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Amplus' Top Ten - Series 2 - The Department of Defense


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#1 Yatagarasu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:30 AM

The wait is over! All I can say is that a lot of you know what a defense looks like and that's maybe because we been drilled with that "Defense wins Championship" mantra on our time in this forum. Anyways, there can only be ten defensive units who are each worthly of being named of their top ten status. However, nothing is official because the offseason is far from over as any addition or subtraction can change the positions of the teams. Also, if you think your team ranking is questionable, then send a complaint down below with an estimated rank and reasons why your team deserves a higher positioning. I want to be fair and reasonable with the rankings as possible. Enjoy...

If you guys have any comments, criticisms, or anything on the assessments of the rankings, please post in this type of format, so I can track and collect information quickly.

Ranking Opinion Format

Category:

Overrated: (include reasons brief or long please)

Underrated: (include reasons brief or long please)

Player Color Label Change: (include reasons brief or long please)

Any Updates:



Series 2: The Department of Defense - Today
Trenches (DL Ranks including Edge Rushers)
Wolfpacks (LB Units in both 3-4 and 4-3 sets)
No Fly Zones (Secondaries)



Trenches (DL Ranks including Edge Rushers) (UPDATED)
Front Four:
DE: NT: DT: DE: (Blue = Anchor , Green = Enforcer , Purple = Upholder)
(Notable Depth:)


Red = Top Ten Teams
Blue = Franchise Defender / Top Player
Green = Right Hand Man / 2nd Best Tier
Purple = Left Hand Man / 3rd Best Tier

Color Scheme: subject to judgement

1. Denver Broncos:
Front Four:
DE: Derek Wolfe - NT: Kawann Short - DT: Ndamukong Suh - DE: Elvis Dumervil
(Notable Depth: John Simon, Jeremy Beal)

King Kong has landed in Denver to make a formidable trench with the All-Pro Dumervil and blooming Wolfe. The drafting of Kawann Short helps complete their interior as this group should be the foundation for their impressive overall defense.

2. Seattle Seahawks:
Front Four:
DE: Paul Kruger - NT: Brandon Mebane - DT: Henry Melton - LEO: Bruce Irvin
(Notable Depth: Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, Kevin Vickerson)

They're sending out a message to the league that offenses are welcome to try to run on them.
Paul Kruger adds versatilty and pass rush with Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons. Their top signing in DT Henry Melton puts a whole new level for this already stout trench that has the run stuffers in Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane.

3. Houston Texans:
Front Four:
DE: J.J. Watt - NT: Domata Peko - DT: Antonio Smith - DE: Whitney Mercilus
(Notable Depth: Jared Crick, Terrell McClain)

When you have a man-eating beast like J.J. Watt, then you get away with lesser talents on the other positions. However, Domata Peko is actually very underrated and should improve the NT from last year. Mercilus should be in for a big year as a merciless pass rusher.

4. Tennessee Titans:
Front Four:
DE: Michael Johnson - NT: Mike DeVito - DT: Mike Martin - DE: Kamerion Wimbley
(Notable Depth: Shea McClellan, Vance Walker, Brandon Jenkins, Devon Still)

Michael Johnson and Shea McClellan adds a much needed boost in the pass rushing department with Kamerion Wimbley. Their defensive interior is underrated with Walker, DeVito, and Martin plugging up the holes. This is a trench that's probably going to be tough to break through since they got both depth and enormous amount of talented rushers.

5. Buffalo Bills:
Front Four:
DE: Cliff Avril - NT: Kyle Williams - DT: Marcell Dareus - DE: Mario Williams
(Notable Depth: Justin Tuck, Bjoern Werner, Corey Williams, Sen'Derrick Marks)

They added a speed rusher in Cliff Avril and drafted the Germanator to go along with their talented front line of Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, and Marcell Dareus. The reason why their ranking is capped is that they had three of the four starting trench, but was pushed around and had a disappointing last year. However, with the new depth and some excellent playmakers like Avril and Werner, they should finally live up to their top ten status not on paper, but on the field.

6. New Orleans Saints:
Front Four:
DE: Cameron Jordan - NT: Dan Williams - DT: Nick Fairley - DE: Brandon Graham
(Notable Depth: Jarvis Jones, Carlos Dunlap)

Adding Nick Fairley, who lived up to his 1st Round Status, should make their transition to the 3-4 much better than anticipated. Dan Williams fit the bill for NT and the Saints found plenty of pass rushers with Carlos Dunlap, Brandon Graham, and the number 1 overall pick, Jarvis Jones. This trench has a long way to build up from the open highway status they had last year, but with the talent they have, it's definitely borderline top ten. However, they do need to work on their depth, but the sheer talent on the starting four should mask any weak point.

7. Cincinnati Bengals:
Front Four:
DE: Derrick Morgan - NT: Richard Seymour - DT: Geno Atkins - DE: Barkevious Mingo
(Notable Depth: Brandon Thompson, Devin Taylor, Pat Sims)

I guess the Bengals like to pile through players and try to mix and match whatever they seem fit. They had a top ten DL last year, but with all the trading and signing, they are still left with a top ten DL. With the depth and talent they have on the team, they can play the over-and-under scheme of moving around 4-3 and 3-4 bases. That flexibility adds value and the edge over other trenches. The Bengals had a top five trench last year and they should've kept that roster together. However with the new roster, they have plenty of talent, but have to prove that they can be like last year's DL or better.

8. Miami Dolphins:
Front Four:
DE: Israel Idonije - NT: Jonathan Babineaux - DT: Darnell Dockett - DE: Cameron Wake
(Notable Depth: Olivier Vernon, Justin Bannan, Jordan Hill, Dwan Edwards, Michael Buchanan)

The Dolphins added key players like Idonije, Babineaux, Dockett, and others to support their top ten pass rusher in Cameron Wake. However, all those players are entering the age of decline, but they do have the depth to keep their D-line from getting tired.

9. Minnesota Vikings:
Front Four:
DE: Brian Robison - NT: Kevin Williams - DT: Clinton McDonald - DE: Jared Allen
(Notable Depth: Tank Carradine, Everson Griffen, Robert Geathers)

The Vikings still have a talented and surprisingly deep group at DE with the All-Pro Allen, an effective Robison, a growing Griffen, and a talented Carradine. However, the knock on their D-line is that they don't really have anyone to fill the hole of the other Williams' Wall or the aging Kevin Williams. Still they were a top ten run defense last year due to the overwhelming talents on three positions of the four.

