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Position group discussion: Defensive line

Originally posted by 5280High:
He will not be on the roster, lezbehonest. He will be on the practice squad and decline all offers for a roster spot with another team because he CHOSE SF. He can't realistically expect to start anywhere in year 1 and there is no reason for him to leave for anything other than a starting gig. Until that happens he is safe on the PS, plus he's gotta accumulate good preseason film before any team would give him an offer, something our coaches directly control.

I hope you're right. I admit I know zilch about the practice squad player-stealing business. But if I was an NFL GM I would be watching Okoye like a hawk. Hard for me to believe the other 31 aren't.

EDIT: I hope you're wrong about him not blowing everyone away, earning a roster spot, and becoming a star this year. But, provided that's too optimistic and PS is his ceiling this year, I hope you're right about our hold on him being safe!
[ Edited by LieutKaffee on May 12, 2013 at 11:09 PM ]
  • buck
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  • Posts: 10,085
Originally posted by LieutKaffee:
I hope you're right. I admit I know zilch about the practice squad player-stealing business. But if I was an NFL GM I would be watching Okoye like a hawk. Hard for me to believe the other 31 aren't.

EDIT: I hope you're wrong about him not blowing everyone away, earning a roster spot, and becoming a star this year. But, provided that's too optimistic and PS is his ceiling this year, I hope you're right about our hold on him being safe!

1. Before Okoye can be assigned to the team's practice he has to released and placed on a 24-hour waiver list. If he clears waivers, if no team signs him, the 49er can assign him to the practice squad.

If a team claims Okoye on waivers the claiming team has to put him on their 53-man roster for three weeks.
Even if the team releases him before that three weeks has ended, the player will be counted a member of the 53-man roster for the full three weeks.

The acquiring team would, as I understand it, would have to waive him before they could assign him to their practice squad.
Okoye would have to clear waivers again.

2. If Okoye clears waivers and is assigned to our practice squad another team can make him an offer, but he has the right to accept or reject their offer.

The 49ers can sweeten the pot. They can pay Okoye anything that they want as long his salary is above scale. His salary will, however, count against the cap.
If I remember correctly, last year the practice squad members traveled with the team, even though they could not play in those games.
That paid travel is another benefit not generally available for practice squad players.

3. The 49ers can promote Okoye to the 53-man roster without releasing him and exposing him to a waiver claim.
But, once he is on the 53-man he can not be sent back to practice squad without being released and placed on waivers.

4. The rules for eligibility are somewhat complicated, but in Okoye's case it is simple. He is practice squad eligible.

.
[ Edited by buck on May 13, 2013 at 12:45 AM ]
Do players usually clear waivers? As a relatively "high profile" project player, I feel like Okoye would draw interest from some of the talent-starved teams out there. We already know several tried to sign him after the draft.
Man, I hear you...this is a tough one!

Locks:
Justin Smith - RDE in the base 3-4 but also slips inside on 4-man DL fronts. Consistent pressure and integral to Aldon Smith's production as well.
Ray McDonald - LDE in the base 3-4 but also slips inside on 4-man DL fronts and teamed with Brooks, impossible to run on. Sporadic ass rush at best.
Glenn Dorsey - is penciled in as the NT. He sounds like he would be a solid one-gap NT in the mold of Franklin but my concern is against big, power running teams (we face quite a few this year again). Can he two-gap? Can he shoot the right gap? Hold the point?
Ian Williams - don't trust him naturally; also in the smaller mode of NT's. But he's all we have at this juncture and he's been training for a while now; coaches seem ready to give him a shot.
Tank Carradine (PUP/IR?) - I would not be surprised to see him play this year and slowly integrate into more and more snaps for Justin as the season progresses.

Competition:
Quinton Dial - he will make the 53 and play quite a few snaps as the LDE behind McDonald and maybe even slide inside on 4-man DL fronts.
Lamar Divens - this dude is the ONLY NT we have with prototypical 2-gap NT size and base. If he is strong enough to two-gap AND collapse the pocket from time to time, he could be a developmental find. We may need a man this size against teams such as Seattle. He could be a wild card here.
Lawrence Okoye - he seems to learn and learn fast and RDE is the easiest position to learn. I would not be surprised to see him make the 53. At the same time, I would not be surprised to see him NOT make the 53 and leave for college either.
DeMarcus Dobbs - he was a preseason terror at RDE in front of Aldon; they seemed to work very well off each other. He could be a wild card here as well even with his experience already in our defense. He will have to have a VERY strong showing to make it though.
Tony Jerod-Eddie - no chance.
Will Tukuafu - no chance.
Mike Purcell - no chance.
[ Edited by NCommand on May 13, 2013 at 9:16 AM ]
It seems JH/Baalke have a solid "farm-team" they keep developing.

Obviously, DLine was an area that needed big-time addressing and they took care of it in FA & Draft.

There will be some excellent ZTCamp battles.

I think Dorsey will be better than expected - just a gut feeling.
  • buck
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Originally posted by NCommand:
Man, I hear you...this is a tough one!

Locks:

Glenn Dorsey - is penciled in as the NT. He sounds like he would be a solid one-gap NT in the mold of Franklin but my concern is against big, power running teams (we face quite a few this year again). Can he two-gap? Can he shoot the right gap? Hold the point?
Ian Williams - don't trust him naturally; also in the smaller mode of NT's. But he's all we have at this juncture and he's been training for a while now; coaches seem ready to give him a shot.

Mass (weight/height) is the key. Nose tackles, at least the two-versions generally has mass of 50 at a minimum.
A nose tackle needs mass to absorb the punishment they take.

