Zacch Pickens / DL article

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RichH55
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malk wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 12:16 pm
dplank wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 10:27 am

Great point. I do think Edmunds is going to play a lot better this year, but he's making a TON of money for a MLB. And if we are moving on from many of the old tropes about Cover 2, maybe we should also move on from the "need a tall MLB to cover the deep middle" trope at the same time? Sanborn could man the middle quite well I think, at a fraction of that cost.
I don't want to bag on Edmunds too much, I happen to think he isn't great but the major issue is that it just isn't' a position that should command that much cap. As you say, Sanborn could do most of what he does and the change have negligible impact on wins and losses.

No one is trading for Edmunds, I absolutely meant it as being a Madden type move. It's definitely the worst thing Poles has done though, even worse than the Claypool trade imo. If that money was put towards resigning JJ and we, say, kept Morrow for depth then we could have been in the running for Burns, Hunter, Huff, Greenard etc.

This is a strong take.

I see your overall point (not sure I agree) - Cannot say it was worse than the Claypool trade though.

Though that is an intriguing thought suggestion: How much Cap Room would you give for a 2nd Room Pick?
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dplank wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 9:21 am So much of these individual rankings are artificially skewed by team results, it's pretty darn annoying.

So I think if the team performs well, and Edmunds plays better, that we could see his ranking shoot way up - for whatever that's worth lol.
Definitely a good amount of truth to this.


As for Edmunds, I do think he will and/or should be under the microscope after this season, as to whether his price tag & performance are in synch, unless there's a big jump for him.
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RichH55 wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 9:57 am
dplank wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 10:27 am

Great point. I do think Edmunds is going to play a lot better this year, but he's making a TON of money for a MLB. And if we are moving on from many of the old tropes about Cover 2, maybe we should also move on from the "need a tall MLB to cover the deep middle" trope at the same time? Sanborn could man the middle quite well I think, at a fraction of that cost.
Edmunds would be one guy potentially on the chopping block when we get to that point Cap Wise.

It's just the nature of playing a "non-premium" position
a non-premium position? like guard?

Anyway, i think if there's one constant about flus' defense, it's that people try and shoehorn it into what they know. If MLB is a non-premium position, why did they run off and spend so much on it to start? There is a void year tacked on the end of his contract, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me to see the bears extend him, he's still young.

And then fans can continue to just say he doesnt play a premium position and we'll all get on with our day.
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RichH55 wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 9:57 am
dplank wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 10:27 am

Great point. I do think Edmunds is going to play a lot better this year, but he's making a TON of money for a MLB. And if we are moving on from many of the old tropes about Cover 2, maybe we should also move on from the "need a tall MLB to cover the deep middle" trope at the same time? Sanborn could man the middle quite well I think, at a fraction of that cost.
Edmunds would be one guy potentially on the chopping block when we get to that point Cap Wise.

It's just the nature of playing a "non-premium" position
It's a premium position in this defense. Eberflus, more than once, has referenced Edmunds and Urlacher in the same sentence. When you are running this scheme, having a 6'4.5", 253 lbs dude with 34.5" arms and a 4.54 dash is very much so a desired commodity. You shut down passing windows and make QBs quite uncomfortable (especially if you're generating and/or ramping up the pressure).

I'm a bit surprised reading takes that he could/would/should be on the chopping block after this season. Barring injury or some sort of meltdown/severe decrease in play (he's 26 years old...) I don't think he's going anywhere. I think Eberflus sees Edmunds/Edwards as his Urlacher/Briggs.
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Rusty Trombagent wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 10:14 am
RichH55 wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 9:57 am

Edmunds would be one guy potentially on the chopping block when we get to that point Cap Wise.

It's just the nature of playing a "non-premium" position
a non-premium position? like guard?

Anyway, i think if there's one constant about flus' defense, it's that people try and shoehorn it into what they know. If MLB is a non-premium position, why did they run off and spend so much on it to start? There is a void year tacked on the end of his contract, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me to see the bears extend him, he's still young.

And then fans can continue to just say he doesnt play a premium position and we'll all get on with our day.
Yes;)

Answering why they spent money on MLB - They had it and didn't really have anyone else to spend it on is PART of that answer. This is often how guys at non-premium positions wind up getting Paid. Couple that with him being good, young, and basically the prototype in terms of size/speed.