10. Baltimore Ravens:
Front Four:
DE: Arthur Jones - NT: Johnathan Hankins - DT: Haloti Ngata - DE: Terrell Suggs
(Notable Depth: Pernell McPhee, Everett Dawkins, Terrence Cody)

This group was a top ten trench in 2011 when Terrell Suggs was healthy. Their acquisitions of Hankins and Dawkins should improve their ranking from their uncharacteristically mediocrity last season.

Borderline Top Ten (11-15):

B10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Front Four:

DE: Michael Bennett - NT: Casey Hampton - DT: Gerald McCoy - DE: John Abraham
(Notable Depth: Adrian Clayborn, Da'Quan Bowers)

This trench has hold its line against the run and continue to do so by keeping their best run-defending DE Michael Bennett and adding an aging, yet still effective Casey Hampton. The signing of John Abraham should boost their pass rush considerable, if he doesn't decline too much. The depth of Clayborn and Bowers should provide some relief.

B10. Arizona Cardinals:
Front Four:
DE: Jurrell Casey - NT: Brodrick Bunkley - DT: Calais Campbell - DE: Dion Jordan
(Notable Depth: Martez Wilson , Antonio Garay, Amobi Okoye, Corey Lemonier)

Jurrell Casey is a very underrated run-blocker that goes well with their stud Campbell. Bunkley is solid as usual, but his spot at NT is somewhat questionable, but his effectiveness is not. Martez Wilson can be a serviceable pass rusher, but the jury is still out. The wild card here is Dion Jordan and his development as a pass rusher for a team that is in need of a solid pass rusher. However, we know for sure this D-line will be tough to run on.

B10: Pittsburgh Steelers:
Front Four:
DE: Cameron Heyward - NT: Steve McLendon - DT: Brett Keisel - DE: LaMarr Woodley
(Notable Depth: Ziggy Hood, Isaac Sopoaga, Damontre Moore)

Steve McLendon is the new heir for Casey Hampton's NT spot. This top ten unit is just reloading their D-line by moving their young players up the ranks. However, the production of these young players (Hood, Heyward, McLendon, and Moore) has to be proven and their anchor has to be healthy to certify their top ten status.

B10. Cleveland Browns:
Front Four:
DE: Shariff Floyd - NT: Phil Taylor - DT: Ahtyba Rubin - DE: Anthony Spencer
(Notable Depth: Jabaal Sheard, Billy Winn)

Cleveland made their money's worth by successfully changing their D-line from 4-3 to 3-4.
Floyd should bring a meaner and more physical presence as their pass rushers can be hidden by their big bodies in Taylor and Rubin. The acquisition of Anthony Spencer completes their 3-4 Defensive Front. However, the performance of Taylor and Rubin definitely needs to improve.

B10. St. Louis Rams:
Front Four:
DE: Robert Quinn - NT: Glenn Dorsey - DT: Michael Brockers - DE: Chris Long
(Notable Depth: Tyson Jackson, Sedrick Ellis, Greg Romeus)

Chris Long and Robert Quinn are proven pass-rushers. However, the knock on them is that their DEs aren't the best against the run and considered one dimensional. As for the interior, a rotation of Brocker, Jackson, Dorsey, Ellis is nothing to complain about, but there might be a potential that Dorsey fares better in a 4-3 system than the 3-4 system.

Notable Missed Cuts:

16. Kansas City Chiefs:
Front Four:
DE: Chris Canty - NT: Alan Branch - DT: Sheldon Richardson - DE: Tamba Hali
(Notable Depth: Justin Houston, Dontari Powe, William Gholston, Jarius Wynn)

They exchanged their underwhelming Defensive Interiors for Sheldon Richardson, Chris Canty, and Alan Branch, which surprising makes them more formidable than before. However, they still have to prove their worth as a top ten because Canty is a serviceable player, Branch is coming from a down year, Richardson is a rookie.

17. New York Jets:
Front Four:
DE: Quinton Coples - NT: Aubrayo Franklin - DT: Muhammad Wilkerson - DE: Ezekiel Ansah
(Notable Depth: Kenrick Ellis, Victor Butler, Kenyon Coleman)

Muhammad Wilkerson is one of the top 3-4 DE and his supporting cast has gotten better with the improvements of Quinton Coples, acquisitions of Aubrayo Franklin, and the draft of Ezekiel Ansah. However, Coples and Ansah have to prove their worth as 1st rounders, now that they will be thrown into the fire. This group is young and will only get better as they play more together. I decided to place them in the borderline top ten because Wilkerson and Franklin will man the line as their young 1st Round DEs wreck havoc sooner than later.

18. San Francisco 49ers:
Front Four:
DE: Ray McDonald - NT: Will Tukuafu - DT: Justin Smith - DE: Aldon Smith
(Notable Depth: Cam Johnson)

The 49ers have a stud D-line with All-Pros Smith Tandem. However they have no one to man their NT position and the lack of depth could be a problem. The problem was exposed during the playoffs, when Aldon Smith was neutalized due to the absence of Justin Smith.

19. Carolina Panthers:
Front Four:
DE: William Hayes - NT: Ricky Jean-Francois - DT: Jason Hatcher - DE: Charles Johnson
(Notable Depth: Jesse Williams, Corey Peters, Wallace Gilberry)

Panthers had only two studs on their D-line in Johnson and Hardy last year. Now with a revamped line with Hatcher, Jean-Francois, Williams, Gilberry, and Hayes should negate the loss of Hardy and improve the defense's imagine.

20. Green Bay Packers:
Front Four:
DE: Datone Jones - NT: B.J. Raji - DT: Ryan Pickett - DE: Clay Matthews
(Notable Depth: Brandon Williams, Jerel Worthy)

The addition of Datone Jones could his bring the much-needed physical presence as their whole D-line played poorly last year.

