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

  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..
    Schiavone's Race Career:

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  3. #3
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    ILB's get the majority of the tackles in the 3-4 just in case you didn't know this.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by pittpete View Post
    ILB's get the majority of the tackles in the 3-4 just in case you didn't know this.
    Number one rush defense of Smiths career was when he missed 10 games.
    17-1 and statistically better when Hoke replaced Casey.
    Hoke was by no means better than Casey.
    My point is that one would think our defense hinged on his play. It did not.

  5. #5
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    I would say look at those 2 drafts. Hood and Heyward they were most likely BPA
    Last edited by focosteeler; 09-12-2013 at 12:31 AM.

  6. #6
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    I think it is extremely legitimate to say "don't draft DEs at the end of the first round". In terms of D-linemen, there is a premium. Those D-linemen with a lot of physical ability, tend to become off the board in the early half of the round. To say that, if we were drafting around #10 when that juicer JJ Watt came out, that we shouldn't take him... is silly. Likewise, in the Cam Heyward draft, Cam Jordan was a much earlier selection. I don't follow him or the Saints, but I'm going to guess that he has a lot more upside to date.

  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by focosteeler View Post
    I would say look at those 2 drafts. Hood and Heyward they were most likely BPA
    Both productive playmakers in college, perhaps. If their job one was to "beat" the guy in front of them maybe it would matter.

    There are STRONGER players that can be had later who can "occupy blockers" with even GREATER effectiveness.

    note as Ziggy describes his skills:

    http://www.nflrush.com/video/336
    Last edited by Captain Lemming; 09-12-2013 at 02:00 AM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoe View Post
    I think it is extremely legitimate to say "don't draft DEs at the end of the first round". In terms of D-linemen, there is a premium. Those D-linemen with a lot of physical ability, tend to become off the board in the early half of the round. To say that, if we were drafting around #10 when that juicer JJ Watt came out, that we shouldn't take him... is silly. Likewise, in the Cam Heyward draft, Cam Jordan was a much earlier selection. I don't follow him or the Saints, but I'm going to guess that he has a lot more upside to date.
    I would agree ABSOLUTELY no argument from me on that one.

    Watt is SUCH A FREAKISH talent that YOU MUST change your defense to accommodate his abilities. Even in the 3/4 his primary job from the start is to attack just like a 4/3 lineman. If you are going to use your linemen as WE DO his playmaking ability would be limited by the scheme.

    If is is a late first round pick? Not a freak of nature? Drafting Dline is a waste of a pick.

  10. #10
    2 Things:

    1) Focosteeler is exactly right.

    2) In how many of Hoke's starts did Polamalu also play?

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