by: Chris Sullivan
Hey all, I was just looking through the 2005 draft as a guiding point to see where decent LBs could be grabbed, just in case we do say farewell to Hill, Peterson, or both. Here are the linebackers taken in the first three rounds, noting starters (Blue), Pro Bowlers (Red), and out of the league (Green).
1.11 – DeMarcus Ware – Dallas
1.12 – Shawn Merriman – San Diego
1.14 – Thomas Davis – Carolina
1.15 – Derrick Johnson – Kansas City
1.17 – David Pollack – Cincinnati
2.36 – Barrett Ruud – Tampa Bay
2.42 – Kevin Burnett – Dallas
2.45 – Lofa Tatupu – Seattle
2.48 – Odell Thurman – Cincinatti (Technically, not out of league, but hasn’t played since 2005)
2.63 – Matt McCoy – Philadelphia
3.70 – Channing Crowder – Miami
3.78 – Kirk Morrison – Oakland
3.82 – Alfred Fincher – New Orleans
3.90 – Jordan Beck – Atlanta
3.95 – Darryl Blackstock – Arizona
3.98 – Leroy Hill – Seattle
What’s more, there are only two starters picked past Hill: Brady Poppinga who was picked 125th overall, and Pat Thomas who was picked 194th overall. This isn’t necessarily the best sample, but it seems pretty good. If the Hawks are going to grab anyone in the later rounds, they aren’t going to choose a linebacker; if anything, the Hawks will hope for another steal like Hill or they’ll be drafting a bit earlier.
More likely, if Hill or Peterson leaves we will rely on D.D. Lewis or Will Herring to fill in. If Hill AND Peterson are gone, which I do not imagine will happen, we will almost certainly need to draft a linebacker, providing we don’t grab a stud in Free Agency.