21. Chicago Bears:
Front Four:
DE: Corey Wootton - NT: Sione Pouha - DT: Sylvester Williams - DE: Julius Peppers
(Notable Depth: Kyle Moore, Stephen Paea, Karl Klug, Cheta Ozugwu)

There will be a lot of question marks for this group since they lost two of their starters in Henry Melton and Israel Idonije. Also, giving away Shea McClellan, who was suppose to be their next DE in line could be a set-back. Anyways, the addition of Sylvester Williams, Kyle Moore, and Karl Klug gives them some support for their aging ringleader Peppers. This group could be better depending on the developments of their young players, but until then the verdict is to be seen.

22. Oakland Raiders:
Front Four:
DE: Lamarr Houston - NT: Terrance Knighton - DT: Desmond Bryant - DE: Greg Hardy
(Notable Depth: Derek Landri, Antwan Barnes)

This is an under-the-radar group due to the acquisition of a top ten 4-3 DE in Greg Hardy and signing of a NT-sized Terrence Knighton. The important part was to keep one of their better playmakers in Desmond Bryant to pair with their young and talented Lamarr Houston. This starting four might be relatively unknown throughout the league, but their impacts won't be if they produce better than last year.

23. New England Patriots:
Front Four:
DE: Rob Ninkovich - NT: Vince Wilfork - DT: Kyle Love - DE: Chandler Jones
(Notable Depth: Brandon Deaderick)

This is trench knows how to stop the run with man eating duo Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love, but rushing the passer might be a different story. Rob Ninkovich is a serviceable pass rusher, but the Patriots need Chandler Jones to live up to his 1st Round status for this trench to move up the ranks.

24. San Diego Chargers:
Front Four
DE: Kendall Reyes - NT: Corey Liuget - DT: Cullen Jenkins - DE: Melvin Ingram
(Notable Depth: Cam Thomas, Shaun Phillips, Larry English)

This group is one of the best running-stuffing group, but their downfall is the lack of a reliable pass rusher. Until that is addressed, their ranking seems fair.

25. Philadelphia Eagles:
Front Four:
DE: Dwight Freeney - NT: Sammie Lee Hill - DT: Fletcher Cox - DE: Trent Cole
(Notable Depth: Vinny Curry, Jason Jones, Osi Umenyiora)

The Eagles are rebuilding their defense that was terribly misused. They have core players like Fletcher and Cole, but the effectiveness of older and less-effective players like Umenyiora and Freeney is questionable

26. Atlanta Falcons:
Front Four:
DE: Jared Odrick - NT: Paul Soliai - DT: Jarvis Jenkins - DE: Connor Barwin
(Notable Depth: Jaye Howard, Jerrell Powe, Jamie Collins)

They had a huge make-over by exchaning their 4-3 players for 3-4 pieces. The verdict is out on how this group will form and produce since their pass rushing corps is lacking.

Edited by Corvus Amplus, 15 April 2013 - 01:14 AM.

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#2 Yatagarasu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:30 AM

Wolfpacks (LB Units in both 3-4 and 4-3 sets) (UPDATED)
LB Corps:
Sam: Mike: Will: Jack:(If Available)

(Blue = Alpha Male , Green = Beta , Purple = Gamma)
(Notable Depth:)


Red = Top Ten Teams
Blue = Franchise Defender / Top Player
Green = Right Hand Man / 2nd Best Tier
Purple = Left Hand Man / 3rd Best Tier

Color Scheme: subject to judgement

1. San Francisco 49ers:
LB Corps:
Sam: Ahmad Brooks Mike: Patrick Willis Will: Navorro Bowman Jack: Aldon Smith
(Notable Depth: Alec Ogletree, Parys Haralson)

The 49ers don't have to do anything with these Alpha Males, but adding Olgetree was downright overkill.

2. Denver Broncos:
LB Corps:
Sam: Philip Wheeler Mike: Brad Jones Will: Wesley Woodyard Jack: Von Miller
(Notable Depth: Larry Grant, Nate Irving)

These are the wolfpacks that could be on top of food chain and rivals the Alpha Male Status of San Francisco. They have talent to fill every position and heck, might even use a 4th LB because leaving one on the bench is too much of a waste.

3. Kansas City Chiefs:
LB Corps:
Sam: Justin Houston Mike: Curtis Lofton Will: Derrick Johnson Jack: Tamba Hali
(Notable Depth: Trevardo Williams, Chris Gocong, Thaddeus Gibson)

Curtis Lofton, who is a solid LB, decide to provide his service to a talented Pro-Bowl LB Corps with Hali, Johnson, and Houston. Even with a formidable hunting group, they drafted another freak athlete who might help track preys in Trevardo Wiliams.

4. Green Bay Packers:
LB Corps:
Sam: Nick Perry Mike: Kevin Minter Will: Desmond Bishop Jack: Clay Matthews
(Notable Depth: Alex Okafor, Sam Montgomery, Terrell Manning)

This Wolfpack has a lot of talent and depth. Minter should help control the middle as Bishop should come back fully healthy. The rotation of Clay Mathews, Nick Perry, Okafor, and Montgomery should produce the pass rush they need to maintain their Wolfpack Status.

5. Tennessee Titans:
LB Corps:
Sam: Akeem Ayers Mike: Arthur Brown Will: Zach Brown
(Notable Depth: Shea McClellan, Patrick Bailey)

Zach Brown surprisely turned in a productive season as WLB with his speed and changed physicality. Akeem Ayers' speciality is actually rushing the passer as a 4-3 SAM blitzer, which adds another element of pass rush. The Titans decided not to wait around and spend a top ten pick on the highest rated MLB to fill up their LB Corps with Arthur Brown. These Wolfpacks are going devour whatever comes their way, however the knock is that they have basically have limited depth until further notice.

6. Chicago Bears:
LB Corps:
Sam: Lance Briggs Mike: Stephen Tulloch Will: Thomas Davis
(Notable Depth: Will Witherspoon)

They lost their defensive leader in Brian Urlacher, but replaced his presence with the new heralded leader Lance Briggs and with the new underrated LBs Stephen Tulloch and Thomas Davis to complete their LB Corps. Witherspoon should provide key depth for this talented group.

