Vanguard

Is this the best Defensive Front we've had in years?

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We have some unproven players with a lot of potential, Like Allen and Payne.  But I think a front seven of Ioannidis, Payne, Allen, and Smith, Kerrigan, Brown, Foster can be dominant.  Do I have the potential starting lineup right?  Who is the weak link (if you feel there is one)?  I'm excited about football again, especially our defense.

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20 minutes ago, madden lot said:

On paper, yes

 

You're right.  I'd also like for them to cut Ziggy Hood.  To me, he's the only lineman that contributes nothing.  He may be a locker room leader, and a high character guy.  But he is a liability on the field.

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Front 7, yes.  Secondary, no.  If Nicholson stays healthy and keeps going the direction he was going when healthy, and one of the young corners steps up, they can change my mind.

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The front 7 is going to be off the chain if it can stay healthy.  So under the radar, I'm fine with it, hope we see it in August, God knows the talent is there.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, zoony said:

Can we see them play yet or no?

 

No!  Where's the fun in that? They don't play 'til August.  

Edited by Vanguard
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21 minutes ago, BatteredFanSyndrome said:

Front 7, yes.  Secondary, no.  If Nicholson stays healthy and keeps going the direction he was going when healthy, and one of the young corners steps up, they can change my mind.

 

I've got my eye on Nicholson too.  He's an exciting player.  I understand your skepticism.

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@zoony come on don't be like that. It's a lot of us since the draft has ended done fantasize bout the skins DL being great this year. Or maybe i missed the sarcasm 😎

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What I like the most is that there are several intriguing aspects to this group. Payne at NT and maybe subbing in for Io/Allen, what contributions we get from Settle, how Allen looks in his 2nd year, how does our 34 fare with a (hopefully?  Presumably?) good NT, Lanier’s development, etc.  

 

While I agree that health will be key, I think we’re better set up for dealing with injuries than last year.  

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This is unequivocally the most we’ve spent resource-wise on the group in years. The question is, will that translate? 

 

Usually (if a team has any idea what it’s doing within its personnel department) allocating a significant amount of resources to one position translates to the field. 

 

The Dline had been woefully neglected for some time. Between 2014-2015 we spent on it in FA with Hatcher, Paea and Knighton (and they were somewhat decent in 2015), but outside of that nothing much. The 2016 offseason saw us only spend a 5th rounder on Ioannidis while moving on from Hatcher and Knighton, that was it. Then we followed it up with cheaper FAs in McGee/McClain while moving on from Baker. Had Allen not fallen to us unexpectedly it would’ve been really depressing, but he did, and that made up for a lot of the neglect. 

 

Now we have another first rounder in Payne on board. Having Ioannidis take a big step last season and panning out as a 5th rounder was huge. If Payne is anywhere near worth the first round pick we used on him, that means we’ve got three legitimately good Dlinemen from the draft in three years, which is excellent.

 

The the way I see it, if just two more guys out of Lanier/Settle/McGee/Taylor/Pipkins/Barnes/Hood play on the level the above three should be playing on, we have a chance to actually have an elite rotation. Which is pretty damn exciting. 

 

If just one does, they can be still be good to very good. 

 

If none of them do, and it’s only Allen/Ioannidis/Payne really producing at a high level? They’ll be average to slightly above average, which is still better than anything we’ve had the last couple years. 

 

If Payne doesn’t pan out... yikes.

 

I get that they looked good when Allen was healthy early last season, but we really don’t know how much of that was a new scheme that teams adjusted to over time versus how much of it was just about him getting injured and then Ioannidis hurting his hand. While I lean more towards the latter thinking, it’s not at all unlikely that it’s the former instead. Happens a lot in the NFL. 

 

Plus, it’d mean we’re relying on perfect health essentially. Not a good bet. 

 

It’s why I still am hoping deep down they manage to sign Hankins (assuming he’s not this gigantic fatty mcgee who really let himself go, which is far fetched to me). Man, would that really put it over the top in terms of increasing the chances for an elite unit there, even if certain assumptions don’t pan out (like Allen and Ioannidis continuing to excel and Payne playing up to his potential). Hopefully his price plummets. Would be awesome. 

 

Nothing can make a team an automatic contender outside of the QB position like an elite Dline. 

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I like how we're sort of loading up on defense the past few years. Two years in a row grabbing 1rst round Dline and a LBer is great. If Anderson and SDH pan out, that'll be really exciting. If Nicholson can stay healthy and Moreau is who we think he is, our entire defense should be pretty solid. Being able to run the ball won't hurt them either. 

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Posted (edited)

I am an odd duck on how I look at the team at the position.  I got a mix of emotions. 

 

In FA for D line: I'd give them an F.  Year after year.  F. 

2016 draft:  B.  they didn't go D line early but Ionnaidis in the 5th round looks like a great pick.

