Doing my best to not throw Star-related puns. I know that will
inevitably be a part of discussing the 2013 #1 pick, and won't get any
better if he lives up to his expectations (and I expect he will).
I was thinking about various post-draft analyses about Star. I don't
remember thinking before the draft that Star was a NT - I saw him as a
guy who could play the spot, unlike Sharrif Floyd or Sheldon Richardson
(and baffling enough, the Jets both took Richardson above Star, and are
temporarily content with putting him at NT), but that his value might
still be better at under tackle.
He didn't have the blazing time that Floyd did, but I don't doubt that
he has the athleticism to play the under tackle, or the power and the
moves to be a good rusher. He's definitely a good run defender for
either spot, but I never understood the post-draft want to pigeonhole
him to the 1-technique NT. I believe him very much able to do either.
Maybe I missed the pre-draft noise on him at NT, since I felt confident
he was the best all-around DT (really, the best defender) in the draft.
I didn't read a ton of write-ups on the guy, honestly. He was always a
guy on a wish list, not someone I felt was a realistic option.
So it's hard to say. And, then to solidify it, Kawann Short is clearly
a 3-technique guy. He played some college nose, and him moving around
and playing a ton of snaps didn't help, but he wasn't as good in the
middle. So, transitively, if Short is a longterm 3-tech, and Dwan
Edwards is a longterm 3-tech, Star is obviously the nose. It's a good
combination. But, while it's probably a moot issue and Star probably
plays mostly nose for the forseeable future (a person would hope for
about twelve years worth here out of a talented cornerstone, even though
clearly he's eligible to leave after 5).
So in the end, it doesn't really matter. He's clearly slotted for a
role inside, and I'm not stumping for any change there. Think he'll be
fantastic there, honestly. But, for argument's sake if nothing else,
I'll say that I would've been just as happy with a NT pick next to him
as I would've Short (and an OL ahead of either, but that's a whole
separate ideal). It's that Star can play the under, and occasionally
should, more than anything.
But, worse problems to have than to have a versatile, hopefully
impactful, NT that can do more than just make things happen against the
run. Wish we had problems of that level everywhere.