It will be interesting to see what they think of Sewell's progress. I think they know they have a player in Sanborn. If they think Sewell is a viable LB and you can replace Edmunds with Sanborn for 1/3 to 1/4 the cost - That has to be tempting when you have a lot of choices to make circa 2026. Especially when off the ball linebacker tends to be an easier position to get in the draft and typically does not cost absolute premium picks

Of course, the answer might also just not really have a scarcity issue in terms of Cap with Caleb on a Rookie deal for 4 Years. (5th Year being less than Market, but not the outright bargain of the first 4 years). - Maybe they Can just pay everyone?
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malk wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 9:29 am
wab wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 8:17 am You are losing exactly about a half of a sack per game in Jones and Ngakoue (combined). That doesn't feel like a huge hill to climb.
Exactly about? :P

With Jones (739 snaps) there are the 4.5 sacks but also the 22 overall pressures and 10 tackles for loss and in those pressures there were 12 QB knockdowns. Those are exactly the types of play that lead to interceptions and they'll definitely be missed if they aren't picked up elsewhere. Fortunately Dexter had 17 pressures on only 432 snaps so hopefully he can surpass Jones with a bigger load. 0 TFL last year but, again, hopefully that comes with development and him actually being on the field for rush downs!

Ngakoue wasn't anywhere near as good, 11 overall pressures and 6 TFLs can likely be made up by whomever gets those snaps. 592 to distribute and Sweat will get around 350 of those, the rest going to booker and a DomRob getting a few more...

Pickens taking up from what Green left...

We're not far off but still feel one light.
This is very solid take.

Justin Jones will be a loss - but Dexter taking a step forward (or even just playing like his 2nd half self rather than 1st Half) WILL help on that. Jury is still very much out on Pickens.

On DE? I don't get the depth arguments relative to last year. Aside from Sweat the range is Just a Guy to Just a Guy with some position variability along the DL. And ultimately we are replacing a guy like Ngaukoue (*) - Who wasn't good.

(*). Basically people are wanting another Ngaukoue signing (presumably at MUCH less cost) - to have the certainty of the Vet with the name you know (Full Disclosure: I fall into that Camp - I think Ogbah or Campbell would be nice adds!). BUT basically overlooking the amount these guys typically help

DE there is a good case that we could use a real upgrade on DE2 - The starter. Depth?
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 2:40 am
Bearfacts wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 1:21 pm I feel pretty safe in saying Poles will not be trading Jaylon Johnson for an edge rusher. He's arguably the top shut down corner in the NFL and we just locked him up through 2027. There are other possibilities to explore if Poles believes it's needed.
I do not believe Poles trades JJ either. Nevertheless I don't think it's a bad idea. Trading away from a position of depth to fill a shortcoming on what I think is a more important area.

Using the contract AAV as a value guide we can get a stud DE at $20M per year.

Given the choice of having the best pass rush in the league v having the best secondary I take the best pass rush every time especially given the base defense that we run.

Just for reference, but this illustrates the importance of the front four generating the pass rush in a Cover-2.

https://footballadvantage.com/cover-2-d ... gle%20play.
Check out the piece on the Bears DT by Jonathan Wood. Dexter may be much farther along as in inside pass rusher than we think.

The more surprising thing is just how average or even below average Justin Jones was. If Dexter and Pickens are manning the 3 tech spot it doesn't look to me like they'll have much trouble putting up much better stats than Jones and Dexter did last year. We need a penetrating 3 tech more than another DE right now and trading for one who might cost us a 25 year old top shut down CB isn't my idea of an overall improvement. Hell, QBs don't even throw to Johnson's side much. That's how good he is.

Camp hasn't even begun yet. Let's see what that tells us. If Poles is that certain he needs more help at DE we already know Ngakoue is lobbying to return. If the price is right Poles has him in his back pocket as a possibility and I'm not 100% certain Booker won't be of help this year as a pure edge rusher. It may take a few games for him to lock in but from what I can see the kid has the size and the moves to succeed at it. Everyone wants to panic about the lack of a great pass rush yet the defense played fairly well in 2023 even with one of the worst in the NFL. IMHO 2024 will show improvement over 2023 even with who we have now.

https://www.dabearsblog.com/2024/zoomin ... ve-tackles
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Jonathan Wood is a nobody who tweets stuff.