7. Baltimore Ravens:
LB Corps:
Sam: Courtney Upshaw Mike: Sean Lee Will: Jon Beason Jack: Terrell Suggs
(Notable Depth: Albert McClellan, Paris Lenon)

The addition of Sean Lee and Jon Beason greatly improves their ILB positions, however their durability is the question on if they can reach higher status. However, talent alone, they have a pack of scavengers that belongs in the top ten.

8. New Orleans Saints:
LB Corps:
Sam: Carlos Dunlap Mike: Erin Henderson Will: Donald Butler Jack: Brandon Graham
(Notable Depth: Jarvis Jones, David Hawthorne)

The Saints have successfully rebuilt their 3-4 LB Corps with underrated pass rushers like Brandon Graham and Carlos Dunlap. Erin Henderson is a two-down LB that needs to rotate with David Hawthorne. Donald Butler should be a service in one of the ILB positions. Also, using the number one draft pick to get a Bulldog should bring in some ferocious mentality. With such a young and talented OLBs, their group sneaks into wolfpack status.

9. Cleveland Browns:
LB Corps:
Sam: Anthony Spencer Mike: James Michael-Johnson Will: D’Qwell Jackson Jack: Jabaal Sheard
(Notable Depth: Jameel McClain, Lerentee McCray)

The acquisition of Anthony Spencer helps complete their 3-4 LB Corps. Spencer is coming off his

10. Pittsburgh Steelers:
LB Corps:
Sam: Damontre Moore Mike: Lawerence Timmons Will: Sean Spence Jack: Lamar Woodley
(Notable Depth: Chris Carter, Cornelius Washington)

The Steelers lost their stable beard and butter with James Harrison and Larry Foote, but they found some nice dviable replacements with Damontre Moore and Cornelius Washington. The lack of depth and uncertainty of Sean Spence could be a problem. However, the vast amount of potential of Moore and Washington could mask that problem if they develop into solid players.

Borderline Top Ten (11-15):

B10. New England Patriots:
LB Corps:
Sam: Dont'a Hightower Mike: Brandon Spikes Will: Jerod Mayo
(Notable Depth: Mike Rivera, Tracy White)

This starting group is solid with a All-Pro Mayo, a 1st Rounder Hightower, and an underrated Spikes. The problem is the depth of no names for this group.

B10. Washington Redskins:
LB Corps:
Sam: Ryan Kerrigan Mike: London Fletcher Will: Akeem Dent Jack: Brian Orakpo
(Notable Depth: Larry Foote)

Kerrigan and Orakpo make a fair hunting team along with the de facto leader Fletcher and underrated Dent, but their depth needs some quality players, especially at the OLB position.

B10. Miami Dolphins:
LB Corps:
Sam: Koa Misi Mike: Dannell Ellerbe Will: Kevin Burnett
(Notable Depth: Sean Porter)

The addition of Dannell Ellerbe and Sean Porter makes this group an under-the-radar LB Corps. I believe Porter has all the tools and potential to develop into a Sam blitzing LB like Von Miller or Akeem Ayers, which would make this LB Corps into the top ten.

B10. St. Louis Rams:
LB Corps:
Sam: Sio Moore Mike: James Lauranitis Will: Jo-Lonn Dunbar
(Notable Depth: Michael Mauti, Keith Rivers)

James Lauranitis leads these hunters along with Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Keith Rivers. However, their weakspot is the WLB since Rivers haven't been the same after being broken, however their depth could solve that.

B10. Arizona Cardinals:
LB Corps:
Sam: Martez Wilson Mike: Daryl Washington Will: Brian Urlacher Jack: Dion Jordan
(Notable Depth: Brandon Siler, Corey Lemonier)

Daryl Washington played like an All-Pro beast last season. Wilson and Jordan are projects at the OLB position, but have all the tools to succeed. Urlacher is way past his prime and is no longer the All-Pro he use to be. However, he can still be serviceable especially as a zone cover LB. This group sneaks in due to the overwhelming talents of Washington and Dion Jordan, which might be able to mask the weakness of Urlacher and the inexperience of Martez Wilson.

Notable Missed Cuts:

16. Philadelphia Eagles:
LB Corps:
Sam: Bruce Carter Mike: DeMeco Ryans Will: Mychal Kendricks
(Notable Depth: Mathias Kiwanuka, Kelvin Sheppard)

The talent and depth is there with Kiwanuka, Kendricks, Carter, and Ryans, but the production has be better.

17. Cincinnati Bengals:
LB Corps:
Sam: Sam Acho Mike: Karlos Dansby Will: David Harris Jack: Barkevious Mingo
(Notable Depth: AJ Klein, Keith Pough, Jason Worilds)

David Harris was an All-Pro LB, but is coming off a terrible year. Karlos Dansby might be on a state of decline, but can still play the position effectively. The depth for the ILBs is solid with Klein and Pough that can develop as the next ILB duo for the future. However, the ranking seems to be capped by the development of Mingo and Acho at outside LB. The OLBs are young, but need to prove their worth.

18. Atlanta Falcons:
LB Corps:
Sam: Kroy Biermann Mike: Manti Te'o Will: Sean Weatherspoon Jack: Connor Barwin
(Notable Depth: Colin McCarthy, Jamie Collins)

They had a promising 4-3 LB Corps last year, but the change to 3-4 LB Corps might turn out better than expected. They drafted one of the most decorated LBs in college in Manti Te'o, which might turn out to be a great ILB, or at least serviceable as part of a rotation with Colin McCarthy alongside their best LB in Sean Weatherspoon. The Pass Rush might be uncertain as Connor Barwin is coming from a down year and Jamie Collins is still a project.

19. Seattle Seahawks:
LB Corps:
Sam: K.J. Wright Mike: Bobby Wagner Will: Nick Roach
(Notable Depth: DeAndre Levy, Brandon Hepburn)

No Pro-Bowl names here, but a very underrated group. Wagner is a up and coming rookie that performs with the better MLBs in the league. K.J. Wright graded out positively as a SAM LB. However, Levy might be the weak point of this group, since he had an inconsistent season last year. As for depth, Roach, a serviceable utility LB, and Hepburn should be suffice.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
LB Corps:
Sam: Jonathan Vilma Mike: Lavonte David Will: Zaviar Gooden
(Notable Depth: Mason Foster, Quincy Black)

Lavonte David is a vaccuum cleaner as he sucks up any loss debrises past their stout trench. The draft of another speedy LB in Zaviar Gooden should help their status. However, the effectiveness of Jonathan Vilma has to be decided since he had a terrible year last season.

