Bill Parcells has been building competitive teams for so long it’s tough to doubt him and his team. However, Jared Odrick?
Let’s break this down:
Jared Odrick is not a pass rushing DE... yet. His college career suggests an above average run defender who creates a lot of noise on the line. Strong, thick and with long arms, he is extremely tough to block and power/motor combo makes him extremely tough for interior lineman to handle. Line him beside a beast of a NT and he has the potential to be a great interior pass defender in a 3-4.
Miami doesn't have a massive NT. Perhaps that gets fixed at 40 but if not, Paul Soliai is not the answer. We also have 3 other DE's so what do we do with them?
Randy Starks: He's strictly a rotational guy who’s reliable but doesn't really scare anyone on the opposing O-line. His role remains unchanged.
Kendall Langford: Extremely well rounded DE who does everything well, if not great. So far he's proven to be our best edge lineman and the guy Sparano depends on to provide stout run D and a solid pass rush. His role remains unchanged.
Phillip Merling: This is the wild card. Here's a scouting report on Merling from a trusted freelance scout:
"Terrific size and bulk with long arms...Great quickness...Has a non-stop motor...Is very strong and powerful...Plays with a nasty demeanor...Excellent range and he is relentless in pursuit...Natural pass rusher with a variety of moves...Can take on multiple blockers and shed the double team...Does a nice job versus the run...Has good instincts & awareness...Reliable tackler...Solid technician...Does a nice job in space...Extremely versatile...Can play a number of positions in different schemes."
This scout also mentioned that Merling seems to recognize the ball quicker when he's on the move rather than working through a crowd inside. hmm...
So what does all this mean?
Phillip Merling will be transitioned to OLB. Doubt me? He's the same height and just ten pounds heavier than a certain elite OLB you may have heard of. DeMarcus Ware.
Also keep in mind that if NT is next on our board that Cam Thomas, Brian Price, Terrance Cody, LaMarr Houston, Linvall Joseph and Torrell Troup are still available.
And if its OLB, there is still Sergio Kindle, Koa Misi, Thaddeus Gibson, Ricky Sapp, Navarro Bowman and Jason Worilds.