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Worm’s top 5 2013 FA & Draft fits for Rob Ryan’s defense

 
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:11 am    Post subject: Worm’s top 5 2013 FA & Draft fits for Rob Ryan’s defense Reply with quote

The following players are not how I have them ranked on my big board nor are they whom I may feel are the best overall available in either the Draft or Free Agency. This list is simply my rankings of who I feel are the best fits for what the Saints want to do defensively based on scheme fit, versatility and value.

FREE AGENT’S

1. Anthony Spencer OLB Dallas Cowboys

Spencer is obviously the #1 guy on this list for a reason. Under Rob Ryan in Dallas, Spencer has seen his on field production soar over the last two seasons. While an underrated pass rusher, Spencer isn’t elite in this area either. Where Spencer really excels is in his run defense. If the Saints were able to pry Spencer away from Dallas, they would (in my opinion) possess two of the most underrated run defenders in the league between him and current Saints DE Cameron Jordan. A lot is also being made of Spencer’s age (29) but this defense will likely go through a veteran purge this offseason and will get much younger in the process. In New Orleans, Spencer could climb out of D-Ware’s shadow and become the #1 guy and leader the Saints will need moving forward.


2. Keenan Lewis CB Pittsburgh Steelers

Keenan Lewis just might very well be the most underrated player hitting free agency this offseason. At 6’0” & 208lbs, Lewis possesses a physical press man skill set very similar to that of Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr whom Rob Ryan targeted last offseason in Dallas. Lewis is a New Orleans native and even publicly pleaded with the Saints to draft him coming out of college. He’s also been extremely well coached by two of the best secondary coaches in the business in Mike Riley (Oregon State) & Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh). In the Big Easy, Lewis would play the role of Brandon Carr while Patrick Robinson’s skill set is vaguely similar to what was asked of Mo Claiborne. His addition also allows Corey White to fill the role of Mike Jenkins and gives Ryan 3 physical press man corners that he needs to make his defense go.


3. Dashon Goldson SS San Francisco 49ers

Dashon Goldson brings attitude and intimidation to the football field. He’s a vicious hitter and above average cover guy with good ball skills. Goldson would give the Saints a tremendous upgrade over Roman Harper and finally give this team some consistent play from the safety position.


4. Randy Starks DT/DE Miami Dolphins

Randy Starks has excelled in every defensive scheme he’s been in. He’s been a great tackle in the 43 and an even better end in a 34. Like Spencer, Starks would give the Saints a talented veteran defensive starter, which would allow youngster Akiem Hicks to become the rotational lineman at each position up front taking advantage of his versatility. Starks addition would also give the “still raw” Hicks a great veteran leader as a mentor, to help guide the up and comer as he progresses and develops.


5. Dannell Ellerbe ILB Baltimore Ravens

I don’t care what Sean Payton says… keeping Vilma in this 34 defense is like trying to put a square peg in a round hole, It just won’t work! The ONLY reason that idea has even been uttered is out of the sheer respect Payton has for Vilma as a person but if we are to allow our loyalties to dictate protocol, then why fire Spagnuolo in the first place?

Ellerbe possesses the size and athletic ability for this position and would be an ideal fit next to Lofton in Rob Ryan’s scheme. Ellerbe is a playmaker and covers ground sideline to sideline. He flashes the ability of a above average Blitzer and is one of the more efficient coverage linebackers in the game.


It’s important to note that I am in no way saying that we can afford all of these players. Simply landing one of them this offseason would represent a solid offseason for us with our cap situation but if the Saints were to somehow land two off this list then there would be no other way to describe this offseason other than as a HOMERUN!!!



DRAFT PROSPECTS

1. Star Lotulelei DT/DE Utah

Lotulelei might not be the top player on my big board but he’s the top player on my list of scheme fits for the Saints. Lotulelei’s rare combination of size, strength and versatility simply cannot be overlooked for a team switching over to a 34 alignment. In New Orleans, Lotulelei would form a lethal unit between Jordan, Hicks and himself. He would also give Rob Ryan extreme versatility upfront between Lotulelei and Hicks at either NT or LE.


2. Ezekiel Ansah DE/OLB BYU

If Ansah had played high school football, I doubt anyone would argue that he isn’t a top 10 talent. The major knock on him is how raw he is. Yes, he’s raw… he’s also EXTREMLY gifted athletically! Athletes like Ansah come along only so often and most times they are always worth the risk. However, it’s not like Ansah can’t play the game… he was an ascending player at BYU and dominated the Senior Bowl. In New Orleans, Ansah would be a great value to Rob Ryan’s scheme with his incredible skill set and ability to play both as a stand up outside rush linebacker as well as putting his hand in the dirt and giving the Saints a pass rush presence at LE at times.


