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Resign Fackrell ... as an ILB

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Offline  Resign Fackrell ... as an ILB
#1

Posted: February 20, 2020, 11:44 AM Post
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Just an out of the box thought, but I've never quite understood why they didn't try Fackrell at ILB. Decent in coverage and speed, but a little light to be an OLB. I've thought for the last 2-3 years that he could play ILB well.

Clay was another OLB that I thought was actually better as an ILB and would've signed him last year to play inside. Granted, passing up the pass-rush potential is difficult in his case.

More generically, I've thought that some of our later draft picks and UDFAs should be focused on shorter college OLBs (i.e. the 6'2" tweeners) that have good shuttle/cone numbers and move them to ILB. You won't know how the instincts will transfer, but that is better than drafting 6'0" slow footed ILBs that can't cut it in the NFL.


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Offline  Re: Resign Fackrell ... as an ILB
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Posted: February 21, 2020, 5:05 PM Post
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I think we have tried that with a some of our OLB's over the years, most recently a guy from Illinois whose name escapes me. I don't know why we are so jinxed at that position, part of it is near misses in the draft, Bush, Shazier, etc. But if you want those guys go get them. I don't know what to think of Fackrell in FA, he is an older guy and most people think his double digit sack year was just lucky. I would like to see him back but only at a low price, maybe a $2-3 mil one year deal.


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Offline  Re: Resign Fackrell ... as an ILB
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Posted: February 23, 2020, 2:53 PM Post
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Nate Palmer?

I guess I was thinking of watching for more tweener types. A short OLB that falls to the 4th round of the draft due to size with good instincts. The UDFA market is a bit too hit-or-miss.

Fackrell is the opposite-- an OLB that doesn't really produce sacks (yes, I'm discounting two years ago as more luck than repeatable production). Noting that he covers well.

It seems like a decent way to fill our ILB need without spending a lot of $$ or high draft picks on it. Of course, it seems like the Packers are going the other direction and looking for big safeties to do the same.


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Online  Re: Resign Fackrell ... as an ILB
#4

Posted: March 04, 2020, 9:24 AM Post
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CheezWizHed said:
Just an out of the box thought, but I've never quite understood why they didn't try Fackrell at ILB. Decent in coverage and speed, but a little light to be an OLB. I've thought for the last 2-3 years that he could play ILB well.

Clay was another OLB that I thought was actually better as an ILB and would've signed him last year to play inside. Granted, passing up the pass-rush potential is difficult in his case.

More generically, I've thought that some of our later draft picks and UDFAs should be focused on shorter college OLBs (i.e. the 6'2" tweeners) that have good shuttle/cone numbers and move them to ILB. You won't know how the instincts will transfer, but that is better than drafting 6'0" slow footed ILBs that can't cut it in the NFL.



That's pretty much what Schobert was in college. An OLB'er who had nearly 10 sacks and then moved inside at the next level. I don't know what his shuttle times looked like and I didn't think he'd be as good as he's been. Teams are talking about doing the same with Baun..or at least I've seen speculation that he may go higher because he has the ability to drop and play on the inside as well as rush the passer.

I don't really think our MLB'er is going to make a big difference until we just get better on the DL. Clark is great, Lowry's solid, that's pretty much it. Keke has upside and looked good last year. Can't trust Adams any longer or Lancaster. Davis from Alabama was the best defender on the field his Frosh and Soph seasons in the playoffs and he's a prototypical 6'5 5 tech. I'd love to see him in round 2 and maybe the Packers add another DL in free agency. A Mike Pennel type.



This is going to be such an interesting draft this year though. I think the Packers could go a lot of different directions than people think. I'm not sure that it's MLB'er/OT/WR'er in the 1st and 2nd rounds. I could see them picking Taylor if he's still there in the 2nd, a QB if a guy like Love drops in the 1st or even trading up for a guy like Ruggs in the 1st(apparently Gute has said he'd be willing to move up in the 1st).

I wonder what the fan reaction would be if we drafted a QB in the 1st round who threw nearly as many picks as he did TD's from Utah State at this stage in Rodgers career?