21. Buffalo Bills:
LB Corps:
Sam: Justin Durant Mike: Jerrell Freeman Will: Khaseem Greene
(Notable Depth: Nigel Bradham, Moise Fokou)

Jerrell Freeman have been an underrated LB after coming to the NFL from the CFL last season as he racks up tackles. Justin Durant is a serviceable SAM LB who will pair well with Freeman. A lot of big things are in store for Khaseem Greene who has speed to burn and plays to make. With these three behind a top ten DL could make a splash.

22. Minnesota Vikings:
LB Corps:
Sam: Chad Greenway Mike: Kiko Alonso Will: James Anderson
(Notable Depth: Jasper Brinkley, Clark Haggans)

Chad Greenway leads the way as an All-Pro, but the other two positions are uncertain as Kiko Alonso is a developing talent and Anderson is coming from a down year. Until they can prove their wolfpack status, I assume this hunting group is something offenses don't lose their sleep about.

Edited by Corvus Amplus, 15 April 2013 - 03:00 AM.

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#3 Yatagarasu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:31 AM

No Fly Zones (Secondaries) (UPDATED)
Back Four:
CB1: SS: FS: CB2: (Blue = Wing Leader, Green = Wingman ,
Purple = Patroller)
(Notable Depth:)



Red = Top Ten Teams
Blue = Franchise Defender / Top Player
Green = Right Hand Man / 2nd Best Tier
Purple = Left Hand Man / 3rd Best Tier

Color Scheme: subject to judgement

1. Seattle Seahawks:
Back Four:
CB1: Richard Sherman SS: Kam Chancellor FS: Earl Thomas CB2: Brandon Browner
(Notable Depth: Robert Alford, Markelle Martin, Will Davis)

They are the physical Pro-Bowl-decorated Legion of Boom, and they will only get better and more physical with addition of rookies Alford and Davis.

2. Buffalo Bills:
Back Four:
CB1: Antonio Cromartie SS: Da'Norris Searcy FS: Jarius Bryd CB2: Cortland Finnegan
(Notable Depth: Stephon Gilmore, Greg Toler, Leodis McKelvin, James Ihedigbo)

Adding a Feisty CB in Finnegan, keeping their star safety in Byrd, and bringing in a revitalized talented CB in Cromartie could make this secondary one of the toughest to fly over. Also Searcy is an underrated safety that can take over the former George Wilson.

3. Tennessee Titans:
Back Four:
CB1: Leon Hall SS: Jonathan Cyprien FS: Ed Reed CB2: Jason McCourty
(Notable Depth: Leon McFadden, Brendian Ross)

They trade in for a legit #1 CB in Leon Hall and still have their most productive CB in Jason McCourty. Draftees Leon McFadden and Jonathan Cyprien will fill their holes in the secondary. Ed Reed might be past his prime, but his presence and guidance can turn this secondary into one of the top units.

4. Atlanta Falcons:
Back Four:
CB1: Asante Samuel SS: Thomas DeCoud FS: William Moore CB2: Corey Graham
(Notable Depth: Robert McClain)

They have a core group of Samuel, DeCoud, and Moore that allowed the fewest TD passes last year and was part of the top five interception makers also.. Replacing Dunta Robinson, who was clearly past his prime, with the younger and more underrated Corey Graham, solidify their place as one of the top No-Fly Zones.

5. Denver Broncos:
Back Four:
CB1: Champ Bailey SS: Mark Barron FS: Rahim Moore CB2: Chris Harris
(Notable Depth: Bradley Fletcher, Tony Carter)

This group was considered one of the best secondaries last year and with the acquisition of Mark Barron to enforce the zone, their No Fly-Zone status could be even better. However, Champ Bailey have shown some crack by getting lit up by Torrey Smith, so he might be transitioning to safety soon and this could solve the limited depth at safety.

6. Chicago Bears:
Back Four:
CB1: Charles Tillman SS: Major Wright FS: Chris Conte CB2: Brent Grimes
(Notable Depth: Mike Jenkins, Dwight "Bill" Bentley)

The Bears secondary was one of the best last year with their top cover man Peanut Tillman.
However exchanging their surprisingly effective Tim Jennings with an aging and rehabbing Brent Grimes could be questionable. They may be Tampa 2 safeties, but are still effective and productive safeties, especially Major wright, who is considered a top ten safety.

7. New Orleans Saints:
Back Four:
CB1: Vontae Davis SS: Kenny Phillips FS: Malcolm Jenkins CB2: Devin McCourty
(Notable Depth: Jabari Greer, Duke Williams)

This group could be lights out due to the underrated acquisitions of Vontae Davis, Devin McCourty, and Kenny Phillips along with the drafting of Duke Williams. This group should improve dramatically compared to last years' air traffic controllers. However, Malcom Jenkins really need improve his play since he was one of those air traffic controllers.

8. Miami Dolphins:
Back Four:
CB1: Sean Smith SS: Reshad Jones FS: Eric Weddle CB2: Antoine Cason
(Notable Depth: Charles Woodson)

Weddle and Jones form a superior tandem, but their cornerbacks are left much to be desired. However, the impact of their stud safeties should help mask some of the weaknesses of the CBs.

9. Kansas City Chiefs:
Back Four:
CB1: Brandon Flowers SS: Matt Elam FS: Eric Berry CB2: Javier Arenas
(Notable Depth: Dequan Menzie)

Putting Matt Elam and Eric Berry together might be a sign from the football gods that moving the chains forward is going to be no easy task. However, they only have one viable CB in Flowers, thus their depth at the CB might be their flaw. This group could've warranted a higher spot if Chris Gamble didn't retire.

10. San Francisco 49ers:
Back Four:
CB1: Carlos Rogers SS: Donte Whitner FS: Dashon Goldson CB2: Tarell Brown
(Notable Depth: Chris Culliver, Jerraud Powers)

The 49ers secondary has been effective together, but was exposed during the playoffs. Not much change to the group, but this secondary's No Fly-Zone is showing some cracks. Whitner is considered the weakpoint of this group, since he let the most touchdowns out of all the safeties with 8 TDs, he's still Pro-Bowl material, but clearly the weakpoint of this strong group.

