Responding to another thread got me thinking. Almost everyone is expecting us to add another edge rusher at #2, but what if we don’t? If we stay pay at 2 is there another option? After thinking it over, I thought of something that was very intriguing to me and was wondering what everybody else thought.
We need another edge rusher for sure and a guy who may be an interesting name to watch is Hassan Reddick. He has 23.5 sacks the last two years and has never missed a game. He has some flaws to his game and started his career a little inconsistent so I don’t think he commands a crazy deal. I would liken his situation to someone like Leonard Floyd and I would expect Reddick to command about 14-15mil AAV.
How about signing Reddick and Diggs (should be cheaper coming off injury and he loves this place) to go with re-signing Harris and Walker. Then draft Hamilton at #2 and play him like the Rams deployed Ramsey this year. Sometimes he is in the slot, playing LB’er, playing outside, deep, just a movable chess piece. Then you have Walker and Diggs on the back end. Draft a LB’er with the other first (Lloyd/Dean)
Lloyd and Dean will hardly be there in the late 20s.
I’d nearly be more content taking Dean at 2 than Hamilton. Hamilton looks a hell of a player but whether his knee will hold up in the medium term is a real red flag.
Dean looks to have it all and be another Fred Warner/Darius Leonard. Would you be happy to give up the second overall pick for that? Typically, no. But given the lack of real blue chip options this year, I wouldn’t mind it and think it would be an instant upgrade to our defense.
If Dean or Lloyd are there in the late 20s, that would be amazing
I am not taking Hamilton #2 if it’s me. Our pass rush with our “starters” last year was pathetic at best. If Thibs/Hutch are the top guys then you take one of them. It’s a no brainer. I like Reddick, even if we were to sign him I think we still go DE with our pick. A good pass rush can make a bad secondary look good. Imagine how much better the young guys would have been if we had any kind of pass rush this year.
Safety @ 2 scares me. Hasn’t been one picked in the top 5 of the draft since Sean Taylor. There have also been a lot of safeties who have had very short careers, so many high speed collisions.
If we did go Hamilton, we better be addressing the pass rush in free agency because it doesn’t matter how good your secondary is if you can’t get pressure. Creating pressure on QB’s was the Lions biggest weakness on defense. Free agency happens before the draft, so I think we will probably know which direction we are heading in with the #2 pick.
Several other questions come into play. Is Okudah going to get healthy? Is he moving to safety? Are we going to sign Tracy Walker back? Is Will Harris really going to be a corner? He looked a bit better there. He was awful @ safety. Lots of questions to sort out in the secondary.
I am not advocating Hamilton at #2 because I much prefer a pass rusher or trade down, but I think history doesn’t have much to do with it. Since the rookie wage scale has been in place, how many safeties have been on the level of Kyle Hamilton? Jamal Adams was taken 6th overall a few years back. How do these two compare as prospects? I would say Hamilton edges him slighly, but he is also 3 inches taller then Adams.
Safety can be game changing players on a defense, especially a guy who is big enough to match up with the best TE’s in the game, drop in the slot to cover WR’s and the speed and instincts to make plays at every level of the field.
IMO, Hamilton being a safety in no way takes him out of the discussion. A dominant pass rusher is the hardest thing to find in the NFL though and if they believe Thibodeau or Hutchinson is that I would take them first.
It’s actually worse, value-wise, to draft a safety high as opposed to a player at a high-value position since the rookie wage scale took effect. He immediately becomes one of the highest-paid safeties in the league, so you don’t get nearly the value from a roster-building perspective as you would from say Edge, OT or QB. The guys drafted near the top at those positions are some of the lowest-paid players at those spots. It really allows you to beef up the rest of your roster.
The best safeties in the league today were all drafted day two or later. Byard, Poyer, Hyde, Simmons, Baker, Whitehead, Honey Badger, Bates, Winfield, Diggs. Not a 1st rounder amongst them. Derwin James is great but even he fell (and has spent half his career on the sideline), and I suppose you could argue Harrison Smith and Jamaal Adams are still decent. But it’s generally not a position you want to pump resources into. Especially considering how good our GM has been at finding late round guys.
Zach Wilson was the #2 pick and his contract averaged less then 9mil AAV. Jamal Adams is the highest paid safety in the game at 17.5mil AAV. At that average AAV he would barely crack the top 20 safeties. There is definitely a cost difference between safeties and QB’s and edge rushers, but they have primarily closed the gap with most other positions as of late. Even OT, the highest paid player is Trent Williams at 23mil AAV. That isn’t that crazy of a difference.
Adams would rank as the third highest paid CB in AAV. Safeties are not the devalued position that they were 10 years ago. If they believe Hamilton is the best player in this class, him being a safety should not preclude them from taking him.
You can argue that safeties can be had later in the draft, and I would not disagree with that. Moehrig and Holland were 2nd rounder and both had very good years. Like I mentioned, I would much rather have the pass rusher. To me though, if you think Kyle Hamilton is going to be one of the best safeties in the NFL in three years and you are not convinced that Hutchinson/Thibodeaux will be the next great pass rusher, you take the safety 10 times out of 10.
So that makes Wilson the 22nd-highest-paid QB in the league, whereas it would make Hamilton the 14th-highest-paid safety in the league. In and of itself, not such a big deal. The difference is in the savings. Goff is the 6th highest-paid QB and makes $33.5M/year. So if you replace that salary with Wilson’s, you get an extra $24M/year of cap space to play around with. The 6th-highest-paid safety is Kevin Byard at $14M/year. Replace him with Hamilton and you have a savings of $5M per year.
Obviously QB is something of an outlier I was only using your example of Wilson to make my point (and Goff since he’s our QB). But the difference between an edge we drafted this year at #2 and the #6 highest-paid edge is $12M/year, while at OT it’s $9M. That sort of savings is important for roster building, especially if you do it over and over again (i.e., Sewell + an edge this year will save us $22M/year against the 6th-highest-paid players at those spots or $33M/year against the highest).
Obviosuly things can change, especially after the combine…but there are alot of 2nd round grades out there for LLOYD. I would love him in Detroit, but I was one voicing him in the top 5 to detroit was not going to happen. That being said…Holmes hasn’t shown a focus early on LB’s…