Originally posted by oldman9er:
Originally posted by PRIMETIME21:
No, isn't that what we drafted kentwan balmer for?
I think both Matts have stated that SF has plans to at least try Balmer at NT. Back in the day, Nolan said they would look at him for DE or NT. I never imagined Balmer as a NT ( 1 or 2 gap ), but guess he's worth a look if they see something in him there. Ideally, I'd love to see Sopoaga impress as a 1-gap NT, and Balmer as an emerging LDE talent.
I agree. Balmer seems more like the protypical DE in the 3-4. He's tall, quick, strong, long arms, etc. The thing I've noted about the most successful NT's in the 3-4 over the years is that they are wide-bodied (not tall and lean), have a low center of gravity, get excellent push, are ferocious, consistent, unmoveable and can get a good push up the middle even with consistent two-blockers against him.
I don't see anyone on our roster who fits this mold. Franklin was a 3rd string NT in Baltimore before we nabbed him and made him a starter. He's an average player and will have spurts of solid play but he still does not command many double teams (those go to Smith generally) and RB's still have no problems running up the gut which should not happen with a dominant NT.
And to add to that, the difference between a NT and DE in the 3-4 is night and day. Would anyone consider using Wilfork, Williams, Ngata as DE's on a consistent basis or Phillips, Olshansky or Seymour as a NT? Sure, in certain alignments, once in a while but going "hybrid" and thinking all of these guys are interchangeable at any time is NOT productive. Again, we need prototypical players at each position and who can become specialists and excel at their clearly defined positions. There should be no question that when you draft a Ngata or a Balmer HE knows where he fits. We saw the Nolan perspective ruin careers and set back player development for years.
So, do we need an upgrade at NT? No question! It's THE key ingredient to building a dominant front 7. The FS is much less of a concern with a dominant front 7.
[ Edited by NCommand on Jul 22, 2009 at 9:40 AM ]