June 16, 2019, 11:50:21 AM

Author Topic: Position look: DL  (Read 904 times)

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Offline RT

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Position look: DL
« on: May 25, 2019, 08:08:50 AM »
The early view by some on the outside looking in is that the Packers DL is going to be very good this season. Bleacher report ranked them as the #1 DL in the NFL for 2019. This is going to be a hard group for players on the back of the depth chart to make enough of a push to over come the established players. Here is a look at who is on the current roster.

Locks - Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, Montravius Adams, Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster

Not everyone is going to agree with me on the idea that there are 5 locks, but all 5 bring qualities to the table that Pettine likes in his guys. Big, physical, disruptive, aggressive and play with some edge to them. The scary part is that 4 of the 5 are still on the rise and their best football is probably still ahead of them. 

In the Hunt - Kingsley Keke, James Looney, Deon Simon, Fadol Brown

I'm leaning to the idea that the Packers may keep 6 DL on the 53 this season and if that is the case than these 4 are probably playing for one spot. Keke will get the first chance because of his draft investment and short of falling on his face will be very hard to dislodge here. Looney, Simon and Brown may well be playing to showcase themselves for a roster spot elsewhere and it would not surprise me to see any or all of them on some teams 53.

It would be nice if the Packers can avoid injury with this unit, they have a chance to be a real tone-setter for this team. It all starts upfront and the Packers have the chance to win many of those battles.   

Offline craig

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2019, 01:38:47 PM »
Gary, Smith, and Smith are "listed" as OLB.  But to large degree several of them maybe play almost more like d-linemen. 

I wonder if their involvement and ability to play DL snaps will impact how many DL the Packers keep? 

As always, I wonder whether Keke needs to be rostered, or could be parked on practice squad.  Always kind of a mixed feeling; want a guy to look so outstanding in camp that you can't afford to PS him.  But very few guys targeted for PS actually get claimed.  Often a good way to keep developmental prospects without stressing the 53. 

Have been seeing a lot of "Montravious is on the rise" posts lately.  Hope it's true.  But I admit I wonder whether he's ever going to be taking snaps that you wouldn't be better off giving to Gary or Smith or Smith or Lowry?   

Offline B

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2019, 04:27:54 PM »
The early view by some on the outside looking in is that the Packers DL is going to be very good this season. Bleacher report ranked them as the #1 DL in the NFL for 2019. This is going to be a hard group for players on the back of the depth chart to make enough of a push to over come the established players. Here is a look at who is on the current roster.

Locks - Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, Montravius Adams, Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster

Not everyone is going to agree with me on the idea that there are 5 locks, but all 5 bring qualities to the table that Pettine likes in his guys. Big, physical, disruptive, aggressive and play with some edge to them. The scary part is that 4 of the 5 are still on the rise and their best football is probably still ahead of them. 

In the Hunt - Kingsley Keke, James Looney, Deon Simon, Fadol Brown

I'm leaning to the idea that the Packers may keep 6 DL on the 53 this season and if that is the case than these 4 are probably playing for one spot. Keke will get the first chance because of his draft investment and short of falling on his face will be very hard to dislodge here. Looney, Simon and Brown may well be playing to showcase themselves for a roster spot elsewhere and it would not surprise me to see any or all of them on some teams 53.

It would be nice if the Packers can avoid injury with this unit, they have a chance to be a real tone-setter for this team. It all starts upfront and the Packers have the chance to win many of those battles.

goodpost RT. I for one completely agree with your locks. I also agree that Keke is the favorite if they go with 6
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They just ran out of time.
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Offline morango

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2019, 10:13:38 AM »
IMO Kingsley Keke is a "lock" for the 53. He was considered by many to be a draft day steal, and if he shows anything at all in training camp, he simply will not make it onto the practice squad without some team snapping him up onto their 53.

If they cannot fit him on the 53, I imagine some sort of mysterious injury may crop up so the packers can redshirt him for a year on IR.

Offline craig

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2019, 08:44:00 PM »
Yeah, very rare that they cut a 5th rounder.  So yeah, seems strongly unlikely that they'd cut him.  And especially so *IF* he is perceived by them as having been better than where he was drafted.

Offline OneTwoSixFive

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 03:36:24 AM »
The way things are evolving in Green Bay, it might be better to consider Edge (OLBs) and DL as one combined unit.

If you go by the older personnel designations, then LBs often had 9/10 guys after cutdown, about 5 were OLBs. The DL had 5/6 guys. So, let's call it 10/11 guys combined.

In that combined group are Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster, Kingsley Keke, Montravius Adams, (who are all listed as DL).  Then in a more hybrid role are ZaDarius Smith, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Kyler Fackrell. that is 10 guys.

