Why James Lauranaitis?

Well the disagreement (battle) continues as to which Linebacker we should choose in the first round of the draft , if we do in fact draft one.  This is always a fun debate and one in which I take pleasure in contributing to.  First I think we need to decide which linebacker position we should take, because it is really not fair to judge Aaron Curry outside linebacker against James Laurinaitis and Ray Maualuga both Inside Linebackers. That being said, I will talk more on that after the stats.

First some people are hard pressed against JL because he is “undersized” for the NFL middle linebacker position.  Well lets take a look at the playoff teams at that same position. I didn’t want to use all the teams because our goal is to make the playoffs and be a contender. So here is the starting MLB’s for each of those teams this past season.

Bart Scott                     6-2       235

Gerald Hayes               6-1       242

Curtis Loften                6-0       246

Jon Beason                   6-0       230

Gary Brackett               5-11     235

Dontarrious Thomas     6-2       241

Channing Crowder       6-2       241

Akinola Ayodele           6-2       251

Stewart Bradley            6-3       254

James Farrior               6-2       244

Larry Foote                  6-0       239

Stephen Cooper           6-1       235

Matt Wilhelm                6-2       254

Stephen Tulloch            5-11     217

Antonio Pierce          6-1       240

Ray Lewis                    6-1       250

Monty Biesel                6-2       238


Average                       6.15     240.70


Before you go looking for Karlos Dansby 6-4 250, the team page lists him as the weak side linebacker.

Before you go looking for Jonathan Vilma, I only used Playoff teams but he is 6-1 230.

Aaron Curry is 6-3 241.

James Lauranaitis is 6-2 240.

So I will admit JL is a little undersized by a mere ¾ of a pound for that position.  Maybe a few god rib eyes will help in camp.

Speed in the 40 yard dash

JL runs a 4.60

Ray Malauga runs a 4.75

Aaron Curry runs a 4.58

Production - 2008


JL -130

Ray M - 79

Aaron Curry - 105

Tackles For Loss

JL – 7.5

Ray M – 2.5

Aaron Curry - 16                    


JL - 2

Ray M - 2

Aaron Curry - 1          


JL – 4.0

Ray M – 0.0

Aaron Curry – 2.5

Passes Broken Up

JL – 4

Ray M – 4

Aaron Curry – 3

Quarterback Hurries

JL – 1

Ray M – 1

Aaron Curry –2

Fumbles Forced

JL – 1

Ray M – 0

Aaron Curry –1


So far I haven’t seen a problem with production. But let me add this.  Last season total defensive plays for each team:

Ohio State – 846 JL was the primary defender in 138 of them or 16.31%

USC  - 798 Ray M was the primary defender in 86 of them or 10.78%

Wake Forrest – 840 Aaron Curry was the primary defender in 13.33%

Its been said JL is soft and didn't play anyone this year.  USC and Ohio State had almost identical winning percentages against opponents this past season.  Both played three ranked teams. As you can see in tackles, this simply isnt true and I believe is just an opinion.  We can all watch a team play and come away with different thoughts on individual performances.  A lot of that has to do with the scheme or game plan for that day. And, all players depend on their team mates to help with their positions, its called "Team Work".  Something I hope the Chiefs can become masters of this year.

I think I could keep on this all day, but my Chief keeps walking by clearing his throat, I guess he wants me to work or something. What I believe is, the pick all boils down to personal choice.  Some of us like one guy, others like one guy and the remainder like the third guy.  But we have to identify which player will best fit our defensive scheme overall and give us the best chance for success for many years to come.  Personally I think the guy is JL and the reason I believe that is, we have to get a true team leader.  We need a guy that will be there for every play.  I think Ray M is a hell of a talent and will make a hell of a linebacker in the NFL.  But I think he is very similar to Derrick Johnson in that he is a playmaker, not an every down player.  I do not have enough info on Aaron Curry to truly form an opinion on him, but I think he will also be a hell of a player in the NFL.

Again, I didn't say he warranted a pick at #3, but if we were to trade down in the middle or late first, I think it's a no brainer.  I'll take leadership over possibilities this year, because we have no proven defensive leader, Yet.


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This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.