That said, I’m a big Dex fan. It’s just a shame he and Billings will only play about 60-65% of the snaps, otherwise we’d be ok. It’s the 35-40% I’m worried about.
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dplank wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 6:21 pm Jonathan Wood is a nobody who tweets stuff.

That said, I’m a big Dex fan. It’s just a shame he and Billings will only play about 60-65% of the snaps, otherwise we’d be ok. It’s the 35-40% I’m worried about.
Did you even read it? He's done a 3 part analytical piece on the pass rush looking at each player and how they've performed vs others at their position and the NFL averages for their position. Statistically Dexter and Billings were the better DT as far as pass rushing goes. Whether or not analytical studies mean anything to you I believe they do matter to the Bears decision makers.

For a guy you call a nobody Wood has done a shit load of work over the years comparing Bears players and schemes as to their effectiveness vs the league in general. I think the bottom line here is that our interior pass rush may not be all that bad provided Dexter and Pickens can up their game this year especially with what Sweat has added to the mix.
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Lmao! So no, I didn’t read it because I have read plenty of his stuff and he’s just another Twitter larper. But out of courtesy, I went ahead and read it, and now I’m wondering if YOU read it? The analysis here supports my position, not yours.
Overall, the team pass rush was quite bad in 2023, and they’ve lost more than they gained this offseason, so they should be expected to be bad in 2024 as well.

And…..

The Bears still need to sign both a DE and DT capable of playing 500+ snaps before training camp in order to round out their rotation.
Hahaha WTF? Major self own here
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Rusty Trombagent wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 10:14 am If MLB is a non-premium position, why did they run off and spend so much on it to start? There is a void year tacked on the end of his contract, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me to see the bears extend him, he's still young.
There's a relatively cheap out after year 3 ($2,437,500), but no void year in Edmunds' contract.
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HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 10:30 pm
Rusty Trombagent wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 10:14 am If MLB is a non-premium position, why did they run off and spend so much on it to start? There is a void year tacked on the end of his contract, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me to see the bears extend him, he's still young.
There's a relatively cheap out after year 3 ($2,437,500), but no void year in Edmunds' contract.
Why do people not like Edmunds? He had a good year last year.

I readily admit that I'd rather have Roquan, but Edmunds is a good player.
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You’re soooo cool Dplank….why even comment??

Interesting read, thanks for posting.

IMO, Justin Jones is an average starting DT at best, the hope is Pickens and Dexter are better then that.




quote=dplank post_id=385937 time=1718330753 user_id=1910]
Lmao! So no, I didn’t read it because I have read plenty of his stuff and he’s just another Twitter larper. But out of courtesy, I went ahead and read it, and now I’m wondering if YOU read it? The analysis here supports my position, not yours.
Overall, the team pass rush was quite bad in 2023, and they’ve lost more than they gained this offseason, so they should be expected to be bad in 2024 as well.

And…..

The Bears still need to sign both a DE and DT capable of playing 500+ snaps before training camp in order to round out their rotation.
Hahaha WTF? Major self own here
[/quote]
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I thought it was a good read - Thanks Bearsfacts
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Here's a really good read on Dexter and how he's transformed his body during the offseason and set goals for himself. It's well worth reading.
Gervon Dexter Sr. looking to maximize potential in sophomore season

https://www.chicagobears.com/news/dexte ... bears-2024
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HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 1:05 pm Here's a really good read on Dexter and how he's transformed his body during the offseason and set goals for himself. It's well worth reading.
Gervon Dexter Sr. looking to maximize potential in sophomore season

https://www.chicagobears.com/news/dexte ... bears-2024
I have high expectations for him. If he delivers then our DL will be decent, and I'll look like a fool for worrying so much about it. Won't be the first time, won't be the last!
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We've got what, 6 weeks until training camp?

