This post is not going to be long or particularly poignant. It is merely one man's opinion about the top four players currently being mocked to us.
1. Nick Fairley
- Am I the only one who likes the fact that he plays nasty? Am I the only one who considers his style a positive and not a negative? I WANT my defensive linemen to sack the QB and TEABAG him as the QB tries to regain consciousness. I WANT my defensive linemen to absolutely push the limit of when it is appropriate to smash the QB. I don't mind an occasional penalty on our defensive linemen for a late hit or a helmet on the QB's chin. Am I wrong? I don't think so. If you think head coaches and defensive coordinator's coach their players to play "safe" then you are wrong. A good defensive coordinator will tell their defense to absolutely push the level of aggression to as far as the rules allow. An occasional penalty for crossing the line is not only accepted, it is implicitly encouraged, just ask Dick LeBeau. Honestly, I think people are being pussies when they try to neuter Nick Fairley's aggressive play. There is something to be said for intimidation. Here is a dirty little secret that nobody talks about: Ndamukong Suh is also a dirty player. Should we have red-flagged him coming out of the draft too?
- Everyone is currently sold on Nick Fairley definitely being the #1 pick and I am not so sure. Looking at him, he does not look like a workout warrior. At this point in the draft process, all we have left are workouts and interviews, not games. Fairley's strength would be playing in a game while someone like Peterson and or Bowers will likely blow up the combine with their freakish athleticism. As a result, I think it is entirely possible that Fairley will not be the #1 overall pick. Not to mention the possibility, however remote, that Cam Newton could be the #1 overall pick.
2. Da'Quan Bowers
- PLEASE don't tell me that we have depth at DE. I will likely barf if I hear it. Here is the only stat that you should remember from this post: I HAVE MORE TESTICLES THAN ROBERT AYERS HAS CAREER NFL SACKS. When I hear the argument that he was drafted to "set the edge" against the run and not necessarily rush the passer I start the process of vomiting. You don't draft a 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB as a top 20 overall pick who can't get to the QB. Also, the argument that he is great against the run is not so clear. Certainly, the statistics do not bear that out. Also, I love how everyone claims that there is a world of difference between a 4-3 DE and a 3-4 OLB. Actually they are similar in many ways, though in reading MHR, you would think the positions are as different as CB and QB. Don't get me wrong about Ayers, I don't think he completely sucks and is hopeless. In fact, I think Ayers played injured the last several games of the year and was still feeling significant effects of his broken foot. That should be taken into account. However, the inability of Ayers to get to the QB is stunning. My bottom line is this with regard to Ayers and Bowers: You don't pass up a Ferrari just because you have a Ford Explorer in the garage.
- I can tell you one thing with confidence: If Doom can't get to the QB and we have nobody else capable of rushing the QB this year, our season is over. If we are relying on Doom for our entire pass rush, good teams scheme against that and pick us apart. From what I can see, Bowers offers the best combination of run stopping and pass rushing in the entire draft. This can't be taken lightly.
- The "one year wonder" label must be put into context. Da'Quan Bowers is only a junior. Can you please name a front seven defensive player that dominated in their freshman and sophomore years of college? Other than Robert Quinn, I can't think of any. Robert Ayers was a true one year wonder out of Tennessee. He was a senior and only had one solid year of production.
3. Patrick Peterson
- I like Patrick Peterson and I think he can likely be a dynamic safety or cornerback in the NFL. I actually would prefer him as a safety but I wonder if he has the right tackling mentality. The one thing I don't like about Patrick Peterson is the false advertising. Can we please stop referring to him as 6'1" 221 lbs.? He said he was trying to lose approximately 15 pounds before the Combine so he could run a 4.2 40. I seriously question why a player has to change his identity just to run fast at the Combine. I would prefer to see how fast he runs at his game weight, not his Combine weight. When a fat arse like Phil Taylor loses 20 pounds, it does not concern me as much. We aren't gonna draft Phil Taylor over his fast 40 time, we are considering drafting him because he is a fat arse who is also athletic.
- I read somewhere recently that an owner or a GM said their draft strategy was to draft impact players at impact positions. That sums it up for me. I am almost always against drafting top ten WR's and CB's. Call me old fashioned. In this draft, regardless of what happens with Champ Bailey, I want defensive front seven. This desire also happens to coincide with where the true value of the draft is anyway, so I'm not "D-line or bust."
- Also, I have read nonsense lately that says Patrick Peterson is a once in a generation CB. While that might be true, we don't know yet, I wonder what their evidence is. Is it because he is fast and athletic? Hmmm...ok. We have never had that before. If you are trying to say that he has All-World instincts too, then I don't know what to say. I have read many mixed reviews about his instincts. Can a Patrick Peterson fan please tell me what the evidence is, specifically, to suggest that he is the best CB prospect we have had in the draft since Champ Bailey?
- Please don't think I am completely against drafting Peterson. I would be happy if we picked him. All I am trying to do is bring some of his delusional fans back down to earth, that's all.
4. Marcel Dareus
- I have watched Dareus play many games over the last two years and here is my take on him. Dareus will absolutely disappear for some games that have less meaning. However, if the spotlight is on and he is in a meaningful game, he turns on beast mode. The last two years, if you watched his Bowl games, he was virtually unblockable. If you watched several of his regular season games you hardly noticed him. This is why I give Fairley the edge. Fairley did not disappear in any game I watched him play this year. Every game I watched showed him blowing up the backfield.
The Bottom Line:
- I love all four of these players and would be happy with any of them. I'm not one of the guys who says that one of the players sucks in order to prop up the player I like the best. All four of them are great.
- Robert Quinn is a wildcard in this draft for me. If he shows up to the Combine, interviews really well, and blows the Combine up physically, there will be tons of buzz around him.
- I am personally against trading down more than just a couple of spots. In fact, my preference is to stay put unless a team absolutely blows their wad.
- After a few years on this site I don't know how to attach pictures to posts. I'm not exactly tech savvy. Anyone care to enlighten me?