Of course, the Ravens drafted Haloti Ngata and the Packers drafted B.J Raji with top 10 picks years before trying to draft Kindle and Perry, long before they started trying to chase a bookend pass rusher. And the Ravens and Packers invested much less trying to do so than we did (#24 pick, 2nd rounder)The Steelers have Harrison and Woodley as their two pass rushers. Clay Matthews got stonewalled in 2011 and the Packers made it a point to go out and draft Nick Perry to put opposite him this year. The Ravens have tried to put another player opposite Terrell Suggs while now; Jarrett Johnson was okay for them, then they tried to draft Sergio Kindle to come in and be the pass rusher opposite Suggs. There's an idea that's been floated around that the Redskins were "silly" for taking another outside linebacker. Quite frankly, that's bull****, since three of the best 3-4 defenses, two of which have the best 3-4 coordinators in the game, both have been trying to find two outside rushers.
If anything it proves Steve's case - those teams saw a bookend pass rusher as a luxury, and a disruptive down lineman as a priority.
Okay, in a long-term rebuilding process, why must our depth be built in year 2? Nobody is poo-pooing the importance of depth - but who cares about depth, but a good organization can build depth, and furthermore, building it without having to take massive and easily predictable opportunity costs like passing on a Watt or Quinn.The idea that you have to wait until the team gets good before you start to build depth on your football team is silly and misguided. Our depth wasn't just bad; it was wretched. That's the whole point. People shrug it off and say "okay, our depth may not have been good, but we would've had one player." Outside of quarterbacks (occasionally), how many teams completely turn on the addition of one player?
Because Watt's college tape pretty much screamed difference maker. Watt's college tape and physical profile, like Brian Orakpo's college tape and physical profile, said "top 5 talent". College tape and physical profile isn't a perfect projection, but it's a great projection. So it is not hindsight to say "Watt was going to be a beast", because it should have been obvious. That's how you build a contending team - by getting talent above where you're picking. You're not going to get a great value pick by drafting a 3-4 OLB without elite speed or burst at #16. And it could have been worse - Kerrigan's really overperforming his talent.People toss the logic of the trade down aside and then get on their high horse and say "WELL I KNEW WATT WAS GOING TO BE GOOD!". Hindsight is 20/20 and ignorance makes even those who think they're the smartest blind. There's a big combination of both going on in this thread----Watt's having a great season so it's easy to ask what might've been, and just about everyone who complains that trading down conveniently ignores how bad our depth was. They brush that aside and go "okay, well that would've fixed itself somehow but Watt would be a difference maker!"
Isn't it sad that the best value pick we've made in the last 5 years was made by Vinny ****ing Cerrato? And yet it's true, Vinny picked a top 5 talent when it fell into his lap at 13, and Shanahan outsmarted himself by trading down from two top 5 talents at 10. (and to be fair, Belichick has made the same error for years, which is why he only has 3 SB rings and not 5, 6 or 7)
So we'd have the same amount of holes, and J.J Watt, and that's somehow worse than having the same holes, not having J.J Watt, and having mostly replacement level guys on the roster.News flash; Watt would (maybe, it's neglible with Haslett coaching this team) be a pretty good player still surrounded by mediocre talent on both sides of the ball. Most of the holes we have, we'd still have. But hey, we'd have Watt. Because one guy makes all the difference.
Yeah, Brian Orakpo is a pretty good player. He made a lot of guys better than what they actually were. Orakpo was the only one creating mismatches and putting the rest of the players in position to make plays. At least that's what it looks like. Cofield and Carriker are solid players, but they're not individual mismatches, they played off individual mismatches that Rak created. I don't think Cofield's deflections or Carriker's sack numbers are a product of their talent as much as a product of a scheme that allowed them to deal with less defensive attention.The fact is that almost every guy in this thread that everyone brings up as a guy we could've/should've bought in had okay production in their first full year as a starter. Robert Quinn was basically a non-factor and didn't even start until, what, halfway through his rookie season? Prince Amukamara was regularly victimized, Stephen Paea started maybe one game (according to Pro Football Reference he didn't start a single game his rookie season), Watt had similiar sack numbers to Adam friggin' Carriker and less passes defenses than Barry friggin' Cofield, in a defense that is completely different from ours.
And the fact that Quinn or Paea weren't elite year one is irrelevant - it doesn't change that they had, and have far more upside than Kerrigan or Jenkins, based on their tape/what they showed at college.
I have hope that Hankerson might become our Roddy White. Not a lot though. Aldrick is fast, but how is more PT going to make him magically develop hands? Like Steve said, JJ may be coming off an injury, but right now, he looks like the same guy he was in college - a run stuffer who doesn't disrupt.This is Hankerson's first full year starting coming off injury. This Aldrick's first full year, and he didn't see the field at all. JJ is coming off an injury. Niles Paul is learning a new position. I'll give you Gomes, because at least that guy has a body of work and saw extensive playing time last year. I won't write off Helu yet. Royster might be playing himself out of job, but again; extensive playing time.
I know it's not a perfect comparison, but it really sounds like the "Wish upon a star" thinking that led people to believe that Jason Campbell would eventually develop into something more than what he showed in college. Sure, they MIGHT overperform what they were in college - but they haven't so far.
You're not drafting Robinson to be a #1 WR though, you're drafting him based on pure physical upside and the ability to make plays in space. Worst case scenario? Quality KR/PR. I have no position on investing in a guy like that though. He's definitely better in space than Aldrick Robinson, who still can't beat out Brandon Banks for the KR/PR role.And can I just say that the irony of someone (or someones) talking about how bad Hankerson's hands are when they advocate drafting Denard Robinson, who has never played a snap at receiver and developing HIM into a receiver or running back based purely on the fact that he runs fast in space and having patience with a guy like that is not lost on me.
2011 was a really, really, really strong top of the draft. Newton, Dareus, Miller, Green, Peterson, Jones, and arguably Aldon Smith were all A+ prospects. Tennessee reached for Locker. Dallas reached for Smith. Really, I can't think of a better comparison to Watt being there at #10 than Orakpo being there at #13.This wasn't Orakpo or Raji falling, this was a guy getting drafted in his projected draft range and then outperforming every expectation.