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MI_Buckeye
05-03-2011, 01:01 AM
Part Three of my 32-part series. Check back later tonight for my review of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 draft.

Washington Redskins

Where did the franchise stand before the draft:

Well, it appears pretty obvious Head Coach Mike Shanahan didn't think too much of the previous regime. Every step of the way in his inaugural season as head coach and primary decision maker, Shanahan seemed to undermine every move made by previous GM Vinny Cerratto and Head Coach Jim Zorn.

Not only did Shanny find little interest in previous franchise QB Jason Campbell, but he also did everything in his power to run $100 million man Albert Haynesworth out of town in an absurd game of chicken that brought embarrassment to the organization -- embarrassment that Shanny probably wanted as it indicated who the real boss in the nation's capital was.

Going into his second year as head coach and de facto GM, Shanny is left with an organization completely in shambles, most likely by design. Shanahan has been known by everyone who has ever worked for him as one of the most cut-throat people on the planet, and now that he has one of the most depleted rosters in the NFL (one that begs the question: Who is better, John Beck or Rex Grossman? To which the obvious answer is Andrew Luck.) we can now see what sort of genius Ole Shanny has in store for rebuilding one of the proudest franchises in the NFL.

Shanahan and nominal GM Bruce Allen have their work cut out for them though. The Skins have questions at nearly every position and one of the least talented rosters in the league. The biggest question going into the draft had to be at QB. Most felt that Shanahan would go the developmental route after the failed acquisition of Donovan McNabb. We would soon learn, however, that the truth is much more elusive.

The Picks

Round One, Pick 16 (from Jacksonville): Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, Purdue

One of the previous misgivings Shanahan appears to have had about the previous regime was their adherence to the Redskin-rich tradition of neglecting the draft, an approach that worked to much greater effect under George Allen and Joe Gibbs/Bobby Beathard and continued by zealous owner Daniel Snyder.

You can not blame Shanahan for wanting to change the organization's philosophical apporoach to the draft after the results it has left him with. For that reason, I don't think the Redskins decision to move down was anything personal against available prospects like Blaine Gabbert and Robert Quinn; rather this organization needed picks to develop the infrastrucutre of the organization and jumped at Jacksonville's offer for an extra second round pick.
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As for Kerrigan, it is hard to imagine the Redskins taking him at ten, but at 16, his value was just about inline with what the league thought of him. Kerrigan is a high-motor sack artist whose ability I question to move from 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB. He is not Brian Orakpo in terms of speed.

Kerrigan's energy as a pass rusher is less of a factor now that he is standing up, and I am not yet sure if he has the burst to throw lines off coming from a wider technique. Kerrigan's ability to play in coverage is an unknown and has to be considered, especially since it seems a tall order for him to compete with Orakpo as Washington's primary pass rusher. Still, Kerrigan should be an immediate upgrade over Lorenzo Alexander and Andre Carter opposite Orakpo on the left side.

I don't at all approve of passing up a franchise QB, but Washington is more justified than most in passing.

Round Two, Pick 41: Jarvis Jenkins, DL, Clemson

Crank that Bernie! OHHH OOHHH OH!

Although, Jenkins is projected by most as DE in the Skins' base 3-4 scheme; it is possible he could move inside to play the nose, a position left in disarray after Shanahan's public spat with Haynesworth.

Jenkins is a strong, high character player who I believe fits better in a 3-4, as he doesn't possess dynamic quickness but is willing to do the dirty work. In many ways, he is the anti-Haynesworth, and don't think that didn't have something to do with this pick.

In the top ten in the second round, Jenkins is a slight reach, but that is okay. he offers great versatility and should be a reliable team leader as Shanahan turns this organization in the direction he wants it to go.

Round Three, Pick 79 (from Miami): Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

After trading the pick acquired from Jacksonville THREE TIMES in the second round, The Redskins did not pick again until the middle of the third, when they took one of the most accomplished WRs in the history of a school that has produced Michael Irvin, Andre Johnson, Brian Blades and current Redskin Snatana Moss.

