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View Full Version : Projecting college DT's to 5-tech DE's in the NFL


jnew76
04-22-2009, 12:13 PM
I have been watching a lot of tape on 3-4 teams and the lack of true 5-tech DE's in this draft is signifigant. I think this is quite possibly the hardest position to project to the NFL.

The ideal 3-4 DE seems to be a player like Richard Seymour who played DT in college. He is tall, with long arms, burst, leverage, and strength. There is clearly no Richard Seymour in this draft, but I think that a few DT's could project to playing the position.

Sometimes these are DT/DE tweeners as well.

A few players I think that might be able to transition.

Evander "Ziggy" Hood - DT - He has everything you look for in the position. He is tall, long arms, strong, has burst, and leverage. He was actually a DE coming out of high school. This is purely a projection, and Hood might have greater value as a 4-3 3-tech and will probably go to a 4-3 team.

Jarron Gilbert - DT/DE - San Jose St. - I think this is the most obvious one and the one who compares most favorably to Seymour. Gilbert is a physical freak at 6'5" 298lbs. He has ridiculously long arms and great strength. Love him as a 3-4 DE.

Clinton McDonald - DT - Memphis - At a shade under 6'2" he does not have ideal height, but I think he has the explosiveness and strength to project.

Mitch King - DT - Iowa - Undersized DT at Iowa who lacks ideal height, but has great quickness and burst. Does not have the long arms you look for, but plays with tremendous leverage and strength.

Ricky Jean-Francios -He is tall enough and has long arms. He is explosive and plays with leverage. I could easily see this projection. Needs to add strength.

What do you guys think and do you see others that project?

ThePudge
04-22-2009, 12:26 PM
A good post and interesting points and names to bring up.

While Clinton McDonald may be able to handle a 5-tech in a reserve role, I'm not sure he has the strength at the point of attack, nor does he have the anchor strength to hold up and be a force there. McDonald is a penetrator, a 4-3 UT and an ideal Tampa 2 Defensive Tackle, I think a lot of what he does best (rush the passer from the inside, penetrate, collapse the pocket) may almost go to waste in the 3-4 scheme.

I wouldn't trust the also slightly undersized Evander Hood at the 5-Tech position. He doesn't exactly play with the strength he tests with and on the field is more of a finesse DT. He disappears for segments of games at a time. He has a variety of inside pass-rushing moves including a well-known spin move and a powerful and quick swim move. Still, he too lacks strength at the point of attack and I've never been impressed at his use of leverage. Hood is a player who definitely has some nice qualities, but can be rendered ineffective in games against bigger guards due to his slightly more upright, finesse style. A guy who shows up in workouts and looks like a 1st Round Pick, but plays more like a 4th-5th Rounder most times. I like him fine as a 4-3 UT, but overall I don't think he has the necessary skillset to play DE in the 3-4. It is an idea though and one that could actually be tried. A nice idea.

stephenson86
04-22-2009, 12:30 PM
as long as they are tall (above 6' 3" id say) and around 290+ with a burst they have potential i would say

killxswitch
04-22-2009, 01:55 PM
as long as they are tall (above 6' 3" id say) and around 290+ with a burst they have potential i would say

I think your scope's a bit too broad.

PossibleCabbage
04-22-2009, 02:18 PM
I don't like Mitch King as a 5-technique at all. He's got very short arms and isn't going to be able to stack, shift, and disengage at all. He can shoot his gap effectively, but he'll never be anything more than a substitution for passing downs in the 3-4.

I do think you missed some of the better late round prospects at 5-tech though.

Alex Magee is a fine prospect, who's pretty underrated at this point. He doesn't have the height you want, but he's got long arms (34") and he uses them well enough to play the position. If he can clear up his hot/cold motor issues he could be a fine player.

Fili Moala has the frame you want, but he's a little slow to be able to pay the position effectively. He can probably be an average NFL starter at the position, but you'll be looking to upgrade him if you get the shot.

Everette Pedescleaux is a great prospect for a 5-technique, he's giant and has all the athletic ability anybody could want to play the position. He's super-raw, but could go as high as the third round.

