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Thread: Never draft defensive ends in the first!!!

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  1. #1

    Never draft defensive ends in the first!!!

    We SHOULD NEVER PICK A DEFENSIVE END IN THE FIRST ROUND for our defense.
    Ziggy and Heyward are not good values, period.
    Even if they turn out to be fine starters, those picks should have gone elsewhere.

    I hear all the time how "our Dline is the key to our defense."

    NOT TRUE. Never WAS true.

    Our great talent in the front 7 needs to be with LINEBACKERS not the line.

    "We need great Dlinemen to "free up the Linebackers".
    Truth. Yes, our Dlinemen "free up" our linebackers. You DO NOT need "Great" Dlinemen to do that.

    Here is some knowledge to back up my claim:
    Casey Hampton....How valuable was he? Fact: our team was statistically BETTER when Hoke played. Our team was 17-1 in games Hoke started. It is the cool thing for "enlightened fans to point to Casey as some kind of key cog but he was replaced capably by a noname with no ill effects whatsoever.

    ONE PLAYER PLAYED ABOVE EXPECTATIONS last week- McClendon, a mere free agent. I see no difference between him and Casey in his prime. McClendon is quicker faster and more athletic. Perhaps Casey was "harder to move". Yabba the Hut would be hard to move but Jabba cant make plays. You watch McClendon will be "better" than 1st rounder Casey EVER was when all is said and done.

    Aaron Smith was our best defensive lineman. Why? Not because he was so great at "freeing up lineman" but because HE MADE MORE PLAYS than most defensive ends in our defense. But he can never truly dominate because our scheme does not allow it.

    "Well he was key in freeing up linebackers who made plays".

    Really? For most of his career Smith lined up next to the lesser of the two outside linebackers. Joey Porter and Clark Haggins? Smith was on Haggins side, while Porter was next to Kimo then Beard. DPOY James Harrison? Smith was on the left, Harrison was on the right next to the Beard. The Steelers best run defense of Smiths career was the season he missed 10 games. We had the leagues number one defense and allowed 3.0 yards a carry went to the Superbowl. Woodley after the injury to Smith had three 2 sack games in the regular season and a sack in all three playoff games with Ziggy in place of Smith.

    Smiths absence had ZERO effect on Woodleys game.

    You ask, "Well what happened to Woodley since then"? 2011 with Ziggy, Woodley had 9 sacks in his first 8 games. He was on a career high pace averaging more than a sack a game. He was on pace for Harrisons team record, when he got injured. Injuries, and being out of shape have plagued him since. He played the best ball of his career next to the scrub Ziggy.

    If the linebacker is a great talent he DOES NOT need great talent on the line to free him up. It is a lie.

    We need not EVER use premium draft picks on the Dline (OK if it is a RARE talent we could put at NT like Ngata sure, but that is rare)

    I could EASILY see the following Dline being FINE once Keisel is gone:

    McClendon/ Fangupo/ Woods. (Did you see what Woods did in preseason?)


    Our Dline would in fact be STRONGER physically albeit less athletic perhaps than one featuring our first rounders Hood and Heyward.

    ALL free agents. Cost NO draft picks.

    Considering the fourth rounder we had in Taamu I see no need to have used ANY premium draft pick on the line.

    Think people, where were the following players taken?

    Smith? Keisel? Kimo? Hoke? Travis Kirschke? Nick Eason? NONE was a premium pick!!!!!

    Casey at nose was the only one.

    We will never know what we might have gotten had we not WASTED picks on defensive ends.

    I really dont think they give us ANYTHING their free agent backups cant do just as well if not better.
    Last edited by Captain Lemming; 09-11-2013 at 11:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hmmm.... trying to think of a way of answering this without getting snipey...

    When the Steelers drafted Keisel, Smith, signed KVO, Kirschke (are we really adding Kirschke to this list?), Steed, Seals etc...the 3-4 Defense was a rarity. These players were poor fits for a 4-3, hence their value on draft day was diminished.

    Hampton was selected in the 1st round, and went on to be the centrepiece in one of the more dominating DL's in recent history. To say he was a wasted pick is rather dismissive.

    Using Woodley's numbers in the year of Smith's injury/ best run defense in football argument is flawed in the 'don't draft 1st Round DL's' argument because the guy that replaced Smith was...1st round pick Ziggy Hood.

    McLendon has started the sum total of what? 5 games? If that. And you've already stated he's 'as good as Hampton in his prime'. Maybe you're right, but chances are, you've just sold Hampton way too short.

