There were two bright spots during Detroit's legendarily bad 2008 campaign: (1) The NFL season is only 16 games long, and (2) Avril showed signs of becoming a pass-rushing beast. A hybrid LB/DE out of Purdue, he barely saw the field early in his rookie season. Once he did, Avril proved to be too quick coming off the end, recording four sacks and forcing three fumbles over the final six games of the year. Nothing gets new Lions defensive coordinator
There's a lot of uncertainty in Jacksonville (a 3-4 look with their personnel? Not bloody likely...), but Durant is a pretty sure thing. He's a rangy linebacker who will move from the weakside to the middle this season. Despite coming out of D-IAA (or FCS, if you're into unnecessary rebranding) Hampton, he has already made 20 starts in two seasons. He's not much for big-play leagues and I'm a little worried about his ability to shed blocks playing the MIKE. But Durant is a solid LB2 in tackle-heavy scoring formats, with 80-plus solo tackles looking like a pretty safe bet.
Anyone who's ever played in an IDP league knows that shutdown corners are the worst because no one throws at them. And there's not a better shutdown corner in football than
The worst news of the 2009 offseason may have happened for Philly, as
Lawson is teetering on the edge of bustdom. A first-round pick in 2006, Lawson has delivered a mere 5.5 sacks in his first three seasons. His struggles have been because of a combination of injuries and scheme. The latter shouldn't be a problem this year. After coming off the field in most third down situations last season, defensive coordinator
Each year, there are a handful of defensive tackles who end up being roster-worthy. In 2009, Mebane will be one of them. Playing primarily in the run-stuffing nose tackle role last season, Mebane still broke through for 5.5 sacks. This year, the Seahawks have brought on
Talib has the blend of skills that makes him a potential IDP dream. First, he's big and willing to step up in run support. Second, he has the ball skills of a wide receiver. And third, with
If you're going to take a Pittsburgh ILB, pass on Farrior and go with Timmons. The third-year 'backer is nothing but upside. He had 35 solo tackles and five sacks last season playing almost exclusively on passing downs With