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    2008 NFL Draft: Defensive ends in first three rounds

    Rd. Overall Drafting team DE
    NFL starts  Sacks
    1 2 Rams Chris Long 36 17.5
    1 6 Jets Vernon Gholston 5 0.0
    1 8 Jaguars Derrick Harvey 32 8.0
    1 28 Seahawks Lawrence Jackson 24 12.5
    2 32 Dolphins Phillip Merling 4 3.5
    2 50 Cardinals Calais Campbell 30 13.0
    2 52 Jaguars Quentin Groves 19 2.5
    2 54 Titans Jason Jones 18 12.5
    3 66 Dolphins Kendall Langford 42 7.5
    3 72 Bills Chris Ellis 1 1.0
    3 80 Eagles Bryan Smith 2 0.0
    3 92 Lions Cliff Avril 28 19.0

    2008 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:

    Cliff Avril, DE, Purdue

    Cliff Avril had another outstanding season for the Boilermakers. The 2007 Second Team All Big 10 choice finished his season with 41 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles. Avril is not only a pass rusher for Purdue, he showed he can be just as useful defending passes by breaking up 5 attempts and picking off 1 pass this year. Avril has started 36 of the 49 contests he's played in his career. He came to Purdue as an outside linebacker, where he played 26 games during his first 3 years. Avril was asked to make the transition to defensive end four games into the 2006 season and has started 23 straight games on the defensive line since making the switch. Avril has tallied 194 tackles in his four seasons, with 35.5 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, 2 interceptions, 12 passes broken up in coverage, and 7 forced fumbles. Avril is carrying on the tradition of great defensive ends from Purdue in the past few years, including Anthony Spencer, Shaun Phillips, Rosevelt Colvin. Like all of his fellow Boilermakers, Avril will likely end up back at outside linebacker in the NFL. He is a fantastic speed rusher and would be a perfect fit for a 3-4 defense. However, many teams may still consider him as a 4-3 defensive end. He is slightly undersized, but a sound tackler who can play the run. Avril will likely go in the third or fourth round of this year's draft. Cliff Avril played well at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. He registered 2 tackles and looked good against several top tier offensive linemen. Avril's coaches were impressed with his pass rushing moves during drills. If he can impress scouts during the combine, he could easily improve his draft stock. Cliff Avril was one of several Big Ten prospects to show up at the NFL Combine and show that he was far more athletic than anticipated. Avril ran a 4.51 40 yard dash, which was one of the fastest times by a front seven defender. He managed just 17 reps on the bench press, but Avril showed off his athleticism during the other combine events. Avril has moved up draft boards and will likely go at the end of round two or the top of round three. Cliff Avril solidified his draft status at Purdue's pro day in West Lafayette. Avril looked good running position drills as both a defensive end and as an outside linebacker. Avril also displayed a 36 1/2 inch vertical leap. He also got a chance to display his change of direction speed in the short shuttle, finishing it in 4.31 seconds. Avril will be drafted in the mid-to-late second round.


    Detroit currently has a 1st and 3rd round tender on Avril, and he hasn't shown any signs of signing the tender. If NE could get him for #28 or #33 i think that would be a better option to fill the OLB need.
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    I don't know. He's struggled against the run. I think he may be limited to just a speed rusher role for the Pats. He may fit a 3-4 system, but more likely the 1 gap system, not the Pats 2 gap system.
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    That's the report I got from those who watch the Lions.
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    First until a new CBA is reached (and it looks unlikely before the draft) you can't use this years picks to trade for a player. Second why #28 and #33 when you could just add a poison pill to the contract and get him for a 1st and a 3rd? Similar to what they did with Welker. Where Welker was tendered the 2nd and the Pats tossed in a poison pill and to save Mia's face worked out a trade which they tossed in an extra 7th. You are overpaying way to much for a 43 DE that you don't know can translate to an OLB in a 34 system
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    In Response to Re: CLIFF AVRIL:
    In Response to Re: CLIFF AVRIL : do you believe there is a rookie who NE can take at #28 or #33 who can come in out of college and translate to 3-4 OLB right away? avril, began his college career as an OLB and switched to DE later on. he has the size, athleticism, speed, pass coverage, and obviously has proven he can get to the QB by leading all 2008 DE draft picks in sacks with 19 so far.
    Posted by ricky12684

    You can say the same thing about Edwards who will be a FA.

    But to get to your point at #28 and #33 here are some options that might turn out better then just Avril

    #28 (possibility of being there but might not be) - Sherrod T, Carimi T, Heyward DE, Wilkerson DE, Reed OLB, Ingram RB, traded for future picks and/or into the 2nd

    #33 All mentioned above, Sheard OLB, Acho OLB, Harris CB, Ijalana G/T, Watkins G, traded into future picks

    Odd's are that one of those picks is traded and with the additional picks those are traded into future picks. Personally in the end I believe that by trading those picks back it will end up getting us a 1st next year too, whether that be directly for the picks or adding additional picks to trade another pick later.

