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Sunday, April 17, 2011

An Argument Against Defense #1

Carolina doesn't lack defensive talent, and that side of the ball has stars. As the draft approaches, the best bets continue to look defensive. Offensive options - essentially, two QBs and two WRs on a team that took 2 QBs and 3 WR last year - look much shakier.

I've argued that defense is the best bet before, despite offensive concerns. That offense needs vets, and leadership. But here's an argument against defense up front - Rivera likely doesn't need it. Rivera's #1 overall defense - aided by a #1 offense - was most remarkable for doing it without stars. There weren't the superstars of past Chargers teams - most notably Shawne Merriman, and the trade of Antonio Cromartie. It was a cohesive unit of 13-14 defensive players who weren't looking for limelight, just did their work.

So if Rivera can do that there, is it necessary to do so here? The stars - Beason, Davis, depending on your viewpoint you could pick from Johnson, Gamble, Beason, Godfrey as supporting stars - could give Rivera more talent than he was working with, but is as homegrown as what he had there. If defense is easily made to work without more blue chips, why waste the opportunity? The offense is the side in desperate need.

Still, a defensive tackle is very hard to find that can do it all - like Marcell Dareus can. Look at 3rd round possibilities, and you see guys who can do one thing very well, that might have a shot at doing other things, but essentially a group of situational players (mostly run stoppers).

And, those offensive options still look iffy. If AJ Green, who could be available at 5, is the pick, we have four young WR and Steve Smith. If it's Cam Newton, you're talking a total lack of production for two years or playing a QB without basic fundamentals. So, that's the 2011 NFL draft - tons of options that make no sense.
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