Hankerson really drove his stock up after a great senior season and much better than expected workouts, which is why I was surprised to see him fall so far lsat Friday. Hank has strong hands and great ball skills. While his forty time (solidly in the 4.4s) might lead you to believe he is more than a possession receiver, most scouts and coaches don't believe he plays up to his measurables.
Hankerson is a try-hard guy who embraces the spirit of "Da U" in his practice habits. Given how thin the Redskins are at WR (even more so than most other positions) it will be a great disappointment if Hank doesn't beat out Anthony Armstrong and Roydell Williams for the No. 2 receiving role.

Round Four, Pick 105 (from Houston): Roy Helu Jr., RB, Nebraska

Shanahan has taken guys off the waiver wire and turned them into 1,000 yard backs, so for him to move up for a RB, he must really like what he sees.

Helu is a north-south runner with a great size-speed combo. He lacks the lateral agility to succeed in some schemes, but that shouldn't be a problem in this sytem. However, Helu does become a liability in the passing game as he has not proven to be an effective blocker or receiver.

Round Five, Pick 146 (from Miami): Dejon Gomes, S, Nebraska

Gomes is a feisty, well-schooled strong safety with severely limited range in coverage. Should not be a threat to beat out Reed Doughty for a starting spot but could offer value on special teams.

Round Five, Pick 155 (from New Orleans): Niles Paul, WR, Nebraska

The Redskins need to build depth along the WR corps and on special teams, and the last of the Husker troika should be a good pick to help on both counts. Paul is a thickly-built, strong-handed possession receiver with a little bit of wiggle after the catch. He will probably never be a starter, but he should contribute as a sub-package slot receiver. He could play in both kick coverage and as a spot kick returner.

Round Six, Pick 177: Evan Royster, RB, Penn State

Another back drafted for depth behind Ryan Torain. Royster is an ideal fit for this one-cut scheme and is in the rare position to translate some of his college production into NFL impact. Not the fastest or the strongest, Royster has an uphill battle to unseat Helu as Shanny's favorite rookie rusher.

Round Six, Pick 178 (from Houston): Aldrick Robinson, WR, SMU

Hmmm? I am beginning to think Shanahan doesn't like his WR corps. Robinson is a pet prospect of some and demonstrates some of the same qualities (speed, smoothness in and out of breaks) that helped make Emmanuel Sanders an effective option during the Steelers' Super Bowl run as a rookie. Coming from the June Jones system, Robinson is unrefined and must get stronger in order to compete for a consistent spot on the active roster.

Round Seven, Pick 213: Brandyn Thompson, CB, Boise State

Like most Boise State Broncos, Thompson comes with special teams value. He is better in run support than either man or zone coverage and might be too athletically limited to have any long-term upside in the NFL.

Round Seven, Pick 217 (from Miami): Maurice Hurt, OG, Florida

I was surprised he got drafted. I just didn't see anything from him to make me think he is an NFL lineman. Hurt was a liability on Florida's line and is probably a long shot to make the team.

Round Seven, Pick 224 (from Indianapolis): Markus White, OLB, Florida State

White really came on as a senior, but his overall body of work leaves a lot to be desired. He has all the raw athletic tools to play in the league, and it will be up to the coaching staff to get it out of him.

Round Seven, Pick 253: Chris Neild, NT, West Virginia

Every bit as tough as his name, position and school would lead you to believe. Neild is a short-armed, thick-necked brawler with obvious physical limitations but will have to be dragged off the field.

All in all:

I have to say, I love the fact that the Redskins are actually valuing the draft once and for all. Some of the trades were a little too cute by hat, and I don't know if anyone really needs eight picks in the final three rounds, but it used to take the Redskins three years to build up this many draft picks.

I am not a fan of passing up the potential franchise QB, but Shanny knows QBs, and if he didn't see a guy he liked enough to eschew an extra second round pick than I can't blame him for passing. It would have been interesting to see what the Skins would have done with Jake Locker on the board.

While I don't think a whole lot of these guys will have long-term impacts in the NFL, many of these guys are prototypical Shanahan players and might have more success in his system than any others. It is a quirky draft but one that cements the notion that Mike Shanahan is one in charge. Expect a drastic culture change now that many of the malcontents are likely gone.

