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There are a number of OLB that could be possible DE
conversions for the 4-3. Most of these
players are in 3-4 defenses now and would play better in a four man line.
Mario Williams Texans 27 6’6” 283
Williams was the 1st overall pick in 2006 as DE
and played there very successfully until the 2011 season.
This year he was forced to OLB by change to
3-4 He has played in 82 games with 82
starts. He played in only five games this
season and ended the year on IR. He has
amassed 241 tackles with 53 sacks, 10 passes defended and 11 forced fumbles.
At 283 he is not comfortable in playing in space. He is a UFA and will be looking for a 4-3
team to join. Given the improvement in
the Texan D, they will not be going back to the 4-3 any time soon. He will want to move on.
He has a flash first step with excellent athleticism for a DE and a high motor that makes him successful.
He has high awareness and play recognition as
a DE but has not made the transition to the OLB. He struggles in zone coverage and is not in a
position to take full advantage of his skills.
His instincts are good with enough moves both power and finesse to be
He will be highly sought after as a free agent and get a
nice payday. He is not what the Browns
will go after but exactly what they need.
Very seldom can you get a first overall pick that has been successful as
a free agent. And the Browns will not get this one.
Anthony Spencer Cowboys 28 6’3” 257
Spencer played in 60 total games starting 53. He has accumulated 17 sacks in the last three
years with a total of 21.5 sacks 10 passes defended and 10 forced fumbles.
He has good speed and a very good first step. He has multiple pass rush moves
but struggles at both zone and man coverage.
His combination of speed and strength would make him a better
DE than he is an OLB. Since the DE is
paid more than an OLB, he might be interested in going to a 4-3 team.
The Cowboys will do their best to keep him
but they have several key UFAs they need to resign.
If he is available the Browns should consider
giving him an offer.