2017 draft:  A.  Jonathan Allen IMO = stud.  We lucked into it.  But I take it.

2018 draft B.  I think Payne is good but a reach at 13.  I like that they doubled up with Settle in the 5th.  If I looked at the draft purely at D line alone without factoring other players/positions I'd upgrade it to an A. 

 

As a team its a position that they don't really invest heavily in FA unlike some other teams.  But they have finally done so in the draft for two years in a row.  As I've stated in other threads I don't love the Payne pick -- I like him though.  I love the Payne pick if I looked at it this way -- we don't play the game that Minny, Jax, NY Giants, Seattle, etc do in FA with D line -- we don't get the big name players for that position.  We prefer scraps in FA and hope to get lucky -- (hyperbole on my end to make a point.)  So yeah if its draft or bust for D line than the pick made all the sense in the world. 

 

That's my way of saying I typically hate their FA approach to the position.  But if that's how they are going to play it, then you got to play the need game in the draft otherwise our D line will stink.  C. Griffin long time back was a bigger name D lineman and he was a great signing.  To a lesser extent ditto Cofield.  The rest of the guys IMO signed were just guys.   I get Haynseworth didn't work out but as many have pointed out considering the dude's history it wasn't some crazy shock and IMO it shouldn't make us afraid to dip our toes back into the water.   

 

To this specific lineup.  My gut is its a good lineup but not special.  I think Allen could be special.  Payne I think will be a good NT but not special -- hope I am wrong on that.  Ionnaidis I think is good.  McGee is all right but I don't think is anything special.  Lanier has his moments as a pass rusher.  I haven't really watched Settle, I noticed draft geeks are all over the place on him -- some say underrated, some say overrated.  So I need to see it play out with him.

 

A good d line though is better than a bad d line.  So that should be a marked improvement.  My gut is this isn't going to be one of the better D lines in the league ala Jax, Rams, Minny, Eagles, etc.    For that to come through, Payne IMO has to be special.  My gut is he isn't special.  But what do I know.  And hopefully I am wrong so that's my fondest hope.  Allen to me has obvious traits to be special.  He has the quick hands, mega technician.  

 

For this to come together I think it would have to be this:  Allen is healthy and really good which will lend to Preston Smith having a monster year.  Smith plays mostly on the right side where Allen plays and Preston was off to a hot start when Allen played.  Ionnaidis on the left keeps developing.  And when they go into base 3-4.  Payne is a Damon Harrison level monster at clogging the A gap -- swallows double teams like nothing.  If that happens D line = special. 

 

The pass rushing from the edge should be interesting.  Like I said I think Preston could put up a monster year next to Allen. Kerrigan is typically good.  I like McPhee I think more than most.  IMO Anderson needs to elevate his game otherwise I think he's in danger of being a bust -- I've not liked what I've seen so far from him but I got hope with what am hearing about him getting in ultra good shape, being determined to rebound, etc.  Will see.  

 

 

Edited by Skinsinparadise
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ON PAPER, this may actually be our best starting front 7 in my time as a fan.  Thing is, some of our best front 7 performance came from a front 7 that were actually considered pretty mediocre on paper at this time of year.

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The answer is absolutely yes. But the caveat is, as always, avoiding injuries... which is something we have been terrible at the past two seasons.

 

Many are fading Phil Taylor, but does anyone know why he hasn't showed up to camp? I wonder if he's mulling over retirement again. I know that he's injury prone and I know that what we saw from him was only pre-season, but he looked really good. Would like to see him in the mix if his body holds up.

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As someone who has started one of these threads too early (see defense thread started by me after the Oakland game, you know just before we had a slew of injuries)- Easy now!!!  

 

I love how we are building and they look good on paper, really good! But it is entirely too early to say anything about how this line will function. And then there are injuries - several guys that are being expected to be key contributors are coming off injuries. Not trying to be a debbie downer here, but just like my expectations of the team overall, I am being cautious until I see some actual results on the field. 

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10 minutes ago, goskins10 said:

As someone who has started one of these threads too early (see defense thread started by me after the Oakland game, you know just before we had a slew of injuries)- Easy now!!!  

 

I love how we are building and they look good on paper, really good! But it is entirely too early to say anything about how this line will function. And then there are injuries - several guys that are being expected to be key contributors are coming off injuries. Not trying to be a debbie downer here, but just like my expectations of the team overall, I am being cautious until I see some actual results on the field. 

No only that, but whatever improvement we've made this year will be negated by the yellow pants. We will never be successful in yellow pants.

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Nah dudes,

 

Rememeber Dana Stubblefield, Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson, and Kenard Lang?

 

I member.

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Any chance they run a 4-3 on first downs & put both Payne & Settle on the field together in the middle w/ Allen & Ioannidis?  Would be potentially formidable.    Go ahead & run the ball.  I dare you.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Radar said:

Any chance they run a 4-3 on first downs & put both Payne & Settle on the field together in the middle w/ Allen & Ioannidis?  Would be potentially formidable.    Go ahead & run the ball.  I dare you.

