than Clay Matthews coming out of college, but measures VERY similar to Lawrence Taylor). Bull rush might be out of the question, but there's lots of ways to rush the passer. That and... he has excellent football IQ, and is great against the run (from his ILB position anyway) and is from UNC, CHIX's favorite school!
Maybin's bust (in Buffalo anyway) should make fans leery of drafting another fast LB, & rightfully so. But Maybin didn't succeed (in Buffalo) because he was a one trick pony (despite how badly we need that trick) and because he was a bad locker room presence (remember his fight w. Wood?). CHIX seems set on drafting high character guys who hustle, are good football players, and are flexible in terms of position. Brown-- assuming he couldn't cut it at OLB-- would undoubtedly find a starting role on this team (be it ILB, Safety or the hybrid S/LB role that B.Scott plays) if only because he is an elite playmaking athlete on a team in desperate need of elite talent.
Sooo... I guess my mock draft would look something like this:
(12) 1- (OLB) Zach Brown 6-2 235 (UNC)
(44) 2- (OLB) Nick Perry 6-3 250 (USC)
(76) 3- (CB) Casey Hayward 5-11 190 (Vanderbilt)
(107) 4- (OT) Josh Oglesby 6-7 330 (Wisconsin)
(120) 4- (DT) DaJohn Harris 6-4 300 (USC)
(139) 5- (RT) Ryan Miller 6-8 300 (Colorado)
(170) 6- (WR) B.J. Cunningham 6-2 216 (Michigan St.)
(171) 6- (CB) Asa Jackson 5-10 188 (Cal Poly)
(201) 7- (TE) Josh Chichester 6-7 245 (Louisville)