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Hankmoody

LB to DE - projecting 2018

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I think the other thread is good to discuss what's happening now and keep fresh info in, but I wanted specifically to have a speculation thread for what might happen down the road.  A year ago Melvin Ingram and Shaq Lawson didn't hold a lot of value in most non-big-play leagues, but wow are they hot now.  I'm looking for the 2018 version of these guys.  So, in order to get a leg up on our dynasty opponents, I like to start thinking now about who might be making this change.  There are really two reasons why a guy gets re-designated - a scheme change to 4-3 (usually from a coaching change) or moving to a new role (Kevin Dodd appears to be being moved this year).  Who's under the most pressure?  Who's likely to be the scapegoat that a 1st or 2nd year HC hangs the blame on?  Who's most likely to be part of a flush job?

NEP
I only included these guys so no one would ask "but what about the Patriots".  Yes, Patricia is probably going to get another job but I don't care.  I don't trust BB one iota to give us any consistency in any scheme, usage, or player commitment.  Luke Kuechley could go to NEP and I would trade him in a flash.

NYJ
Looks like more of the same, no coaching changes here.

BAL
Pees is gone - what do we know about a replacement?  I love the idea of Judon getting his hard on the ground and a DE designation if it happens.

PIT
Might be a lead pipe lock as a 3-4 team.  I can't imagine anyone having the guts to come to PIT and try to run anything else.  In the history of like ever.

HOU
Man some juicy candidates with Clowney and maybe Mercilus, but how likely would such a change be?  And what do you do with Watt?  Vrabel just got promoted and isn't going to make anything so disruptive happen, but he might be on a fast track to a HC spot so this might be worth keeping a longer term eye on.

IND
Waiting for a coaching staff announcement.

TEN
How much longer can Lebeau keep going?  He's in no jeopardy of being ousted but there has to be an age risk here.  Kevin Dodd has already moved to DE but in a 3-4 that's a lot less exciting.  Derrick Morgan would excite, and the rookie Wallace is pretty special athlete that's getting some hype for his football playing - could he make that transition?

DEN
Their DC was the DB coach prior to Vance Joseph getting hired and Wade Phillips leaving (which of those two happened first?) but Joseph didn't really have any scheme history, being hired directly from a secondary coach position himself.  It's worked in DEN and they have great personnel for it, so I think a chance is unlikely.  But man, Von Miller.....one can dream.

KCC
Sutton is gone, I didn't see that coming.  Who is the replacement?  What can we expect personnel-wise?

OAK
Guenther brought in from CIN.  He's kind of a pure 4-3 guy so it looks like this is going to be straight-forward.  Go get Khalil Mack before this gets overly publicized.

WAS
Looks like no change here.

CHI
Fangio is back, so this one is a dead-end.

GBP
Capers gone, looks like Mike Pettine is in?  Is this a 4-3 in the making?  I think I like Perry best, anyone else to think about lining up at DE?  Do they have speed rushers?  Will Clay put his hand in the dirt?

ARI
Waiting on new HC hire it looks like.  Bettcher is still there but has been interviewing and we don't know what the HC is going to do.

LAR
No news yet about Wade.  He's not young, but it's looking like no news is bad news and he's likely staying on and running that 3-4 again.  I have Quinn stashed where I can cheap but this hurts to do it for 2 years now.

 

Edited by Hankmoody
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1 hour ago, Hankmoody said:

 

ARI
Arians brought Bettcher from Indy with him, so it would take something pretty catastrophic to let him go I think.  But this team did just go an ugly 7-8-1 - how much of that was on the defense?  Could Bettcher be a sacrificial ram?  Would Arians even do that to him, even if forced by upper management?  I think Arians is definitely safe for another year regardless of what happens and perhaps longer than that if Mahomes turns into their franchise guy immediately.

 

 

Great stuff, love the content and solid speculation.

But I think it would be quite the bombshell if Mahomes ends up starting for Arizona any time soon...

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1 hour ago, Arodin said:

Great stuff, love the content and solid speculation.

But I think it would be quite the bombshell if Mahomes ends up starting for Arizona any time soon...

Dang huge brain fart I could have sworn ARI drafted a QB.  Maybe it was because of all the speculation they should and all the mocks putting Mahomes there.

Edited by Hankmoody

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Re Sheard, there are lots of reasons he was more successful in New England than Cleveland, but one was certainly him being utilized with his hand in the dirt rather than as a 3-4 OLB.

