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Weak 3-4 DE class?

Just dump the 3-4 already!


Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
Just dump the 3-4 already!



Good morning Mac! Thought this for a long time, but have been won over by the forces of 3/4! With our MLBs it makes sense. But I still love it when they put four down for pass rush downs. Justin is so much harder to deal with in the 3/4.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Mar 5, 2013 at 7:06 AM ]
WRT Richardson, a number of scouting reports say he's best suited for 4-3 DT or 3-4 DE. Walter's Football has him as the #3 rated 3-4 DE prospect...so, I'd think he'd be in the running among the others. FWIW here are his top 10 rankings:

Lotulelei
Sharrif
Richardson
Hankins
Sylvester Williams
Margus Hunt
Datone Jones
Jesse Williams
William Gholston
Devin Taylor

Of that group I like Sylvester Williams...nice combination of size and speed (ran 5.03 X 40). Rather than drafting or signing a "pure" NT, I'd rather have a couple of "bigs" who can play inside or out...i.e. RJF way over Sopoaga or someone who can play anywhere on the DL.
Cornelious Washington should be considered. Needs to put on some weight, but the guy has the strength to play the position.
Originally posted by Butter:
I don't really see a lot of value at the DE position in this draft. I know the Margus Hunt fans will disagree, but there just doesn't seem to be a lot there. There are a few options, but most of the primary DE will either be gone before the Niners pick, or they are better as 4-3 DT.

Likely gone:
Star Lotulelei
Sharrif Floyd

Possible options:
Jesse Williams (3-4 NT?)
Johnathan Hankins
Datone Jones (undersized?)
Sylvester Williams (4-3 DT?)

Developmental players
Margus Hunt (ugh)
William Gholston

Late round projects
Kwame Geathers
T.J. Barnes
Dave Kruger
Baker Steinkuhler
Spencer Nealy
Brandon Moore
A.J. Francis
Quinton Dial
William Campbell



No question the Niners need a starting NT, which seems to be the real strength of this DL draft. Maybe they should focus on NT, draft a developmental DE in the mid to late rounds, and sign a VET/FA this year. If they can find a gem later in the draft, they got great value. If not, next years 3-4 DE class looks pretty solid, maybe they focus on that position with a high pick next year?

I completely agree. I would love to see us draft Jessie Williams (NT) at 31 or 34. He could start right away at NT, and could still rotate in with J. Smith and McDonald when we go with the 4 down alignment.

Then we could take Margus Hunt or Gholston in the 3rd round. BTW, anybody who thinks Hunt is worth more than a 3rd rounder is nuts. Sure the guy has upside, but watch the film on him. His technique sucks. NFL O-linemen will own him (most decent college OL handled him easily as well). He wont be ready to sniff the field in the NFL for at least a year or two. And he's already 25! He won't be a capable starter till he's 27 or 28.
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Good morning Mac! Thought this for a long time, but have been won over by the forces of 3/4! With our MLBs it makes sense. But I still love it when they put four down for pass rush downs. Justin is so much harder to deal with in the 3/4.

... and to you, sir.

What does the underlined sentence mean? Whether Justin plays at the 5 tech or 3 tech, I think he kicks arse.

other benefits:

- Aldon becomes more of a straight rusher.
- Brooks rushes better in a 3/4 point stance.
- no need to worry about a true NT.
- can give our stud ILBs more freedom to roam.


Okay! okay! conversion's not happening. I iz done with it.
Good post and some interesting takes.

I totally agree that we don't have a quality NT! The lack of a quality NT meant little until Justin went down! That's a fact!! Aldon - 0 sacks, increased yards against our secondary, more TD's - look at the time opposing QB's had to throw.

What happens if Justin goes down in game ONE? What if Ray Mac goes down - who can come in and play at a high level? Noooobody!

PLEASE, just look at the Pats game - "A Tale of Two Halves" Justin goes out and Brady LIGHTS it up! In the first half, Justin is in and we are beating the poop out of them. 2nd half, Justin is out and the Pats almost win! Same NT in both instances.

We need BOTH. How we get them is more likely a need thread BUT:

IMO, our cap situation requires that we build through the draft. Get the best NT ASAP 2 quality FA like DeVito and 2 developmental DE in the draft. Gholston and Washington come to mind. I'm sure you guys will pick a better 2.