    So to answer your question would I rather trade 2 highly prized picks picks and have to sign a high end long term contract with Avril or a couple draft players with the possibility of another 1st next year that could be a top 10 depending on the team, I'll take the latter everyday

    But that still doesn't answer my question why both #28 and #33 when you could sign him to a poison pill deal and spend a 1st and a 3rd? Why waste pick #33 on him? And again Edwards is a very similar player but will be a FA, why trade picks when you can sign the same type of player for a contract that will most likely be similar to what Avril is looking for?
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    I could have sworn it was #28 and #33 but if it's #28 or #33 why would they trade him? A 1st and a 3rd is the highest tender you can offer so why would they want a trade for anything less then a 1st and a 3rd? It's been reported that they want Avril back so it makes zero sense they would trade him for less then what they tendered him. Might be why I saw "and" instead of "or" because they wouldn't trade him for less then the tender offer
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    You want to give up a 1st and 3rd for a  guy who has been about as productive as Tully Banta-Cain?

    It sounds like bad math.

    Although I think Avril has been a success as a 3rd round player, I also would rather NE invest that first in someone who has the potential to be truly dominant.
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    detroit wants him and he wants to stay in detroit funny that the lions now have Lawrence Jackson too but i think he's staying in detroit next to Suh for a DE thats Heaven
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    Really? TBC has more sacks than Avril has the past two seasons... I would give a third rounder for him, they will not accept that. He is, coming here, an unproven commodity.
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    Can someone explain to me what a "poison pill" is?
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    In Response to Re: CLIFF AVRIL:
    Can someone explain to me what a "poison pill" is?
    Posted by Ender587

    A poison pill is a clause in a contract that creates a hazardous contract escalator/bonus for one particular team in attempts to prevent them from matching a contract.

    For example if the Pats wanted Cliff Avril they could put a clause in his contract offer that if Avril plays in Det more then twice a year that it would kick in a 10mil bonus for every year he plays 3+ games in Det. Now there is no way the Pats can play in Det more then twice a year so they would never have to pay that bonus, however, since Det plays at min 8 games a year there if they were to match the contract then they would have to pay the extra 10mil bonus every year.
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    Patseng is right, but you need to add that 'poison pills' like that only work when its a situation where one party has rights to match the other party. In that situation, it would be impossible for the Lions to really 'match' New England. 

    That kind of contract won't happen though.
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    In Response to Re: CLIFF AVRIL:
    ray edwards is a 4-3 end... he can't play the pass
    Posted by ricky12684

    You do realize that 43 DE's are asked to drop back and cover flats frequently? And you do realize that Cliff Avril is a 43 DE in Det's system?

    You also seem to just keep forgetting that the Lions want Avril back and placed the highest tender they could to make sure no one would go after him. Otherwise they could have just put a 1st round tender on him if that's all they wanted. There is no way they give him up for less then the tender they put on him.

    The big difference between Avril and Edwards is that Edwards is going to be a FA with an extra 3 years in the league and Avril has less wear on his body and a year younger but requires picks to be traded. Other then that they are extremely similar players as far as triangle numbers, playing styles, how their respective teams used them, and production
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    I'm not going to argue Avril's production 3 years into his career. he's been good. However, if it takes a 1 and 3 to get him, and we are targeting other team's players, I'd rather do 2 1's or work something out with Pioli to go get Tamba Hali, who is already a productive 3-4 OLB albeit 1 year. A guy like that in NE's system would pay big dividends.

    Again, that's if I was targeting someone already playing....Now, I'd much rather draft for the need than have to give up picks and big money which both Avril and Hali will require.

    I think there are quite a few pass rushing specialists in this year's draft that will come to us at 17, possibly slightly trade up for, or be had with picks 28, 33 or even 60.
    I'm not buying Quinn at 9 or 10, nor Aldon Smith at 11 or 12. If we are drafting early for OLB (which something tells me we won't), and we are targeting a conversion guy, my money is on Kerrigan at 17, Reed/Sheard at 33 or Acho at 60.
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    In Response to Re: CLIFF AVRIL:
    not only do i realize those things, but i also realize that avril began his college career as a LB and has experience actually COVERING te's and rb's, not just dropping down and covering a flat. i also realize that edwards is much bigger and less agile, not as good in space. check their combine #'s 40, 3-come, 10 yd split..etc. avril is superior in all categories that you look for when converting a de to olb. imo avril is better suited to play in a 3-4, edwards, strictly a 4-3.
    Posted by ricky12684

    Cliff Avril played his first 12 games as a LB and next 23 at DE. 1 season of LB in college over 5 years ago doesn't mean he has the ability to cover NFL TE's and RB's. If he played all 3 years at OLB and then was moved to DE in Det that's a different story. You can't claim because he played OLB for his freshman year in college that he can cover NFL players otherwise a lot of NFL DE's could claim the same thing since most came in to college as LB's until they gained weight and moved over to DE.
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