Draft Grade: C

DiG
05-03-2011, 08:07 AM
"A little too cute"?? This team desperately needed more picks to try and fill depth on a completely depleted roster and for once in the last ten years our front office actually worked the draft. I don't at all under stand your "C" grade. In the first two rounds we added two impact players likely to start right away at two of the biggest areas of need on our roster. In the 3rd we got great value on a WR with #1 potential, again at a position of immediate need. Helu is basically a faster version of Torrain without the injury concerns that have plagued him his entire career and is an ideal fit in Shanahans offense. Paul and Aldrick again were geat value and Nield is a 7th rounder that should see significant playing time in rotation his rookie year. If any of the other guys pan out its just icing on the cake.

Also, how is Gomes going to beat out Reed for a starting spot when Landry and Otogwe are the starters? I do think Gomes has a shot at beating out Reed for a backup role though. The only two picks that I didnt like were the Hurt and White picks but they were 7th rounders so I can't complain that much.

With all that said, I can't understand giving the Skins lower than "B" for the way they were able to work the draft and bring in players at positions of need that should be able to make significant contributions. If your dropping them for not taking a QB than that is BS. If anything we should be given a better grade for not reaching on a QB that doesnt fit Shanahans offense just to say we took a QB.

roscoesdad27
05-03-2011, 08:58 AM
I think Gabbert fits Shannahans scheme better than any of the free agents aside from Kolb.It was a mistake imho but there are alot of decent free agent q.b.'s so it could be alright. Then again Gabbert could be a star and Shannahans guy could fall flat on his face resulting in an epic draft blunder. This isnt like passing on Brady or Warner, this will be considered a blunder if Gabbert pans out PERIOD. Since I love gabbert and don't like how any of the free agents fit the system I'm gonna predict a draft blunder and thus rate it as such.

Kerrigan doesn't translate well to 3-4 olb to me, Jenkins was solid but a reach for sure, Hankerson was a great pick.

All in all I think the C grade is generous....more like a D

If they can somehow miraculously grab Kolb I eat all my words, anybody else I stand by the blunder prediction.

steelcrew43
05-03-2011, 09:13 AM
redskins should just fold up the franchise because they blow

duckseason
05-03-2011, 09:32 AM
I think it was obvious all along that Locker was Shanahan's guy. Probably the easiest selection to mock but the experts seemed oblivious. Pretty sure he's never liked a QB prospect more. Had they had the ammo, opportunity and felt the need to trade in front of Tennessee, I'm sure they would have.

After missing on Shanahan's dream prospect and only sure-thing QB in the draft, I thought Washington handled the draft well considering their lack of value to begin with.

Hankerson was a steal and fills a huge need.

Would have liked to see them select Powell over Helu but what do I know.

I give them a B with the caveat that a grade should be based on what a team had to work with to begin with.

JRTPlaya21
05-03-2011, 10:05 AM
redskins should just fold up the franchise because they blow

Thanks for your highly valuable post.

MI_Buckeye
05-03-2011, 11:07 AM
"A little too cute"?? This team desperately needed more picks to try and fill depth on a completely depleted roster and for once in the last ten years our front office actually worked the draft. I don't at all under stand your "C" grade. In the first two rounds we added two impact players likely to start right away at two of the biggest areas of need on our roster. In the 3rd we got great value on a WR with #1 potential, again at a position of immediate need. Helu is basically a faster version of Torrain without the injury concerns that have plagued him his entire career and is an ideal fit in Shanahans offense. Paul and Aldrick again were geat value and Nield is a 7th rounder that should see significant playing time in rotation his rookie year. If any of the other guys pan out its just icing on the cake.

Also, how is Gomes going to beat out Reed for a starting spot when Landry and Otogwe are the starters? I do think Gomes has a shot at beating out Reed for a backup role though. The only two picks that I didnt like were the Hurt and White picks but they were 7th rounders so I can't complain that much.

With all that said, I can't understand giving the Skins lower than "B" for the way they were able to work the draft and bring in players at positions of need that should be able to make significant contributions. If your dropping them for not taking a QB than that is BS. If anything we should be given a better grade for not reaching on a QB that doesnt fit Shanahans offense just to say we took a QB.

Thanks for reminding me, I forgot about O.J. in the secondary.

I gave the Skins a C, because their first pick was a guy I think will have a decently hard time converting to a new position, and I didn't love the value of most of their picks, the biggest exception being Hankerson. Also, and I know I sort of said I would give them a pass on it, but I would have prefered taking Gabbert at ten and just growing with him.

