Defensive Ends

Discussion in 'College Football & the NFL Draft' started by Ole Miss Texan, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Ole Miss Texan

    Ole Miss Texan Hall of Fame

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    Defensive End may be a critical position for us to draft next year, enough to where we could spend a 1st rounder again. Below is a generic list of some of the top DE's that could be in the draft (* denotes underclassmen)

    I have a question for those great at scouting college talent that's really important to keep in mind when watching the college football season. What's the best way to determine a 4-3 DE vs. a 3-4 DE vs. a 3-4 OLB???? Other questions that would be great if they could be answered: What should we look for in a DE to compliment Mario? (speed rusher?) What's the best way to scout for speed, how quick they are off the snap, their motor, run stopping, coverage, etc.?

    Mainly, I don't want to be watching a lot of George Sylvie (for example) to see if he'd be a good fit on the Texans if he's just going to end up being a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. Thanks for the help guys.

    a list:
    Defensive Ends:
    1. George Selvie, South Florida*
    2. Tyson Jackson, LSU
    3. Greg Hardy, Ole Miss*
    4. Greg Middleton, Indiana*
    5. Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech
    6. Maurice Evans, Penn State*
    7. Brian Orakpo, Texas
    8. Auston English, Oklahoma*
    9. Tim Jamison, Michigan
    10. Ricky Sapp, Clemson*
     
  2. YoungTexanFan

    YoungTexanFan Hall of Fame

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    Sometimes a 3-4 OLB was a 4-3 DE in college. However, sometimes they are interchangeable initially upon entry to the NFL. 3-4 DE's are usually larger guys who might be an undersized NT or a larger 4-3 DE who excels at engaging the OT.

    Mario is pretty much a "complete" DE, at least in terms of other DE's in the NFL. However, Mario is NOT a speed rusher. Mario's best strength is just that, his strength. He has great arm length and upper-body strength. This is why you see Mario do well with the "Bull-Rush" as compared to someone like the stereotypical "Freeney rusher." The guys who excel at neither really are generally regulated to the 3-4 DE.

    The Texans need a "speed" rusher on the other end of Mario, but there is more to pass rush than the "other" DE. Essentially, we have two UT's playing next to each other, playing next to Mario. A great, penetrating UT is a vital component to a successful DL and pass-rush, but two UT's do not go well with each other as they create a small defensive front and struggle to engage the Guards, in essence creating more wash with the LB's. A prototypical super successful DL (IMO should) comprise of one complete DE who can be compared to the defense's "feature back". (Go with me) Next to that player is generally the UT, the Warren Sapp/Okoye/Travis Johnson mold for a DT. The DT on the other side is generally more of a NT, or a larger body T who can fill space and control a "help" blocker. These are guys of larger size, and those fans who actually understand the complexities of a defensive front on this MB have hopes that Okam is that NT type DT for our team. The NT will be better at stopping the run that any other player on the DL, or theoretically should be. Think of like a Vince Wolfok type NT; it's not quite the same as he is a 3-4 DT, but that is the generic role you hope to have one, and only one, of your DT's fill. The final piece to the DL should be an edge rusher or a speed rusher. These are guys who can be undersized, and may not have top end strength. The important thing to look for with these guys is 5 and 10 yard splits as far as times go. However, I am a big proponent of past college success. I truly believe that sacks are a natural talent. Some players are just more adept at it than others. Same thing with how some soccer players just have a nack for scoring goals. Some players just get to the QB, regardless of physical statistics and measurments. The example I love to use is Elvis Dummerville. I was the first person on this board to talk about him at all, and I hyped him up all year and right up until the draft. Nothing about him stands out physically really, but he just gets to the QB. He is a sack artist. That is what your "other" DE needs to be, and usually they are considered undersized edge rushers.

    This team sits at:

    Complete DE = Mario
    UT = Okoye/Travis Johnson
    NT = Okam (hopefully)
    Sack Artists = Kalu/Cochran/Colvin
    3-4 DE = Weaver

    We start a group of guys consisting of:

    Complete DE (Mario); two UT's (Okoye and TJ); 3-4 DE (Weaver)

    This is why our defense is getting abused. We have a weakness in the middle of our line with two UT's, and a weakness on the edge with a 3-4 DE.

