According to Hobbes: Packers Offseason Primer on the NFL Combine: Outside Linebackers

Outside Linebackers: Here’s the eighth of a series of articles, looking specifically at the NFL combine and the Packers’ drafting tendencies. (Read here for the rationale for this serieshere for quarterbackshere for running backs, here for wide receivershere for tight endshere for offensive tackleshere for offensive interior linemen and here for defensive ends).  This article will use the combine numbers from previous players drafted by GM Ted Thompson as a guide for what outside linebackers are likely to fit into the Packers’ scheme.

Again, this is merely an attempt to make a best guess based on statistics at which players the Packers might be interested in, game tape naturally trumps combine numbers, so take all of this with a grain of salt.  But I believe it will make for some interesting discussion.  Also listed below are also two outside linebackers in this year’s draft who I think fit the Packers scheme the best, based on their combine numbers.

Statistics of outside linebackers linemen drafted by the Packers:

Name Height Weight 40-Yard 3-Cone Shuttle Vertical Broad Bench
Brady Poppinga 6’3” 259.00 4.59 7.29 4.39 35.50 110.00 26.00
Dave Tollefson 6’4” 263.00 4.74 6.98 4.48 34.50 114.00 27.00
Jeremy Thompson 6’4” 262.00 4.75 6.97 4.23 32.00 117.00 25.00
Clay Matthews 6’3” 246.00 4.59 6.90 4.18 35.50 23.00
Brad Jones 6’3” 230.00 4.54 6.75 4.21 33.00 119.00 19.00
Average 6’3” 252.00 4.64 6.98 4.30 34.10 115.00 24.00
StDev 0.55 14.05 0.10 0.20 0.13 1.56 3.92 3.16


What the Packers are looking for: Again one of the biggest discrepancies with this analysis is the fact that the Packers switch to the 3-4 in 2009 under Dom Capers.  Just like with my previous article on defensive ends, I have projected players who were drafted before 2009 into their most likely positions in a 3-4 defense.  Luckily this isn’t as big of a challenge as it was for defensive end players as only one player, Dave Tollesfon, had to be projected to a 3-4 outside linebacker.