This will be the shortest and simplest analysis of all units I will assess. We have the best 3 man front in football and should ensure that for the next decade. Lock em up. Lock em all up. Starters, backups, coach dunbar. Give Wilkerson close to what Watt gets im guessing like $8mil a year, Give sheldon close to that too eventually. I dont know the market for Nose tackles but extend Snacks also, maybe 2 mil a year for 5 years or something. just keep that dline intact for as long as possible. This is now our identity. I want to keep Kenrick Ellis also, hes a great backup nose and can be moved around. Leger Douzable is good too and would start on many teams. keep him around for awhile as well.
We can not, however, confuse "keeping the core in tact" with "getting complacent". Dont get complacent. Dont let a player walk because we think we can do well without them. We need all pieces of this unit equally. We need ellis to keep harrison fresh, we need douzable to rotate and keep the ends fresh. We shouldnt be afraid to use a later draft pick on a versatile d-lineman who can play all across. Kenrick Ellis can really only play the Nose, not the ends/tackles. that leaves douzable most games as the only guy backing up both Wilk and Sheldon. I'd like to see 3 starters and 3 backups on our line. Pick up another 3-4 end whos versatile enough to play both ends and possibly the nose. Finau has been on the roster some games but is not a permanent fixture. I'd like each DL position to get their own backup. Apparently the kid Hyder from Texas Tech is pretty good, maybe he can be the 2nd backup end alongside Douzable. A guy in this years draft like princetons caraun reid came to mind. However, a UDFA like Josh Mauro would have been great. Any college guy with experience playing along the interior d-line who can adequately stuff the run when the 'sons need a breather or get hurt.
Basically, we cant just res on our laurels and let the best part of our team slip away. We are a hybrid team and should continue to Experiment 4-man fronts on running and passing downs, as our LBs are pretty weak right now. Having the two noses over the guards at the same time (Snacks and Ellis) with wilkerson and Richardson at the DE's on running downs would be interesting, and Rich is quick enough to be a formidable rush factor from the 4-3 end in that scenario.
knocking Coples down to RDE with wilk and richardson at penetrating tackles and the Antwan Barnes, Reilly, or Cunningham with their ears all pinned back would be a very good passing-down front. I unfortunately think Coples is severely miscast in a 3-4 as and OLB. In order to not waste his talent entirely we need to get him with him hands in the dirt and DE and even some penetrating d-tackle (he was used everywhere along the line in college). like always, our pass rush is just one edge-rusher away from being unstoppable, unfortunately the 290 pound Coples isnt that guy. However, We have the versatility to move these guys around and have them be our team identity for years to come. Now pay them, adequately back them up with versatile scheme fits, and let them do their thing