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Good post. A few quick notes:

I would temper expectations on Floyd moving to DE if the Bears go to a 4-3. He played at 225 last year. He's put on 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason, but still, 240 is very light for a DE. He'd probably end up at SAM. Especially since McPhee and Young are both DE-sized.

Washington had trouble finding a new DC in the offseason. They finally had to promote Manusky, their OLB coach. The primary reason was Gruden was on the last year of his deal. Gruden has since signed a 2 year extension, but if they lose Cousins next year, who's to say they don't blow the whole thing up. Preston Smith would be the name to watch. He had a slow sophomore season after being 2nd in sacks as a rookie behind Danielle Hunter. I think Smith was a force player as well.

The Jets are obviously tanking so there's a good chance they clean house at the end of the season. Definitely looked around at Jordan Jenkins. This has got to be the best bet for a change, but the Jets were still 11th in total defense (yards) last year. It would be interesting if teams see how often teams that rank highly in total defense get scheme changes.

Wade Phillips is about to turn 70. I'm pretty sure when he signed on, he was only planning on doing a year or two. But every defense he's coordinated has gotten markedly better. And it's the same as the Broncos, Texans and Chiefs, if he makes the Rams defense legit, anyone new would probably be afraid to change it.

There's been talk of Bruce Arrians retiring for a year or two. Some speculate if Palmer and Fitz retire, Arrians would join them. Chandler Jones would definitely make some noise moving to a DE.

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1 hour ago, Hankmoody said:

GBP

 

Did they fire Capers yet?  I haven't followed this one closely, what's going on and who are the key people?

Yes they did.  GB rumored to be eyeing Fangio.

1 hour ago, Hankmoody said:

BAL

 

Peas is retiring - this is one to monitor.  Suggs is effectively a DE anyway and even though he's old, I think he can have some value with a DE designation.  Matt Judon though is the guy I want with his hand in the dirt full time.  That dude can ball.

Looks like little change to be expected with the promotion of Don Martindale. 

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On 1/9/2018 at 2:47 PM, Hankmoody said:

KCC
Bob Sutton is gone.  This has been a long-time 3-4, do they have 4-3 personnel?  Justin Houston would be beastly with a DE designation.

The DL would probably be fine if they switched. Houston would be awesome at DE as you mentioned, and for DT-required leagues, Chris Jones could be really good. On the other hand, KC's linebackers seem better suited for a 3-4 - Ragland in particular. He looked like a future stud in Rex Ryan's 3-4, was such a bad fit in Buffalo's new 4-3 that he almost got cut, and then played really well in KC's 3-4. As a Chiefs fan, I'd be disappointed if they made the switch. 

Edited by bud29

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How about Arizona? Arians is retiring, does the next coach keep the 3-4 or might we see a 4-3? Steve Wilks is a candidate for the job, and he ran the 4-3 in Carolina? Might Chandler Jones finally get back on the DL?

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I updated the original post to keep this fresh.

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So with Fangio coming back is it fair to assume Floyd isn't going to be a candidate for DE? Although I agree with ChicagoArch that he doesn't really have the build for a DE anyway. 

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IND reportedly switching from 3-4 to 4-3.

Not that there were a lot of fantasy-relevant players on that defense to begin with, but Sheard likely goes back to DE, which could be a value bump.  Anything else?

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Makes sense with their new DC.  Let's hope he stays and this holds firm.  Also makes the potential drafting of Chubb much more attractive as well.

Sheard averaged 7.6 as an LB last year which would have made him a low end DL2, definitely someone to watch.  I always thought he had potential if someone would just let him put his hand in the dirt and go.  CLE had him mostly in 3-4 and NEP was, well, NEP and moved him all around and rotated him.  I'll definitely spend a buck on him if this holds.

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Sheard to DE confirmed.

https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2018/02/09/colts-dont-have-coach-but-they-do-have-brand-new-defense/323577002/

When he had 8 sacks as a DE in New England in 2015, he did that on only 557 snaps. That amounted to just 51% of the plays. Sheard had 900 snaps last season and was setting-the-edge as the Colts best run defender all season long.  If he gets 750 snaps this year, would fully expect him to be around the 9-10 sack mark.

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On 8/16/2017 at 4:17 PM, Hankmoody said:

IND
Waiting for a coaching staff announcement.

GBP
Capers gone, looks like Mike Pettine is in?  Is this a 4-3 in the making?  I think I like Perry best, anyone else to think about lining up at DE?  Do they have speed rushers?  Will Clay put his hand in the dirt?

