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  1. #1
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    With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Analysis coming soon!



    Height: 6'2"
    Weight: 244
    College: Ohio State
    Conference: Big 10
    Hometown: Hamel, MN
    High School: Wayzata
    View Combine Page >>

    Combine Results:
    40 Yard Dash : 4.88 seconds
    Bench Press : 22.0 reps
    Vertical Jump : 33.0 inches
    Broad Jump : 115.0 inches
    3 Cone Drill : 6.93 seconds
    20 Yard Shuttle : 4.24 seconds


    Overview
    One of the most highly dedicated athletes in school history, Laurinaitis carried on the tradition of standout performers to compete at linebacker for the university, joining perennial All-Americans Chris Spielman, Tom Cousineau, Pepper Johnson, Steve Tovar and A.J. Hawk as some of the best ever produced at OSU.

    In addition to garnering All-American and All-Big Ten Conference honors since his sophomore campaign, Laurinaitis has been a finalist for the Lombardi Award, Lott Trophy and Bednarik Award. He was the 2006 Bronko Nagurski Award winner as the nation's best defensive player, the same year he won the Randy Gradishar Linebacker Award. As a junior, he added the coveted Butkus Award (nation's top linebacker) to his trophy case.

    In 2008, Laurinaitis was named the inaugural winner of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for NCAA. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of coaches, media and fans, is presented annually to the most outstanding NCAA Division I senior student-athlete in nine sports. The announcement and trophy presentation to Laurinaitis were made today during the pre-game show of the Fiesta Bowl national telecast on FOX.

    Laurinaitis, who has received many awards including the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, said the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award is special because of what it represents. "What a tremendous honor this is to be recognized with such a prestigious award," Laurinaitis said. "The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award is already well known in basketball, and to be the first-ever winner for football is something very special. I appreciate the compliment it pays to me and to Ohio State to be recognized for character, academics and community service. I am very proud to be the winner."

    The son of world renowned wrestler, Joe Laurinaitis (pronounced Larr-en-EYE-tiss), who competed as the "Animal" in the 1980s and 1990s as part of the tag team called the Road Warriors (Legion of Doom), James also has excelled in the classroom. One of the more instinctive players on the field, he also captured Academic All-Big Ten Conference honors during his junior season.

    At Plymouth Wayzata High School, Laurinaitis was named Minnesota's "Defensive Mr. Football" as a senior, going on to record 193 tackles, five sacks and 28 stops behind the line of scrimmage. That year, he led the team to the Minnesota Class 5A state championship game.

    During his junior campaign, Laurinaitis was credited with 160 tackles, earning All-State and All-Conference accolades. In addition to his exploits on the football field, he also excelled in hockey, serving as that team's captain during his senior year. He led the hockey squad to the state tournament in 2004 and was considered to be a possible second- or third-round pick if he had decided to enter the NHL draft after high school.

    When Laurinaitis accepted a scholarship to Ohio State in 2005, he became the first player from the state of Minnesota to join the Buckeyes' football team since the famed Sid Gillman in 1930. The true freshman played mostly on special teams and as a reserve outside linebacker that season. He would close out his first year on the varsity by delivering nine tackles (3 solos) and assisting on one stop behind the line of scrimmage.

    Laurinaitis shifted to middle linebacker in 2006, earning All-American and All-Big Ten Conference first-team accolades. He was a finalist for the Butkus Award and Bednarik Award, in addition to winning the Bronko Nagurski Award, given to the nation's best defensive player. He ranked fourth in the conference and led the team with 115 tackles (53 solos), including four sacks and 8.5 stops for losses. He also paced the Buckeyes with five interceptions and deflected two other throws while causing three fumbles.

    As a junior, Laurinaitis was again selected All-American and All-Big Ten Conference first-team. He was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year and won the Butkus Award, as he tallied a team-high 121 tackles (51 solos). He posted 8.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, including five sacks and also picked off two passes.

    Laurinaitis was voted team captain for the second consecutive season by his teammates in 2008 and is only the seventh Buckeye to be elected twice. He earned All-American and

    All-Big Ten Conference first-team honors, and for the second consecutive year was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year.

    He led the team, ranked second in the Big Ten and 14th in the nation with an average of 10.0 tackles per game. He posted a career-high 130 hits (52 solos) with four sacks and seven stops behind the line of scrimmage. He also picked off a pair of passes and deflected four others while leading the Buckeyes to four BCS bowl games during his career at the university.