If the Packers keep 11 combined (very possible, if letting Daniels go after 2019 is the plan, maybe M.Adams as well, if he doesn't improve), add one of the guys below.

From the hybrid group, there are Kendall Donnerson, Reggie Gilbert, Greg Roberts. I left out Brady Sheldon, an ex-safety, who despite being 6'5" might be a better fit at ILB (where depth is needed more), and James Crawford, who was listed as an ILB last year. Randy Ramsey is too far down the depth chart to worry about, more a pure ST candidate at this point, hoping to make the PS.

For the deeper DL backups, there are Cotton, Brown, Looney and Simon, as the likely 'outsiders looking in'.

I'd guess Kendall Donnerson (6'3", listed at 250, might be a little more now) would be the 11th if there is one. His athleticism is really rare, so he has a chance if his play starts to catch up to his freaky potential. He might even beat Montravius Adams into 10th spot, who at this time is probably the shakiest 'lock' pick. James Looney is another who might have a chance to stick.


« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 04:08:49 AM by OneTwoSixFive »
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Offline craig

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2019, 06:50:14 AM »
Helpful perspective, 1265.  Think that grouping makes lots of sense and is a really good way to look at it. 

I agree with your 10 favorites. 

Agree also that with Daniels expiring, and Fackrell and Lowry too, that Gute always needs to be looking ahead.  So that would seem to favor keeping an 11th man if possible and worthy. 

With 2020 in view, younger unproven D+D candidates Roberts and Donnerson would seem to have an advantage over veteran Gilbert; he is a nice functional depth guy, who can play in the league, but whose ceiling is perhaps limited and defined. Probably neither Roberts nor Donnerson will ever be the functional scrimmage player that Gilbert is, so on present merit he's probably the better and more worthy NFL guy.  But if you're rolling the dice and hoping for more, he's not the upside guy to gamble on. 

ST-wise, I'm not sure what his role is.  Maybe he's got experience in his favor?  Or maybe Donnerson's measurables give him a ST edge.  Roberts, I have no idea whether ST would work for or against. 

It's also possible that **IF** Donnerson doesn't look much more instinctive or smart than before, and **IF** Roberts doesn't flash a lot, that perhaps other position groups that have bubble guys with more ST value or more D+D futures potential, that none of these guys really have the present upside to win. 

Likewise possible that even if they kinda like either Donnerson or Roberts, that PS is the best place and probably a safe-enough place to spot either or both of them.  (Or expose both, and if you can't really differentiate, **IF** one gets taken, you can just keep the other, and might still end up with the better one anyway....)


Offline craig

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2019, 06:53:38 AM »
As usual, it's the National Injury League.  In a "grouping" of ≥10 guys, odds are strong that ≥1 will be injured, and that injury will open doors of opportunity for a bubble guy.  Whether to actually make the 53, or to remain under club control via placement on injured reserve themselves. 

Likewise obvious that a developmental guy who's probably not going to play much anyway, there is less dis-incentive to placing him IR. 

And likewise that those guys are also MORE likely to be hurt in camp:
1.  since they are probably getting more camp usage since coaches want to see them more and use this time for observation and development;
2.  since they are more likely to get double-worked and looked at also in ST practice;
3.  since they are perhaps more likely to be going all out all the time trying to impress coaches; and
4.  since they are LESS likely to report and sit out when variably hurt.   

Safe roster veterans who don't need to win jobs perhaps pace themselves a little more, AND aren't asked to practice as much, AND are more willing to acknowledge when something hurts and they might benefit from a day or more off.... 

Offline RT

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2019, 06:55:03 AM »
This is the interesting thing about this time of year and how different people view different players. You and I are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in our view of Adams, I believe he will be a starting DT this season and you believe his roster spot is on shaky ground.

His DL coach Montgomery says Montravius Adams is "a lot further along" today than a year ago, and he arrived this spring in tremendous shape: "He looks a lot different body-wise than he did a year ago."

Adams is a gifted player with a skillset that not a whole lot of DL have, but was guilty of believing he was still on scholarship his first few years. He was lucky because of his draft status that he got away with that attitude, but over time he has figured out what being a professional is all about. The NFL is a different animal and there is a reason it takes most players 2-3 years to find their stride in the league, the problem with fans is that they are ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater before the potential is reached. The good news is the team won't quit on that kind of potential in year 2 or 3. 

Offline craig

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2019, 08:17:10 AM »
RT, in 1265's defense, he said "He might even beat Montravius Adams into 10th spot, who at this time is probably the shakiest 'lock' pick."

It's the magic/mystery/intrigue of the league.  It's hard to anticipate when an older player is going to fall off the cliff.  And it's hard to know *if* a younger guy will ascend, *how quickly* he will ascend, and *how high* he will ascend. 

