Nick Bosa, Myles Garrett, Micah Parsons Headline NFL EDGE Rankings by Coaches, Execs - Timothy Rapp, Bleacher Report
It’s been awesome to see Micah Parsons become a consensus Defensive Player of the Year candidate.
As Jeremy Fowler of ESPN noted, the company “surveyed league executives, coaches, scouts and players” to get their top 10 players at the position. ESPN then gathered the results and ranked players “based on number of top-10 votes, composite average, along with dozens of interviews, research and film-study help from ESPN NFL analyst Matt Bowen.”
Bosa topped the edge-rushers, which isn’t a shock after he led the NFL with 18.5 sacks last season, his second straight season with 15 or more sacks.
“Size, strength, power, speed, quickness, solid length, repertoire of moves and high motor,” a high-ranking NFL official told Fowler. “He’s got it all.”
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s No. 1 by next year,” one NFL coordinator told Fowler regarding Parsons. “His talent is undeniable.”
With so much versatility on the defensive line, there’s going to be a few odd men out when the final cutdown comes.
DALLAS HAS UPGRADED QUINTON BOHANNA’S POSITION TWICE
Quinton Bohanna is a head-scratcher in every sense of the word.
That’s with earning 222 total snaps.
Dallas didn’t use one draft pick on interior line help. They invested two.
Jonathan Hankins’ trade mid-season cost the team a 6th-round pick from this past draft.
Not to mention, Dallas drafted Mazi in the first round.
There are other factors that will determine if the Cowboys run defense is really improved this season, but they’re expecting a big impact from first-round pick Mazi Smith at DT.
Mickey Spagnola: Not to be too cute here, but a “huge” one. Just his presence on the field to start, taking up space will be a plus. So, for starters this wide body, and not sloppy wide, but really strong will help hold down the middle of the line against the run. Should have seen what it looked like during one offseason practices when Mazi and Johnathan Hankins were lined up together at defensive tackle. That’s a wide load. Plus, DC Dan Quinn thinks when lined up properly, not just to stop the run, that Mazi has some natural agility to present a threat rushing the quarterback. Can’t wait to see him in pads.
Nick Harris: More often than not, first round picks make large contributions in year one and I don’t expect Mazi Smith to be an exception to that trend. The run game will be Smith’s most immediate impact as it’ll be his earliest opportunity to cement himself as the starter going into week one. The defensive staff also has optimism in his pass rush ability, and if they can unlock that out of him as early as this season, then the Cowboys will have not only unlocked a huge impact in the defensive interior, but they also will have unlocked arguably the most complete defensive line group in the league.
Kyle Youmans: Last season, the only interior defensive lineman to take over 700 defensive snaps was Osa Odighizuwa. The second closest to that total was Neville Gallimore who graded out as the 120th defensive lineman of 127 on Pro Football Focus. So, it shouldn’t take very long for Mazi Smith to make a significant impact solely based off his potential usage this season. Early expectations indicate that he’ll serve as a two-down run stuffer at nose tackle with a possible pass-rush element. That alone is more potential than Dallas has had at the one-technique in years. I fully expect this to be a lethal front seven with Smith added in the fold.
Case for Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Pollard as fantasy football’s second-best running back in 2023 - Dalton Del Don, Yahoo Sports
Are you willing to commit to Tony Pollard this high in your fantasy draft, or let someone else spend their top pick on a player off injury?
Case for Tony Pollard as fantasy’s RB2
Christian McCaffrey deserves the top spot among fantasy RBs given his usage in Kyle Shanahan’s offense (even with the Elijah Mitchell factor). But there’s a big tier after CMC consisting of nine running backs all with similar arguments (and questions) to be ranked next. Tony Pollard is my No. 2 fantasy back (his expert consensus rank is the RB9), assuming Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t return to Dallas. Pollard averaged 19.3 PPR points when given 10 carries last season, which would have been good for fantasy’s RB3.
He finished as the RB8 despite seeing fewer than 50% of the snaps in eight games and totaling a modest 232 touches — Dallas running backs combined for 524, and Elliott is gone. Pollard won’t become a true workhorse getting 325+ touches, but he’s averaged 102.3 yards from scrimmage and 0.91 touchdowns during games with a snap rate of more than 50% throughout his career; now, he’s clearly set up for by far the most opportunities of his career.
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