Kyle Moore is actually the USC guy I like best to play 5-technique, he's a little light but he's got a ton of experience, but if he fills out his frame he could be a dependable starter. He's not going to do much in his first year or two though.

Pannel Egboah, is another one of those guys who has everything you could want, but he's a little light at 276. But he's got experience playing 5-tech, he's got a great frame, he's a good athlete, and he's smart. Not going to be an immediate starter since he needs to bulk up a little, but most college defensive linemen (who don't have weight problems already) need to bulk up a little.

jnew76
04-22-2009, 02:23 PM
I don't like Mitch King as a 5-technique at all. He's got very short arms and isn't going to be able to stack, shift, and disengage at all. He can shoot his gap effectively, but he'll never be anything more than a substitution for passing downs in the 3-4.

I do think you missed some of the better late round prospects at 5-tech though.

Alex Magee is a fine prospect, who's pretty underrated at this point. He doesn't have the height you want, but he's got long arms (34") and he uses them well enough to play the position. If he can clear up his hot/cold motor issues he could be a fine player.

Fili Moala has the frame you want, but he's a little slow to be able to pay the position effectively. He can probably be an average NFL starter at the position, but you'll be looking to upgrade him if you get the shot.

Everette Pedescleaux is a great prospect for a 5-technique, he's giant and has all the athletic ability anybody could want to play the position. He's super-raw, but could go as high as the third round.

Kyle Moore is actually the USC guy I like best to play 5-technique, he's a little light but he's got a ton of experience, but if he fills out his frame he could be a dependable starter. He's not going to do much in his first year or two though.

Pannel Egboah, is another one of those guys who has everything you could want, but he's a little light at 276. But he's got experience playing 5-tech, he's got a great frame, he's a good athlete, and he's smart. Not going to be an immediate starter since he needs to bulk up a little, but most college defensive linemen (who don't have weight problems already) need to bulk up a little.

Completely agree with everyone except Magee. I like him much better as a 3-tech or UT. I agree that he is a little underrated though. Did not have much help on that DL.

stephenson86
04-22-2009, 03:25 PM
I think your scope's a bit too broad.

probably but thats the sort of size i would go by

BigBanger
04-22-2009, 04:34 PM
Tyson Jackson... maybe he's just so obvious you all skipped over him, but he's in the mold of Aaron Smith of Steelers. The prototype and by far the best 5-technique in this draft.

Ziggy Hood is a horrible fit. He is not stout at the point of attack, plays high, and gets blown off the ball far too often. He'd be a huge project.

Moala looks the part, but there isn't a DT prospect in this draft that plays more up and down that him. No one takes themselves out of a player more than Fili. He gets washed down the line so easily, it really isn't funny. Huge project.


Kyle Moore is the closest thing to Tyson Jackson and he's probably a third rounder at best... and a 43 defense might take him higher than that. He's also a couple years away and needs to pack on some more strength. He could be a good one.

iBoldin
04-22-2009, 04:47 PM
The thing I don't like is people projecting a 285 lbs. defensive tackle to the five tech position because they just fit.

Ziggy Hood is a horrible fit at the five tech. So is Peria Jerry.

ironman4579
04-22-2009, 05:07 PM
Tyson Jackson... maybe he's just so obvious you all skipped over him, but he's in the mold of Aaron Smith of Steelers. The prototype and by far the best 5-technique in this draft.

Ziggy Hood is a horrible fit. He is not stout at the point of attack, plays high, and gets blown off the ball far too often. He'd be a huge project.

Moala looks the part, but there isn't a DT prospect in this draft that plays more up and down that him. No one takes themselves out of a player more than Fili. He gets washed down the line so easily, it really isn't funny. Huge project.


Kyle Moore is the closest thing to Tyson Jackson and he's probably a third rounder at best... and a 43 defense might take him higher than that. He's also a couple years away and needs to pack on some more strength. He could be a good one.


Glad you mentioned him. I was getting a little worried about this thread. He's easily the best and most ready 5 tech prospect.

I'd say Jarron Gilbert is also easily the #2 5 tech prospect, with just about everything you look for. He's just pretty raw for the position and will probably be a bit of a project if/when he gets moved there.

IMO those two are head and shoulders above all the other potential guys at 3-4 DE.


