One of our biggest problems going into the offseason and also a problem position for quite some time now is at outside linebacker. Pace and BT have gotten old rather quickly recently and definitely on the downside of their careers. I think it is fair to assume that neither of those guys will be starting for us next year, maybe Pace comes back on a cheap deal but I wouldn't count on it.
So that leaves the question: Who will play OLB for us next year?! It seems the only real in house option would be to start Garrett McIntyre who will never be a special player but does his job when he was counted on. Solid against the run and made some plays rushing the passer. Again, he should rather be a backup but we can only fill so many holes in the offseason.
I think it is fairly obvious we will draft a pass rusher as the draft is deep there and most starting free agent options (like Anthony Spencer) should be too expansive.
I think we get Spencer or Shaun Phillips. Phillips I'd think would be out of our price range but may be the easier get. He is from NJ and is over 30. Spencer is not as good but younger. I really think we end up with one of them with a relatively cheap 3-4 year deal. Out side of that I would hit this draft hard from round 2 on. I'd love to see John Simon in the 2nd and Carradine in the 4th but that is a dream. Really looking down the line I'd take just about any big school DE/OLB coming out right now.
Simon, Jones, Chase Thomas, Brandon Jenkins, Ansah, Easley, Carradine, Hunt, Gholston, Edwards, Cornelius Washington even Devon Taylor would all be pretty good picks to fill OLB spots IMO.
So I'll say our lineup ends up looking like this Phillips, Simon, Hunt, McIntyre, and maybe an UDFA John Youboty is worth an invite IMO.
Khaseem Greene from Rutgers and switch to a 4-3. Love the guy's game I think it will translate well to the NFL where defense is all about speed.
I think it would serve the team well going to a 4-3. That allow us to re-tool the defense to one based on LB speed and a pass rush of 4 (not blitz dependent). Both are needed in the modern pass-happy NFL.
Also with 3 LB likely not returning in 2013 (Scott, Pace, Thomas) it's a logical time to make the switch.