Pawns in the Shanaplan: Defense

ShanAllen's Defensive Plan in the Draft? Hard workers, durability, and character. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

The draft has come and gone. It was great to see so much input from the Hogs Haven community this year. It seems like we all learned a lot about the draft and its prospects through each other, and I would put our community up against any other in terms of draft knowledge.

So now that we know the outcome of the draft lets look at how some of the players may fit on the defensive side of the ball.

Ryan Kerrigan: I'm not going to go into too much detail about Kerrigan because we all know about him and know that he is supposed to be a very hard worker who will solidify the OLB position and add a bookend to our defense opposite Orakpo.

Jarvis Jenkins: The talk surrounding Jenkins is that he will be a defensive end when he comes to DC. I'm not buying all in on that notion. Jenkins is close to prototypical NT size and I think sooner or later you are going to start seeing him rotating in on the interior. The common theme within this draft was that Shanahan and Allen were drafting blue collar guys and Jenkins in no exception. At Clemson he nearly started every game and he was also a team captain.

Dejon Gomes: With this draft I think it is becoming more clear that Carlos Rogers and Phillip Buchanon will not be back in the Burgundy and Gold (Yes, I know Gomes is a SS). Gomes is another lunch pail guy. He never missed a game at Nebraska and has been talked about by many as a "film rat". He is also a VERY good special teams players as a non-returner and should be a high energy to help out Danny Smith.

Brandyn Thompson: Is there a theme trending? Thompson never missed a game at Boise State and is another guy that has spent a lot of valuable time as a special teamer. Thompson is a good cover corner and has pretty good hands, his biggest downside is his size and may have some trouble with some jump balls.

Markus White: Hey another character guy and team captain! Maybe Shanny has been reading Hogs Haven? White isn't flashy but he has had great production over his time at FSU. He'll be another guy that can compete for a rotational spot in training camp. The only major concerns with him is that he suffers from frequent seizures.

Chris Neild: Its hard to get excited about a guy that was drafted second to last in the draft, but I'm excited about Chris Nield. Nield is the definition of a lunch pail guy and was voted the team captain for West Virginia this past year. The more I read about him, the more I like and several expert have said with a little coaching they could see Nield starting this year. I think this may be a little far fetched, but I can see him as a valuable rotational guy this year.

What else did we learn?: This could change with free agency but Shanny must like what he has at the ILB position. Maybe Rocky will be re-signed? Maybe HB? But more then likely, I think, he likes what he sees in Perry Riley. It will also be interesting to see what Robert Henson can do in training camp, since we haven't seen him since August and many feel as if he was given second life on the roster when he went down with injury this last preseason. Of course everything is up in the air with the lockout, but this training camp is going to look a lot different then what we have seen before, there will be a lot of youthful competition and it will be very fun to watch.

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