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Mailbag: Guessing At The DT Rotation?


I hear all about our defensive rookies, but what about Josh Ball? We picked him in the fourth round, how did he look during OTAs? — CALEB STEVENSON / AZLE, TX

David: From our vantage point, Ball looked to me like a guy who was trying to acclimate to the speed of the NFL game. It's a big jump from college, and I'd guess he's going to have his hands full with experienced NFL pass rushers like DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory and Tarell Basham. That's to be expected, though. I'm not going to be surprised if he looks a lot more comfortable in September, after a month of training camp practices, than he looked during OTAs.

Rob: I agree with Dave about Ball adjusting to the speed on the edge. There were a couple snaps this spring where pass rushers got past him, including Micah Parsons during rookie camp. But it's really hard to evaluate offensive and defensive linemen without pads, so I read next to nothing into that. The real test will be training camp and preseason, and Ball will get a ton of opportunities, possibly at both tackle spots.

How did Quinton Bohanna look this spring? Does he really have a chance to outperform Trysten Hill, or he will be a situational player along with Neville Gallimore? — GUSTAVO CASILLAS / GUADALAJARA, MEXICO

David: If you made me guess at the starting defensive tackles here in June, I think Neville Gallimore is going to be one of them – so I don't view him as a situational guy. Bohanna is interesting, because he's one of just a couple defensive tackles who has the body type to fill space in the middle. I think it's more likely he'll be competing with the likes of Brent Urban and Carlos Watkins for playing time, whereas I view Hill as more of a pass rusher.

Rob: Again, very tough to evaluate linemen in these types of practices, but just based on movement, Bohanna has more quickness off the snap than maybe I expected from the 330-pound nose tackle. If I had to project the tackles who get the most snaps this season, right now I'd probably say Neville Gallimore and Brent Urban, with Bohanna competing for rotational work.

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