I know they badly needed to build depth, but how much help are you really getting when half of your picks are after the sixth round. It was an interesting approach, but one I don't think will ultimately have an enormous impact on the franchise.

Babylon
05-03-2011, 11:18 AM
Either Blaine Gabbert was terribly overhyped or they are looking to potentially bigger things down the road because the pick of a QB at #10 seemed obvious to me. They'll be right there i think for the top QBs next year and that isnt a bad thing.

DiG
05-03-2011, 11:24 AM
I know they badly needed to build depth, but how much help are you really getting when half of your picks are after the sixth round. It was an interesting approach, but one I don't think will ultimately have an enormous impact on the franchise.

Remember that going into the draft we also did not have a 3rd or 4th round pick. Yes we added a handful of later round selections, that will hopefully provide depth, but most importantly we were able to snag Hankerson and Helu who should both have great opportunities to make contributions their rookie year and project to a lot more down the road. We were the oldest team in the league last year and its so refreshing to see a change in philosophy. If the Shanahans truly thought highly of Gabbert and felt he could be a franchise QB I have no doubt they would have taken him but it makes no sense to take him anyway and try to force him to change.

Basically we turned Gabbert at #10 into:

Ryan Kerrigan, Leonard Hankerson, Roy Helu, Aldrick Robinson, and Dejon Gomes

Iamcanadian
05-03-2011, 01:56 PM
Didn't like this draft or their draft philosophy.
They had better sign somebody decent to play QB else this team has the look of a franchise on the abyss. Snyder's interference in the past has left this franchise in a desperate position.
1st round pick. I love Kerrigan but having 2 OLB's who basically are pass rushers only leaves huge ?????????? marks about their pass defense. Orakpo has a very hard time dropping into coverage, now they have 2 OLB's who cannot do it very well????
2nd round pick was decent but a WR who drops balls all over the place isn't something I want to build my team on.
I just don't see a comprehensive plan for rebuilding the franchise, everything seems stopgap to me and pure futility.
I'll give them a B because Kerrigan is a very decent prospect even if it creates more problems than it solves but I see no future for this team.

DiG
05-03-2011, 02:19 PM
2nd round pick was decent but a WR who drops balls all over the place isn't something I want to build my team on.

If your referring to Hankerson he was 3rd round and his drop issues came early in his college career. Go on youtube and watch the private workouts he dedicated himself to in order to improve where he knew he needed development. He took it on his own to get better and his senior year showed how much hard work can pay off. Even with poor QB play he managed to become only the 3rd Miami WR to put up over 1000 yards in a season and he set the single season TD record. Not to mention his rare size/speed combo at 6'1, a solid 215 and a 4.4 40.

Iamcanadian
05-03-2011, 02:27 PM
If your referring to Hankerson he was 3rd round and his drop issues came early in his college career. Go on youtube and watch the private workouts he dedicated himself to in order to improve where he knew he needed development. He took it on his own to get better and his senior year showed how much hard work can pay off. Even with poor QB play he managed to become only the 3rd Miami WR to put up over 1000 yards in a season and he set the single season TD record. Not to mention his rare size/speed combo at 6'1, a solid 215 and a 4.4 40.

I know he was a 3rd round pick which is where his value lay. Charley Casserly said he put on film of 3 games of Hankerson from last season and saw him drop 6 balls. He also didn't seem to play at a 4.4 speed on the football field. These reasons are why he dropped to round 3 even though everybody thought he had round 1 potential from his Senior Bowl performance. They forgot that scouts and GM's go back to watch film to see how he performed during his final season, and the film wasn't flattering.

SolidGold
05-03-2011, 02:37 PM
Didn't like this draft or their draft philosophy.
They had better sign somebody decent to play QB else this team has the look of a franchise on the abyss. Snyder's interference in the past has left this franchise in a desperate position.
1st round pick. I love Kerrigan but having 2 OLB's who basically are pass rushers only leaves huge ?????????? marks about their pass defense. Orakpo has a very hard time dropping into coverage, now they have 2 OLB's who cannot do it very well????
2nd round pick was decent but a WR who drops balls all over the place isn't something I want to build my team on.
I just don't see a comprehensive plan for rebuilding the franchise, everything seems stopgap to me and pure futility.
I'll give them a B because Kerrigan is a very decent prospect even if it creates more problems than it solves but I see no future for this team.