Vince Wolfolk has a mass 52.42. But, Jay Ratliff, a four time pro bowler, only has a mass rating of 47.34.

If Dorsey weighs 300 lbs, He is at 49.18; he should weigh more, and it looks like he does.

Dorsey has been very good against the run in the NFL.

Ian Williams is listed at 305. He is at lower edge for a nose tackle.
Williams does not have enough playing time, which could be telling, but he played the nose in Notre Dame's 3-4.

Ian Williams is listed at 305 pounds. His weight at the draft was 319 pounds. If he gets up to 315, his mass goes up to 51.64.

Lamar Divens has a mass of 53.97.
[ Edited by buck on May 13, 2013 at 10:48 AM ]
One thing that worries me this year is the absence of a big-a$$ed NT that can plug up the middle and stuff the run. This was a huge glaring hole in the defense before the emergence of A. Franklin a few years ago and really made life tough on the talented LB corps that was forming at the time. I'd feel a lot more comfortable if the team picked up someone like a Casey Hampton or Vince Wilfork-type player that had that kind of presence.

However, those guys are pretty rare and that kind of thinking discounts the amount of nickel defense the team plays throughout the year. Sopoaga was only on the field at the NT a few hundred times this last season and more commonly it was Justin Smith and Ray McDonald shifting to the tackle spots inside and the OLB's moving to the DE spots when extra DB's were put on the field.

I think the addition of Dorsey and Carradine in particular signals that the team is looking for depth and strength behind Smith and McDonald rather than a replacement for Sopoaga. Players in that mold are more versatile and able to either stop the run or rush the passer and the Niners probably struggled more against more physical running teams that could run out of 3+ WR sets because their primary guys wore down as the season went on.
Originally posted by buck:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Man, I hear you...this is a tough one!

Locks:

Glenn Dorsey - is penciled in as the NT. He sounds like he would be a solid one-gap NT in the mold of Franklin but my concern is against big, power running teams (we face quite a few this year again). Can he two-gap? Can he shoot the right gap? Hold the point?
Ian Williams - don't trust him naturally; also in the smaller mode of NT's. But he's all we have at this juncture and he's been training for a while now; coaches seem ready to give him a shot.

Mass (weight/height) is the key. Nose tackles, at least the two-versions generally has mass of 50 at a minimum.
A nose tackle needs mass to absorb the punishment they take.

Vince Wolfolk has a mass 52.42. But, Jay Ratliff, a four time pro bowler, only has a mass rating of 47.34.

If Dorsey weighs 300 lbs, He is at 49.18; he should weigh more, and it looks like he does.

Dorsey has been very good against the run in the NFL.

Ian Williams is listed at 305. He is at lower edge for a nose tackle.
Williams does not have enough playing time, which could be telling, but he played the nose in Notre Dame's 3-4.

Ian Williams is listed at 305 pounds. His weight at the draft was 319 pounds. If he gets up to 315, his mass goes up to 51.64.

Lamar Divens has a mass of 53.97.

This is awesome and a really cool take on this topic.

There are so many types of NT's with traditional and hybrid defenses now. We seem more inclined to interchangeable NT/DE's in our hybrid 3-4. When I envision the Jay Ratliff-types vs. the Vince Wilfork-types as well as being quite different in their abilities and defensive responsibilities. I'd personally prefer shorter NT's with a lower base but "wide-bodied" grounding them better for two-gap responsibilities. But you can have a guy like Ratliff who has excellent technique, quickness, experience (which gap to penetrate), etc. Perhaps we have these two kinds in-the-making on the team right now. I felt one of the weaknesses we had was against power-running teams right up the gut. Maybe to combat, we'll see more 4-man fronts or go bigger with a guy such as Divens if he impresses. The one NT I have always wanted was a two-gapper wide-bodied NT with excellent technique and endurance AND who can help collapse the step-up lane as we always seem to have good to great pressure from the outside but always seem to leave that step-up lane wide open. Picture Mr. Joe Flac-heave-ho stepping up and launching Hail Mary's down field on us after 4-5+ seconds.
Originally posted by jesserdumas2:
One thing that worries me this year is the absence of a big-a$$ed NT that can plug up the middle and stuff the run. This was a huge glaring hole in the defense before the emergence of A. Franklin a few years ago and really made life tough on the talented LB corps that was forming at the time. I'd feel a lot more comfortable if the team picked up someone like a Casey Hampton or Vince Wilfork-type player that had that kind of presence.

However, those guys are pretty rare and that kind of thinking discounts the amount of nickel defense the team plays throughout the year. Sopoaga was only on the field at the NT a few hundred times this last season and more commonly it was Justin Smith and Ray McDonald shifting to the tackle spots inside and the OLB's moving to the DE spots when extra DB's were put on the field.

I think the addition of Dorsey and Carradine in particular signals that the team is looking for depth and strength behind Smith and McDonald rather than a replacement for Sopoaga. Players in that mold are more versatile and able to either stop the run or rush the passer and the Niners probably struggled more against more physical running teams that could run out of 3+ WR sets because their primary guys wore down as the season went on.

LMAO! Just read this...ummm, it's safe to say I agree 100%. Haha
I think your locks are solid...I'm hoping Dial can make the roster and I think he will. Very big and versatile dude who could wreak some havoc once Tomsula coaches him up. I don't see Okoye making the roster, simply because he's never played football before. One dark horse could be Purcell...he was named to the All-MWC team and is a very solid DT.