    High School
    Attended Plymouth Wayzata (Minn.) High School...Named Minnesota's "Defensive Mr. Football" as a senior, going on to record 193 tackles, five sacks and 28 stops behind the line of scrimmage...That year, he led the team to the Minnesota Class 5A state championship game...During his junior campaign, Laurinaitis was credited with 160 tackles, earning All-State and All-Conference accolades...In addition to his exploits on the football field, he also excelled in hockey, serving as that team's captain during his senior year...Led the hockey squad to the state tournament in 2004 and was considered to be a possible second- or third-round pick in the NHL draft, if he had decided to enter the draft after high school.


    NFL Draft Countdown analysis:
    Strengths:
    Adequate size and bulk...Good athlete...Very good speed...Excellent instincts with a top-notch football IQ...Reliable tackler...Has sideline-to-sideline range...Reads and reacts quickly...Smooth with fluid hips and terrific awareness in coverage...Good hands...Does a real nice job of avoiding blockers and working through traffic...Super active with a great motor...Offers some versatility...Intense and competitive...Has a lot of experience...Durable...Smart...Very mature...Outstanding work ethic...Team and community leader...Was extraordinarily productive.

    Weaknesses:
    Needs to be more physical...Struggles when he has to take on and shed blockers...Can be too aggressive at times...Doesn't have elite strength and power...Not real explosive or a big hitter...Average pass rusher / blitzer...Doesn't make many impact plays...Frame is close to being maxed out...Surrounded by lots of talent...May not have much upside.

    Notes:
    Was a three-year starter in the Big Ten...Would have been a Top 10-15 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft had he come out after his junior season...Father was a professional wrestler known as “The Animal” of the Legion of Doom...Also played hockey in high school...Named Minnesota's Defensive Mr. Football as a senior...Played extensively as a true freshman and stepped into the starting lineup when Bobby Carpenter went down with an injury...Won the Nagurski Award as the nation’s best defensive player in 2006...Won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker as a junior...The Big Ten defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008...Winner of the 2008 Lott Trophy as college football’s impact player of the year...Winner of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in 2008...A three-time 1st Team All-Big Ten selection...In elite company as a three-time AP All-American...Prolific college football player who won just about every award and honor imaginable during his time with the Buckeyes and will go down as an all-time great...A well-rounded player who never has to leave the field...Capable of playing all three linebacker positions but his best fit will likely come in the middle or on the weakside in a 4-3 scheme...Not quite in the same league as a prospect that his former teammate and #5 overall pick A.J. Hawk was coming out of college but awfully close.

    Sporting News War Room analysis:

    POST-DRAFT ANALYSIS:

    (No. 35 overall, Rams) Laurinaitis lacks athleticism, which has made him fall to the second round, but he has the instincts and intelligence to make plays all over the field. He's great at stacking in the box and being a solid interior defender. He should be productive in the NFL but not elite.

    PRE-DRAFT ANALYSIS:

    Against the inside run: Is impressive between the tackles. Uses his great size and strength to take on blockers and get off them to make plays. Has solid tackling technique; is willing to throw his body at the ballcarrier and make the play. Gets the job done overall. Grade: 8.5

    Against the outside run: Moves well laterally to the line and then fills his gap with ease to play with great patience and within the aspect of the defense. Has the ability and speed to get sideline to sideline and make the play without losing any of his strength. Is fast enough to get downfield if the play gets by him. Grade: 8.0

    Blitz/coverage: Does a nice job on run blitzes but is not quite as effective at rushing the passer. Lacks great flexibility to get around a blocker quickly enough to get the quarterback. Causes the pocket to collapse but is not a sacker by any means. Struggles in man coverage because of his lack of great speed. Has better instincts for zone coverage; closes quickly on passes in front of him to make hard hits right after the ball arrives. Grade: 6.5

    Run/pass recognition: Is intelligent; can direct a defense and get the team in and out of its calls. Possesses great leadership skills that NFL teams covet. Does a nice job of seeing what the play is and reacting immediately. Seems to be a part of every play. Grade: 8.5

    Pursuit/tackling: Is one of the top tacklers every game. This shows how consistent of a player he is. Has average range but great pursuit skills; knows what angle to take to get to the ballcarrier. Grade: 8.5

    Bottom line: Laurinaitis, son of pro wrestler Joe "Road Warrior Animal" Laurinaitis, nearly entered the 2008 draft. Coming back to school proved to be a smart move, as he raised his draft status after an early-season slump. Laurinaitis's size, strength and athleticism should make him a productive starting linebacker in the NFL.
    Last edited by Nick; -04-26-2009 at 02:17 PM.


