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Mailbag: Safest Pick In The Draft? Could DeForest Buckner Fit In A 4-3 Scheme?


With DeForest Buckner already being a very good player, and a higher ceiling than Joey Bosa, would it be smart to draft him even though he isn't a traditional fit in a 4-3? With all the different packages that end up being played, I feel like it could be a mistake to pass on him just because he doesn't fit a particular position to a tee. Great football players are great football players.

Bryan: I totally get what you are asking here and it makes good sense. I have Buckner as a 3-4 defensive end. When he was mocked to Dallas earlier in the year I had a couple of scouts ask me why would we take a 3-4 guy? Maybe a bad assumption here but I didn't get the feeling they were going that route, but I will ask again. 

Rob:Well, as good as a prospect might be, he's got to fit into your scheme. At 290 pounds most seem to assume Buckner is better suited as a five technique in a 3-4. He could move inside on certain packages, but in a base 4-3 defense that defensive tackle spot is Tyrone Crawford's job description. If, let's say, the Cowboys evaluate him and decide he's versatile enough to play all over the line, then that's a different story and they'd have to consider him.


I applauded drafting Zack Martin (despite already having a strong offensive line) because I felt he was that draft's "safest" pick. Which prospect(s) would be considered this year's safest draft pick(s) not named Laremy Tunsil?

Bryan: Ezekiel Elliott, the running back out of Ohio State, no question. You can plug him in and go to work. His college teammate, defensive end Joey Bosa, is very safe too in regards to the type of player you are going to get. 

Rob: Agree on Elliott as a safe pick for some team, even though most mocks don't have him in the early first round. That probably speaks more to the running back position in general not being valued as a high first-round spot anymore. Buckner and Laquon Treadwell also look like their skills will translate nicely to the pros.

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