Linebacker Carl Bradford Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports photograph
Round 4 – [Pick 21]: Carl Bradford, LB
Bradford is a player who will be doing what has been a trend for at least the past decade: converting from a 4-3 DE. It remains to be seen if that position will in fact be to the usual position of choice for those players (3-4 OLB), or if the coaches have a slightly different plan mapped out for him.
That plan, if it is true, would be to move him to a position that is seemingly a much stronger need currently: 3-4 ILB.
In terms of what I’ve read, it appears Green Bay has not planned on that possibility. When they drafted him, they said it would be to use him as an OLB, which are where his skills translate the best.
He showed off explosive skills and playmaking ability during college as a pass-rusher, so being used as a situational pass-rusher could extract the best from him. But looking at the perceived weak spot at ILB, and seeing other players with pass-rush ability succeed as ILBs (Daryl Washington in ARI; when he has played he’s shown ability to be a top ILB in the league, and his impact on putting attacking pressure up the middle on blitzes is a major part of that), it is easy to see why someone may just assume he would be in the running for the position.
I’m inclined to believe they don’t really see him as an ILB, or else they wouldn’t have been so adamant about making it known that they drafted him to be a 3-4 OLB in their system.
So unless it’s forced by injury, he’ll spend the year mostly doing special teams work and fighting for snaps at OLB opposite Clay Matthews with the group of Julius Peppers, Nick Perry, Mike Neal and Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer.
15 tackles (incl. special teams), 1 FF, 1 Sack