Blog Entry

Position rankings: defensive ends

Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:38 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 12:50 pm

Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on defensive ends.
D. Freeney (US Presswire)
Andy Benoit’s top five

5. Richard Seymour, Raiders

4. Justin Tuck, Giants

3. Mario Williams, Texans

2. Jared Allen, Vikings

1. Dwight Freeney, Colts

Since we’re classifying Haloti Ngata as a DT, Seymour sneaks in as arguably the NFL’s best run-defending end.

Tuck is by far the best left end in the game. Left ends tend to be run-stopping anchors. Tuck is strong enough to do this, but his sinewy frame and athletic versatility also enable him to turn the corner or attack gaps inside. What’s more, Tuck has arguably the richest repertoire of one-on-one moves in the league.

Williams is blessed with every athletic gift man possesses – including the strength and speed to both anchor and chase against the run. He needs to command more attention on a weekly basis, though.

Allen is impossible to contain without double teams, and even then, he’ll still wear an opponent down. Everyone talks about Freeney’s speed and spin move, but his greatest asset is actually his bull-rush.

Josh Katzowitz’s top five

5. Justin Tuck, Giants

4. Trent Cole, Eagles

3. Mario Williams, Texans

2. Jared Allen, Vikings

1. Dwight Freeney, Colts

Yet another similar list where there’s hardly any disagreement. Either I’m learning something from you, Andy, or your film-watching, note-taking, research-doing, obsessive-compulsive nature is being badly influenced by me.

You want to talk about a pass-rusher, you talk about Freeney. He had an amazing first four years of his career, and after slumping (in part, because of injury) in 2006-07, he’s returned to form the past two seasons. He’s a troublemaker for even the NFL’s best offensive tackles, because he can go inside on them and still get to the quarterback.

In the past three years, Allen has recorded at least 14.5 sacks, accumulated at least 50 tackles and caused at least three forced fumbles. He’s simply one of the top DEs in the NFL. He’s rather average against the run, which is why he’s not No. 1 on my list, but the man can rush the quarterback. Combine him with teammate DE Ray Edwards and Minnesota DT Kevin Williams – our unanimous pick for the top 4-3 DT – and the Vikings front line is the scariest in football.

Good thing the Texans didn’t take Reggie Bush with the No. 1 pick in 2006, eh? Instead of a RB that hasn’t lived up to his billing, Houston got a player who’s improved immensely the past three seasons and anchors that defense.

Did you know Cole has 42 sacks since 2006? Maybe not, because Cole flies a little under the radar, but the Pro Bowls in 2007 and 2009 won’t be his last. Tuck’s quickness is one of his biggest strengths, but you don’t like to see his sacks go from 12 in 2008 to six in 2009.

Andy’s rebuttal

Credit Charley Casserly for making the Mario Williams pick. That was Casserly’s last stand as the general manager in Houston. I had an opportunity to ask Casserly once if he ever looks back on that pick and smiles satisfactorily for proving so many people wrong. He basically said he was so dialed in on his job at the time that he never really knew there was much controversy surrounding the Williams pick. He wasn’t boasting or being coy – he was just stating a simple truth.

I love Cole. Not only is he a fantastic edge-rusher – which is due to his leverage as much as his speed – but he’s a terrific run-defender, as well. Cole maneuvers through the trash and makes stops as well as any player in the league.

That’s the nice thing about our DE lists: there are no Kabeer Gbaja-Biamilia types. Everyone here is an elite four-down player.

Josh’s final word

That’s funny: Kabeer Gbaja-Biamilia is actually No. 6 on my list.

I don’t buy that for a second about Casserly – now one of CBS’ own analysts. I’m sure that, wherever he lives, before he goes to bed, he walks outside in his slippers and pajamas, looks at the moon, shakes his fist at the sky and says, “Dammit, I was right! I was right!” And before he goes inside to drift off into a fitful slumber, he turns back and screams to the heavens, “And Bill Belichick can suck it!”