  2. #2
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    I don't know if I like this pick I would have taken Ray M. but then again, I haven't seen James L play enough. All I know if it's a pick between the two I would have taken Ray.

  3. #3
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Rey is dropping quite a bit; I think character concerns play an issue here, and Devaney wants squeaky clean.

    For what it's worth, the Rams' first day is exactly what I mocked the other day.

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    rams 24/7 is offline Registered User
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    I guess he's are Big Need but, He reminds Of a Defensive Brian Leonard and without a D-line he won't shine. Rey Would have been Better.

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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    ..... Not thrilled with Smith, and not excited about Laurenitis when Maulauga is avaialble.I hope I will be proven wrong and we can come to know Laurenitis as 'Leonitis'.No Ohio State linbacker has done anything since Spielman, and many of them were all 1st rounders.Maualuga is so similar to Say-Ow....(Seau)

  6. #6
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    I would have been fine with Maualuga, but I love this pick. Laurinatis is more disciplined, on and off the field. He reminds me a lot of Dan Morgan. If he can be the same kind of tackling machine, this is a great value at this point in the draft.

    So... is Nick 2 for 2? Nice job, Nick!

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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I would have been fine with Maualuga, but I love this pick. Laurinatis is more disciplined, on and off the field. He reminds me a lot of Dan Morgan. If he can be the same kind of tackling machine, this is a great value at this point in the draft.

    So... is Nick 2 for 2? Nice job, Nick!
    I don't remember Dan Morgan being Great in the Nfl.

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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Solid across the board, hard working, SMART, consistent ....

    Some doubts whether he can play on 3rd down, but schemes can correct his shortcomings ...

    I am sure there were strong reasons with Rey wasn't taken ....

    EXACTLY what we need in a middle linebacker ...

    That idiot that just called us the St. Louis Cardinals should seriously have the plug pulled on him. What an embarrassment to the NFL ...

    REGARDLESS, AWESOME FIRST DAY! NO?

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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Quote Originally Posted by rams 24/7 View Post
    I don't remember Dan Morgan being Great in the Nfl.
    Morgan was an excellent linebacker who couldn't stay on the field because of concussions ...

    But I am having a hard time even trying to process anything you write after you announced our draft as a FAILURE in another thread after the 1st round pick ...

  10. #10
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    So... is Nick 2 for 2? Nice job, Nick!
    That's why I make the big bucks.

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    I am sure there were strong reasons with Rey wasn't taken ....
    Agreed. It seems NFL teams may know something the fans don't. Rey has fallen by a number of teams that could use him; there's definitely something scaring teams off.

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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    To put it this way, I am way stoked that we skipped Ray Shmay for J. Lau. Period. He is a better linebacker, and is going to be a better overall player. To summarize this pick, travel back in time, and answer this question;

    Would you have drafted Glen Dorsey or Chris Long with the second pick last season?

    If you answered Long, than you basically picked Laurinaitis this draft. They have the same personality, and are the better all around player.

    Dorsey was a "specialist" and is more like Ray. Except, even Dorsey didn't have all the personality issues that Ray has. Ray would have been a great one trick poney, but we need to have the better overall players, who put more effort in there, and that is where you will grow to love J Lau. I have watched him for years now, his entire college career, and I am just saying, sit back and enjoy his performance and effort. He will be all over the ball, and doesn't stop until the whistle blows. He will impress.

  12. #12
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    That's why I make the big bucks.



    Agreed. It seems NFL teams may know something the fans don't. Rey has fallen by a number of teams that could use him; there's definitely something scaring teams off.
    I would almost certainly think Spags and Devaney chose Lauranitis over Rey because they feel Lauranitis is a much more disciplined and smarter player, very critical in the Spags schemes ...

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    Why MLB Laurinitias over MLB Mauluaga?

    Why MLB Laurinitias over MLB Mauluaga?


    Is there something the Rams know about MLB Mauluaga that puts Laurinitias over him in draft?

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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    I think both would work, like the pick. Love our draft so far.

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    Re: Why MLB Laurinitias over MLB Mauluaga?

    You will understand. That's all I am going to say. You wait till the season starts, and you WILL understand.

    Draft analysis my arse, J. Lau was better. The only thing Ray M had was a better complete defense as a team. That made him look good, and fed him some more. Without that, he would be no one. J. Lau was and is better, and will always be. If you don't believe me fine, but I was praying we would go this route, and time will show you why.

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