Since almost every other site has a user who over sells there team, I'd figure I'll do the same.
It's the offseason. A time where everyone gets optimistic about their roster, and positions. Comes from getting a certain player in free agency, and/or a prospect you drafted that looks very promising. We really don't know if these expectations we have will really come true, but the most likely case is that whatever happens with how our positions will play out, isn't what we expect will happen.
So tis the season of optimism! Let's get started.
Last year, we had rookie Chandler Jones start at RE, and looked to have been a DRotY candidate before he hurt his ankle half way into the season. He notched up 6 sacks, 45 tackles, and 3 forced fumbles. For a 1st round rookie, that is usually more than what you can expect, and his potential is through the roof. This year, Chandler has worked out with UFC phenom brother Jon Jones, and has said to put on 10 pounds of muscle. Chandler is looking to make a year 2 jump, and so far with his arm length, explosion, strength, quickness, potential, he will be a pass rushing force on the right side. The experience he received will only help him too.
Next to Wilfork, we had Kyle Love and Deadrick play. Both were average DL, though Love was real good against the run. But now, we signed Tommy Kelly and CFL star Armon Armstead. The likely candidate to start is Kelly. Kelly is big at 320 lbs. Bigger than Kyle Love. However, unlike Kyle, Kelly can actually rush the passer fairly well. Something we needed up the middle. In Oakland, Kelly had to play next to a broken Seymour and Shaugnessy who was playing hurt mostly. Yet still, Kelly got above average production with the Raiders DL, and you could only imagine what he could do with Wilfork and Chandler Jones next to him. There should be some very good rush up the middle. Now Armstead, since we can assume there will be a rotation with him, has been a CFL star, and considered widely to be a late 2nd round pick if he were to enter the draft. In video, he has shown to rush the passer very well, and you can expect the same on our own DL.
Wilfork will FINALLY have a solid to very good DT to play next to him, and he will be much more of a force than he was last year. He has shown no signs of slowing down, and will be wreaking havoc on opponents DL while Kelly, Jones, and Nink will be getting one on one matchups and exploiting them heavily.
Ninkovich is one of the most underrated players in the league. He can not only drop back in coverage, but has shown last year that he can be a playmaker. He can set the edge, rush the passer, and even force fumbles. Every year he has improved, and I don't expect him to stop improving any time soon. When it comes to consistency, his name is written all over it, and when Wilfork, Kelly, and Jones are doing work, I can see Nink getting at least 8 sacks.
As far as depth goes, we have Bequette, who was the best pass rusher in his college division a year ago, Collins who can play DE if need be and was a really good player in college, Justin Francis who was doing real well in his limited role, Jason Vega who is another CFL player who was an above average pass rusher there, Jermaine Cunningham who was an effective player last year, and Michael Buchanon who has a lot of potential himself and is real quick for his size.
So since it's the offseason of optimism, what are your thoughts on how our DL will do?