I guess they are damned if they do, damned if they don't. Prior to this year the Redskins were frowned upon for acquiring overpriced free agents and squandering draft picks in trades rather than building through the draft. This year they do the exact opposite. They might not have drafted their QB of the future but they did achieve their goal of acquiring several young players to infuse youth and potential into the franchise with one of the oldest roster sin the league. Shanahan is trying to change the culture. The Redskins were not 1 or 2 players away from winning the super bowl. This draft was encompassed the big picture rather than the win now and blow off the future failed mentality of the previous front office.

I think they will be a much more run heavy team this year with the drafting of Helu and Royster to go along with Torain. A vet QB (Grossman probably) will play the role of "game manager' and they will count on the defense keeping games close.

Once Free agency starts it will be interesting to see what they direction they decide to go with QB. They more than likely will try to trade McNabb and Haynesworth for either players or draft picks. Depending on how their record is this year and what type of compensation they get for McNabb or Haynesworth, they could very well be stockpiling picks to target Luck in the 2012 draft.

Iamcanadian
05-03-2011, 02:51 PM
I guess they are damned if they do, damned if they don't. Prior to this year the Redskins were frowned upon for acquiring overpriced free agents and squandering draft picks in trades rather than building through the draft. This year they do the exact opposite. They might not have drafted their QB of the future but they did achieve their goal of acquiring several young players to infuse youth and potential into the franchise with one of the oldest roster sin the league. Shanahan is trying to change the culture. The Redskins were not 1 or 2 players away from winning the super bowl. This draft was encompassed the big picture rather than the win now and blow off the future failed mentality of the previous front office.

You still didn't answer how they can play 2 OLBers who will have problems dropping into pass coverage. They already had a pass rushing OLB, why didn't they look for an impact player at another position to help put in place a foundation for a rebuilding process.

I think they will be a much more run heavy team this year with the drafting of Helu and Royster to go along with Torain. A vet QB (Grossman probably) will play the role of "game manager' and they will count on the defense keeping games close.

Give me a break, they are a solid F in this department. They aren't going to scare anybody running the football.

Once Free agency starts it will be interesting to see what they direction they decide to go with QB. They more than likely will try to trade McNabb and Haynesworth for either players or draft picks. Depending on how their record is this year and what type of compensation they get for McNabb or Haynesworth, they could very well be stockpiling picks to target Luck in the 2012 draft.

Maybe they can get a 3rd or a 4th for McNabb, they pretty well set his value when they took him out of his starting position.
Haynesworth is a noose around their necks, if they can cut him, not sure of any cap implications they will but his trade value = 0.
They had better hope that Luck is everything draftniks are saying about him because they are in an excellent position to be in his sweepstakes.

D-Unit
05-03-2011, 02:51 PM
Awesome report and analysis MI_Buckeye!

phlysac
05-03-2011, 03:03 PM
Any validity to the rumors that Shanny was hoping to get Kaepernick at pick #41?

SolidGold
05-03-2011, 03:06 PM
I do not think McNabb or Haynesworth will get them any early picks, at this point they will be happy to get anything they can.

Next year's QB class seems to be a lot deeper with less question marks on paper. Luck, Barkley, Foles, Cousins could all be potential first rounds depending on their play this upcoming season. I think Luck, Barkley or Cousins could fit into the Redskins offense scheme.

FUNBUNCHER
05-03-2011, 03:27 PM
Why didn't Shanahan pick Gabbert???

Three names; Andrew Luck/Landry Jones/Matt Barkley.

If Shanny starts Beck at the beginning of the season, you can bet that's the gameplan, to infuse the roster with youth and play hard enough, ( but not win that much) to be in a position to pick a QB he really covets in 2012.

As for Kerrigan, IMO he's the same level of athlete as Brian Orakpo. His conversion shouldn't be difficult, and if he proves a capable pass rusher, together they should get us 20+ sacks a year.