Thanks for your time.

If Justin goes down in game 1 -
Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
... and to you, sir.

What does the underlined sentence mean? Whether Justin plays at the 5 tech or 3 tech, I think he kicks arse.

other benefits:

- Aldon becomes more of a straight rusher.
- Brooks rushes better in a 3/4 point stance.
- no need to worry about a true NT.
- can give our stud ILBs more freedom to roam.


Okay! okay! conversion's not happening. I iz done with it.

Got that backwards...should have read 4/3! Oops! No, when he can't be doubled every down he is just impossible to keep under control.

Edit: Another possibility I've thought about is Revis, a couple of new good DLmen and using a five man line. Then what would the offense do to block Justin? Ouch! (for their QB)
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Mar 5, 2013 at 3:22 PM ]
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Got that backwards...should have read 4/3! Oops! No, when he can't be doubled every down he is just impossible to keep under control.

Edit: Another possibility I've thought about is Revis, a couple of new good DLmen and using a five man line. Then what would the offense do to block Justin? Ouch! (for their QB)

Another concept I love that is.. thinking outside of the box.

When you have time (or maybe you already know it well enough)... read this link and ask yourself, " who from our current personnel would be exceptional in this scheme?" Of course, it will be helpful to get one of our NTs back.. but yes, this IS a test, and I want your answers!!!!!

http://www.battleredblog.com/2009/7/23/958892/a-very-brief-introduction-the-4-3


(only a temporary derailment of thread topic.. )
Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
Another concept I love that is.. thinking outside of the box.

When you have time (or maybe you already know it well enough)... read this link and ask yourself, " who from our current personnel would be exceptional in this scheme?" Of course, it will be helpful to get one of our NTs back.. but yes, this IS a test, and I want your answers!!!!!

http://www.battleredblog.com/2009/7/23/958892/a-very-brief-introduction-the-4-3


(only a temporary derailment of thread topic.. )

Thanks, fun read! First off, the 9ers have three players who are among the best in the league--Willis, Bowman and J Smith. So any defense we play can accommodate their talents. I see Willis as MLB and Bowman as the weakside LB. We would need a strong NT to man the middle and Sop has done that in the past but may be declining. Justin could play the other DT spot as he is one of the strongest men in the league. Aldon would be good as a DE, as would Brooks on passing downs. I like what the article says about rotation of DL and that was a huge problem I saw with the 9ers. I'm sure they don't ever want to take Justin out of games but they really need him in the playoffs so a bit of rest would be a great boon.

Hunt would be an interesting piece in this defense. He and Aldon have good reach and the batted ball number might really jump. But the NT position would be my primary worry switching to this scheme...if the team loses both Sop and RJF they will need to use a top draft pick and sign a FA....in any scheme.

One of my disappointments has been the lack of creativity on defense to cover for J Smith's injury and a lack of pass rush this past year. They were able to apply pressure but I really feel strongly the MLBs need to be used more to blitz.

One reason for not going to a four man line is the success, until late in the year, of the three man line against the run. Unbelievable that they could get pressure on the QB and stop the run with only three DL.
Originally posted by Butter:
I don't really see a lot of value at the DE position in this draft. I know the Margus Hunt fans will disagree, but there just doesn't seem to be a lot there. There are a few options, but most of the primary DE will either be gone before the Niners pick, or they are better as 4-3 DT.

Likely gone:
Star Lotulelei
Sharrif Floyd

Possible options:
Jesse Williams (3-4 NT?)
Johnathan Hankins
Datone Jones (undersized?)
Sylvester Williams (4-3 DT?)

Developmental players
Margus Hunt (ugh)
William Gholston

Late round projects
Kwame Geathers
T.J. Barnes
Dave Kruger
Baker Steinkuhler
Spencer Nealy
Brandon Moore
A.J. Francis
Quinton Dial
William Campbell



No question the Niners need a starting NT, which seems to be the real strength of this DL draft. Maybe they should focus on NT, draft a developmental DE in the mid to late rounds, and sign a VET/FA this year. If they can find a gem later in the draft, they got great value. If not, next years 3-4 DE class looks pretty solid, maybe they focus on that position with a high pick next year?

Datone Jones is not undersized. He's currently 5 pounds lighter than Justin Smith.