Other positions: Safety | Cornerback | 3-4 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Punter  | Kicker | 4-3 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Inside Linebacker | Defensive Tackle)

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 2, 2012 5:28 pm

Position rankings: defensive ends

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:48 pm

Position rankings: defensive ends

Appropriate points. My goal is to begin lower back yet again once again soon enough to research a little more and more.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 6:11 pm

Position rankings: defensive ends

Since: Dec 23, 2009
Posted on: July 12, 2010 8:31 am

Position rankings: defensive ends

Yeah there is no question about Peppers work ethic. I'm from Raleigh and trust me on good days the guy might work twice as hard as Jamarcus Russell. While he does show up to practice, he not actually ever there. and that is seen in film. true the guy is gifted, immensily gifted, but he coasts through on that alone. He has the physical tools to be a true terror, of the Reggie White mold, but he's satisfied with just being better than most. Enjoy him CHicago.

I think you make a legitamate point regarding Freeney and Allen. I had the same initial thought when I read the arcticle. I mean I like Freeney and I would pull for the Colts before the Vikes so I was ok with the ranking, but if I was being honest I would have to say Allen is insanely good. When Allen isn't making the actual plays he's in the backfeild changing the plays direction or reminding the QB who the better athlete is. Freeney is rerely around the ball or even involved in a play unless its a sack. The only justification I can think of is that Allen has a very gifted supporting cast and Freeneys is just above average. Still its hard to suggest that Freeney isn't 1 or 2 the guy is legit.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2010 10:55 pm

Position rankings: defensive ends

To those asking why is Jared Allen no. 1 on the authors' lists then trhey obbviously ignored the following part that was in the article -

"In the past three years, Allen has recorded at least 14.5 sacks, accumulated at least 50 tackles and caused at least three forced fumbles. He’s simply one of the top DEs in the NFL. He’s rather average against the run, which is why he’s not No. 1 on my list..."

Whether you agree with that is another matter, but please don't say ask when the question was answered.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2010 5:39 pm

Position rankings: defensive ends

I too was surprised by the Peppers snub.  Although the stats jump out, to me the biggest thing is the last line of your comment....."And Peppers never misses games do to INJ"  it seems that at least once a year Dwight Feeble.....I mean Freeney spends at least 2 or 3 games on the sidelines for some injury, IMO Mathias deserves a spot as much as Bligh...I mean Dwight.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2010 1:34 am

Position rankings: defensive ends

I would say that Peppers might not have made it because of his age (he's broken 30, which is when DEs usually begin to decline), Freeney and Seymour are both over 30.

Since: Jun 24, 2010
Posted on: July 10, 2010 9:21 pm

Position rankings: defensive ends

Belichik has been quoted as saying that he votes for Aaron Smith every year for Pro Bowl.
Just sayin.

Since: Jan 28, 2009
Posted on: July 10, 2010 6:13 pm

Position rankings: defensive ends

CBS Stats:     
;     &nbs
p; TKL     &n
bsp;  Sacks     
  INT     TDs    FF

Julius Peppers:    &nb
sp;  382     &n
81     &nb
sp;   6     &nbs
p;    2     &nbs

Jared Allen:     
;     &nbs
332     &n
bsp; 72     &nb
sp;   2     &nbs
p; 0    &n
bsp;  21

Dwight Freeney:    242     &n
bsp; 84     &nb
0     &nbs
p; 0    &n
bsp;  36

Look at the stats if Freeney is #1 and Allen #2 how is it Peppers dont make the list?? 

And Peppers never misses games do to INJ

Since: Jun 16, 2007
Posted on: July 10, 2010 3:38 pm

Peppers > Freeney

I'm really not surprised that Julius Peppers didn't make this list.  It makes sense, no one watches the Carolina Panthers.  This is evident through the constant attacks on his work ethic and effort.  No player on the Panthers has ever questioned Pep's work ethic.  He was a role model work ethic.  Julius Peppers is the best defensive end in the NFL.  He plays both sides very well.  What he is capable of is extensive.  He's a master on special teams, blocking numerous field goals and extra points.  He's great in pass coverage, with seven career interceptions (six in the regular season, one in the postseason).  He's great against the run.  He has a knack for forcing fumbles, especially on running backs.  He can chase down anyone.  He can single handedly win games by himself.  He beat the Cardinals and Vikings single handedly last season, two pretty good teams.  Julius Peppers is the best defensive end in football.  Jared Allen gets the publicity because he's outspoken but Peppers has accomplished all that he has while being quiet and reserved.  Freeney on the other hand is one dimensional.  He gets all the publicity, feasting off of Peyton's pressure that he puts on opposing offenses.  He's soft against the run.  Yes, he's very good, but he's not the best.

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