    To say that you don't draft DL early is because examples like Hoke, McLendon & Keisel are easily found later in the draft is about as accurate as saying never draft a WR before round 4 because Hines Ward was great. Or don't draft LB's early because Porter, Haggans, Foote, Lloyd & Kirkland were 3rd round or later picks.

    It's great that we have some success with late round, or undrafted players- but to assume that some success in those types of player can mean never having to invest high in a certain position is very judgemental.

    After all, Willie Parker was very successful, therefore all RB's should be UDFA's..
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  3. #3
    Hmmm.... trying to think of a way of answering this without getting snipey...
    No problem if you did. I got thick skin and dont take this stuff personally.

    When the Steelers drafted Keisel, Smith, signed KVO, Kirschke (are we really adding Kirschke to this list?), Steed, Seals etc...the 3-4 Defense was a rarity. These players were poor fits for a 4-3, hence their value on draft day was diminished.
    Long and leaner than typical for the position Smith AND Keisel were not projected to be 3/4 defensive ends. They were almost exactly the same height and weight as Ziggy Anzah (within about 5 pounds). In fact the 4/3 Broncos promised Smith they would draft him. They picked a defensive end in round 5 so would have if we did not take him.


    Hampton was selected in the 1st round, and went on to be the centrepiece in one of the more dominating DL's in recent history. To say he was a wasted pick is rather dismissive.
    He was not a waste at all. He was a fine player for many years and did his job well. His value IS overrated though when it is implied that he is the unheralded centerpiece of our defense, without whom the productive players could not have success. 17-1 with him out tells the story.

    Using Woodley's numbers in the year of Smith's injury/ best run defense in football argument is flawed in the 'don't draft 1st Round DL's' argument because the guy that replaced Smith was...1st round pick Ziggy Hood.
    And NOBODY likes how he plays. He gets DOMINATED at the LOS. DID NOT HURT WOODLEY ONE BIT.

    McLendon has started the sum total of what? 5 games? If that. And you've already stated he's 'as good as Hampton in his prime'. Maybe you're right, but chances are, you've just sold Hampton way too short.
    Just a prediction.

    To say that you don't draft DL early is because examples like are easily found later in the draft is about as accurate as saying never draft a WR before round 4 because Hines Ward was great. Or don't draft LB's early because Porter, Haggans, Foote, Lloyd & Kirkland were 3rd round or later picks.
    The difference is that we can and DO get away with LESS at defensive end in particular. There is a difference between great talent that is missed (Tom Brady) and MOST of our defensive linemen. You mention Foote and Haggins. Those are great examples. All we EVER NEED at defensive end is THAT level talent. All we need is solid.

    This gets back to how we use the pick.

    Given a choice between Smith or Casey (best DE and NT) and ANY top Steeler at ANY other defensive position, I will NEVER go Dline. Not on OUR defense.

    It's great that we have some success with late round, or undrafted players- but to assume that some success in those types of player can mean never having to invest high in a certain position is very judgemental.
    I am not saying that we can always get great defensive line talent in the draft. What I am saying is that we DO NOT NEED 1st round talent to do what we ask our linemen to do.

    We draft guys late, they are fine in OUR system they make few plays because our system does not call our for it and we feel like we got a steal.

    That is different than getting a future DPOY as a free agent. THAT is a steal.
    Last edited by Captain Lemming; 09-12-2013 at 01:44 AM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman View Post
    When the Steelers drafted Keisel, Smith, signed KVO, Kirschke (are we really adding Kirschke to this list?), Steed, Seals etc...the 3-4 Defense was a rarity. These players were poor fits for a 4-3, hence their value on draft day was diminished.
    All u needed right there... we could get those guys in later rounds because nobody else needed/wanted them.

    Same goes for athletic, undersized DE's that we'd turn into OLBs... Look at the top of this past draft and it's pretty clear how different that's become... in the first 6 picks, there were 3 OT's and 3 DE/OLB hybrids (Dion Jordan, Ziggy Ansah, Barkevious Mingo) that some actually tied to the Steelers in mocks because of their obviousl fit in teh 3-4 defense. Fifteen years ago, the team would have gotten one of those guys in the 3rd (see Joey Porter) because other teams would have reservations about fit on their team.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerOfDeVille View Post
    All u needed right there... we could get those guys in later rounds because nobody else needed/wanted them.

