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An outstanding Donald-Mack Debate post by BobCarl...

April 15, 2018 08:14AM
For those that may not know, BobCarl is a big fan of both the Rams and the Raiders.

Here’s BobCarl...


My nod goes to Donald. I think that most fans don't appreciate how stealthy and talented that Donald really is.

Yes, Mack recorded five sacks within a span of 22 minutes of a game vs Denver in 2016, a stunning performance. But fans can see and appreciate Mack's greatness. You see leverage, you see moves, you see speed, you see power. You don't ask "how did that happen" you can see his talent ... all of it is easy to see.

But very few see how incredible Donald is. You can't see a bullet ... yet at times, Donald is faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive. when Donald gets a sack, people say "how did that happen". In the 2.2 seconds that it takes Mack make moves that Jackie Chan would envy ... Donald makes his moves in the .02 seconds like Bruce Lee would execute a death blow against his opponent.

TV announcers will say that "Mack forced the fumble" ... when watching Donald, they say "the ball came loose".... all because Donald is too fast for watching at normal speed to appreciate.

Donald is the best, and this Raider fan knows it.

Furthermore I think the best "chess strategy" of the trenches starts with the A gaps. I love how Wade Phillips used double A-gap pressure without using the cookie cutter "double A-Gap" alignment.

Why is there even a debate? Oh, yes, NFL.com wants us to think there is.

The article below is a fun read: There are a couple of short videos at the NFL site which are better than the article, so I recommend going there for the debate.


THE DONALD-MACK DEBATE: Is inside or outside pressure more valuable?
We keep talking about the NFL being a quarterback-driven league, but this offseason could change that narrative when the past two Defensive Player of the Year recipients sign deals that pay them "quarterback money" for their dominance as disruptive pass rushers.

Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack are each on the verge of breaking the bank. Both fifth-year pros, Donald and Mack are in line for lucrative contract extensions following a series of spectacular campaigns that confirmed their status as elite players. This will put pass rushers in the spotlight, forcing executives to think deeper about the value of particular quarterback hunters in the team-building process.

For years, general managers, personnel execs and scouts ranked pass rusher as the second-most important position in football, with most citing defensive end/outside linebacker as the marquee spot on defense. But lately, with pass-rushing defensive tackles or inside sub-package rushers taking over games in critical moments, I sense that sentiment changing. Teams are increasingly looking to win with A-gap (space between the offensive guard and center) pressure, due to the chaos and disruption at the point of attack. For immobile quarterbacks, in particular, pressure from the middle of the line completely disrupts their timing in the pocket and blurs their vision and/or blocks available passing lanes.

That's why I'm fascinated to see the numbers Donald and Mack will tally at the end of their negotiations, because it will shed light on just how valuable executives view premier inside and outside pass rushers at the moment. From a contract perspective, each player is looking at a deal that should feature somewhere around the $60 million guaranteed Ndamukong Suh received as part of his six-year, $114 million contract in 2015 and the $70 million in guarantees included in Von Miller's six-year, $114.5 million deal in 2016.

NFL Network's Steve Wyche says Mack is seeking guarantees in excess of $65 million. Meanwhile, Donald's apparently on the verge of becoming the highest-paid defensive player in the league. Based on their production and performance as disruptive sack artists, they are certainly worthy of getting deals that place them near the figure commanded by top quarterbacks: $20 million-plus per season. Mack has amassed 40.5 sacks in four years, including 36.5 over the past three. He also has added nine forced fumbles as the Raiders' designated pass rusher. Donald has been just as productive as a disruptor, with 39 sacks and nine forced fumbles to his name. He has also delivered 108 QB hits during that span (compared to 84 from Mack), while amassing 72 tackles for loss (Mack has 68) as a destructive force on the interior.

Given Mack and Donald's emergence as elite defenders in a league full of blue-chippers, it is not surprising that executives are looking for clones at their respective positions. With that in mind, I thought I would pose a question to a handful of my scouting buddies to see how they view pass rushers, and more specifically, what kinds of pass rushers they prefer. Would you want to build your defense around an inside or outside pass rusher? Here are some of their responses ...

AFC assistant general manager: "I'm old school, so I'm going to go for the edge rusher."

AFC college scouting director: "I would take an inside rusher like [Aaron Donald] or Warren Sapp because they can disrupt the interior line, which will affect both the run and pass. Plus, the pressure in the face of the quarterback is better than an edge rusher because he can be pushed around the edge."

NFC pro personnel director: "You can't go wrong with either one, but the inside rusher makes a bigger impact. If you can affect the quarterback immediately up the middle or disrupt the run up the middle, it messes up plays from the jump."

AFC pro personnel director: "I've always been taught that you build your defense from inside out. I'm going to go for the inside pass rusher because he can completely disrupt the game."

A second NFC pro personnel director: "Philosophically, you would want to take the edge rusher, but Aaron Donald's success clouds the debate. ... It's easier to create matchup problems on the inside because teams can always turn protections to edge guys and use running backs and tight ends to help the offensive tackle."

Former NFL vice president of personnel: "Ideally, you would take the edge rusher because they command so much attention. But when you see a guy like Donald dominate from inside, it makes you re-think that a little bit."

I find it interesting that the overwhelming majority of executives I spoke to preferred the inside rusher over the edge rusher. That's a drastic philosophical shift from what I was taught when I entered the business. Yet, it falls in line with what one of my old coaches told me as a young player. Dick Jauron, my defensive coordinator with the Jacksonville Jaguars, said a defense should be strong down the middle, and that you need to build it with that premise in mind. He told me that philosophy is true in all sports (point guard and center in basketball; catcher, pitcher, shortstop, second baseman and center fielder in baseball), which is interesting when you consider the entirety of his point.

From a statistical standpoint, the argument doesn't necessarily hold up when looking at the sack numbers from the 2017 season. The top 23 sack producers were listed as defensive ends/outside linebackers before Geno Atkins appears on the list with 9.0 sacks as a defensive tackle. (Donald is listed as a 3-4 defensive end, but plays inside in the Rams' nickel rush package.)

That brings me back to my fascination with the Donald and Mack contract negotiations. With the majority of evaluators favoring an inside pass rusher, I'm curious to see which guy lands the bigger deal. Compensation reflects value, so we will soon see if the inside rushers (or edge rushers with inside pass-rush ability) become the new marquee players on the defensive roster.

  An outstanding Donald-Mack Debate post by BobCarl...

Rams43354April 15, 2018 08:14AM

  Say, maybe there’s something to this “who signs first” theory?

Rams43101April 15, 2018 08:17AM

  that's by Bucky Brooks, taken from nfl.com

zn144April 15, 2018 08:18AM

  Re: that's by Bucky Brooks, taken from nfl.com

Rams43129April 15, 2018 08:49AM

  Re: that's by Bucky Brooks, taken from nfl.com

zn115April 15, 2018 09:06AM

  Re: that's by Bucky Brooks, taken from nfl.com

Rams43111April 15, 2018 09:10AM

  AD plays a DT...a position that is sooo much harder

SunTzu_vs_Camus105April 15, 2018 08:27AM

  Re: AD plays a DT...a position that is sooo much harder

zn89April 15, 2018 09:36AM

  this is true...and from my own experience, not even comparable.....

SunTzu_vs_Camus87April 15, 2018 09:52AM

  Re: Yes it is supply & demand that answers the question

merlin74April 15, 2018 09:34PM

  agreed, Merlin.....

SunTzu_vs_Camus39April 16, 2018 04:46AM