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 Post subject: Defensive line outlook
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:02 pm 
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OK, based on the guys we drafted and who we have on this team, what does our D-Line look like for now and in the future?

From what I understand about Jordan Hill, he eats blocks and can get some penetration. That would make him a future Mebane replacement at the 1-tech, correct? So, in his rookie year, he should optimally get snaps spelling Mebane and eventually take over for him in another couple of years.

From what I understand about Jesse Williams, he is a run-stuffer with lateral speed. I see people talking about him starting in Alan Branch's position, and that makes total sense, but wouldn't Williams be more like a Red Bryant clone? Is he more of a replacement for Branch or a replacement for Bryant at run-stuffing DE?

Then we have Ty Powell, who replaces Dexter Davis essentially and hopefully can replace Clemons/Avril down the road. My question about LEO/9-tech is how hard it is to find prospects for that position. Is it as simple as finding undersized DEs or even 3-4 OLBs and seeing who sticks at that position, or should we be looking for more specific attributes?

The DL competition in camp should be great for the next two or three years. Some good players are going to get pushed out. I wonder if people have more (probably better) insights into this topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Defensive line outlook
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:17 pm 
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The one thing to remember about Branch last year is that he did fill in for Red from time to time. He was kind of the jack of all trades. I do think that Williams' long term future is at Red's spot, but he can play anywhere in the meantime, as he did at Alabama.

And let's not forget about Bennett. He is going to be competing for reps at Red's spot and for DT pass rushing downs. I'm excited as well about the potential combinations. I think we will ultimately see Williams, Red, Mebane, and Avril starting, with Bennett, Irvin, and Hill in a bunch of sub packages.

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 Post subject: Re: Defensive line outlook
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:28 pm 
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Red Bryant and Bennett are both effectively on contract years, IMO. Bennett has the 1 yr contract and Red will have earned all his guaranteed money at the end of next season. He'll also be due a 3m roster bonus which is (most likely not) co-incidentally the amount of dead money the Hawk's would have if they cut him next off season.

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 Post subject: Re: Defensive line outlook
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:37 pm 
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This depends largely on if Red returns to the best we've seen him at, healing from the nagging foot injury, or not; as well as whether any of our new DTs steps up in a big way. There are really only a couple of guys in the NFL that can get steady QB pressure with mediocre DT/DL performance, and we don't have any of them. Plain and simple, we need one DT who can disrupt the pocket regularly when going 1 on 1. That's what really frees your ends up to get to the QB.

Not to beat a dead horse unnecessarily, but look at Aldon Smith after Justin Smith got injured.

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