I want to thank Ed Valentine, CJMulrain, and the other editors and posters for putting together some of the best NFL off season information and opinion the web has ever seen. If it weren't for the Big Blue View, I wouldn't know half the stuff I do right now about the Giants' prospects heading into the draft this year.
Now I understand McClain might be taken before the Giants draft at #15 in a little over a week, but after watching highlights of both Rolando McClain and Sean Weatherspoon (highlights provided in links), I decided that having an honest, open discussion on both of these guys is the only true way to understand how they could contribute to the Giants vision this year. I know everyone seems to have their favorite, and it's understandable, but hopefully a guy like me (who generally had no clue until watching little more than 8 minutes of film on each player...still not much of an analysis at all) could contribute just a fraction of what the editors do.
From what I saw on the film of McClain, he uses his vision primarily. He regularly waits at the line of scrimmage for the play to develop in front of him. He's an opportunistic tackler and uses quickness to shed blocks regularly against slower and larger bodies. Has a harder time shedding nimble blockers (TEs, FBs, etc.). Puts himself in position to make plays. Strong upper body for blocking and tackling. Grasps schemes and knows where defense is on the field. Good coverage skills. Not often a blitzing LB. Strong presence against the run. Above average tackling ability. Tends to use his physicality to block and tackle in gaps.
Sean Weatherspoon relies on speed and agility. He's an attacker and is often used in blitzing schemes. He can make plays across the field. Aggresiveness can lead to overpursuing. Strong coverage skills. Above average tackling skills. Uses quickness to shed blocks. Can find seams to make plays from behind and stop gaps in line of scrimmage. Can defend all areas of the field. Regularly sacrifices the body in tackling. Can be an enforcer.
Honestly, after watching the films and developing these assessments (albeit uneducated layman assessments) I think that having both of these guys would be awesome. Taking McClain in the first and Weatherspoon in the second would be very surprising but it might instantly upgrade the unit and turn weakness into strength. I don't know if either would be available by the time the Giants draft in the first and second rounds but it certainly would make an interesting draft.
We already knew that McClain was the more natural Mike (ILB), while Weatherspoon looks more comfortable as a Will (WLB). With Goff, Sintim, and Kehl being the other young possibilities to start, we could really see some growth and development in our LB corps this summer. We know we need it. Why not?