FanPost

DE - Size DOES Matter

I've been reading a great deal lately about Mingo, Moore, and assorted other undersized DE's that have been discussed in the lead-up to the draft. Quite frankly, I think they are too light to function as an effective 4-3 Defensive End. When I say "effective", I mean also a guy who can play the run as well. Sure, we can go out and grab a "Bruce Irvin", who served up 8 sacks as a rookie, but the flip-side is he made only 16 total tackles on the year. That's a pretty steep price tag, as a first round pick, for one tackle per game. To that end, I have done a bit of research, following will be a list of every starting DE in the NFL that was on a 4-3 defense last year, their stats, and where their teamk ranked in rush defense.



Team - Rank

Round chosen in draft. Player name. Height. Weight. Tackles. Sacks. Forced Fumbles.

Atlanta - 22

1 John Abraham 6'4 263 - 35 10 6

5 Kroy Bierman 6'3" 260 - 52 4 0

Buffalo - 31

1 Mario Williams 6'6" 292 - 37 10.5 2

5 Mark Anderson 6'4" 255 - 12 1 0

Carolina - 14

6 Greg Hardy 6'4" 290 - 61 11 2

3 Charles Johnson 6'2" 285 - 41 12.5 7

Chicago - 8

1 Julius Peppers 6'7" 287 - 39 11.5 1

4 Cory Wooton 6'6" 270 - 27 7 2

Cincinnati - 12

2 Carlos Dunlap 6'6" 280 - 40 6 4

3 Michael Johnson 6'7" 270 - 52 11.5 0

Cleveland - 19

3 Frostee Rucker 6'3" 270 - 48 4 0

2 Jaheal Sheard 6'2" 255 - 55 7 1

Denver - 3

2 Derek Wolfe 6'5" 300 - 40 6 0

4 Elvis Dumervil 5'11" 260 - 54 11 6

Detroit - 16

3 Cliff Avril 6'3" 260 - 35 9.5 2

2 Kyle Vanden Bosch 6'4" 278 - 36 3.5 0

Jacksonville - 30

5 Austen Lane 6'6" 265 - 54 2 1

Miami - 13

1 Jared Odrick 6'5" 304 - 35 5 0

UDFA Cameron Wake 6'3" 250 - 53 15 3

Minnesota - 11

4 Jared Allen 6'6" 270 - 45 12 1

4 Brian Robison 6'3" 259 - 37 8.5 3

New England - 9

5 Rob Ninkovich 6'2" 260 - 58 8 5

1 Chandler Jones 6'5" 260 - 45 6 3

New Orleans - 32

1 Will Smith 6'3" 282 - 58 6 0

1 Cameron Jordan 6'4" 287 - 67 8 3

New York Giants - 25

1 Jason Pierre-Paul 6'5" 278 - 66 6.5 1

3 Justin Tuck 6'5" 268 - 45 4 0

Oakland - 18

2 Lamarr Houston 6'3" 300 - 69 4 1

3 Matt Shaughnessy 6'5" 285 - 31 3.5 0

Philadelphia - 25

5 Trent Cole 6'3" 270 - 40 3 1

1 Brandon Graham 6'2" 265 - 38 5.5 2

Seattle - 10

UDFA Chris Clemons 6'3" 254 - 40 11.5 3

4 Red Bryant 6'4" 323 (nope, not a misprint) - 24 0 0

St. Louis - 15

1 Chris Long 6 3" 276 - 33 11.5 0

1 Robert Quinn 6'4" 264 - 29 10.5 1

Tampa Bay - 1

UDFA Michael Bennett 6'4" 274 - 41 9 3

3 Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 6'3" 263 - 40 4 0

Tennessee - 24

1 Derrick Morgan 6'3" 278 - 59 6.5 1

1 Kamerion Wimbley 6'4" 255 - 30 6 1

Now, data being what it is, you can draw a lot of conclusions from this list, but one thing that should be quite clear is how rare it is for an effective starting DE in a 4-3 to be less than 260 lbs. The one name that is bound to pop out at you is Cameron Wake, but before you beat your chest, realize this - NO ONE DRAFTED HIM! And they certainly didn't spend the 5th overall pick on him. What's surprising to me is the 3 starting, and highly effective, UDFA's on this list.

Bet I know what your thinking....

"Well, these guys must bulk up when they get to the pros"

Not so fast there Trigger. Researching this angle as well, I took the combine weigh-in results from when these guys got drafted, as many as I could find on this list, and averaged it out. The average DE, since 2000, puts on an average of 3.9 lbs during their career. Many of these guys are playing at the exact same weight as what they weighed in at. For the most part, what you see is what you get. By the time they hit the scale at the combine, they're pretty much a finished product.

What's the point of all this? For those of you advocating the drafting of one of these Ultra-Lites, I hate to burst your bubble, but these guys have 3-4 written all over them and odds are, it's not going to happen.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

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