I also agree with the other that Ziggy Hood and Peria Jerry are terrible fits there, as both of them are definately more one gap penetrators that fit perfectly at 3 tech in a 4-3. Other guys mentioned here that are poor fits are guys like Mitch King and Ricky Jean-Francois IMO.

yourfavestoner
04-22-2009, 05:22 PM
Remember too, guys, that 3-techs (Undertackles) generally make very poor 5-techs. A lot of people see that the measurables for the position are similar, but the playing styles could not be more different. You have to look at if his style is that of a penetrator or a two-gapper.

Hurricanes25
04-22-2009, 05:32 PM
I like your list. The only thing I would change is to take Mitch King out and add in both Kyle Moore and Fili Moala from USC. I dont think King has a true position in the NFL. I think Moore turns out to be the 2nd best 34 DE if he gets taken by a team that runs the 34.

ironman4579
04-22-2009, 05:33 PM
Remember too, guys, that 3-techs (Undertackles) generally make very poor 5-techs. A lot of people see that the measurables for the position are similar, but the playing styles could not be more different. You have to look at if his style is that of a penetrator or a two-gapper.

Exactly, the style of play is completely different.

BeerBaron
04-22-2009, 05:37 PM
Remember too, guys, that 3-techs (Undertackles) generally make very poor 5-techs. A lot of people see that the measurables for the position are similar, but the playing styles could not be more different. You have to look at if his style is that of a penetrator or a two-gapper.

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!

I don't know how long I've been trying to point that out when I see people claiming that guys like Peria Jerry or Sen'Derrick Marks could play 3-4 DE.

No. They cannot. They'd get shoved right on their asses by the tackle-guard double teams they'd see by guys 2-6 inches taller sometimes......

I always want to scream when I hear people (including some of my fellow Bears fans) say that if we ever moved to a 3-4, Tommie Harris could be a great DE. NO. He would not.

1000000% agree with you. T-totally different skillsets and styles of play.

ChiefMojo
04-22-2009, 06:23 PM
I see only two 5-Tech's in this draft that jump out at you and you think they can make an impact. Those two are Tyson Jackson and Jarron Gilbert. Jackson is likely top 10 now and I wouldn't be surprised to see Gilbert go in the 2nd round. Outside of that, it is a big toss up.

BeerBaron
04-22-2009, 06:30 PM
I see only two 5-Tech's in this draft that jump out at you and you think they can make an impact. Those two are Tyson Jackson and Jarron Gilbert. Jackson is likely top 10 now and I wouldn't be surprised to see Gilbert go in the 2nd round. Outside of that, it is a big toss up.

I wouldn't be surprised to see him climb to the late first. Physical freaks like that usually climb a little higher than expected.

PossibleCabbage
04-22-2009, 06:52 PM
Exactly, the style of play is completely different.

I think it's just the same reason that people see Raji and want to see him as an instant contributor at NT, when he really spent virtually his entire college career playing in the B-gap. People see body-types and measurables and want to project them to a position, and to a certain extent you have to do that when you're talking about certain positions in a 3-4 front seven, since very few NCAA teams actually run a 3-4 so you need to draft people and switch their positions.

So, since you have to find someone to play 5-technique, you have to look at everybody on the DL. Most NTs won't be long or athletic enough, but some are; most DEs won't be big enough or stout enough at the POA, but some are; so you look at UTs for body type and consider whether or not you can teach the guy a new position. Some guys can learn to play a different position, and some guys can be equally good at a number of different positions (Haloti Ngata can play any position on the line in the 3-4, despite not playing in it at Oregon). But just saying "he played 3-tech, he's useless as a 5-tech" is sort of a silly argument.

DeepThreat
04-22-2009, 06:53 PM
Am I the only one who thinks Raji could play end in a 3-4? He can play nose in a 3-4 or 4-3, as well as under tackle in a 4-3. 3-4 end is sort of a combination of 3-4 nose and 4-3 under. The only reason he couldn't is height, and I think that is overrated.

Also, you have to remember that not all 3-4's are the same. I think Ziggy Hood or Peria Jerry could be ends in a Phillips 3-4.

jnew76
04-22-2009, 07:33 PM
The reason that Jackson was not mentioned by me in the opening post was that he always played DE, and I was attempting to use prospects that are DT's that project.

