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Heimdallr

Evaluating & Projecting The Roster

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11 hours ago, Klomp said:

Someone please stop me from drawing parallels between Hercules Mata'afa and John Randle....

Although I watched every WSU game the past 2 years, Hercules is not Mr. John . . . well, not yet anyway.  IF he can carve out a spot on the 53-man roster and survive two years while he adds lean bulk and power while learning Zimm's and Patterson's technique, then I'd be willing to revisit the comparison.

For the record, I loved watching Hercules tear up the Pac 12 last year.  How good was he?  Well, he shut down USC, UCLA and Stanford, and I think it was the Apple Cup where he got ejected for targeting in the 1st half . . . the team folded, lost its life after that.  He makes guys around him better, so let's see how that translates.

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41 minutes ago, ArcticNorseman said:

Although I watched every WSU game the past 2 years, Hercules is not Mr. John . . . well, not yet anyway.  IF he can carve out a spot on the 53-man roster and survive two years while he adds lean bulk and power while learning Zimm's and Patterson's technique, then I'd be willing to revisit the comparison.

For the record, I loved watching Hercules tear up the Pac 12 last year.  How good was he?  Well, he shut down USC, UCLA and Stanford, and I think it was the Apple Cup where he got ejected for targeting in the 1st half . . . the team folded, lost its life after that.  He makes guys around him better, so let's see how that translates.

Randle came into the league at about 250, like Mata'afa. Some teams wanted him at LB, like Mata'afa.

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6 hours ago, Klomp said:

Randle came into the league at about 250, like Mata'afa. Some teams wanted him at LB, like Mata'afa.

The average size of an offensive lineman wasn't what it is now though. In the 1990's, when Randle started out, the average OL was about 6'4", 300.  Today the average OL is about 6'5", 312. While that doesn't seem like a huge difference, it's a significant step up. Especially with today's training techniques for strength and conditioning. I think Randle would have had to have been a DE in today's NFL. I think that's where Hercules will make his living too. 

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Listing Mata’afa at DE doesn’t preclude them from lining him up at DT in pass rush situations on 3rd downs. Robison (listed at 259 pounds) has been their main nickel DT pass rusher since 2015, and his size isn’t considered a problem there (he hasn’t been very effective but that’s not because he’s too small). 

There is at least one more recent precedent for a dramatically undersized DT used as a pass rusher. The Giants played undersized (5’10” 250) college NT Nikita Whitlock at FB in 2015, but also gave him some snaps at DT on passing downs. By PFF charting, he played 55 snaps at DT: only 2 were on run plays. On the other 53, he generated a sack, 3 hits and 4 hurries. That adds up to a PRP of 12%, which is excellent.

Here’s an article about Whitlock at DT with some gifs of him beating guards for QB pressures: http://www.businessinsider.com/giants-fullback-nikita-whitlock-defensive-tackle-2015-10

 

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6 hours ago, wcblack34 said:

The average size of an offensive lineman wasn't what it is now though. In the 1990's, when Randle started out, the average OL was about 6'4", 300.  Today the average OL is about 6'5", 312. While that doesn't seem like a huge difference, it's a significant step up. Especially with today's training techniques for strength and conditioning. I think Randle would have had to have been a DE in today's NFL. I think that's where Hercules will make his living too. 

Randle started out at DE here too in his first two years, before they traded Keith Millard. But fair point about the size comparison.

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Just now, Klomp said:

Randle started out at DE here too in his first two years, before they traded Keith Millard. 

And I seem to recall that even later on, he often rotated between DE and DT on different snaps just to confuse the offensive line.  

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5 hours ago, Krauser said:

Listing Mata’afa at DE doesn’t preclude them from lining him up at DT in pass rush situations on 3rd downs. Robison (listed at 259 pounds) has been their main nickel DT pass rusher since 2015, and his size isn’t considered a problem there (he hasn’t been very effective but that’s not because he’s too small). 

This is almost exactly I see the role Mata'afa taking. I think he'll be perfect in that role. I certainly like him better sliding inside than any of the other DE options on the roster.

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