SeanTaylorRIP
05-03-2011, 04:00 PM
Didn't like this draft or their draft philosophy.
They had better sign somebody decent to play QB else this team has the look of a franchise on the abyss. Snyder's interference in the past has left this franchise in a desperate position.
1st round pick. I love Kerrigan but having 2 OLB's who basically are pass rushers only leaves huge ?????????? marks about their pass defense. Orakpo has a very hard time dropping into coverage, now they have 2 OLB's who cannot do it very well????
2nd round pick was decent but a WR who drops balls all over the place isn't something I want to build my team on.
I just don't see a comprehensive plan for rebuilding the franchise, everything seems stopgap to me and pure futility.
I'll give them a B because Kerrigan is a very decent prospect even if it creates more problems than it solves but I see no future for this team.

Here's the thing the Skins basically needed a starter at every single position other than maybe TE and safety. This was definitely a good start. You can't address everything in one offseason when we need to rebuild completely. Also why would you think we are trying to build around a 3rd round WR? With Moss likely to resign and Anthony Armstrong developing into a great deep threat, if Hankerson can eventually contribute as a #2 or 3 that woudl be a great value for a 3rd rounder. No one is expecting him to be a pro bowler. Also how does 12 picks show a "stop gap" mentality of rebuilding. What that tells me is that we are creating youth and competition. Even if only 6 or 7 of these guys make the roster the compeition created is well worth it. Guys like Dejon Gomes, Brandyn Thompson, Chris Nield are the kind of lunch pail guys missing from our weak roster. Lastly I'm glad we didnt' draft Gabbbert. I personally am not a fan of drafting a QB just to draft one. If you don't believe in a guy as a franchise QB don't take him. It's a wasted pick. I truly believe Shanny was only comfortable with Jake Locker in this draft. Gabbert actually isn't a good fit for Shanny. Shannahan values a guy who can get it out quick, be mobile in the pocket and throw on the run, and hit that deep ball. Gabbert only fits the bill with the release. Despite his 40 time he is not accurate on the run and his deep ball is laughable. I'll take Kaepernick's deep ball over his. I like that we chose to rebuild. We probably won't end up with Luck but I'm still happy that we aren't settling. Personally I think guys like Dalton, Kaepernick, and Stanzi in the long run will be backups. We didn't need to draft backup QB. We needed a franchise QB so I don't understand people criticising us for not trading up in the 2nd to grab one of these guys.

When you just break it down these are the two scenario's of what we could have done and what we did do:

We could have drafted Blaine Gabbert at #10.

Instead we turned the #10 pick into:

-Ryan Kerrigan
-Leonard Hankerson
-Roy Helu
-Dejon Gomes
-Maurice Hurtt

For the oldest and least talented roster in the league I'll take those 5 guys over a QB the front office isn't convinced about any day. From that list you are looking at 3 potential starters. People have come on us hard and no I don't love this draft but the fact is we started the draft with no 3rd or 4th rounder and brought in a decent haul. People say drafting 3 WR's was too much, but you know what right now we have 2 WR's on contract, Anthony Arrmstrong and Brandon Banks. So you tell me if we needed depth. And sure maybe 2 RB's seemed a bit much but the only guys we have on contract are Ryan Torrain and Keiland Williams. So yeah I am happy about getting 2 backs who fit Shanny's system. I think Helu or Royster could very well be the starter next year.

Iamcanadian
05-03-2011, 11:12 PM
I'm trying to be fair but call me dumb, but I just don't get it.
Just don't like the looks of this draft. I know Washington is in a mess but why Kerrigan when you already have a pass rushing OLB. Nothing against Kerrigan but does he really help your 3-4?

SeanTaylorRIP
05-03-2011, 11:44 PM
I'm trying to be fair but call me dumb, but I just don't get it.
Just don't like the looks of this draft. I know Washington is in a mess but why Kerrigan when you already have a pass rushing OLB. Nothing against Kerrigan but does he really help your 3-4?

Orakpo is the only rusher on the entire team. It became way too predictable teams would just load to his side because we literally never rushed from the other side. Trust if you've seen me in the Skins thread I've said that Kerrigan is a much better 43 fit and that he's going to struggle in pass coverage. But he's definitely strong against the run and has a endess motor when rushing the passer. He'll be nice playing the run on first down and rushing the QB on 3rd down. I've said it he probably starts out as a situational rusher maybe even playing some end but he definitely brings an added dimension our defense lacks. Lorenzo Alexander was a DT/OT who we promoted to starting OLB, so trust me this is a huge upgrade. Now we can kick Alexander inside ala Levon Kirkland.