Sylvester Williams is actually probably best suited to play 3-4 DE or in a hybrid system like ours. He possesses ideal size for 3-4 DE along with the one-gap quickness of a 4-3 DT.

Guys you left out who would be excellent fits for us: Sheldon Richardson, Kawann Short, and Bennie Logan.
Originally posted by 2Legit2Quit:
I want to preface this by saying that I completely agree that this doesn't look to be a strong class for 3-4 DEs. I've always put a lot of stock into height-weight-speed because I'm not a professional talent evaluator and I don't have tape to watch players, so combine numbers and measurables have always been something I go by because it's one of the few sources of reliable information available (...ok, reliable may not be the BEST term but I think you get the point). I know Baalke is influenced by Parcells and I know Parcells places more weight than your average talent evaluator on measurable and H-W-S. So I think in terms of the "ideal" or prototypical 3-4 DE only a few players meet the characteristics in terms of measurables. Sharrif Floyd and Sheldon Richardson will be gone and out of trade reach, but both those players seem to fit the bill, even if they may be even better fits as 3-techs. Datone is probably the next best in terms of a pure 3-4 DE, but he's not going to be a Justin Smith level player, which is fine. He seems to project to a Ray McDonald or Darnell Docket caliber DE in my eyes. Good to great but not elite. At 31 or maybe a few slots up he would be a strong selection. After Jones though I don't see many players with the right body type for the 3-4 end as we currently play it (both Ray Mac and Cowboy are sub-300 lbs.) Obviously Hankins, Star and Jesse are all solid prospects, but I see all of them as projecting to better fits as NT because I doubt their ability to provide consistent interior pass rush on passing downs like we see from Justin and Ray. I think Jones fits better as an interior rusher from the nickel than even an "elite" prospect like Star. I see very little pass rush in Williams game, and very little finishing in Hankins - he's disruptive, but can't finish like Ray or Justin. Though all the aforementioned players I'd be happy to have, especially Hankins because I think he has tremendous upside and versatility.

Either way though, I got sidetracked like usual, measurables only have so much to do with it. A couple years ago Corey Liuget was pegged as "only" an interior lineman because of his lack of arm length and he has become a great 3-4 DE for the Chargers. They also nailed it with Reyes (too bad for them AJ Smith only seemed to have an eye for DE talent...) Sometimes, you just have to throw the prototype out the window and take the best available football player regardless of scheme. For us that may mean taking a guy like Kawann Short or Sylvester Williams regardless of their perceived limitations in our system.

Let me finish by saying that I absolutely love William Gholston. He is one of the few players in this draft that projects perfectly into the prototype for a 3-4 DE from a H-W-S perspective (He adds 10 lbs to that massive frame and he's ready). He is already a strong player against the run, so in my mind he is at least a 2 down contributor early in his career with the chance to develop a stronger pass rush under Tomsula. Worse comes to worse we get a solid rotational guy in the mid-rounds. Ideally though he develops into a starter a la Ray Mac. I would love to see Datone in the first and Gholston with our late, or possible compensatory third. That'd put the End position in a good place for at least a few more seasons.

Apparently in many people eyes Gholston is a good player to develop into a 3/4 end. When I saw his highlights I did not see a player with any skills other than he was tall. Now he might be a potential talent but it would take someone like Tomsula or Harbaugh to see it. If I had to pick between Gholston and Hunt I would take hunt because he at least has combine measurables. So for me if possible I would like Short or Richardson, J. Williams or Jones as DE and B. Williams as NT. B. Williams because it appeared that he and Hunt were the strongest players in the draft.
I don't know that we need a true 3-4 DE. A 4-3 DT would be more than fine as far as helping the rotation. We want that disruption on 3rd down passing situations were we usually have a 4 man front. Of course this guys needs to develop into long term depth/starter at either DE or NT. Once Justin is gone who knows perhaps we go 4-3 anyway. Aldon is the prototype 4-3 DE and we have the guys to play LB in any system..
Seen a lot of mocks where Star is not drafted in the 1st round
Originally posted by wysiwyg:
Seen a lot of mocks where Star is not drafted in the 1st round

Have noticed that as well, but he just jumped back to #1 in a recent mock. All over the place this year with very level talent.