The OLB play seems to be a committee affair this year. Haralson and Lawson as the starters, with Brooks and LaBoy likely to rotate in on passing downs.
LAWSON -- There are a few posters complaining about Lawson - and yes he hasn't turned into a sack machine, so there is some minor disappointment. But Lawson is maturing into an very good all around OLB. He sets the edge VERY well against the run now, able to play off the block whether the runner goes inside or outside. He diagnoses runs very quickly now and is a sure tackler. He has the range to play coverage, and you don't often see QBs throw into his coverage area. Finally, he does have some pass rush ability -- not great, but solid. So I think he is a solid starter.
HARALSON - I used to think the world of Haralson, but he seems to have peaked mid last year. Opposing linemen now see to have solved his pass rush technique and he is a liability in coverage. He is also not very good against the run, when he sets the edge he is one dimensional, only able to play inside or outside - unlike Lawson. I think Brooks was on track to take the starter role, but injuries have set him back. Maybe by mid season it will happen now.
BROOKS - shows a ton of potential as a pass rusher, okay against the run, haven't seen much of him in coverage. So we just don't know if he is a minor or major upgrade over Haralson yet.
LABOY - Clearly has a knack for rushing the QB. Very good instincts/anticipation on how to get to where the QB will be and can get there at full speed. (Our other pass rushers seem to hesitate on their way to the QB and at first contact. Brooks and LaBoy seem to have the ability to go full speed to the QB). But he may be a "one trick pony" that starts to lose effectiveness as OL get him figured out. At least there seems to be a lot of promise there.
ADELIUS THOMAS -- What happened to this guy? When he went from the Ravens to the Patriots he was considered to be one of the most gifted athletes in the league. Why is he unsigned? Would he be a help to us? It doesn't seem the 49ers have any interest in him at all.