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2022 Free Agent All-22 Analysis: DT Tim Settle

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NFL Free Agency often feels like a game of musical chairs. With teams having varying levels of attractiveness, some clubs can fall behind and lose out on adding potential new stars. Those teams might have to settle for what’s left over. For the Buffalo Bills, rather than settle they found a player with that name. By the way, if you’re reading this Tim Settle, please don’t punch me in the face for that awful intro. Let’s hit the tape.


Play 1

Tim Settle looks like he’s moving to the left (Cody Ford’s right), then swats with his right arm to drive Ford further in that direction while cutting back inside. Ford recovers enough to prevent a sack or QB hit, but Settle gets a pressure solely through technique and that isn’t bad at all. Also note that Josh Allen still completed the pass. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

Play 2

I always like to have at least one flaw tossed in, so here you go. Dion Dawkins gets his arms up before Settle can and pops Settle in the shoulder pads hard. The bend in his back is not in the same zip code as “good.” Dawkins only makes quick contact and Settle recovers pretty well. Overall, while I’ll be focusing on upside, there was some inconsistency noted in technique that can lead to situations like this.

Tangent: Did you notice he was lined up as a defensive end? Defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier and head coach Sean McDermott love versatility.

Play 3

This is mostly against Mitch Morse who we all know how I feel about. Settle didn’t win every rep against the Bills’ center, but he did win a few and that’s notable. Allen is again pressured by Settle—and again he completes the pass, but more than one player can be good on a given play.

Play 4

Here he’s one-on-one with Morse and this is about as good of an argument for upside as I think you’ll find. He uses some counter momentum and a swim move to yet again get closer to Josh Allen than we should be comfortable with. And yes, Allen completes the pass this time too.

Play 5

I like this for a look at upside versus a double team. It takes a step-and-a-half or so to halt Settle and even then there’s a bit of a struggle. Settle also spins free when he needs to. Some double teams have the two offensive linemen merely existing to stop the defensive lineman. If the need to disengage arises they can do so easily. With this level of effort needed to maintain position against Settle it’s much harder to just let go and find another block.

Play 6

Settle is again getting some interior push. The right arm starts off with a swat, and then another lighter hit. That’s not incredibly effective by itself, though Settle is making progress. It’s harder to catch at the tail end of the clip, but Settle whips the arm underneath and shoves like an uppercut, which did make some real progress. The ability to keep the legs churning while attempting some complex hand fighting is a thing I enjoy seeing.

Play 7

This combines a few of the things above and then really shows off his hustle. Most defensive linemen aren’t catching Patrick Mahomes. Tim Settle won’t either in a foot race for the record. But I love how hard he tries. All it takes is one redirection back toward him and that hustle turns into a bad time for Mahomes.


Summary

I know I focused a lot on upside but let’s be clear I’m not trying to throw a gold jacket Tim Settle’s way (though I’m not opposed to him proving me wrong by any means). What I am driving at is that Settle was a depth player who very rarely saw the field for half of any game, yet represents a high-upside player who could do very well in Buffalo.

Settle doesn’t flash athletically but that cuts both ways as there’s no liability there either. He does flash some solid technique. As noted above, he had some wins against Mitch Morse who I feel sets a pretty high bar for quality of competition.