    We will see this season if Okam can fill the starting gap of NT with our team, but regardless, we still will have a pretty big void at our other DE spot.

    Also, don't ever worry about a DE's ability to drop back into coverage. If they do that, give up on the scheme. A DE should be able to cover the flats and hold contain, but DE's are not going to drop back 7 yards often. They will at times on a blitz from the LBs, but their spot is being filled and the hope/thought there is that there won't be enough time for the QB to read the DE coverage. Anyway, that's too much detail to cover.

    So, now to your list. I've left the guys you should really focus on in terms of who fits our need at DE.

    George Selvie, South Florida*
    Greg Hardy, Ole Miss*
    Greg Middleton, Indiana*
    Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech
    Maurice Evans, Penn State*
    Ricky Sapp, Clemson*


    I hope this helps you.
     
  3. beerlover

    beerlover Site Contributor

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    we need the best player available in the 1st rd. who best upgrades this team, right now I'd have to give the nod to RB position.

    I would like to see the Texans find a small school prospect with a penchant for making plays all over the field. somebody imposing that plays with balance, can twist or stunt, quick off the edge & smooth change of direction. in other words a complete football player not one dimensional. ideally size is important for the position, I would like someone tall & athletic like Mario 6-5 or even 6-6 260-270 lbs. but just as long as they are proportionally built (stocky, power builds for shorter ends) it doens't seem to matter.

    A Jared Allen for example, 6-6 267. he was selected #126 (near end of 4th rd.) in 04. instead the Texans traded about three picks to move up into the 1st for Jason Babin #27 too short for the NFL DE position & tried to project him into a 3-4 OLB. not saying tweeners don't or can't make it but I would go after a pure pass rushing end in the Allen mold.

    Justin Tuck was selected #74 in 2005 (3rd rd.) 6-5 274. another tall rangy speed rusher with excellent body control.

    Mark Anderson is a little more compact 6-4 255 late 5th as oppossed to very compact Elvis Dumerville 5-11 260 4th rd. ok give me one of each.

    Going back a few years to 2003 a small school prospect form Troy State name of Osi Umenyiora 2nd rd. pick of the New York Giants has done pretty well for himself @ 6-3 261 he fits nicely in the edge speed rushing role.

    Looking forward to the 09 draft the top 1st rd. prospect DE in the Allen/Tuck mold is Michael Johnson Georgia Tech (don't expect him to be there when the Texans select or we just had a horrific season). otherwise I just can't get excited about this positional group until the later rds. maybe someone like a Jamaal Westerman, 6-2 265 Rutgers in the 4th I don't know right now just have to wait & see how the College season plays out. regardless the Texans will be in the market once again in search of a player or two to fill the need @ RDE.
     
  4. The Pencil Neck

    The Pencil Neck Subscribed Contributor

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    I was making this argument before the draft when we were talking about Scheme.

    Demeco is kinda small. He needs at least one, possibly two, space eating NT's in front of him to soak up the blockers and allow him to penetrate to the running back. But I was concerned because ... I think it was Franklin... was interviewed and basically said that our scheme was to have two small DT's that could run and pursue.

    Well, if you're going to have two smaller DT's in the middle of the line, you need to have a big thumper type of Mike. And that worried me.

    I was really surprised and happy when they took Okam. With Okam, hopefully, he'll be able to be that NT that we need to hold the fort in the middle of the line and that should free up Amobi and Demeco.
     
  5. J-Russ

    J-Russ Hall of Fame

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    Agreed with the whole post. You can find some top talents from round 1-3 and if you're lucky round 4. But DE is a premier position in the NFL, and is harder to spot later in the draft then a RB, or any other position in the backfield beside CB and QB. If there were both a top 3 RB and top 3 DE available in the draft that slipped to us, then I would take the DE everytime in the 1st round, even if the RB is rated higher.
     
  6. Houston TexanUK

    Houston TexanUK Rookie

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    I just like the thought of Greg Middleton from Indiana opposite Mario.
     