I'm willing to bet that we see some additional bodies in the mix before the start of preseason
Calais Campbell just signed today, but other than him, this is the list to work with:
https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents ... ract_value
2023 Preseason Downside prediction:
5-6 wins, never really healthy all season, a constant shuffling.
We're potentially in a position to draft in the Top 5 again, depending on the Carolina team, and probably have a low-teens (or better) pick ourselves.
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Anyone who watched much of Dexter's play last year could see how much natural strength he has. If he's able to redirect that along with some increased quickness off the snap and endurance he can be just as valuable to the DL as Sweat. He's got the potential to be another Chris Jones. In essence his progress as a penetrating DT is more important than adding another DE opposite Sweat.
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Bearfacts wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 6:14 am Anyone who watched much of Dexter's play last year could see how much natural strength he has. If he's able to redirect that along with some increased quickness off the snap and endurance he can be just as valuable to the DL as Sweat. He's got the potential to be another Chris Jones. In essence his progress as a penetrating DT is more important than adding another DE opposite Sweat.
This is true but

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If Dexter plays at an All Pro level this season the Bears will be in the conversation for more than just a wild card playoff berth.
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Dexter has a lot to develop into in year two. Pickens was such a nothing last year that any contributions you get from at all should be considered a net win.
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17 minute interview with Dexter:

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Most of these so called experts thought Chase Young was the better land than Montez Sweat too. It’s all throwing mud at the wall until the ball gets hiked for real.
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dplank wrote: Fri Jun 21, 2024 4:01 pm
A few things to unpack here:

1) On their own merit, the defense will not be top 5. We don't have the pass rush for it. The secondary and LBs are going to do great, but that defense is going to hinge upon the development of a second pass rushing threat which is either DE2 or Dexter.

2) I just don't see a Cover-2 or 3 defensive scheme at the top of the league that has it's most important trait (pass rush) missing. If we had a different scheme maybe the story is different.

3) On the positive side, I have a lot of confidence in our offense to put up points. How could it not? Serious question. Even though Caleb Williams is a rookie, how is this not an offense that can drop 30 on anybody? Given that, this changes the way the opposing offense has to behave therefore making things more predictable for our defense and then we get an artificial bump as a result.

4) The Crocodile Punter. If this dude is as advertised our defense is going to be defending long fields which is the best situation they could be in. That's another area where we get an artificial bump.

So, on their own merit, we have an above average defense and then also one that's going to look better than they really are. Therefore maybe they sneak into the top 5 rankings, but this won't be a defense we talk about 2 years from now.
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So much hinges on Montez Sweat staying healthy.

In 17 games last season Justin Jones and DeMarcus Walker led the team with 22 QB pressures (hurries, knockdowns and sacks).

In 9 games Sweat logged 21.
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dplank wrote: Fri Jun 21, 2024 4:01 pm
The reality is last year was the best season Justin Jones ever had as a Bears DT and it was still far short of what Flus expects from a 3 tech DT. If they felt he had not reached his ceiling they would've resigned him. DT is still a great unknown but it would seem that Dexter has far more upside than Jones would ever have and I wouldn't sleep on Pickens either. They need to keep him a 3 tech though and not ask him to play as a 1 tech. Unless he's fixed it he lacks the ability to anchor well enough. I like the UDFA Randolph for that spot.

As for another edge rusher I think they may wait 'til camp to see what they have in the guys we have now. There are still gonna be a few guys still on the street in July and August and I don't see Poles making a move like he did last year and overpaying for one. We may not get double digit sacks and pressures from on guy but we may get them from playing two or three guys at RDE. We'll know more once camp opens.
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I hear you on Jones, but that dude got nice raise so other teams liked him. I was ok letting him go at that price. For me, one extra pass rusher and I’d be satisfied it’s a functional unit, even a middling guy like the ones still out there. I’m ok with Sweat and Walker and letting Booker get some reps, but I don’t want to see meaningful snaps for Martin or DomRob. Booker is the flyer for the rotation. So an Ngokoue type guy would be ideal and provide better rotations and depth.
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In 2014 the Seahawks had the number one defense.
The sack leader was the Bruce Irvin with 6.5. The team had 37 sacks for the season.
But 3 of the 4 DB’s went to the pro bowl, 2 were first team All-Pro.
In Super Bowl XLVIII, they thumped the favored Broncos 43-8

Not saying we are comparable to the Seahawks but I am pointing out that a shut down secondary can elevate a otherwise mediocre DL.
The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven.
~Knute Rockne
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