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Old 03-25-2009, 07:44 AM   #1
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OK, So I was looking into DL selected over the last decade and came up with more than few interesting facts.

1. Pro-bowler Jay Ratliff NT/NG of the Cowboys was a smallish DT in college for Auburn. He came out @ 6036 and 292 lbs and was drafted in the seventh round. He was a speed DT that was considered to be too small to play 4-3 DT, let alone 3-4 NT.

2. The best pass rusher to develop out of the awful 2004 DE class BY FAR was a 6th round prospect by many named Jared Allen. He ended up being drafted in the end of the fourth round with pick 30, 126th overall. BTW, he had character issues related to alcohol coming out.....

3. Multiple large mid round DE prospects found homes in the NFL being 3 technique UT's once they developed. Guys like Jovan Haye, Cornelius Griffin, Robaire Smith, Rob Meier, Ellis Wyms, Kindal Moorehead, Tommy Kelley, and Ray Edwards.

4. Plenty of the DE's from LSU have gone to be 3-4 DE's and had a lot of success.

5. There are very few DT's left in the league selected from the 4th round and on. Notables are Domata Peko, Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Terdell Sands, Colin Cole, Rodrique Wright, Johny Jolley, Kedric Golston, and Tony McDaniel. There are more than few UDFA's but they are harder to track, and I'll get back to them later if I get time. Just a much smaller % there than the rest of the drafted positions over the last decade. Get your DT's early

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Old 03-25-2009, 08:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediator12 View Post
OK, So I was looking into DL selected over the last decade and came up with more than few interesting facts.

1. Pro-bowler Jay Ratliff NT/NG of the Cowboys was a smallish DT in college for Auburn. He came out @ 6036 and 292 lbs and was drafted in the seventh round. He was a speed DT that was considered to be too small to play 4-3 DT, let alone 3-4 NT.

2. The best pass rusher to develop out of the awful 2004 DE class BY FAR was a 6th round prospect by many named Jared Allen. He ended up being drafted in the end of the fourth round with pick 30, 126th overall. BTW, he had character issues related to alcohol coming out.....

3. Multiple large mid round DE prospects found homes in the NFL being 3 technique UT's once they developed. Guys like Jovan Haye, Cornelius Griffin, Robaire Smith, Rob Meier, Ellis Wyms, Kindal Moorehead, Tommy Kelley, Ray Edwards, and Adam Carriker.

4. Plenty of the DE's from LSU have gone to be 3-4 DE's and had a lot of success.

5. There are very few DT's left in the league selected from the 4th round and on. Notables are Domata Peko, Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Terdell Sands, Colin Cole, Rodrique Wright, Johny Jolley, Kedric Golston, and Tony McDaniel. There are more than few UDFA's but they are harder to track, and I'll get back to them later if I get time. Just a much smaller % there than the rest of the drafted positions over the last decade. Get your DT's early
I did a little looking at this recently as well.

It does seem that most of the high caliber DT's are taken early (usually first or second round). Many of them take 1-3 years to put on enough "man muscle" to handle the job.

Finding 3-4 De's seems much easier in mid rounds, and even a few late round surprises.

I agree - take the middle men early, or expect to grow them a few years if they are mid rounders.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mediator12 View Post
OK, So I was looking into DL selected over the last decade and came up with more than few interesting facts.

1. Pro-bowler Jay Ratliff NT/NG of the Cowboys was a smallish DT in college for Auburn. He came out @ 6036 and 292 lbs and was drafted in the seventh round. He was a speed DT that was considered to be too small to play 4-3 DT, let alone 3-4 NT.

2. The best pass rusher to develop out of the awful 2004 DE class BY FAR was a 6th round prospect by many named Jared Allen. He ended up being drafted in the end of the fourth round with pick 30, 126th overall. BTW, he had character issues related to alcohol coming out.....

3. Multiple large mid round DE prospects found homes in the NFL being 3 technique UT's once they developed. Guys like Jovan Haye, Cornelius Griffin, Robaire Smith, Rob Meier, Ellis Wyms, Kindal Moorehead, Tommy Kelley, Ray Edwards, and Adam Carriker.

4. Plenty of the DE's from LSU have gone to be 3-4 DE's and had a lot of success.

5. There are very few DT's left in the league selected from the 4th round and on. Notables are Domata Peko, Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Terdell Sands, Colin Cole, Rodrique Wright, Johny Jolley, Kedric Golston, and Tony McDaniel. There are more than few UDFA's but they are harder to track, and I'll get back to them later if I get time. Just a much smaller % there than the rest of the drafted positions over the last decade. Get your DT's early
Carriker was a tophalf 1st round pick.

Defensive line is tricky, but a good rule of thumb is to get your big guys early and your smaller guys later.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:43 AM   #4
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Carriker was a tophalf 1st round pick.

Defensive line is tricky, but a good rule of thumb is to get your big guys early and your smaller guys later.
I lost my train of thought on Carriker meeting those parameters gyldenlove. Thanks, I'll make the edit.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:14 PM   #5
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Med I would recommend that you go search the football outsiders web site, they have done a breakdown by position, round drafted and % who are starters.

Also I would guess that you don't many starters coming from latter in draft because the amount of time it takes for them to develop. High draft choices get the luxury of sticking around due to thier contracts.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:23 PM   #6
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Med I would recommend that you go search the football outsiders web site, they have done a breakdown by position, round drafted and % who are starters.

Also I would guess that you don't many starters coming from latter in draft because the amount of time it takes for them to develop. High draft choices get the luxury of sticking around due to thier contracts.
That only really applied to the top half of the draft, when you get into the bottom of the 1st round the contracts are small enough that by year 3 the players are very cuttable.

