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Radinho84

Hightower vs. Upshaw

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Hi guys,

i have a general question on my mind these days.

Comparing Hightower and Upshaw after the first year and their respective impacts on their teams:

Who do you think got the better player?

For me it is Upshaw. I saw him progress really well over the season and i think he will be a star in this league.

What do you think?
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With BB Hightower will LOOK like the better player, media hype.

Upshaw WILL be the better player.

Upshaw might be a star, if he can learn how to blow defenders off the LOS with that brute strength of his, we have ourselves a Von Miller + Stregnth
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From watching a few Pats games I noticed that they're practically identical how they play and even in how they look, but neither moves too well in space.
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[quote name='Mr. Irrelevant' timestamp='1358496623' post='1316358']
With BB Hightower will LOOK like the better player, media hype.

Upshaw WILL be the better player.

Upshaw might be a star, if he can learn how to blow defenders off the LOS with that brute strength of his, we have ourselves a Von Miller + Stregnth
[/quote]
Upshaw is nowhere near the athlete that Von Miller is. He doesn't have the same quickness or explosiveness. That is why he was a 2nd round pick and Miller was a top 5 pick.
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They both were always kind of identical to me. Too big for middle linebacker, not mobile enough for a pure edge rusher. Both seem to set the edge well, and play the run. I have noticed Upshaw getting some nice push, especially in that Denver game. He pushed his defender back a few yards almost into Manning.
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[quote name='dirtybird10' timestamp='1358520401' post='1316449']
They both were always kind of identical to me. Too big for middle linebacker, not mobile enough for a pure edge rusher. Both seem to set the edge well, and play the run. I have noticed Upshaw getting some nice push, especially in that Denver game. He pushed his defender back a few yards almost into Manning.
[/quote]
I agree, Upshaw has became a better pass rusher. Not great,not even good,but maybe next year. He also made a habit of abusing tight ends.
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[quote name='BenMir' timestamp='1358523361' post='1316505']
I agree, Upshaw has became a better pass rusher. Not great,not even good,but maybe next year. He also made a habit of abusing tight ends.
[/quote]

I think he will definitely improve next year. A full season under his belt, he can work on pass rushing moves, and get stronger. He seems to have a bit of a bull rush but not much else. Hopefully he will really take a nice step forward next season.
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[quote name='dirtybird10' timestamp='1358523524' post='1316510']


I think he will definitely improve next year. A full season under his belt, he can work on pass rushing moves, and get stronger. He seems to have a bit of a bull rush but not much else. Hopefully he will really take a nice step forward next season.
[/quote]
Usually power rushers would prefer bullrushing. Earlier in the season it was less effective because he'd get of the snap really slow,but lately he is faster and that really helps.
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Upshaw may not be a great pass rusher, but he's killer against the run. If he can get good enough at run stopping, he'll be able to compensate for being a so-so pass rusher.
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[quote name='NaveSenrag' timestamp='1358523946' post='1316523']
Upshaw may not be a great pass rusher, but he's killer against the run. If he can get good enough at run stopping, he'll be able to compensate for being a so-so pass rusher.
[/quote]
Can get good enough? It's his first year and he is already an elite run stopper. 2nd best 3-4 olb in his rookie season! Heck,if he can generate SOME pressure he'll be considered a top OLB
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I say Hightower.

Both have 60 tackles. Upshaw has 2 more games played though.Upshaw 1.5 sacks, Hightower 4.... Upshaw 2 FF, 2 FR. Hightower 0 FF, 2 FR.

Courtney has played really good this year though for being forced into the lineup as a rookie. There was a strech in the season where you could notice him progressing more and more after every game.

I think both will have great careers. I just see Hightower having a bigger impact for the Pats, then Upshaw for us in the long run. Maybe in the offseason Upshaw can lose some weight and try to get faster to get some more sacks, but as of right now he reminds me of Jarret Johnson. This Sunday I don't think either will make a huge impact in the game as compared to other players.
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[quote name='BenMir' timestamp='1358524410' post='1316532']
Can get good enough? It's his first year and he is already an elite run stopper. 2nd best 3-4 olb in his rookie season! Heck,if he can generate SOME pressure he'll be considered a top OLB
[/quote]
Second best in the NFL? According to whom? I think I would've heard that from someone else if it was the case. All I'm saying is that if he can become really great at run stopping, he won't need to be an great pass rusher in order to be a vital piece of the D-line.
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Good question, but the comparison's aren't totally fair because these guys play different positions and have different skill sets. While both players are considered to be more "hybrid" by nature they are still inside and outside players respectively. Upshaw is more an OLB/DE run stuffer with some pass rush upside, while Hightower is more a true MLB/OLB that's slightly better in space. Think of comparing Ellerbe and Kruger to catch my drift there.

