Vernon Gholston: Getting Moving Down Under (To The Defensive Line)
The Jets are now going to move bust Vernon Gholston to the defensive line. He will most likely be Shaun Ellis's backup, or possibly Marques Douglas's replacement.
Gholston, the Jets's first round pick (sixth overall) in 2008, is widely considered to be a monumental bust. In his two years as a Jet, he has not managed a single sack. He lost the starting job as an outside linebacker to Bryan Thomas.
The Jets hope to change Gholston's course. They think that he may be much better at the defensive end position. As a Buckeye, Gholston's natural position was defensive end. As a defensive end, he managed 14 sacks. He even managed to beat top LT Jake Long.
Size wise, Gholston is a perfect fit. He's 6'3", 264 lbs. With a small bit of bulking up (5-10 lbs), he'll be perfect size. Let's take a look at the top five defensive ends' sizes.
Elvis Dumervil: 5'11", 248
Jared Allen: 6'6", 270
Dwight Freeney: 6'1", 268
Will Smith: 6'3", 282
Trent Cole: 6'3", 270
Gholston is as tall or taller than all but Allen. He weighs only a little less than them.
One of his biggest issues was his trouble at the linebacker position. He seemed to lose his football instincts at linebacker. He is a natural defensive end. His college career at defensive end is impressive.
As a linebacker, he was blocked by tight ends and running backs.
As a defensive end, all he'll have to do is beat the left tackle, and the sack is his. He commands a double team well, and helps others get the sack.
He was bad against the run, but a 3-4 defensive end has to worry less about pass rush. He can also control his penalty problems better as a defensive end. He won't have to worry about pass protection, either.
He has the pass rush techniques necessary. He really is a natural pass rusher.
Personnel wise, this is a good move. Both Marques Douglas and Shaun Ellis are 33. Ellis was good in the pass rush with 6.5 sacks, but Douglas was nonexistent. It is a relatively low risk move, if the decide to replace Douglas with Gholston.
Gholston was a huge bust as an outside linebacker. He didn't record a single sack, and was terrible against the run. He is owed 21 million dollars in guaranteed money. If he can perform as a defensive end, it will be a huge break for the Jets.
I think this is a good, low risk, high reward move.
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