- 04/18/2011, 02:42AM ET
Goodell 2.0 said 04/18, 02:42 AM
If you were creating an all time team, here would be the "big board" on the top 5 rated Defensive lineman to draft
1-A) Reggie White - we all know what kind of help DE pressure brings to the totality of the defense. He retired as the NFL's all time sack leader with 198. Named to the all decade teams of the 80's and 90's. There is only 1 person you could make an argument for as a better pass rushing DE
1-B) Bruce Smith - Not very often do you see DE's fly off the board at #1 overall. NFL's all time leader in sacks, and one of only a handful of players to record 10 or more sacks in 13 different seasons. He also got the nod to the NFL's all decade team for the 80's and 90's. 9 time All pro, 11 time PBer, and 2 time NFL Defensive Player of the year
3) Merlin Olsen - You wanna talk about durability? Tied with Bruce Matthew's for an NFL Record 14 consecutive PB's, and played in almost 200 straight games. Won Defensive ROY honors, drafted in the top 3 in both the NFL and AFL drafts. He even won the "Bert Bell Award" which was basically the league MVP
4) Joe Green - Almost out of space more to come in 2nd
5) Alan Page - Almost out of space more to come in 2nd
(Un) said 04/18, 10:05 PM
I'm using heights and weights listed off ProFootballReference.com
1. Reggie White - 6'5 291lbs
2. Bruce Smith - 6'4 262lbs
3. Deacon Jones - 6'5 272lbs
4. Joe Greene - 6'4 275lbs
5. Merlin Olsen - 6'5 270lbs
In the NFL, size matters. I expect my linemen to have the size to play in any era. Therefore the 6'4 245lb Alan Page did not make my board.
I would expect Reggie White to get drafted before Bruce Smith for two reasons:
- Rare physical size
- Sack per game average
White averaged .85 sacks per game (198 sacks, 232 games)
Smith averaged .72 sacks per game (200 sacks, 279 games)
So why is Deacon Jones third?
A little known rule change implemented in 1978:
- Pass blocking rules were amended to permit extended arms and open hands.
Basically, in comparison to the blockers White and Smith faced, offensive linemen going against Deacon Jones had their hands tied behind their back.
Additionally, anyone who has ever watched film on Deacon Jones saw a lot of facemask tackles and ear hole headslaps, both of which have since been outlawed. He's a 15-yard penalty waiting to happen.
Goodell 2.0 said 04/19, 03:01 AM
"I would expect Reggie White to get drafted before Bruce Smith"
And thats where you are WRONG...
Few people remember that Smith played at DE in a 3-4 his entire CAREER and still racked in those numbers. Who was the last 3-4 DE to lead the NFL in sacks.....??? Go ahead...look it up. Pretty sure it was Smith
White played at the LE spot his ENTIRE CAREER. Which means he was NEVER facing the opposing teams best pass blocker, because a Left End is going up against a Right Tackle. While Smith played RE going up against Left Tackles. The fact that Smith faced BETTER blocking and MORE of it (because of the 3-4), Smith is just as good if not BETTER than White
"In the NFL, size matters. I expect my linemen to have the size to play in any era. Therefore the 6'4 245lb Alan Page did not make my board."
Um...Alan Page was the FIRST defensive player ever named NFL MVP. And he is the ONLY defensive lineman with that honor.
Thats worth repeating....
Alan Page played DT and was named NFL MVP...The only other defensive player with an MVP nod is LT. So YES, he is on the big board.
(Un) said 04/19, 09:41 PM
Few people remember Bruce Smith played in a 3-4 defense?
Less people remember that Reggie White split time at defensive tackle. 1980s, Buddy Ryan era, which also happened to be some of the most prolific seasons of White's career.
Assuming we're talking about the first defensive lineman drafted, to what would presumably be an otherwise empty new roster, most teams would prefer versatility. Reggie White gets the edge.
Despite my admittedly harsh reasons for dropping him to #3
How can you not include Deacon Jones?
White, Smith, Jones - few agree on which of the three is the best. They will undoubtedly get drafted 1, 2, 3 in some order. I had to make room for Deacon Jones.
Once again, assuming this fantasy draft includes all-time players, they will be expected to play against guys from every era - this is important.
Alan Page is the only lineman mentioned who lacks the size to play his natural position in every era.
For example, could a 245lb defensive tackle dominate in the present day NFL? Doubtful.
Page simply would not transcend eras as smoothly as White, Smith, Jones, Greene or Olsen.
(Un) said 04/21, 08:20 PM
Albeit Alan Page, we haven't gotten to talk about the defensive tackles yet. I made a slight change and placed Joe Greene above Merlin Olsen. Here is why:
1. Joe Greene is a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year; Olsen won zero. In the year Olsen won the "Bert Bell Award", 1974, guess who was named D-POY? That's right, Mean Joe Greene.
2. Joe Greene is the most often cited leader of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers "Steel Curtain" defense - a defense which led Pittsburgh to four Super Bowl wins.
3. There were a lot of great players on those 70s Steeler teams. But there was only one Hall of Fame defensive lineman: Joe Greene.
Compare that to Merlin Olsen who literally lined up next to Deacon Jones from 1962-1972 (11 seasons). That's left defensive tackle playing next to left defensive end.
4. Joe Greene predominantly lined up at the A-Gap (between the center and the guard), forcing offensive linemen to double-team him for entire games. Yet he still managed to consistently break free into the backfield.
That's about all I've got.
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