Commentator justinlewis asks a good question to my post yesterday about Dallas' DE Chris Canty:
so far it seems that the mid-level potential front 7 free agents that we could possibly pick up are igor, canty, and weaver. How do you guys rank the 3 and is there potentially anyone else? And how do theses guys compare to chillar and poppinga?
I'd rank those three in that order 1)Igor, 2)Canty, and then 3)Weaver. But they don't compare at all to LB Brandon Chillar or LB Brady Poppinga because the first three are true defensive lineman, all playing at close to 300 lbs., while Chillar and Poppinga are closer to 240 lbs. and true linebackers. They won't be competing against each other.
But the Packers shouldn't necessarily pursue any of them. Since most teams still play a 4-3 defense, most of the players listed around the league at defensive end are undersized. They wouldn't be a good fit at defensive end in the Packers' 3-4 scheme. But a number of undersized defensive tackles could make a good 3-4 defensive end.
This old list from Scouts.com lists two players in the top 30 free agents who might be a good fit for the Packers. Both players have been playing at defensive tacke, but would play at end in Green Bay.
DT Rocky Bernard. He might have regressed last season, but he has shown some pass rush ability with 29 career sacks. I don't know the whole story, but it appears unlikely Seattle will resign him. He's only turning 30 next season and apperently avoided any major injuries in his seven year career. He's around 290 lbs. and should be able to hold up fine as he tries to occupy two blockers.
DT Jovan Haye. He was very good in 2007 with 6 sacks, but struggled with injuries in 2008. With a change in defensive scheme and coaches in Tampa, he might not be in their plans. But he's even younger (he'll be 27 next season) and at 284 lbs. has the size to play at end.
My point is that there are a lot of players available who could fill out the defensive line. The Packers don't need to overpay. Maybe the best thing would be to wait a couple weeks for the market to cool off then target a quality middle class free agent, like they did last season with Chillar, and sign him to a reasonable contract.