Borderline Top Ten (11-15):

B10. St. Louis Rams:
Back Four:
CB1: Janoris Jenkins SS: Troy Polamalu FS: Quintin Mikell CB2: Kyle Wilson
(Notable Depth: Xavier Rhodes, Trumaine Johnson)

They already had a solid group with Jenkins and Mikell, but adding Wilson, Polamalu, Rhodes, and others should help solidify their status as one of the best, but their safeties are aging and Jenkins will be tested as a #1 CB.

B10. Houston Texans:
Back Four:
CB1: Jonathan Joseph SS: Glover Quin FS: Daniel Manning CB2: Kareem Jackson
(Notable Depth: Brice McCain, Shiloh Keo)

You don't have to change much about this secondary that was top ten in 2011, but after being lit up twice by the Patriots and also having a mediocre year in terms of pass defense, their No-Fly Status is on shaky grounds and have been demoted to Borderline Top Ten.

B10. Philadelphia Eagles:
Back Four:
CB1: Dee Milliner SS: Shamarko Thomas FS: Ronde Barber CB2: Prince Amukamara
(Notable Depth: Patrick Robinson, Brandon Boykin, Atari Bigby, Jarrett Bush, Robert Lester)

Their secondary was a disaster last year, so almost everyone from that group is gone. They drafted their #1 CB in Dee Milliner and added talented players like Prince Amukamara and Shamarko Thomas. The acquisition of Ronde Barber is very underrated because his leadership is key and far outweighs his age for this young group. Could be an under-the-radar secondary.

B10. Pittsburgh Steelers:
Back Four:
CB1: Ike Taylor SS: Ryan Clark FS: Tony Jefferson CB2: Keenan Lewis
(Notable Depth: Cortez Allen, Madieu Williams)

The Steelers had one of the best pass defense last year, however with Troy Polamalu gone and Ike Taylor no longer a #1 CB, this secondary could have a drop in their No-Fly Status.

B10. Dallas Cowboys:
Back Four:
CB1: Brandon Carr SS: Gerald Sensabaugh FS: Reggie Nelson CB2: Mo Claiborne
(Notable Depth: Aaron Williams, Joselio Hanson, Curtis Marsh)

Brandon and Carr have a potential to be a very good CB tandem, however there's a lot of question marks at the safety spots since Sensabaugh hasn't be fully healthy and Nelson is just serviceable

Notable Missed Cuts:

16. Arizona Cardinals:
Back Four:
CB1: Patrick Peterson SS: Jaiquawn Jarrett FS: Kerry Rhodes CB2: Johnathan Banks
(Notable Depth: Tanard Jackson, Jamell Fleming)

Patrick Peterson is a top #1 CB and Kerry Rhodes is still playing at a high level. However the hole at SS could be an issue along with the development of Johnathan Banks at CB2.

17. Minnesota Vikings:
Back Four:
CB1: Antoine Winfield SS: T.J. Ward FS: Harrison Smith CB2: Chris Cook
(Notable Depth: Jordan Poyer, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Josh Robinson)

I guess the Vikings the performance of Winfield justified his price, since he was rated the highest rated CB according to ProFootballFocus. The acquisition of T.J. Ward gives them that physical presence they need in the backfield to pair with Harrison Smith. The drafting of Jordan Poyer and Blidi Wreh-Wilson was a great to support this underrated group, but they need to step up since the Vikings need to find a #2 CB.

18. Oakland Raiders:
Back Four:
CB1: Sam Shields SS: Tyvon Branch FS: Michael Huff CB2: Cary Williams
(Notable Depth: Dunta Robinson, Phillip Adams)

Sam Shields is the #1 CB that they surely missed after Nmandi Asomugha left town. Cary Williams should be a serviceable #2, but he does have tendency to get picked on. As for the safeties, they were part of a secondary that fell apart last year, but were also part of the top ten secondary in 2010. The CBs might be able to hold their own, but the lack of depth and impact at the safety spot could be an issue.

19. Cincinnati Bengals:
Back Four:
CB1: Aqib Talib SS: Earl Wolff FS: Michael Griffin CB2: Dre Kirkpatrick
(Notable Depth: Brandon Harris, Kyle Arrington, Adrian Wilson, Dwayne Gratz)

The Bengals had a borderline top ten secondary last year, but with all the changes, they might not really improved that much. Talib can play like a #1 CB, but still suffers from inconsistency. Dre Kirkpatrick is going to be thrown into the fire after sitting behind a veteran group in his rookie year. However, their safeties could be a liability as Wilson is aging and Griffin is known to miss the most tackles last year and also their drafted players in Wolff and Gratz need some developments.

20. Baltimore Ravens:
Back Four:
CB1: Lardarius Webb SS: Bernard Pollard FS: Omar Brown CB2: Jimmy Smith
(Notable Depth: Chykie Brown, Asa Jackson, T.J. McDonald)

Their top corner is coming from ACL tear and Smith has to prove to turn in a full season without injuries. However, the safety position is filled with the question marks.

21. Green Bay Packers:
Back Four:
CB1: Tramon Williams SS: Morgan Burnett FS: Antrel Rolle CB2: Nmandi Asomugha
(Notable Depth: Casey Heyward, Quentin Jammer, MD Jennings)

Williams, Asomugha, and Rolle are all coming back from a down season. The talent is there, but the production isn't there to warrant a higher spot.

22. Detroit Lions:
Back Four:
CB1: Tim Jennings SS: Amari Spievey FS: Kendrick Lewis CB2: Tracy Porter
(Notable Depth: Orlando Sandrick, Sterling Moore)

Tim Jennings, a recent All-Pro, leads this group, however he fits as a zone CB, which might make this team scheme specific. Kendrick Lewis is serviceable SS that can play the FS spot. Amari Spievey hasn't been healthy, thus the Lions need some quality depth at the safety position. Rest of the CBs of Porter, Sandrick, and Moore are solid players.