I'm sure 1265 would love it if Adams emerges as a good-quality NFL starter.  I know I would!  We'll see.  At some point, developmental prospects need to force their way into an opportunity; other times just to wait for it.  But when the window of opportunity opens, a player needs to convert. 

That window is WIDE open for Adams right now.  Adams had a nice window of opportunity last year, and he showed enough to keep that window open.  This year is another **huge** window of opportunity.  There are a lot of discretionary DL snaps to be had, and Adams has the opportunity to win a lot of them. 

Plus with both Daniels and Lowry expiring, the window is completely wide open for Adams to climb right through that window and become an intended starter entering 2020, even if he doesn't win that yet this camp. 

Windows open for lots of guys; of course it's up to each guy to convert.  It's all there for Adams this year and next.  But **IF** he doesn't convert, **IF** he's not improved enough to win snaps from Lowry and from Daniels, and to be and stay well ahead of Keke, then what? 

It's for good reason that we don't hear everybody always talking about the 4th-year-leap!  3-year redshirts are not the norm.  Like you say, RT, it often takes player 2-3 years, and this is year 3.  It's time to show it now.  He's kinda got this 3rd year to prove himself. 


Offline craig

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2019, 08:29:25 AM »
...Adams is a gifted player with a skillset that not a whole lot of DL have, but was guilty of believing he was still on scholarship his first few years. He was lucky because of his draft status that he got away with that attitude,....

RT, what do you see as the unique and asset skillset for Adams?  The early draft profile/projection, as I recall, was as a quickness guy with unusually strong pass-rush potential for a DL, right?  He got 1.5 sacks last year, so it's not clear yet that pass-rush is really going to be his signature? But the hypothetical potential for pass-rush penetration remains, relative to cats like Lowry and Lancaster, for example?  I imagine the hope is that he can be an all-around guy.  Quick enough to pick up some sacks and lots more pressures; quick enough and strong enough to compress the front of the pocket even when pressures and sacks don't record; but strong enough to play the run well too.  And quickness and penetration that help in pass can also be really effective in run as well, to deform a line, to TFL, to force a back to go a different direction. 

I do admit I always have concerns with guys with attitude issues, which you allude to, and perhaps with diagnostic-speed, decision-making questions.     

Offline B

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2019, 09:08:18 AM »
Not sure what attitude is being allude to.

Montravius Adams at 6’4’ 309 lbs had some early injury setbacks that delayed his development at the NFL level. However, the 23 year old seemed to really begin to pick up his game late last season, showing some of what got scouts excited about after his impressive senior season that included 8.5 tackles for a loss, with 4.5 sacks, an interception and a couple of fumble recoveries on an impressive Auburn defense. A senior season that earned him 2nd team All-American honors. Maylock and McShay called him ”the most explosive defensive lineman at the Senior Bowl.”

Montravius has physically and emotionally matured to the level that I expect a significant leap forward in season 3 – especially given the upgrade in speed, athleticism and talent around him on the Packers defense this season.
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They just ran out of time.
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Offline OneTwoSixFive

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2019, 10:16:45 AM »
Just to be clear, I liked the Montravius Adams pick when it was made (2017). He was, in his year, like Kingsley Keke was this year at the combine.............ie winning plenty of 1 on 1's. If Adams has an elite trait it would probably be his strength, taking on and discarding blockers when matched one to one.

I appreciate he has had some injury which has held him back, but as with most draftees, the third year is the kicker. He will either look good this year, or he will be in danger of losing his place to someone with more upside. I hope he makes it, because he does have talent. Power guys like him, Keke, Clark, Gary, can make things very difficult for the opposing offense, especially if they have a weak link somewhere.
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Offline B

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2019, 10:48:33 AM »
For what its worth,  the Packers movedKenny Clark off the nose to the 3-technique position, with Montravius Adams in the middle and Dean Lowry at his traditional 5-tech spot. Clark has primarily played nose when the Packers stick to a three-man line, so this was a bit of a surprise.
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Offline dannobanano

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Re: Position look: DL
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2019, 01:06:26 PM »
For what its worth,  the Packers movedKenny Clark off the nose to the 3-technique position, with Montravius Adams in the middle and Dean Lowry at his traditional 5-tech spot. Clark has primarily played nose when the Packers stick to a three-man line, so this was a bit of a surprise.

I suspect that we will see Clark, Adams, and Keke play all along the DL (at least through preseason).

Having "Z", and Gary as additional "movable" pieces will allow them to try and create mismatches against opposing OL's.

Daniels, Lowry and Lancaster may not be as positional versatile. But it also allows Pettine to rotate DL on an almost constant basis and keep guys as fresh as possible.