This is the fourth entry in a series of articles examining players from the 2009 NFL Draft. The Falcoholic will also be putting together a retrospective on the 2009 season when the collective brain trust has sorted out just what happened this season. We've started with quarterbacks...but tomorrow, the world.. Next on our list, fourth-round defensive end Lawrence Sidbury.
Quietly, very quietly, so quietly that a man with hyperacusis would strain to hear it, Lawrence Sidbury had a pretty good rookie campaign.
You'd be hard pressed to find that in his stats, but remember that it's all about perspective. A fourth round rookie defensive end on a team that has depth, if not superior talent, at both end spots isn't guaranteed any playing time. If he manages a sack, a fumble recovery and a touchdown in his limited playing time, then that's even better. So while there isn't a lot of playing time to go on with Sidbury, he's shown some flashes of ability that make me optimism for the future.
Like Chris Owens, it was just enough that he may be in line for an increased role in 2010. The team isn't guaranteed to keep Jamaal Anderson and Chauncey Davis, John Abraham is showing his mileage and Kroy Biermann won't play 100% of the snaps unless he's the last defensive end on the team. No less an authority than Mike Smith said that if El-Sid is in control of his own destiny; if he continues to mature as a pass rusher he'll get more time in that role, and if he bulks up a little and shows the proper dedication he could become a full-timer down the road. Couple that factor with the lack of concrete statistical evidence and we've got a real enigma on our hands, but one that I think is going to be a real success story in the NFL.
What is clear is that there's potential. Sidbury could post double digit sack totals one day, and he's quick enough to simply go around offensive linemen, forcing teams to account for him off the edge. My hope is that he'll pick up a couple of starts and some extended playing time in 2010, collecting a few sacks and generally being a royal pain in the ass for everyone else. A formal prediction, you say? Three starts, scattered playing time all year and seven sacks in total. Yup, good things ahead for Mr. Sidbury.
Final Draft Grade: B-