ProFootballFocus, which is a decent resource, graded Ayers higher than Dumervil in every category last season, including pass rush. I guess I'm in the minority here, but when Ayers was in the game as a DE, he looked really good last season. And he finished the second half of the year on fire despite limited snaps.
From week 10 on, including the Playoff loss, Ayers had 2 Sacks, 7 QB Hits, 10 QB Pressures, and 6 Tackles.
Dumervil, in that same time frame had, 6 Sacks, 4 QB Hits, 15 QB Pressures, and 12 Tackles.
Dumervil logged 491 Snaps. Ayers logged 186. Dumervil had roughly 3 times as many snaps and chances to make plays.
If we multiply Ayers' stats over the second half of the season by three, thus assuming his production would remain constant, his statistics would have been:
6 Sacks, 21 QB Hits, 30 QB Pressures, and 18 Tackles. Far superior to Dumervil's production in that time frame.
I think he's a 3 down guy and provides solid pass rush in and of himself. We should probably try and extend him before he blows up.
I'd be perfectly fine going into the season with just Ayers and Jeremy Beal at RDE. I do expect we'll sign Freeny though at some point. And I expect Ayers will outplay him too.
And, while I think Bmore did a very nice job with his write up and showcasing his thoughtful concept, I can't imagine there's even a 1% chance we move Derrick Wolfe off LDE or Von Miller off SLB. Our entire defensive concept is built around those two and their symbiotic relationship. And they excelled last season, as did our defense.