23. New England Patriots:
Back Four:
CB1: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie SS: George Wilson FS: Phillip Thomas CB2: Alfonzo Dennard
(Notable Depth: Tavon Wilson, Darius Slay, Ras-I Dowling)

"Don't Really Care" is a questionable acquisition that's going to one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. The addition of Darius Slay, Phillip Thomas and George Wilson helps, but the subtraction of Devin McCourty doesn't. The verdict is to be seen if this new make-over secondary can do better than their predecessors.

Edited by Corvus Amplus, 15 April 2013 - 01:07 AM.

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#4 Geving

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:35 AM

No Chicago front four with:

DE Wootton DT Sly Wiliams NT Paea DE Peppers
Ozugwu Klug Pouha Moore

?
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#5 Clutch Ravens

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:48 AM

My front four for pass rushing situations would actually be:

LDE - Martez Wilson/Corey Lemonier DT - Jurrell Casey DT - Calais Campbell RDE - Dion Jordan

Bunkley would be on the bench in rush situations.

I have to completely disagree on linebackers when you talk about most rookies having to develop, but have Arthur Brown down as an "Alpha Male". You mention growing pains for prospects BETTER than Brown but Brown is an automatic stud?
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2013 BR.com Mock Draft: Arizona Cardinals
#7 Overall - Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
#38 Overall - Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
#94 Overall - Corey Lemonier, OLB, Auburn
#113 Overall - E.J. Manuel, QB, FSU
#144 Overall - Joseph Randle, RB, OSU
#178 Overall - Jordan Mills, OT/G, Louisiana Tech
#218 Overall - Greg Reid, CB, FSU
#224 Overall - Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas

#6 Yatagarasu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:50 AM

No Chicago front four with:

DE Wootton DT Sly Wiliams NT Paea DE Peppers
Ozugwu Klug Pouha Moore

?


I kind of forgot about them since they weren't really top ten after the loss of Melton and Idonije. Also, they're not as talented as compared to the LB Corps and Secondary.

Edited by Corvus Amplus, 11 April 2013 - 08:08 AM.

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#7 Yatagarasu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:56 AM

My front four for pass rushing situations would actually be:

LDE - Martez Wilson/Corey Lemonier DT - Jurrell Casey DT - Calais Campbell RDE - Dion Jordan

Bunkley would be on the bench in rush situations.

I have to completely disagree on linebackers when you talk about most rookies having to develop, but have Arthur Brown down as an "Alpha Male". You mention growing pains for prospects BETTER than Brown but Brown is an automatic stud?


See Under: Lavonte David / Luke Kuechly Section...

You don't really have a complete team because of your rookies. If you know something about Dion Jordan is that he's an athletic freak that needs to learn the position of OLB. If he develops well, then he could have an Aldon Smith rookie production. However, Arthur Brown has been perfecting his MLB craft since High School and is a plug and play LB. You drafted Jordan over him because of Jordan's upside and potential is higher and his position of pass rusher is more valuable. Anyways, don't freak out because the rankings are subject to change.

I like the Cardinals, but they didn't seem to improve as much as other teams.

Edited by Corvus Amplus, 11 April 2013 - 08:35 AM.

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#8 Yatagarasu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:59 AM

My front four for pass rushing situations would actually be:

LDE - Martez Wilson/Corey Lemonier DT - Jurrell Casey DT - Calais Campbell RDE - Dion Jordan

Bunkley would be on the bench in rush situations.

I have to completely disagree on linebackers when you talk about most rookies having to develop, but have Arthur Brown down as an "Alpha Male". You mention growing pains for prospects BETTER than Brown but Brown is an automatic stud?


Also, give me inputs on where you think your D-line should list because it's very crowded at the top.
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#9 Clutch Ravens

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:02 AM

See Under: Lavonte David / Luke Kuechly Section...

You don't really have a compete team because of your rookies. If you know something about Dion Jordan is that he's an athletic freak that needs to learn the position of OLB. If he develops well, then he could have an Aldon Smith rookie production. However, Arthur Brown has been perfecting his MLB craft since High School and is a plug and play LB. You drafted Jordan over him because of Jordan's upside and potential is higher and his position of pass rusher is more valuable. Anyways, don't freak out because the rankings are subject to change.

I like the Cardinals, but they didn't seem to improve as much as other teams.


Oh no, I was just pointing out that I wouldn't just have one real pass rusher in 4 man fronts.

I also don't think any of my rankings are that far off, just that I don't see how you can say one rookie's unproven while another is an "Alpha Male" every single one is completely unproven in regards to the NFL.

While the Cardinals definitely aren't one of the best teams, I'd have to argue I've improved them as much as any team. They had the worst OLB tandem in the NFL, had the worst offensive line in football, were the worst offense in almost every single measurable category and I feel I've managed to make the team younger while improving on the talent.
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2013 BR.com Mock Draft: Arizona Cardinals
#7 Overall - Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
#38 Overall - Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
#94 Overall - Corey Lemonier, OLB, Auburn
#113 Overall - E.J. Manuel, QB, FSU
#144 Overall - Joseph Randle, RB, OSU
#178 Overall - Jordan Mills, OT/G, Louisiana Tech
#218 Overall - Greg Reid, CB, FSU
#224 Overall - Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas

#10 Clutch Ravens

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:03 AM

Also, give me inputs on where you think your D-line should list because it's very crowded at the top.


I don't think it should be moved because of the uncertainty with the young edge rushers, I'd just rather it show the actual 4 man fronts that would be played, like: Wilson - Casey - Campbell - Jordan.
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2013 BR.com Mock Draft: Arizona Cardinals
#7 Overall - Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
#38 Overall - Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
#94 Overall - Corey Lemonier, OLB, Auburn
#113 Overall - E.J. Manuel, QB, FSU
#144 Overall - Joseph Randle, RB, OSU
#178 Overall - Jordan Mills, OT/G, Louisiana Tech
#218 Overall - Greg Reid, CB, FSU
#224 Overall - Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas

#11 Yatagarasu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:04 AM

I don't think it should be moved because of the uncertainty with the young edge rushers, I'd just rather it show the actual 4 man fronts that would be played, like: Wilson - Casey - Campbell - Jordan.