I really loved both of them coming out of the draft, and it makes you wonder if Hightower was there would we have traded out of the first? Either way I think both players are impact type of players with major upside, and I am excited to see how they play for years to come.
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[quote name='NaveSenrag' timestamp='1358526951' post='1316588']

Second best in the NFL? According to whom? I think I would've heard that from someone else if it was the case. All I'm saying is that if he can become really great at run stopping, he won't need to be an great pass rusher in order to be a vital piece of the D-line.
[/quote]
As a run stopper,I mean. According to PFF.
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[quote name='BenMir' timestamp='1358528770' post='1316627']
As a run stopper,I mean. According to PFF.
[/quote]
Really? Wow. How much time does he get? It doesn't seem like he's on the field that much, but I guess I'm just missing him.
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[quote name='NaveSenrag' timestamp='1358528819' post='1316630']

Really? Wow. How much time does he get? It doesn't seem like he's on the field that much, but I guess I'm just missing him.
[/quote]
60-70% I believe. PFF writers actually mentioned him few times - mostly at the secret superstar section but sometimes on the matchup to watch section.
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Unlike most people here I never liked Hightower coming out and I still don't like him. I feel he is overrated. Between him and Upshaw I would take Upshaw every time even with Hightower's 4 sacks. You're also comparing a 3-4 ILB/4-3 OLB (not Mike, he is no MLB) to a 3-4 OLB/4-3 DE hybrid. As another poster said it's hard to compare an apple to an orange other than they are both round.

I think Upshaw has the capability to pass rush but he needs to learn the techniques. Whether or not he learns them is up to him and Monachino. Right now he is turning into JJ JR. But give him a chance. People said Kruger was a bust prematurely. I'm willing to bide my time with Upshaw.
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I can tell you this. Upshaw is FAR beyond what Kruger was at this stage in his career. If Courtney can develop like Kruger (Pass rush wise) he'll be a beast. Hes already better then Paul as a run stopper.
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[quote name='NaveSenrag' timestamp='1358526951' post='1316588']
Second best in the NFL? According to whom? I think I would've heard that from someone else if it was the case. All I'm saying is that if he can become really great at run stopping, he won't need to be an great pass rusher in order to be a vital piece of the D-line.
[/quote]
According to profootball focus he had the second highest run grade of any player at a certain point this season. Not just rookies, everybody.
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[quote name='H8R' timestamp='1358536746' post='1316770']
I can tell you this. Upshaw is FAR beyond what Kruger was at this stage in his career. If Courtney can develop like Kruger (Pass rush wise) he'll be a beast. Hes already better then Paul as a run stopper.
[/quote]
I agree, he is not the explosive pass rusher but that is why he did not get drafted top 20. If he was a dominant pass rusher coming out of college, we would never had sniffed this dude. He is a big, strong defender, who can set the edge with the best of them, and looks to have a bit of a nice bull rush going for him. With some technique change he could easily be a 6-8 sack guy on the other side of Suggs.
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Upshaw was a very smart defender (like all defenders coming out of Bama) that is built like in ox, but is all potential. That's why he fell to us, he could gain weight and be a starting DE us (he'd be awesome there) he could lose a little weight and be a workload as an OLB, but he has to want to do it.

I think Upshaw has a higher ceiling than Hightower does, but right now he has a disadvantage because he's still in an inbetween stage in terms of finding his niche'.
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[quote name='CalvinSmoke' timestamp='1358542269' post='1316868']
Upshaw was a very smart defender (like all defenders coming out of Bama) that is built like in ox, but is all potential. That's why he fell to us, he could gain weight and be a starting DE us (he'd be awesome there) he could lose a little weight and be a workload as an OLB, but he has to want to do it.

I think Upshaw has a higher ceiling than Hightower does, but right now he has a disadvantage because he's still in an inbetween stage in terms of finding his niche'.
[/quote]
I also said so. If it seems that Upshaw's future at olb is limited-move him to DE. Yes,he's short,but he's probably one of the strongest players on the team. Upshaw at 295 lbs would probably be stronger than Cody at 350.
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[quote name='BenMir' timestamp='1358542728' post='1316875']
I also said so. If it seems that Upshaw's future at olb is limited-move him to DE. Yes,he's short,but he's probably one of the strongest players on the team. Upshaw at 295 lbs would probably be stronger than Cody at 350.
[/quote]I completely agree with you, just watching Upshaw now we see just how freaking strong he is lol. Having him, Ngata and a studly NT as our defensive front would just an anchor of a load.
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[quote name='CalvinSmoke' timestamp='1358543540' post='1316895']
I completely agree with you, just watching Upshaw now we see just how freaking strong he is lol. Having him, Ngata and a studly NT as our defensive front would just an anchor of a load.
[/quote]
Heck, he already played DT at his current weight in the dollar package.
Shift Ngata to NT, put Courtney at LE and A.Jones at RE. McPhee is there for extra pass rush when you need him, Sizzle and Krug at LB. Utter destruction.
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[quote name='BloodRaven' timestamp='1358498943' post='1316368']
From watching a few Pats games I noticed that they're practically identical how they play and even in how they look, but neither moves too well in space.
[/quote]
This. You can tell they both played at Alabama because both read their keys right almost to a fault in losing a second or two on a play, they play their assignments correctly and tackle well. Both are limited in what they can do. Personally I think the only reason Hightower went in the 1st is because of his versatility (which is a good thing dont get me wrong).

I don't know if Hightower exactly fits the mold of OLB or MLB at the NFL level and Upshaw definitely is not a prototypical 34 OLB either. I think we got better value strictly because of where we took Upshaw.
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The fact that Upshaw is already one of the best OLB against the run says something. He has all his youth to work on his pass rushing skills.
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