Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers easily had the best linebacking core in the NFL. With Larry Foote, two Pro Bowlers in James Farrior and James Harrison, and then two future Pro Bowlers in Lawrence Timmons and Lamarr Woodley, the Steelers were loaded.
They basically had five starting linebackers. But could they add even more quality linebackers through the draft? I mean, we have Bruce Davis, who was our third-round pick from last season who really did nothing last season. Now, I am not saying he will not develop—after all, it was one year—but why not bring in even more competition?
The player I am talking about is Zack Follett out of California. This is a mean linebacker who loves rushing the quarterback and has all of the physical tools one would need to succeed in the NFL.
Follett would obviously not start over any of these linebackers, but could allow for the starters to get extra rest without the defense dropping off. I believe after watching tape on Zack that he could be a backup in all four linebacking spots.
Now I know he is not a complete linebacker, thus he is projected in the fourth round, but for what the Steelers need, he could help out.
Another linebacker that is intriguing is James Laurinitus. I know the Steelers would have to use their first round pick, but he reminds me of a Steeler we have now who is getting up there in age; I am of course talking about Farrior.
Although Farrior is on the books for four more years, we do not know how well he ages. He could very well drop off next season. So I say let us get someone who is a smaller version of Farrior. Laurinitus would benefit from being a backup, for he would have to learn to pass rush better, but I think that with Laurinitus and Timmons in the middle there can be something special.
The Laurinitus part is all hypothetical, but the Follett part is far from. The Raiders and Steelers worked him out, but if he lands in Pittsburgh, getting another mean linebacker in the fourth round may be a luxury that could continue to put the linebacking unit in elite company.