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Online  Re: Resign Fackrell ... as an ILB
#5

Posted: March 04, 2020, 9:30 AM Post
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OldHeidelberg said:
I think we have tried that with a some of our OLB's over the years, most recently a guy from Illinois whose name escapes me. I don't know why we are so jinxed at that position, part of it is near misses in the draft, Bush, Shazier, etc. But if you want those guys go get them. I don't know what to think of Fackrell in FA, he is an older guy and most people think his double digit sack year was just lucky. I would like to see him back but only at a low price, maybe a $2-3 mil one year deal.



Didn't we try Vince Biegal at MLB'er at well? We also did it with Carl Bradford from AZ State who was an absolute bust for us...even as a 3rd or 4th round pick. Neither experiment worked out too well(though Biegel has played well enough in NO and Carolina).

I hadn't thought about Fackrell coming back and playing inside, but my guess would be as a guy who just had 10 sacks a year ago...however misleading those were, if he's going to take a 1 year deal for cheap, he'd probably rather stay outside. Intersting idea if he's game though. He is a long limbed guy who could make some of those throwing lanes smaller and he hasn't appeared to get lost in coverage. Playing next to Raven Green in the Nickel? Interesting idea...but I'd rather roll the dice with Burks, Summers, Bolton and then a 3rd-4th rounder who's available.

Or even a guy like Josh Byrnes, a cheaper Free Agent.


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Offline  Re: Resign Fackrell ... as an ILB
#6

Posted: March 04, 2020, 9:53 PM Post
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Biegal barely had a chance at MLB before being cut. I was surprised how quickly they cut him after looking half-decent at the position (though in pre-season).

I've seen the same about Braun this year (and another lower pick I forget at the moment).

Fackrell would need some convincing, but I seriously think he would get a huge career boost. He is really only a decent OLB backup but could be a starter ILB in the right system; With the bonus of blitzing from that position, Clay looked renewed when playing from ILB that one year. I think something similar would happen for Fackrell.


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Online  Re: Resign Fackrell ... as an ILB
#7

Posted: March 05, 2020, 11:03 AM Post
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CheezWizHed said:
Biegal barely had a chance at MLB before being cut. I was surprised how quickly they cut him after looking half-decent at the position (though in pre-season).

I've seen the same about Braun this year (and another lower pick I forget at the moment).

Fackrell would need some convincing, but I seriously think he would get a huge career boost. He is really only a decent OLB backup but could be a starter ILB in the right system; With the bonus of blitzing from that position, Clay looked renewed when playing from ILB that one year. I think something similar would happen for Fackrell.


You're right on Biegal. I only meant it didn't work out because it didn't work out for them. But I think they tried him inside about 2 weeks before they cut him. Bradford was given a little more time but he just didn't have much athletic ability. I could be wrong, but I thought he was like a 4.9 40 type guy.

Matthews was a very different type of OLB'er than the Smiths. I remember watching him go up against Tyron Smith from the Cowboys and he just did not stand a chance. His big plays came through his relentless pursuit or because he could read the play and just explode through a hole or jump inside of a tackle(the fumble that helped save the SB where he hit Mendenhall when the Steelers were driving was a good example).


No matter who we get to play MLB'er though, I'm not sure the results are going to be that much different if we don't upgrade from Lancaster. He was so awful at times last year...I'd really rather they upgrade there than put a lot of resources into the MLB'er position. I think you can get by on cheap FA's or lower round picks there as opposed to the DL. I don't think even Ray Lewis or Kuechly would have made THAT much of a difference vs the 49'ers last year.

So they obviously need a MLB'er and one who can run sideline to sideline, but it doesn't work if your 3 technique is on the ground and the other teams tackle is getting to the second level so easily.


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Offline  Re: Resign Fackrell ... as an ILB
#8

Posted: March 05, 2020, 11:40 AM Post
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Agreed about the DL. Lancaster is an NT and shouldn't play anywhere else. I'd love to see them pick up a starting NT and start Clark at the DE (shifting him to NT on obvious passing plays). If Keke steps up at DE, that would also really help.


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