Grading the Roster: Defense and Special Teams

| July 20th, 2023

Camp approaches, which means it’s time for me to grade the roster. Like I’ve done the last few years, I’ll grade on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the worst in the NFL, 10 being the best, and 5 being an average NFL unit. Let’s get right down to it.

Defensive Ends: 1

Key Players: DeMarcus Walker, Trevis Gipson, Rasheem Green, Dominique Robinson

Others: Terrell Lewis, Jalen Harris, Jalyn Holmes, D’Anthony Jones

This group is bad. Like, really bad. The saddest part is that this is still a significant improvement to what they had after trading Robert Quinn away last year, as Walker is clearly better than the departed Al-Quadin Muhammad, and Green improves the depth. Trevis Gipson is a capable rotational pass rusher when he’s not the guy opposing offenses are worried about, so I’m hopeful he can have something of a bounceback 2023.

This position group is the perfect storm of bad veterans and also no rookies to even consider getting excited about. Unless Dominique Robinson takes a massive step up from a disappointing rookie season, this should easily be the worst position group on the roster (and one of the worst overall in the NFL). It’s still possible Ryan Poles finally makes the defensive end signing he’s been teasing at for a few months, but even then the available options will likely take them from awful to bad.

Defensive Tackles: 2

Key Players: Justin Jones, Andrew Billings, Gervon Dexter Sr., Zacch Pickens

Others: Travis Bell, Andrew Brown, Donovan Jeter

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