Oh, by the way, the other unimpressive, high profile ILB: T'eo. He looked stiff and kind of slow. How anyone thinks he is a top 5 pick is beyond me.
Kevin Minter was tackling machine. Both in the back field and down field. This cat didn't miss a lot of tackles. He plays faster than he times. Like a heat seeking missile.
130 tackles 15 for loss (yeah and that is coming from 7 yards off the line of scrimmage), and 4 sacks, and 6 PD's.
Timmons doesn't always have to blitz, but the threat always has to be there. That will force guys to account for him so their QB doesn't get killed.
And that's why I'd like another LB with Timmons' skillset playing next to him. That way you don't know who's dropping and who's covering. Heck, Woodley was pushing 300 lbs and DL still has him dropping to cover RBs/TEs regularly. And he's often adequate.
The reality is the guy next to Timmons is gonna drop half the time and have to cover WRs/TEs/RBs. So a guy like Minter would have been a much better fit 5-10 years ago. Now he doesn't offer the same value.
And given Tomlin's track record, he like LBs with athleticism and he likes positional flexibility.
This is one of the reasons I hate the combine. People start seeing times, height/weight, etc. and make decisions on players. Look at the player's tape and talk to the player. That's how you rank them. Maybe, and I say maybe, use the stats from the combine as a tie-breaker. What the guy does on the field during games determines what kind of player he is. Not, as they say, what he does in gymn shorts.
after the combine:
"He ran slower than any other linebacker tested at the Combine in the 40-yard dash, registering a 5.09 second time that was beaten by 36 of the 48 defensive linemen including 346 pound Dontari Poe. A troubling lack of overall explosion was also shown with a 30" vertical jump, a number beaten by all but two linebackers in Indianapolis. "
Undrafted he led the Bengals in tackles. By some measures he is the most valuable defensive player in the league:
Save for "the crazy" in Burfict, based on the player ability, in hindsight I would draft him in a minute and put him next to Timmons.
Minter AND Teo are both CHEETAHS compared to Burfict, when it comes to timed clock speed.