  7. Rex King

    Rex King Veteran

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    Great freakin' post. This should be copied and pasted into all of the "What's wrong with our defense?" threads.

    As you implied, Mario would be best suited playing on the strong side. Like last year, although a monster in the run game on the weak side, he seemed to be most effective rushing the passer at LDE this preseason. I wouldn't mind it as much if Weaver was actually good against the run, but he seems to have lost this ability as well.

    The DT's can both be undersized, but you better be damn sure that they can get penetration consistently, else your Mike's going to be overrun. A lot is hingeing on Amobi's ability to develop into a Warren Sapp calibre player. But as it is now, I see it as a poorly-constructed defensive line.
     
  8. YoungTexanFan

    YoungTexanFan Hall of Fame

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    And it take it even further, Ryans will not hold up for long with our current DT's. Ryans is considered "undersized" or more-so a MLB in the body of an OLB. He is a top notch MLB, don't get me wrong, but the physical toll he takes will show soon. His production has been very high every year, but that can also be attributed to, in part, a poor run-stopping group of DT's (UT's).
     


  9. threetoedpete

    threetoedpete Hall of Fame

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    I think a perfect example of the 3-4 tweener is Brian Orakpo of Texas this year. He's under 270. He plays best when he's in space. He's a sideline to sideline guy, who is best at chasing down the play from the back side. Some 3-4 team will want to sniff him as an OLB come combine time. On a 4-3 team he's a situational pass rush specialist. On a 3-4 team, with a little grooming, development and luck, you get a Kevin Green style guy in a box. And..he has long arms from what I see on television.

    9:50 mark
    http://www.bevosports.com/tag/brian-orakpo/

    http://texas.rivals.com/cviewplayer.asp?Player=36641
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  10. Polo

    Polo Guest


    Demeco is about the same size as most 4-3 MLB's. So are our DT's.

    We're not undersized. We're average.

    Not a lot of 4-3 teams have 250lb+ MLB's and 320lb+ DT's in the rotation.

    A Frank Okam is not common for 4-3 teams....

    Look around the leauge...
     
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  11. rmartin65

    rmartin65 I'm Score

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    That would be a scary D, if they could move
     
  12. YoungTexanFan

    YoungTexanFan Hall of Fame

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    You are concerned far too much with a number such as weight, and that is why your assessment falls a little short. A UT is much different than a NT when you break it down. No, Okam's aren't common. Look at what happened to Shaun Rodgers. That is how the Okams' of the league go these days. However, having a 305 UT and a 315 NT is the difference. The NT's are simply geared to stopping the run and the UT's are simply geared more for penetration. With DeMeco, he is undersized. I love the guy and he is a kick-ass MLB, but he is what he is. He close to average in the league if you are going strictly off some numbers such as weight as you seem to be only doing.
     
  13. Polo

    Polo Guest


    I'm sorry but this post made no sense. Contradictions everywhere.


    What is your definition of "undersized" if it's not dealing with height and weight ?

    Please fill me in.

    And save your time trying to explain the functions of different positions. I have a pretty firm grasp on that. That really has no relevance to a player being undersized anyways. Not sure why you mentioned that.
     
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  14. YoungTexanFan

    YoungTexanFan Hall of Fame

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    On the official site, Okoye is listed at 302; Travis Johnson is listed at 303 officially. They are both UT's. Since we both agree that Okam is an anomaly in the rotation -342- we will look at a few of the more well known DT's who aren't known for shooting the gap. John Henderson is 335. Haneysworth is 320. Pat Williams is 317.

    The point isn't so much about the weight, but you do see the bigger guys anchor D-Lines. Look at the Jags and Titans D-lines, two of the best in the league, and they have a few big boys in their rotation. TJ and Okoye are average in weight, but they both play a position where other guys in the league are around 290. That difference isn't much. Now, however, the difference between Okoye at 302 and Williams at 317 is huge. They also play different roles, which is what I was explaining in my previous posts. Hope this helps.
     
  15. Polo

    Polo Guest


    Still contradicting yourself.

    Naming a few big guys doesn't impress me. I can name a hell of a lot more guys in a 4-3 rotation closer to TJ and Okoye's size range vs. guys who are over 315. The

    The phrase you are looking for isn't "undersized". What you are trying to say is that their skill sets are not suited for stopping the run.

