Continuing in my potential under the radar free agents that we might pursue series, here are two DL candidates that OBD might decide to take a look at:
Jimmy Kennedy, 6'4" 320lbs (Min)
He was a first round bust. The thing I noticed is that he's bounced around from team to team since being release by the Rams and never really had any success. He has played DT in a 4-3 his whole career and frankly I think he'd be the perfect prospect for a 3-4 NT position. He is a huge man that would probably flourish as a NT. I am certain that we could pick him up on the cheap side. They say that he could grow his frame to 400lbs!
Here is what ESPN Insider has to say about him:
Gabe Watson, 6'4" 330lbs (Ari)
Another NT prospect that has played his whole career in a 4-3. I know that Arizone is morphing into a 3-4 but still, Watson is more of a 3-4 NT than 4-3 DT so his numbers were very ordinary. He is a RFA and to my knowledge has not been tendered yet. He was a 4th round pick so he might be worth looking at if he gets the minimum tender before Friday.
Here is what ESPN Insider has to say about him:
Watson is a massive nose tackle who plays with natural power and leverage. He can play a two-gap defense and at times is dominant. He has the ability to keep his pad level down, when fresh, and hold his ground against double teams or push the pocket back with a powerful bull rush. He still needs to work on his hand use because he tends to let blockers get into his body more than you'd like. He also needs to work on understanding and recognizing blocking schemes because he will get surprised too often. He does a good job of locating the level of the ball and takes good angles, but gets by far the majority of his production in the tackle box. He has limited lateral range and can struggle when he needs to stop and redirect. He lacks speed for pursuit and does not make many plays downfield. He is pretty much one-dimensional as a pass-rusher with his bull rush and needs to develop more counter moves as he matures. He can tire during the course of a series or a game and will need to work on his endurance and weight management
Then there's the possibility of trading for Red Bryant (SEA)
He was a 4th round selection in 2008. He is way better suited IMO as a NT in a 3-4. SEA brought in a young veteran last year in Colin Cole so Bryant is a luxury they probably can afford to trade away. Seattle need some help at DB and we could send Ashton Youboty, a former 3rd round pick in exchange for Bryant.
This was his scouting report 2 years ago:
|Strengths||Shows good initial quickness for size, aggressive and makes the occasional play in the backfield. Has excellent bulk, though inconsistent in this area can stay low to the ground and is stout at the point of attack. Plays with a mean streak, shows good upper body strength and can shed blocks quickly though a little inconsistent in this area. Has excellent size and can anchor when teams run at him. Flashes an effective rip move and shows a good not great motor when rushing the passer. Gets hands up when isn't going to get to the quarterback, times jumps well and excels at tipping passes. Blocked an extra-point attempt in 2006, blocked a kick in 2004 and can contribute on special teams. Voted permanent team captain in 2006, is a leader of the field and shows a knack for making plays in key situations.|
|Weaknesses||Lacks ideal closing speed and doesn't always get there when gets a clear path to the quarterback. Takes too long to change directions, doesn't show a wide variety of pass rush moves and doesn't force offensive linemen to redirect in pass protection. Though flashes the ability to collapse the pocket and has the potential to develop into a powerful bull rusher, doesn't always get under blocker's pads or drive legs once in position. Doesn't always use hands to protect legs and struggles to fight over cut blocks. Lacks ideal range and isn't going to make many plays in pursuit. Gets too caught up in individual battles, takes too long to locate the ball carrier and gets caught out of position at times. While started 12 games and appeared in all 13 games in 2007, sustained a season-ending knee injury in 2006 and durability is a concern. Has some problems controlling emotions, lacks ideal discipline and is vulnerable to getting flagged.|
Bryant arrived at Texas A&M in 2003 and redshirted that year. In his first three seasons (2004-'06), he appeared in 32 games (30 starts) at nose guard and right defensive tackle, registering 81 tackles (13.5 for losses) and 5.5 sacks. In 2006, Bryant tore the ACL in his right knee, returned for one game after sitting out a week, and then missed the Aggies' final three games after deciding to undergo season-ending surgery. As a senior he played in all 13 games (and started the first 12), finishing with 46 tackles (six for losses), one sack, two pass breakups, a forced fumble, a blocked kick and a safety. Bryant doesn't have ideal closing speed or athletic ability but he has the quickness, size and toughness to develop into an excellent run stuffer and adequate interior pass rusher if he can stay healthy and sharpen his technique. He projects as a late first-day pick as a result.
So there you go, three under the radar options for our NT need. Let the discussion begin!