Yardbarker Horiz

2012 NFL Draft Countdown

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Young Core Defense Is Flush With Youth

To build a team through the draft means to build a nucleus of young players and allow them to mature and gain experience through rotation during the season.  You need to find youth which is talented enough to get into a positional rotation or youth which can develop on the coverage teams and find it's way into the rotation later.

Knowing this, it makes sense to find draft needs by looking at the young core of players instead of the current starting lineup.  If the starting lineup has a need, free agency is probably the right place to look since experience is needed immediately.  In the case of the 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers young players need more experience (i.e. the rebuilding process means creating depth across the board).  The status of the rebuilding process can also be measured by looking at the young core.

To build this chart of the Young Core Defense, I took the most recent Buccaneers team depth chart and roster (both of which have been a moving target all year) and placed all the defensive players with four years of experience or less (because the average NFL player has a 3.5 year career).  I ignored players on the practice squad as they are under a less-binding contract structure.  This provides a glimpse of the "core" of the defense (players listed in order of years of NFL experience)

LCB  Talib, Aqib (3); Biggers, E.J. (2); Johnson, DJ (2)
LDE  White, Stylez (4); Bennett, Michael (2); Gilbeaux, Brandon (0)
2DT  Miller, Roy (2); Price, Brian (0)
3DT  Okam, Frank (3); McCoy, Gerald (0); Woods, Al (0)
WLB  Hayes, Geno (3); McKenzie, Tyrone (2)
MLB  Hayward, Adam (4)
SLB  Black, Quincy (4); Watson, Dekoda (0)
RDE  Crowder, Tim (4); Moore, Kyle (2); Magee, Alex (2); Johnson, George (0)
RCB  Mack, Elbert (3); Lewis, Myron (0)
SS  Harris, Dominique (0); Asante, Larry (0)
FS  Jackson, Tanard (4); Lynch, Corey (3); Grimm, Cody (0)
K  Barth, Connor(3)

The constant influx of young players to this side of the ball in 2010 has created a very healthy looking chart for the offseason.

We'll use this information for our analysis leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft.

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