Right now I think we have a really strong defense with only a couple of holes. Assuming a starting 11:
LDE: D-Law 1:?? 3T: Odigizuwa RDE: Parsons
LCB:Gilmore SCB: Bland RCB:Diggs
SS: Wilson FS: Hooker
We have good players across the starting entire starting 11 except 1-tech. I have four “blue chip” players and 6 “good” players that I think are all well above NFL average starters. It’s a smaller defense though so to me it’s critical we find a 1-tech that can push the pocket allowing our LB/safeties a free run to the ball, and stopping the QB from stepping up into the pocket so our good edge rushers can get home.
In rotation we have:
: Armstrong, Williams
- The DE’s rotate in and are good enough to free up Micah to play some linebacker. Armstrong has 8.5 sacks and I’d expect Williams to improve from last years 4 sacks. He’s probably the player on the roster with the most upside.
- I see Golston playing a lot of passing downs at DT and then run downs at DE. He was pretty good late last season.
- Clarke will push LVE for the starting MIKE position. He didn’t have a pre-season but seemed to be a starter when he got healthy. At the very least he’ll play as the 2nd LB when we aren’t using Kearse as a hybrid WILL.
- Lewis is most likely to play slot if any of the CB’s are out (Bland shifting to outside corner).
- Mukuamu I thought was great last season and should have a Byron Jones (rookie year) type TE covering role. He could also play some CB against bigger recievers.
- DT: Bohanna, Gallimore
- LB: Cox, Harper, Jackson
- SS: Bell
- CB: Wright, Joseph, Goodwin
These guys are likely to make the roster and mostly with special team roles. The two exceptions are Bohanna and Gallimore who won’t play ST. Bohanna improved last year but is still just okay as a 1T, Gallimore’s move to 1T was a complete bust, he needs to drop the weight back down and shift back to 3T where he was showing promise (before last season). Wright looked better this season, and I thought was okay starting at CB when Brown was injured (better than Joseph), he could play a role on defense as cover but Mukuamu was better and there’s no way he’s beating out Gilmore or Diggs.
Overall, I think we’ve got a fantastic defense short of the 1-tech position. Unfortunately there’s not a lot out there in free agency. Brookers, Hankins, and Gaines are about the best of them, all are just solid rather than good players.
In the draft I think offense is the main focus but a bit more LB depth couldn’t hurt, maybe a safety capable of playing single high with a CB longer term. Maybe a guy like Mazi Smith in the 2nd? It’s pretty slim pickings at DT this year.