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Pass rusher remains 'one of the hardest positions' for NFL teams to evaluate

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Pass rusher remains 'one of the hardest positions' for NFL teams to evaluate BY JOEL A. ERICKSON | [email]jerickson@theadvocate.com Mar 1, 2017 - 4:17 pm INDIANAPOLIS – The New Orleans Saints find themselves in the market for a pass rusher, ...

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Old 03-02-2017, 05:24 AM   #1
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Pass rusher remains 'one of the hardest positions' for NFL teams to evaluate


BY JOEL A. ERICKSON | [email]jerickson@theadvocate.com
Mar 1, 2017 - 4:17 pm

INDIANAPOLIS – The New Orleans Saints find themselves in the market for a pass rusher, a target nearly every team in the NFL is hunting as the league descends on the NFL scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium this week.

Despite the presence of two-time Pro Bowler Cameron Jordan, resurgent tackle Nick Fairley and promising rookie Sheldon Rankins, the Saints finished 27th in the NFL with just 30 sacks, their lowest total since the 2012 season.

The good news is that most of the general managers who took the podium at the combine Wednesday said the 2017 class holds one of the deepest classes of pass rushers the draft has seen in years.

The bad news is that drafting a pass rusher is far from an exact science.

"It’s one of the hardest positions," Cincinnati general manager Duke Tobin said. "You have to fit it within your scheme. Are you willing to take an undersized guy? Do you want to take a full-sized guy? How often is he going to play? Is he going to be in the linebacker room or the defensive end room? Is he on the line of scrimmage or is he off? Is he going to be off the field on first down and on the field on third down, or is he an every-down player?"

Under Dennis Allen, New Orleans typically runs a four-man front, which makes the task of finding a pass rusher a little bit easier, given the difficulty of projecting a college defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.

"Eighty-90 percent of them don’t play on their feet in college," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said. "So the potential for error at the outside linebacker position is really greater than any other position, because most of the time it is a projection."
Pass rusher remains 'one of the hardest positions' for NFL teams to evaluate | Saints | theadvocate.com
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:33 AM   #2
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Re: Pass rusher remains 'one of the hardest positions' for NFL teams to evaluate

The love for undersized defensive ends that are speed rushers drives me nuts. I rather a DE that can set the edge, maintain their gap assignments and beat a blocker in that phone booth. Looping wide undersized speed rushers are to easy to block and take out of a play. A successful speed rusher is much harder to find.

This is what make Jordan so good. He beats you up front not out wide keeping the QB in the pocket.

some DE with sand in their pants in the draft that I like are

Not at #11
Taco Charlton DE Michigan 6052 272 4.87 #33 Sr,
Solomon Thomas SDE Stanford 6021 275 4.84 #90 rSo

Day 2 - 3
Trey Hendrickson DE Florida Atlantic 6036 270 4.82 #9 Sr
Keionta Davis, DE, Chattanooga 6030 274 4.86 #93 rSr
Isaac Rochell DE/DT ND 6043 282 4.86 #90 Sr

Keionta Davis and Isaac Rochell both on day 3 really peek my interest.

In FA nothing flashy but solid all around play for a rotation with 3 down potential

Jabaal Sheard, EDGE, New England Patriots (27) / 6'3' / 265 / Rd. 2 (37) / CLE

long (33" arms), thickly built (set the edge). Powerful bull rusher (natural strength), vast repertoire of counter moves ( phone booth master) The only real issue is the natural playing weight of 265 ( run right at him). So solid second level run support is key to make him work. But he might be the best speed guy out there at 4.69 speed without losing containment all the time. A key to a solid rotation at DE

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Old 03-02-2017, 07:00 AM   #3
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Re: Pass rusher remains 'one of the hardest positions' for NFL teams to evaluate

They have to fit what you are doing a lot more than other positions for sure. I think we get better though. Maybe not get exactly what we want but enough to break into the teens as for defensive rankings. If we can get to 15-17th we make the playoffs. Totally doable this draft.
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:16 AM   #4
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Re: Pass rusher remains 'one of the hardest positions' for NFL teams to evaluate

Watch out for this kid ... 5th/6th round projection.

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Old 03-02-2017, 09:25 AM   #5
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Re: Pass rusher remains 'one of the hardest positions' for NFL teams to evaluate

Originally Posted by hagan714 View Post
I rather a DE that can set the edge, maintain their gap assignments and beat a blocker in that phone booth.
I can recall Deuce McAllister stating this until he was probably blue in the face all of last training camp. I think Jeff Ireland finds that "guy" who can do this come draft night.
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Old 03-02-2017, 10:02 AM   #6
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Re: Pass rusher remains 'one of the hardest positions' for NFL teams to evaluate

Originally Posted by hagan714 View Post
The love for undersized defensive ends that are speed rushers drives me nuts. I rather a DE that can set the edge, maintain their gap assignments and beat a blocker in that phone booth. Looping wide undersized speed rushers are to easy to block and take out of a play. A successful speed rusher is much harder to find.

This is what make Jordan so good. He beats you up front not out wide keeping the QB in the pocket.

some DE with sand in their pants in the draft that I like are

Not at #11
Taco Charlton DE Michigan 6052 272 4.87 #33 Sr,
Solomon Thomas SDE Stanford 6021 275 4.84 #90 rSo

Day 2 - 3
Trey Hendrickson DE Florida Atlantic 6036 270 4.82 #9 Sr
Keionta Davis, DE, Chattanooga 6030 274 4.86 #93 rSr
Isaac Rochell DE/DT ND 6043 282 4.86 #90 Sr

Keionta Davis and Isaac Rochell both on day 3 really peek my interest.

In FA nothing flashy but solid all around play for a rotation with 3 down potential

Jabaal Sheard, EDGE, New England Patriots (27) / 6'3' / 265 / Rd. 2 (37) / CLE

long (33" arms), thickly built (set the edge). Powerful bull rusher (natural strength), vast repertoire of counter moves ( phone booth master) The only real issue is the natural playing weight of 265 ( run right at him). So solid second level run support is key to make him work. But he might be the best speed guy out there at 4.69 speed without losing containment all the time. A key to a solid rotation at DE
I like Rochell but Sheard would be hard to pass on at the right price.
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Old 03-02-2017, 10:07 AM   #7
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Re: Pass rusher remains 'one of the hardest positions' for NFL teams to evaluate

I like Sheard
Be happy at the right price
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:35 PM   #8
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Re: Pass rusher remains 'one of the hardest positions' for NFL teams to evaluate

I'm not sure who it is yet, but I want a full sized strong player who knows how to contain the QB(like Cam Jordan), cover if necessary and I want him to have speed too/or just really quick works too.

The updated current list of collegiate draft scouts/evaluators and our new coaches/educators need to decide on the one player that will excel in DA's sytem because we need a specific player. Go find him!

After the combine the Saints will hopefully know which players to focus back ground checks on because at that point we should know if a particular player fits the system and we need to know what his coaches and peers think about him. Benson needs all his detectives working long hours and taking complete notes while doing their due diligence.

Find the right fit and keep Payton away at all times!

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