    Same goes for athletic, undersized DE's that we'd turn into OLBs... Look at the top of this past draft and it's pretty clear how different that's become... in the first 6 picks, there were 3 OT's and 3 DE/OLB hybrids (Dion Jordan, Ziggy Ansah, Barkevious Mingo) that some actually tied to the Steelers in mocks because of their obviousl fit in teh 3-4 defense. Fifteen years ago, the team would have gotten one of those guys in the 3rd (see Joey Porter) because other teams would have reservations about fit on their team.
    I agree. That's one reason why all positions should be considered in the first round outside of kicker and punter.

    Different factors can determine when a player is drafted. Unfortunately for the Steelers, more teams play the 3-4 or a variation of the 3-4. The draft strength of a particular position is another factor to consider. Should an organization draft a player that they believe can help the team win? Or should the organization wait and hope another player will be there later in the draft? The talent level generally drops with each round of the draft. Sometimes the talent level drops with in that round of the draft. Not all first round draft picks should be considered equal. Not all drafts by position should be considered equal either. That's why very few positions are off limits in the first round for the guys that draft for a living.

  6. #6
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    There was nothing fundamentally wrong with either the Hood or Heyward selections. Both were considered high round picks, both fit a need for the team, both had performed at the college level.

    If Hood & Heyward had been given a 'go get 'em' mantra instead of an 'occupy the blocker' mantra, would this argument still be going ahead?
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman View Post
    There was nothing fundamentally wrong with either the Hood or Heyward selections. Both were considered high round picks, both fit a need for the team, both had performed at the college level.

    If Hood & Heyward had been given a 'go get 'em' mantra instead of an 'occupy the blocker' mantra, would this argument still be going ahead?
    THIS IS MY POINT.
    We waste a pick who's skill set IS penetration when you ask him to "occupy blockers".
    Ziggy is out there getting pushed around, trying to occupy rather than attack
    If we are REALLY gonna do that they should be 4/3 tackles.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman View Post
    There was nothing fundamentally wrong with either the Hood or Heyward selections. Both were considered high round picks, both fit a need for the team, both had performed at the college level.

    If Hood & Heyward had been given a 'go get 'em' mantra instead of an 'occupy the blocker' mantra, would this argument still be going ahead?
    I would suggest that the better question is this: if Hood & Heyward were performing at the Aaron Smith level, would this thread have ever been started? My guess is that the answer would be "no."

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerOfDeVille View Post
    All u needed right there... we could get those guys in later rounds because nobody else needed/wanted them.

    Same goes for athletic, undersized DE's that we'd turn into OLBs... Look at the top of this past draft and it's pretty clear how different that's become... in the first 6 picks, there were 3 OT's and 3 DE/OLB hybrids (Dion Jordan, Ziggy Ansah, Barkevious Mingo) that some actually tied to the Steelers in mocks because of their obviousl fit in teh 3-4 defense. Fifteen years ago, the team would have gotten one of those guys in the 3rd (see Joey Porter) because other teams would have reservations about fit on their team.
    There IS and issue with undersized college defensive ends to turn into linebackers.

    Not linemen. You STILL dont have to use premium picks for our guys. A great defensive end in our defense is a great DT in the 4/3. He is the same guy. If he is fast enough he can play DE in a 4/3.

    Our best defensive ends however WERE NOT PROJECTED TO BE 3/4 defensive ends period.

    Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel were 4/3 in college and were more Ziggy Ansah long than than Ziggy Hood stout. Julius Peppers was HEAVIER that they were when drafted. Their builds were very much 4/3 defensive ends but they filled out. Speaking of Hood he projected JUST AS MUCH as a 4/3 defensive TACKLE his college position. Keisel was not in demand NOT BECAUSE nobody wanted a 3/4 end (which he was not). There is little demand for someone whos showed enough in college to be an "Honorable Mention Mountain West" talent. Heck I watched BYU back then, I live in the region that gets their games. He was NOT there best DEFENSIVE END on that team. Ryan Denny was a BEAST. Ironically had Denny had better size for our defense at the time than the skinnier Keisel.

    Aaron Smith said he had had strong interest from the Denver Broncos who ran a 4/3, the Broncos "settled" for another defensive end in round 5.

    The difference on draft day between Julius Peppers and Aaron Smith is one runs a 4.7 and the other runs a 5.0 40 yard dash. AND one played for a BCS school and the other for NORTHERN COLORADO.

    2012 does not change the "Aaron Smiths" of the worlds draft status.

  10. #10
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    Interestingly, wasn't Denney a Cowher target, but he got selected before the Steelers got to pick him? From memory it was a Round 2 thing.. obviously watching Denney put Keisel on the radar.
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