PossibleCabbage
04-22-2009, 08:00 PM
Am I the only one who thinks Raji could play end in a 3-4? He can play nose in a 3-4 or 4-3, as well as under tackle in a 4-3. 3-4 end is sort of a combination of 3-4 nose and 4-3 under. The only reason he couldn't is height, and I think that is overrated.

With 32" arms, Raji wouldn't be well suited to playing 5-technique at all. 5-techs need to be able to stack and disengage from blockers, and you really need long arms to do this. You look through the league, and you don't find anybody lined up at end in a 3-4 with (objectively) short arms. You will find some short guys, but not short guys without long arms.

IMO, Raji's best position will be UT. He's a bit of a project at NT.

phlysac
04-22-2009, 08:05 PM
As mentioned quickly, earlier, a 3-4 DE's responsibilities differ slightly in a traditional 3-4 as compared to a "Phillips 3-4". In a Phillips 3-4 the front 3 one-gap, but they have to be strong at the point of attack and set the edge just as in a traditional two-gap 3-4 DE. Justin Smith is a prime example of a player who shined as a one-gap 3-4 DE in SF last season and most would probably not consider him a typical 3-4 DE.

One late round prospect that I feel will translate nicely to 3-4 DE is Nader Abdallah.

ironman4579
04-22-2009, 08:34 PM
I think it's just the same reason that people see Raji and want to see him as an instant contributor at NT, when he really spent virtually his entire college career playing in the B-gap. People see body-types and measurables and want to project them to a position, and to a certain extent you have to do that when you're talking about certain positions in a 3-4 front seven, since very few NCAA teams actually run a 3-4 so you need to draft people and switch their positions.

So, since you have to find someone to play 5-technique, you have to look at everybody on the DL. Most NTs won't be long or athletic enough, but some are; most DEs won't be big enough or stout enough at the POA, but some are; so you look at UTs for body type and consider whether or not you can teach the guy a new position. Some guys can learn to play a different position, and some guys can be equally good at a number of different positions (Haloti Ngata can play any position on the line in the 3-4, despite not playing in it at Oregon). But just saying "he played 3-tech, he's useless as a 5-tech" is sort of a silly argument.

Except that wasn't the argument. The argument for me was that guys like Hood, Jerry, King etc, don't display the style of play, skill set, or mentality to play the traditional two gap 3-4 DE position. King is basically too small anyway, but all of these guys are penetrators that get into the backfield on a somewhat regular basis. They want to penetrate, get in and disrupt things, not hold the point against double teams. I think they COULD play the position, but it's not their best position, and it's taking away from what they do best.

jdcozart
04-22-2009, 08:40 PM
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!

I don't know how long I've been trying to point that out when I see people claiming that guys like Peria Jerry or Sen'Derrick Marks could play 3-4 DE.

No. They cannot. They'd get shoved right on their asses by the tackle-guard double teams they'd see by guys 2-6 inches taller sometimes......

I always want to scream when I hear people (including some of my fellow Bears fans) say that if we ever moved to a 3-4, Tommie Harris could be a great DE. NO. He would not.

1000000% agree with you. T-totally different skillsets and styles of play.

Oh for sure. Peria Jerry and Tommie Harris are one gap penetrators. They get in the backfield. They aren't suited to be 3-4 DEs.

jnew76
04-25-2009, 06:35 PM
I have been watching a lot of tape on 3-4 teams and the lack of true 5-tech DE's in this draft is signifigant. I think this is quite possibly the hardest position to project to the NFL.

The ideal 3-4 DE seems to be a player like Richard Seymour who played DT in college. He is tall, with long arms, burst, leverage, and strength. There is clearly no Richard Seymour in this draft, but I think that a few DT's could project to playing the position.

Sometimes these are DT/DE tweeners as well.

A few players I think that might be able to transition.

Evander "Ziggy" Hood - DT - He has everything you look for in the position. He is tall, long arms, strong, has burst, and leverage. He was actually a DE coming out of high school. This is purely a projection, and Hood might have greater value as a 4-3 3-tech and will probably go to a 4-3 team.


I'm not saying, I am just saying.