I've been reading a lot of posts and comments lately claiming that our D-Line is the reason behind why our run defense is so bad. And I could not disagree more.
Although I can understand the confusion behind the blame. We've been running a 4-3 for 10 years before this season. And in the 4-3 it is majoritivly the D-Line's responsibility to stop the run, with the backers complimenting that responsibility while also taking care of pass coverage.
In the 3-4 however the the OLB's have a much larger responsibility in stopping the run. Our biggest issue this year has been the fact that we don't have any good OLB's. Sure we have Chris Keslay who's playing well, but he's a DE playing OLB. The rest of our LB's should be playing ILB in a 3-4. We quite literally don't have a single OLB on this team.
As for our current D-line it's actually rather good. Meatball is turning into one of the best NT's in the NFL, and would probably be just as good at DE. Dwan Edwards was very good and second in the NFL in D-Line stats (behind Williams) when he went down to injury. Stroud has been getting better every game, and both Troup and Carrington show promiss going into the future. Our line is just fine.
What we need before anything else are quality OLB's that can both stop the run and create a pass rush.
With all that said I still would not pass up the opportunity to draft either Fairley or Bowers. And considering Nix's draft philosophy it might be exactly what happens and I'd love the pick in either case. But the fact remains that our line is not our biggest problem on D