Draft The LB Position- 02/02/2000
There is really no point in reiterating the fact that the 49ers defense was worst in the league this season, so I wont. I will however draw attention to the play of the linebackers, who though a solid group, and great run stoppers, was exploited several times against the pass, mainly do to a lack of speed. Ken Norton Jr., Lee Woodall and Winfred Tubbs all have great skill, but it is likely the 49ers sacrifice some of that skill, age and large salaries for speed. It's the need for speed, and if the 49ers are ever going to compete with the Rams, yes the Rams, they will have to get much faster on defense. This years draft provides several good linebackers, with good speed. Look for the 49ers to take one or two of them.
LaVar Arrington, Penn State Junior, 6-2, 235.
If the 49ers can't get Courtney Brown with their first pick and Arrington is still available, they wont hesitate to draft him. Arrington is the best linebacker in the draft and expected to go in the top 3. Arrington has the ability to make plays and has the rare skills to make a great linebacker in the NFL. Arrington runs a 4.5/40 and would provide the speed the 9ers need
Keith Bulluck, Syracuse Senior, 6-3, 225
Bulluck is an extremely athletic linebacker, with the size, speed and athleticism to make it in the NFL. Bulluck is a hard hitter, and runs a 4.5/40. He can keep up with receivers and covers ground very nicely. Would be well suited for weak or inside linebacker.
Na'il Diggs, Ohio State Junior, 6-3, 235
Diggs is a great linebacker with the size and speed to really make an impact in the NFL. Diggs is slightly slower at 4.6/40 and would need some time to move into the position. Diggs may drop into the second or third round where the 9ers should jump at the chance to sign him.
Brian Urlacher New Mexico, 6'3" 245
Brian is a strong, fast hard-hitting linebacker, who will be a solid contributor in the NFL. Running a 4.6/40 Brian has the range and speed to keep up with most receivers in the league. Brian has the size to really make an impact in the NFL. Combine that with his speed and he would be a welcome addition to any team.
Raynoch Thompson Tennessee 6'2" 220
Thompson is a little undersized for a linebacker, but also carries great speed running a 4.5/40. Thompson is a hard hitter for his size and is willing to throw his body into any situation. Thus he makes up a tough player with good speed, and hands. Very effective against the run and pass, Thompson will hopefully declare for the draft this year.
Corey Moore, Virginia Tech Senior, 6-0, 230
Corey is an extremely fast player who can rush the passer very well. Running a 4.5/40 Moore has the ability to stick with receiver and cover lots of ground. Moore has great football instincts and is very athletic. Also proved to be a good person and carried him-self well. Moore is a little undersized but he is a great ball player.
Julian Peterson, Michigan State Senior, 6-4, 240
Julian is a big play man that can also play defensive end. He is aggressive and quick. His size allows him to make an impact on a defense, and is a great asset in breaking up runs.
Lester Towns, Washington Senior, 6-2, 235
Towns is a quick linebacker with the ability to make plays. He has talent at both the inside and outside positions and can cover sideline to sideline very nicely. Also has the ability to drop into pass coverage.
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