    And LOL @ you trying to explain positional roles....

    Undersized implies that they are too small...or are smaller than average...

    Neither our MLB nor are DT's are "undersized"....

    TJ doesn't have the skill set of a run stuffing DT, he's more geared toward penetration...I get that....

    But that doesn't make him "undersized"...
     
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  16. YoungTexanFan

    YoungTexanFan Hall of Fame

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    That's all I was saying. I was criticizing you or someone else for using weight as the sole judgement. I threw out a few names to disprove that. On average, DT's are under 305. However, most top notch DL's have a bigger guy that excels at stopping the run and play that different role we both are talking about. That's all I was trying to get at with the earlier posts. Someone was confused, so I went a different route with an explanation. However, for the NT side of the DT, our guys are slightly "undersized". However, they are just fine for what their roles are, we just can't have two of them.
     
  17. Polo

    Polo Guest

    I went back and looked at the 4-3 teams within the top 10 run stopping teams from last yr...

    Most of those guys Nose tackles are are around the 315ish area, so I can roll with your above statement...TJ may be slightly undersized compared to others at his postition....

    However...a lot of those same teams had DT's smaller than Amobi and TJ....I'm talking 280's smaller...

    Demeco though is another story....He's definitely not undersized....
     
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  18. Ole Miss Texan

    Ole Miss Texan Hall of Fame

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    Just because a player has average weight respective to his position doesn't mean he can't be undersized or oversized. Prototypical size is a better indication of what your trying to look for in a position vs. average size.

    Different teams and defensive schemes have different 'prototypical' sizes for their players. Nobody really has any clue as to what our defense is.

    Weight isn't necessarily a great indicator to size though (sounds odd saying it). For example, Demeco Ryans and Patrick Willis are roughly the same height/weight and now Ryans may actually edge him out. However Willis is actually a bigger player and a more typical hardnosed LB (ala Ray Lewis). Ryans is built differently than Willis. That doesn't necessarily mean one is going to be better than the other, both are incredible LB's.

    Depending on the scheme the team employs, a player may be prototypical size... but for another scheme he may be undersized.

    I have no idea what we're doing but what I do know is that we need OKAM to become a force or we need to find a DT that can take on that role. We need a big run stuffer up there.
     
  19. Polo

    Polo Guest


    Height and weight are not only great indicators for being over or undersized, but they are the only indicators.


    Their style of play has nothing to do with being undersized.

    We can debate who's style of play is suited for what position all day, but this undersized stuff is mis-leading IMHO.

    Not sure what you guys definition of "undersized" is if you aren't talking about actual "size".


    Prototypical size and average size don't mean much anyways. We need guys who have the skill sets to do it....I could care less if those guys were 2 inches tall and weighed 15oz...

    Frank Okam being big doesn't mean he's a great run stopper...It certainly helps and big guys like that clog lanes, but I'm more concerened with skill set vs. size....Esepcially after having looked at other teams' rosters..

    "Size" wise our guys are right on par with the 4-3 teams around the leauge. Johnson is a BIT smaller than SOME 4-3 NT's...Okoye and Ryans are average "size" wise...

    And on another note, if you guys actually go look most 4-3 teams have DT's on their rosters smaller than both Okoye and Johnson...
     
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  20. Rex King

    Rex King Veteran

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    I took that as YTF's main point about the d-line's skill sets being mismatched. Weaver more of a 3-4 end, Mario more of a strong side end. TJ was "supposed" to be a gap-penetrator/3-tech when he came out of college. He doesn't really look like that, but he doesn't look like a lane-clogging NT/1-tech either. He looks like just a guy.

    IMO, there is good reason for emphasis on size/strength, though, concerning our division and the team we struggled against. The top defenses against the run last year were either 3-4 or did have a lane-clogger. We had major problems with getting man-handled in the middle by more physical teams like the Titans and Jags. An undersized guy can have a great skillset, but that won't matter if he's three yards behind the LOS by the time he disengages. Those teams also use tight splits, making it more difficult for a UT to penetrate.
     

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