This was originally a comment I made. I wanted a better chance of getting other people's thoughts though, and felt the comment was long enough that many people would skip over it as a comment.
1. The closer we get to the draft the better I like the idea of drafting David DeCastro if he falls to us.
As I’ve mentioned in comments before, I think you build a football team from the lines out (for a 3-4, that includes the OLB’s).
If we are honest with ourselves, the Dallas Cowboys are probably multiple years away from being truly competitive. Therefore, if there is an OL'man that grades out head and shoulders above the top OLB/DL’man then you gotta take that guy, regardless of how you drafted the year before (and btw, I absolutely think T. Smith was the right pick last year as well).
2. Concerning Almost Anthony; if he has been Almost Anthony for years now and is stout both against the run and in coverage, what are the odds he can drop the Almost tag if we had a premier DE on his side that commanded double teams or was an enormous penetration threat himself? In other words, it it Anthony’s fault really that he’s barely missing the QB or is it a domino effect that ends on him?
3. Concerning the DL; these quotes come from Wes Bunting, an NFL Draft Analyst who former Bloggingtheboys writer Rafael Vela interviewed several times last year. The players mentioned are playing in the less illustrious East-West Shrine game and currently project to the middle rounds on Day 2 as a result.
Boise State DE Tyrone Crawford had possibly his best performance of the week today. He showcased the ability to win at the point of attack in the run game, as he overpower opposing tackles during 9 on 7. But also was able to win consistently off the edge as a pass rusher during both team and 1on1 drills. He did a nice job turning speed into power as a pass rusher creating the needed leverage to overwhelm and was sudden enough to slip blocks when opposing tackles wanted to get physical. Looks like at worst a rotational defensive end who has the skill set to start as a base 43 lineman.
I live in Boise and go to the games, so that naturally puts me in a far better position to inform on Boise St. players more than others. Crawford is 275 pounds, with a 4.77 40, and athleticism. Off measurables alone, that puts him in the vicinity of Quinton Coples. I cannot tell you yea or nay, but I wonder if his Combine results might show an ability to play OLB in a 3-4 defense ala DeMarcus Ware/Terrell Suggs who also converted from college DE. If not, I think he can put on 15-25 pounds as his body matures and still maintain his speed and athleticism to be productive at the DE spot. I believe a lack of premier competition and, therefore, attention, has him rated lower right now. Look for this guy to begin rising up draft boards as he gets his various workouts in front of NFL scouts completed.
Crawford’s counterpart inside was Missouri DT Dominique Hamilton who not only displayed "plus" power for a 6-5, 320-pound defender as a bull rusher, but was also very disruptive knifing his way into the backfield today during the team session. When he keeps his pad level down the guy has the skill to routinely win on contact and looks like a potential starting caliber 34 five-technique in the NFL.
This guy maybe could give us more flexibility with our current personnel if he can hold the fort at NT, allowing Rat to shift to RDE and Spears to LDE.Who else do you guys like for the middle rounds, are there any mid level DL'man you guys are fixated on yet, do you prefer to go DL or secondary OVER DeCastro if he fell to us at 14? We need secondary help in a bad way too but I think defense as a whole, and especially RR's scheme, really benefits significantly more from the front seven. The NY Giants are at it again using that approach exactly.