ARI
Waiting on new HC hire it looks like.  Bettcher is still there but has been interviewing and we don't know what the HC is going to do.

IND is confirmed 4-3.  Jabaal Sheard is the main uptick there I think but this becomes much more attractive for a potential Chubb draft pick.  Hankins might be a nice pluck in DT-required leagues.

Any news on GBP?  I think he's a 4-3 guy.

ARI lost Bettcher and Wilks comes from the CAR school of 4-3.  I own zero copies of Chandler Jones which might make me a very sad panda.

Edited by Hankmoody
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http://m.azcardinals.com/s/30847/360?itemUri=282308269/27093121251061491341925

As Hank referenced above, Chandler Jones and Golden officially called DE’s by Wilkes and says his main if not only defense will be a 4-3. I’d expect Rotoworld to follow suit. Many of us expected this, despite Wilkes saying he wasn’t going to fix what wasn’t broken, but when he brought his LB coach with him to be his DC, I was sure this announcement was coming. I’ve traded for two Jones’s and two Golden’s so far and I’d expect you have a few more days to get each if you play in leagues in which DE’s are much more valuable than LB, like I do.

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5 hours ago, Robar said:

http://m.azcardinals.com/s/30847/360?itemUri=282308269/27093121251061491341925

As Hank referenced above, Chandler Jones and Golden officially called DE’s by Wilkes and says his main if not only defense will be a 4-3. I’d expect Rotoworld to follow suit. Many of us expected this, despite Wilkes saying he wasn’t going to fix what wasn’t broken, but when he brought his LB coach with him to be his DC, I was sure this announcement was coming. I’ve traded for two Jones’s and two Golden’s so far and I’d expect you have a few more days to get each if you play in leagues in which DE’s are much more valuable than LB, like I do.

Olsen Pierre moving back to DT designation would be interesting. He was productive given the opportunity,

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3 recent LB to DEs in MFL (all free agents in my league).  How would you stack up Sheard, Robert Quinn and Vic Beasley?  Thanks!

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Quinn >>>> Beasley >>>> Sheard.  Big, big gaps.  Beasley has a ton of talent but McKinley's presence probably caps him.  Sheard should be a nice DL2/depth guy but I think his best days were wasted in bad scheme fits.

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Quinn in the realm of a top 10 DL then?

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He was the 1b to Watt’s 1a as elite DE’s 3-4 years ago. If he’s motivated and he’s used correctly he’s squarely in the top 5 conversation

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On 3/30/2018 at 9:05 PM, Robar said:

He was the 1b to Watt’s 1a as elite DE’s 3-4 years ago. If he’s motivated and he’s used correctly he’s squarely in the top 5 conversation

Thanks!  He's a free agent in my dynasty league.  Seeing if I can land him near the bottom of the 2nd/top of the third round in the rookie/FA draft in a few months. 

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What addition of Paul Guenther should do for the Raiders defense

 

Quote

The Bengals ran a base 4-3 defense with Guenther as DC but he isn’t really married to anything. He values position versatility up front so he can use multiple fronts. He lines his guys up in a multitude of positions and either one could rush or drop him into coverage.

Read this article.  It will be interesting to see if Mack gets the DE designation again.

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Trent Murphy could be a sneaky add for deeper leagues

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Kevin Dodd will only play DE. JRob said this couple months ago.

Derrick Morgan is expected to be more of a DE under Vrabel but the draft and camp could offer reasons to keep him at OLB. Vrabel discusses fluidity and multiplicity in his sets and sounds too dreamy and not realistic. I don't expect 3, 4, and 5 down linemen every other play. There will be a base D that is obviously their primary set. I think it's more of him coaching the players to be ready to do different things and spring talk. Morgan stuff, though, seems sincere.

The Texans have always gave Morgan extra attention like any divisional rival respecting a player. He played more at the LOS against them than other teams and that could have something to do with it since Vrabel is from there. I think it's age and speed too. It's a fast position and he's neither got elite speed nor Orakpo's ferocious demeanor to attack a play. He's no 3-4 DE and only a 4-3 DE. He doesn't have the weight necessary. 

It's possible he switches and possible he's traded even. It's too hard to predict with a new staff and all. Still I'd keep an eye on him. He was a real solid DE before the Titans switched him to OLB

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I’m not holding my breath for it, but I have Jones and Houston in one dynasty league. My DE’s could become my strength really quickly. I already have Hunter and Griffen that would be a nice group to pick from each week and I could start as many as 3. 

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