The wait is over! All I can say is that a lot of you know what a defense looks like and that's maybe because we been drilled with that "Defense wins Championship" mantra on our time in this forum. Anyways, there can only be ten defensive units who are each worthly of being named of their top ten status. However, nothing is official because the offseason is far from over as any addition or subtraction can change the positions of the teams. Also, if you think your team ranking is questionable, then send a complaint down below with an estimated rank and reasons why your team deserves a higher positioning. I want to be fair and reasonable with the rankings as possible. Enjoy...

Edited by Corvus Amplus, 11 April 2013 - 08:44 AM.

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#12 GrimCoconut

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:22 AM

I wouldn't disagree with my ranking too much. I understand your point about lack of LB depth, which will soon be addressed. I have a reason for how I handled the LBs.

As for Arthur Brown's impact, I think it will be significant. I specifically chose him because I felt he fit the MLB better than any other guy and I need my MIKE to lead my defense. I got Brown because he seemed like the perfect component & complement to my two stud LBs in Brown & Ayers.

Another reason I felt Brown would be highly productive in my defense are my DTs, who are built by design to gobble up blocks and stop the run first and foremost. They aren't the most proficient pass rushers, but they offer something & with the depth of my DEs, I have a plan there as well.

As for the lack of depth, one key component I felt you missed was Shea McClellin, who played everywhere on the defense in college. He can play MLB if I wanted him to play it. It was even speculated Shea could move to MIKE in Chicago, but Emery would have to admit he missed on Shea being an effective DE (which I don't know whether that's true or not) so that's unlikely to happen.
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#13 Mt. Crushmore

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:58 AM

You are severely underrating my DL and LBs.

Edited by Mt. Crushmore, 11 April 2013 - 08:58 AM.

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Mt. Crushmore always makes about a million posts in a minute.

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#14 Yatagarasu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 09:02 AM

You are severely underrating my DL and LBs.


DL Reasons? - I noticed that Buffalo was run on last year even with Williamses and Dareus. The only reason they increased their ranks was because they completed their line-up and improved their depth greatly with key additions.

LB Corps Reasons? - I looked at your LB and was unsure. where do you think they belong on the list?
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#15 SecretAgentMan

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 09:17 AM

Kendrick Lewis above average FS
Tim Jennings: All Pro CB
Orlando S: Allowed an impressive QB rating if only 68 vs him. Shutdown Slot CB
Spivey: Hard Hitter, Good in coverage
Tracy Porter: Not the best # 2, but will occasionally make a big play that can change the game.
Sterling Moore: Ended the ravens season two years ago. Not a bad CB at all.


That's my secondary. IDC much about my LBs.

My Dline is the main target of FA
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#16 Dubs

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 09:18 AM

I absolutely love reading these and for the most part I agree--I do wonder what you think about my LB corps as I get no mention so I wanted to hear some thoughts..I feel it is a rather strong and young unit. KJ Wright may be one of the better SAm backers in the league, Wagner is young and showed up as a player in his rookie year, DeAndre Levy and Nick Roach are both capable and very solid starters who will provide competition for eachother. I know I am higher on Brandon Hepburn (draft pick) than most so depth may be questionable...not trying to explain that I should be on the list of LBs but just want some thoughts
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#17 Yatagarasu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 09:41 AM

Kendrick Lewis above average FS
Tim Jennings: All Pro CB
Orlando S: Allowed an impressive QB rating if only 68 vs him. Shutdown Slot CB
Spivey: Hard Hitter, Good in coverage
Tracy Porter: Not the best # 2, but will occasionally make a big play that can change the game.
Sterling Moore: Ended the ravens season two years ago. Not a bad CB at all.


That's my secondary. IDC much about my LBs.

My Dline is the main target of FA


I absolutely love reading these and for the most part I agree--I do wonder what you think about my LB corps as I get no mention so I wanted to hear some thoughts..I feel it is a rather strong and young unit. KJ Wright may be one of the better SAm backers in the league, Wagner is young and showed up as a player in his rookie year, DeAndre Levy and Nick Roach are both capable and very solid starters who will provide competition for eachother. I know I am higher on Brandon Hepburn (draft pick) than most so depth may be questionable...not trying to explain that I should be on the list of LBs but just want some thoughts


Will consider...
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#18 Yatagarasu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 10:22 AM

I absolutely love reading these and for the most part I agree--I do wonder what you think about my LB corps as I get no mention so I wanted to hear some thoughts..I feel it is a rather strong and young unit. KJ Wright may be one of the better SAm backers in the league, Wagner is young and showed up as a player in his rookie year, DeAndre Levy and Nick Roach are both capable and very solid starters who will provide competition for eachother. I know I am higher on Brandon Hepburn (draft pick) than most so depth may be questionable...not trying to explain that I should be on the list of LBs but just want some thoughts


There's a lot of serviceable 4-3 Defenses that have quality LBs for all spots. I assume that Levy and Roach are going to be a solid addition to the LB Corps,

You are severely underrating my DL and LBs.


I try to compare both defenses to the Chicago Bears and Tennessee Titans.

The talent difference is that both of those teams have all their positions filled up with top players for their given positions. Both the Buffalo and Seattle LBs Corps have proven starters, but also unproven starters as well since they are filled by draftees or low FA signings. However, I have faith that they will produce since both of their D-lines are top ten materials.
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#19 Yatagarasu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 10:24 AM

Kendrick Lewis above average FS
Tim Jennings: All Pro CB
Orlando S: Allowed an impressive QB rating if only 68 vs him. Shutdown Slot CB
Spivey: Hard Hitter, Good in coverage
Tracy Porter: Not the best # 2, but will occasionally make a big play that can change the game.
Sterling Moore: Ended the ravens season two years ago. Not a bad CB at all.


That's my secondary. IDC much about my LBs.

My Dline is the main target of FA


I don't think I can place the Lions secondary any higher since their safeties aren't as talented as the teams above.

The CB group is solid with Jennings and Porter on the outsides with Sandrick at the slot.
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#20 Yatagarasu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 10:30 AM

The question for every team is that can they consider going head to head with the best offenses in the game.

DL Trenches:
Can we stop the 49ers Rushing Attack? If Yes, then top ten worthly.

LB Corps:
Can we stop the run, follow TEs, and follow some pass rush against the New England Patriots? If Yes, then top ten worthly.

CB Wings:
Can we match up with the WRs of New Orleans? If Yes, then top ten worthly
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