3. Shariff Floyd DE/DT Florida

Floyd has been soaring up draft boards lately and I personally feel he possesses more athletic ability and potential than Lotulelei but as a scheme fit for the Saints he comes in 3rd on this list. In the big easy, Floyd’s best position would be at LE but he also has the ability to play the right side as well. Floyd would give the Saints a disruptive player upfront with strength and base to excel as a pass rusher and run defender in Rob Ryan’s scheme.


4. Dion Jordan OLB Oregon

My only problem with Jordan is his limits on versatility. Many will call Jordan a versatile player but in Rob Ryan’s scheme I don’t see it. That isn’t entirely a bad thing neither… In Rob Ryan’s scheme, Jordan would obviously make his home as a standup outside pass rushing linebacker in the mold of an Aldon Smith. I feel he’s to light and takes away from what he does best to ever try to put his hand in the dirt and kicking inside would be a disaster for him. However, he’s excellent in coverage for such a big man and quite frankly the NFL has yet to see anyone who compares to his skill set.


5. Kenny Vaccaro SS Texas

I might have Vaccaro a lot higher on my big board than others but that’s because I truly believe he’s a special player with special gifts. I liken him to a bigger Earl Thomas in that he’s larger than Thomas but also possesses a physical nature against the run and the coverage skills of a cornerback. In New Orleans, Vaccaro would give the Saints a playmaker on the back end that is all over the field and will have to be accounted for by opposing quarterbacks.


Of course these draft prospects might very well all be gone by the 15th selection, but I guess in my assessment… if the Saints were to somehow come away from this offseason with two of the free agents on this list while landing one of these draft prospects with their top selection, well that to be would be a coup de gras to our recent suffering as Saints fans as far as I’m concerned!



WHODAT
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FLOODx


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome write up Worm! I really like all the FAs mentioned. Lewis would be a good pick up, and we could probably get him for pretty cheap. Out of all of them I probably dislike Dashon Goldson the most. Just not a fan of his game. As far as the draft prospects go, I like them. Star would be awesome, but I can't see it happening. I'm not opposed to taking Ansah, but there are some players I'd put over him. Floyd's versatility is a huge bonus, and he could really improve the play of our D-line. I wasn't a big Vaccaro fan at first, but I like him the more I watch him. I'm not as high on Dion Jordan as everyone else. His slight frame worries me, but if he's able to add weight and still maintain his fluidity I'd love to have him.
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Lewis would be a good pick up, and we could probably get him for pretty cheap.


You might be suprised this offseason... I'm expecting Lewis to land a contract somewhere in the "5 year, 32-34 million" range. NFL GM's realize he's a gifted corner and they don't come cheap. The Steelers will make a strong play to keep him.
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FLOODx


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

whodatworm23 wrote:
Quote:
Lewis would be a good pick up, and we could probably get him for pretty cheap.


You might be suprised this offseason... I'm expecting Lewis to land a contract somewhere in the "5 year, 32-34 million" range. NFL GM's realize he's a gifted corner and they don't come cheap. The Steelers will make a strong play to keep him.


Damn! I didn't think he was getting that much. I can only hope for a hometown discount Shocked
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FLOODx wrote:
whodatworm23 wrote:
Quote:
Lewis would be a good pick up, and we could probably get him for pretty cheap.


You might be suprised this offseason... I'm expecting Lewis to land a contract somewhere in the "5 year, 32-34 million" range. NFL GM's realize he's a gifted corner and they don't come cheap. The Steelers will make a strong play to keep him.


Damn! I didn't think he was getting that much. I can only hope for a hometown discount Shocked


I read somewhere that his agent is asking for 5 years, 35 million... now that ain't what he's gonna get but I wouldn't be suprised if it is in the 5-6 per range.
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FLOODx


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope you're right about the Payton/Vilma situation. As much as I love the guy and what he did for us, his time is up. We can't have sentimental value attached to washed up players. This is a business, and we're going to need to make some tough moves this offseason to improve this defense for the future.
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tylerdouglass


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see Star making it out of the top 5, let alone all the way to 15.

It would take a miracle, IMO
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tylerdouglass wrote:
I don't see Star making it out of the top 5, let alone all the way to 15.

It would take a miracle, IMO


I completely agree but if their's any player in this draft that would be worth trading up for, I would say it would be Lotulelei. Say for some reason he fell to 8th to Buffalo, depending on the price I'd be intrested in the move.

All this is speculation but i've seen stranger things happen on draft day.
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FLOODx


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumpin this up because of how ironic the conversation between me and Worm was. Lol
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FLOODx wrote:
Bumpin this up because of how ironic the conversation between me and Worm was. Lol


Ironic is the word! Laughing
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