With the offseason now in full swing, we're already starting to see tangible steps being taken by the players as they prepare for the transformation of the front seven.
Alge Crumpler (@Alge_Crumpler) March 21, 2014
Second-year defensive end Malliciah Goodman is listed at 276 pounds on the team's official web site and generally played between 270 and 280 as a 4-3 strongside end at Clemson. At 290 pounds, however, Goodman would have the added weight he needs to fill a role in the 3-4. Most likely, he would fit in at the 5-technique behind Tyson Jackson, as some scouts suggested he could when entering the NFL.
This move could turn out to be a very beneficial one for Goodman, who has never been a dominant pass-rusher (7.0 sacks was his season-high in college) but has the ability to excel as a run-stopper and the athleticism to situationally rush the quarterback. As a rookie last season, Goodman graded out at -6.3 as a pass rusher but +3.9 when playing the run, according to Pro Football Focus.
And Jackson, you'll remember, underwhelmed as a pass-rusher in Kansas City, meaning Goodman could sub in for him on third downs and in obvious passing situations.
While we're on the subject, this is how I see the defensive line depth chart shaking out at the moment:
5-Tech / SDE: Tyson Jackson, Goodman, Adam Replogle
0-Tech / NT: Paul Soliai, Corey Peters, Robertson
3-Tech / WDE: Peters, Jonathan Babineaux, Peria Jerry, Travian Robertson
And then there's Cliff Matthews, who I'm not so sure fits into this scheme at all.
All in all, there are nine defensive linemen under contract right now, and I'd imagine that number gets trimmed down to about six by the time the regular season starts.
As for Goodman, he should have a well-defined role next season and will see his share of meaningful snaps considering Jackson only saw around 50 percent of the defensive snaps with the Chiefs last season. There's always the chance that an athlete doesn't respond well to playing at a heavier weight (some feel stiff or less comfortable), but I don't see that as an issue for Goodman. He's a good fit in the 3-4.
What do you think about Goodman and the general direction Atlanta seems to be heading on defense?