 

I like it!

2 hours ago, Rogue Jedi said:

Nah dudes,

 

Rememeber Dana Stubblefield, Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson, and Kenard Lang?

 

I member.

 

Those were players reaching the tail end of their prime.  These are big, young studs, with lots of potential.  That's the difference for me.  Yes, there's a chance they may not pan out.  But the evidence suggests otherwise.  The flashes from Allen, the improvement of Ioannidis. the potential of Payne.  There's a good reason for this thread.  I hope I can top this thread come midseason.

Edited by Vanguard
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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Vanguard said:

Those were players reaching the tail end of their prime.  These are big, young studs, with lots of potential.  That's the difference for me.  Yes, there's a chance they may not pan out.  But the evidence suggests otherwise.  The flashes from Allen, the improvement of Ioannidis. the potential of Payne.  There's a good reason for this thread.  I hope I can top this thread come midseason.

Lang was 23 when he teamed up with the other guys. Before his prime albeit for a round 1 guy, I'd say he never really had one though some of his best years came after he left us. Wilkinson was 26 when he came to Washington and was here for 5 years.  He had 2 of his best 3 years here but is really just another guy who never lived up to his draft status (first overall in 1994). We did want to keep him after 2002 though just not at the money he wanted. In any case, 26 is about the beginning of a defensive lineman's prime and he got his only pro-football accolade in 2003. Only one of that group who you could argue was at the tail end of his prime was Stubblefield at 29 though he went on to start for SFO for two years after he left us and play for Oakland 1 year (he also stopped in NE for a cup of coffee before hanging it up). He had been a round 1 guy in 1993. From 1998 to 2000, we had 3 number 1 picks on the defensive line and you could only argue that Dana was past his prime. In 1999, we had 4 former number ones and in 2000, we had 5 number ones (although Bruce was all but done he actually did well until it became clear we were just not that good).  Further, while Marco Coleman (a round 1 guy in 1992) was no young buck when he came here in 1999, his only all-pro year came in 2000 and he played until 2005.

Edited by Darth Tater

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12 hours ago, thesubmittedone said:

The the way I see it, if just two more guys out of Lanier/Settle/McGee/Taylor/Pipkins/Barnes/Hood play on the level the above three should be playing on, we have a chance to actually have an elite rotation. Which is pretty damn exciting. 

 

If Payne doesn’t pan out... yikes.

 

It’s why I still am hoping deep down they manage to sign Hankins 

 

I agree with most of what's been said already in thread, this line has the potential to be excellent, and looks great on paper.  I love how we finally used significant resources in a first round pick for a NT, a position we have tried bargain shopping for, or even worse, putting an end there because we have no one else.  With a true NT, we can finally see the impact on the guys around him, hopefully allowing talented players that flank him to make more plays.

 

I love the age range for the nucleus we are excited about.  Allen, Payne, ion, Lanier, and settle have yet to enter their primes.  And they have the best d line coach guiding them.  

 

As far as strength of the rotation, I feel it can be elite.  I'm excited about Lanier and settle rounding out an elite five man rotation, with McGee, hood, and Taylor capable of making positive contributions to the team, leadership qualities included. 

 

If Payne doesn't pan out, yikes is right.  I think a lot of our optimism centers around believing we have a true NT, and people like me buying into the belief he can help with the pass rush in addition to the run game.  A lot of expectations on a young man's shoulders.  I like how he has played well on a big stage and how he and Allen already have a rapport.  

 

I really wanted hankins pre draft, but unless they get him on a multi year very affordable deal while he has proven to maintain his weight, which I don't see as very likely, I would rather give that roster spot to one of the other guys in the rotation that we discussed.  If hankins MO is to ball out on a one year deal to turn that into a big contract, I'd rather pass.  I don't see us being able to retain him.  I'd rather prioritize deals for Preston smith etc and let our dline be mainly comprised of players on low cost affordable contracts.  Next year will be tight against the cap, and we need to show restraint with spending starting now to allow continuity for our young core.

 

Another aspect of this d line I like, and how it plays with overall building of this roster, is how everyone will hit free agency gradually.  First ion, then a couple years later Allen, then Payne the following year.  With good cap management, which the skins have shown they are doing well with, and the players youth, we are in position to keep this core for the next ten years, while maybe replacing backups such as McGee/lanier/etc gradually with mid round draft picks.  We can focus on other positions with premium draft picks. Pretty exciting.

 

And how cool is it that we are talking about our young d line having the potential to be great, when it has been such a weak spot for years.

 

And almost as much as Payne, I think another huge x factor in our front seven is Ryan Anderson.  If he is able to live up to his draft status and be an above average OLB, then our front seven will be a force.  And we wouldnt necessarily need perfect health to be great, bc depth would be there.  

 

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