In general you have to put up with some detractor when you draft a player in the lower round, either lack of experience, injury history, lack of athleticism, poor instincts, poor character, size issues or sub-par talent. If you are good at coaching and a good evaluator of persons you can do more or less well in getting those players and I think that is where we have to shine. Especially when trying to implement a certain system you have to look at players who may not be perfectly suited to everything and see if you can't someone who in a limited role can grow.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:00 AM   #7
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I like all your points except #3 and #4.

As to #3, none of those 3-techs really excite me. Griffin has been exceptional in the past, and Tommy Kelly is decent, but the rest are bleh. I also thought that Rey Edwards was a pure starting Power End for Minnesota. With Kevin Williams playing the 3, and Pat playing the Nose.

As to #4, you might have a great point here, but could I request some player names? I know of Marcus Spears, but he has been a bust as the #20th (or so) overall pick.



Here's another factoid I like, as it potentially applies to us this draft:

In the last 10-15 years, a 3-4 DE has been selected in the Top 25 picks only 3 times, and only once in the Top 12. The three DEs are Richard Seymour (#6 Overall by NE), Ty Warren (#13 Overall by NE), and Marcus Spears (#20 Overall by Dallas). Out of those 3, Spears has been a bust. Warren has been solid but not worth the 13th Overall pick, and Seymour was a stud until the last few years when he's been injured.

This makes drafting DE Tyson Jackson highly unlikely at #12 Overall, and also, very risky.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mat'hir Uth Gan View Post

Here's another factoid I like, as it potentially applies to us this draft:

In the last 10-15 years, a 3-4 DE has been selected in the Top 25 picks only 3 times, and only once in the Top 12. The three DEs are Richard Seymour (#6 Overall by NE), Ty Warren (#13 Overall by NE), and Marcus Spears (#20 Overall by Dallas). Out of those 3, Spears has been a bust. Warren has been solid but not worth the 13th Overall pick, and Seymour was a stud until the last few years when he's been injured.

This makes drafting DE Tyson Jackson highly unlikely at #12 Overall, and also, very risky.
You have to consider that the 3-4 was almost gone for a long time, it is coming back now in a big way which would make 3-4 defenders more popular and thus increase the average draft position of 3-4 specialists.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:25 AM   #9
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You have to consider that the 3-4 was almost gone for a long time, it is coming back now in a big way which would make 3-4 defenders more popular and thus increase the average draft position of 3-4 specialists.

This is a very good point.

And I agree with it in regards to OLBs and NTs. The 3-4 DE though is the least important position in the 3-4, and the thought process remains that you can just fill it with a mid-round quality, run stuffing, collegiate DT-type. If you are running a one-gap 3-4 scheme, the value for the DEs goes up a tad, but Nolan runs a 2-gap system, meaning, we just want cloggers. And those are the easiest position to find for the 3-4, along with the 2 down ILB that just takes on blockers (I think this is the TED).

And while, I agree completely with your point that over the course of a draft, with more and more 3-4 teams around now, that more 3-4 type players will be selected, I still do not see the value in a 3-4 DE being drafted high in the draft, especially in the Top 25.

And in this particular case, Tyson Jackson profiles nicely as a 2-gap, 3-4 DE. But so does Fili Moala whom can be had in the 2nd Round. I can't really see any difference between those two at all, so its hard for me to understand why Jackson is a consideration in the Top 15, while Moala is a mid-2nd Round guy.


Sorry about rambling there at the end Gylden, I know you didn't chime in on the Ty Jackson debate, but I am just having a devil of a time understanding the push on Broncos message boards to draft a run-plugging 3-4 DE with the #12 Overall pick. That just seems like really poor value to me, though I understand it is a need.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:44 AM   #10
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This is a very good point.

And I agree with it in regards to OLBs and NTs. The 3-4 DE though is the least important position in the 3-4, and the thought process remains that you can just fill it with a mid-round quality, run stuffing, collegiate DT-type. If you are running a one-gap 3-4 scheme, the value for the DEs goes up a tad, but Nolan runs a 2-gap system, meaning, we just want cloggers. And those are the easiest position to find for the 3-4, along with the 2 down ILB that just takes on blockers (I think this is the TED).

And while, I agree completely with your point that over the course of a draft, with more and more 3-4 teams around now, that more 3-4 type players will be selected, I still do not see the value in a 3-4 DE being drafted high in the draft, especially in the Top 25.

And in this particular case, Tyson Jackson profiles nicely as a 2-gap, 3-4 DE. But so does Fili Moala whom can be had in the 2nd Round. I can't really see any difference between those two at all, so its hard for me to understand why Jackson is a consideration in the Top 15, while Moala is a mid-2nd Round guy.


Sorry about rambling there at the end Gylden, I know you didn't chime in on the Ty Jackson debate, but I am just having a devil of a time understanding the push on Broncos message boards to draft a run-plugging 3-4 DE with the #12 Overall pick. That just seems like really poor value to me, though I understand it is a need.
Oh, I completely agree that the 5 tech DE is the position that should be the easiest to fill with an adequate player. I like Tyson Jackson from the perspective that I think he is more ready to contribute as a 5 tech than most rookies would be and I think we have to look at how to improve the defensive front both short and long term.

I would prefer to get Raji or Jenkins in the 1st if we don't trade around and leave the DE position until the 2nd or 3rd round, if Jarron Gilbert can be had in the 2nd that would be good, Moala would be an option as well. In the 2nd round there are a few OLBs who would be interesting as well, at least we have some options.
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