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GM profiling: Ruskell and the linebackers

4/3/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The premise: I'm a sucker for those true-crime shows where profilers develop rich character sketches to help identify and apprehend unknown suspects. Couldn't we use similar tactics, though vastly simplified, to predict how NFL teams might view college prospects? With your help, I think we can do some amateur profiling of teams and their general managers.

In focus: Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell and the linebackers his teams have drafted since 1992.

Would the Seahawks consider drafting Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry with the fourth overall choice this year? The answer would seem to be yes, but in looking at the chart, we see Ruskell's teams have never drafted a linebacker higher than 28th overall.

The chart shows every linebacker Ruskell's teams have drafted since 1992, ranked by how early the linebackers were selected. One thing jumps out right away: Four of the top five players listed were middle linebackers. Derrick Brooks was the exception. Seattle already has its middle linebacker in Lofa Tatupu. Curry would play on the outside.

Ruskell's teams have enjoyed solid success drafting at this position. Brooks is a likely Hall of Famer. Tatupu has played in three Pro Bowls. Leroy Hill has become a solid starter. Jamie Duncan was a three-year starter. Demorrio Williams became a starter. Al Singleton started. Even Elijah Alexander, a 10th-round pick in 1992, became a starter elsewhere.

Demetrius DuBose, chosen 34th overall in 1993, stands out as the only significant bust. His career flamed out after only four seasons and he died in 1999 when police shot him during an apparent robbery attempt.

When you look at the chart, which college linebackers seem to fit the profile?

Note College conference listings in the chart reflect current affiliations.