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The end of excuses for defensive draft picks


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This past season a number of drafted players on defense didn’t perform up to expectations. 
 

Ed Oliver. Excuse: was playing out of position at one tech.

Harrison Phillips. Excuse: was recovering from injury. 
Tremaine Edmunds. Excuse #1: was compensating for bad DL play. Excuse #2: was too young.

A.J. Epenesa. Excuse: was a rookie. 
 

Most of the above excuses are pretty solid. That said, they all go away this season. By the end of the year we should know what we have or don’t have with all four players. 

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This past season a number of drafted players on defense didn’t perform up to expectations.    Ed Oliver. Excuse: was playing out of position at one tech. Harrison Phillips. Excuse: was rec

I will work on a whole new round of excuses before the season starts

I think Edmunds' biggest issue last year was playing hurt. Yes he's young, no the DL didn't do him any favors, but he also moved like he was playing at about 60% all season, I thought. I also wonder h

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I think they are good excuses, I also think that this year is going to be huge for Edmunds to make/break it.  I suspect he will get the 5th year option, but just to get another year to see if he grows more before committing to him long term. 

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I think Edmunds' biggest issue last year was playing hurt. Yes he's young, no the DL didn't do him any favors, but he also moved like he was playing at about 60% all season, I thought. I also wonder how much Milano being out impacted him. 

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Just now, glazeduck said:

I think Edmunds' biggest issue last year was playing hurt. Yes he's young, no the DL didn't do him any favors, but he also moved like he was playing at about 60% all season, I thought. I also wonder how much Milano being out impacted him. 

 

Also kinda difficult to really thump with a messed up shoulder.

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Just now, dneveu said:

 

Also kinda difficult to really thump with a messed up shoulder.

Definitely. You can also see how it'd be somewhat of a mental thing when coming downhill, too right? 

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13 minutes ago, Gregthekeg said:

I think they are good excuses, I also think that this year is going to be huge for Edmunds to make/break it.  I suspect he will get the 5th year option, but just to get another year to see if he grows more before committing to him long term. 

 

While I wouldnt be surprised if they picked this up, they only have ~2 more weeks to decide. I believe May 3 is the cut off date.

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Ed O was being played out of position, a lot. He didn't play terrible at the 1 Tech, but he's a disruptive 3-Tech. It was the main cause of him not being what we expected. This year will be different, but it is time for him to bust loose. 

 

Harrison Phillips was coming off of injury, but you saw him start to regain some of that pre-injury form as the season went along. The Baltimore game was likely his best all season. At this point though I see him as easily replaceable. Depending on how our draft goes he may not even make the team. Rooting for him to have a strong offseason and play well this year. 

 

Tremaine Edmunds' shoulder injury hampered him for most of the year. It's hard to play defense, shed blocks, and make tackles with one arm. At the same time it doesn't excuse his mental lapses and bad angles. I'd imagine we will pick up the 5th year option on him, but it all has to start clicking on the field or he's a 1 contract guy in Buffalo. 

 

Epenesa was a rookie who cut like 20lbs in the offseason and had no offseason program. No Mini Camp, no normal Preseason, and no Preseason games. He had to learn the NFL game and it's speed on the fly. You saw flashes, but the combination of everything clearly impacted his output. I expect a nice step forward this year because he showed some flashes. 

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Good OP!

As for Edmunds he played terribly against Baltimore and KC when he was supposedly fully healed. I am rooting for him because if he was truly a ProBowl level player he can anchor the defense for another 5-7 years. 

I just have not seen it. I have been critical of him for a while now.  To be fair I watched a 2020 highlight film and he did have a real nice goal line stop on a running play last year. I think it was San Fran or Denver game( I missed them both). Other than that I don't recall any significant plays he made all year.

Oliver has flashed. DTs take time to develop. Still think he can be a 8-10 sack guy from the interior.

Epenesa also flashed.

Harrison is just not good enough. He was a penetrating DT at Stanford not a guy that took on double teams. He may be a training camp cut if they draft 1-tech DT.

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7 minutes ago, NewEra said:

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That's what I thought (and was afraid of).

 

So Edmunds will cost us $14.791M in 2022 if we trigger his 5th year option. Cap should be back up next year so I'm not too worried about that, but that number does make it a more interesting decision for Beane.

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1 minute ago, DrDawkinstein said:

 

That's what I thought (and was afraid of).

 

So Edmunds will cost us $14.791M in 2022 if we trigger his 5th year option. Cap should be back up next year so I'm not too worried about that, but that number does make it a more interesting decision for Beane.

Yeah...the 5th year option is worth more than he is based on his play to this point.  But I’d still be shocked if they don’t pick it up.  

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9 minutes ago, NewEra said:

Yeah...the 5th year option is worth more than he is based on his play to this point.  But I’d still be shocked if they don’t pick it up.  

 

When you draft a kid who is barely 19, you gotta be ready to ride it out. It isnt my money, and I'd hate to move on too early. LBs do tend to get better and better over time as their pre-snap reads evolve.

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57 minutes ago, Playoff Win said:

This past season a number of drafted players on defense didn’t perform up to expectations. 
 

Ed Oliver. Excuse: was playing out of position at one tech.

Harrison Phillips. Excuse: was recovering from injury. 
Tremaine Edmunds. Excuse #1: was compensating for bad DL play. Excuse #2: was too young.

A.J. Epenesa. Excuse: was a rookie. 
 

Most of the above excuses are pretty solid. That said, they all go away this season. By the end of the year we should know what we have or don’t have with all four players. 

Yeah those picks have been a little disappointing. But I mean the Oliver pick was one of those that many/most if not every team would have taken that draft. I hear ya on the out of position talk with him. I'm sure that may be a part of it with him, but not sure how much.

 

I feel good about Espensa, may be in the minority, but I feel like he will start to be a good player soon. With Edmunds, some say he also out of position and needs to be outside. And as far as H. Phillips goes, I honestly didn't expect but so much out of him. Many thought he was/would be another K. Williams. I was not one of them.

 

Anyway, hope can get that good D player that makes an impact right away. Would be nice.

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