Let's consider where our defense really is. This will be a gut check, reality filled, no homer post. First I would like to look at our defense's overall statistics in several categories. Then we will determine what our true weaknesses and strengths are.
The easiest way to understand our strengths and weaknesses is to see what our opponents did against us. We were the LEAST PASSED ON TEAM IN FOOTBALL LAST YEAR. I repeat the LEAST PASSED ON TEAM IN FOOTBALL LAST YEAR. We had 454 passing attempts against us for the least in football. Everyone is clamoring about how we ranked 27th in sacks! Well... we were the LEAST PASSED ON TEAM IN FOOTBALL LAST YEAR. The next most important stat was our opposing QB's completion percentage of 56.6% good for 7th in the league. On the flip side we were ONE OF THE MOST RUN ON TEAMS IN FOOTBALL LAST YEAR. I know this is hard for people so I will rinse, lather, and repeat, WE WERE ONE OF THE MOST RUN ON TEAMS IN FOOTBALL LAST YEAR. We had 31.8 rushing attempts/gm against us ranking us 29th in the NFL and gave up 132 yards/gm rushing which ranked us 26th in the NFL. So what happens when a team can't pass on you and can run on you??? THEY RUN ON YOU!
Let me show you what happens if we had a balanced defense and teams were forced to pass more:
We had one sack/15.6 passing attempts. With 538 pass attempts (middle of the league) we would have 34 sacks, which would put us at about 17th in the league. So not including a healthy Eric Berry, the progression of Justin Houston, Allen Bailey, or the effect this will have on Tamba Hali and garbage sacks by other players, we are in the middle of the league. If I am conservative and say a healthy Eric Berry, progressing Justin Houston, Allen Bailey, and the effect it will have on garbage sacks will add 6 sacks (I could easily say 10 sacks here which would put us almost in the top 5 of sacks with 44), then we are looking at 40 sacks... good for 14th in the league.
Let's take another look at this... basically our run defense is crap, so teams run on us. You want to improve a pass rush against a team that is not passing and is running? If we only forced a team to pass we ALREADY HAVE A PASS RUSH AND A GOOD PASS DEFENSE.
To conclude if we improve one of the worst run defenses in the NFL we will have a TON MORE SACKS, also we won't give up those free guaranteed 1st downs. If you plug Brockers the best 3-4 DE next to Hali then you instantly upgrade our pass rush, our sacks, our takeaways, our run defense, our time of possession, our EVERYTHING. Didn't you think it was funny that you could make a case for us having the most talented back 8 in football and we weren't even a top 10 defense? Draft Brockers and our defense goes from 11th/12th in yards and scoring to top 5 in both. We could have a top 3 D with him. Please don't fall in love with drafting a OG who will marginally improve our offense, because our offense has a ceiling with Matt Cassel, #10 offense overall is the best we are going to go... instead let's improve our D from 12th to 3rd.
Please don't let us have the most talented back 8 in football without a top 10 D anymore. Please give us one unit worthy of winning a Super Bowl.