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With the recent commitment of Smythe the Tight End depth is pretty good. Now I'd like to see Troy Niklas move to the D-Line as a defensive end with Okwara and crew and simply dominate. He's already proven he can tackle in space as an outside linebacker and his natural pass rushing skills are a BIG need for the Irish defense. He is not a good blocker (see Stanford game) but he's a good tackler. Anyone else think he should move to DE?
Correction: he was a weak blocker in space, he was very good inline blocking considering it was his first year. As of now it seems that Koyack, Heuerman, and Smythe are all split out TEs in our system so just bc they're listed as "TE" doesn't mean they're playing the same position.
maybe i was watching something different but i do not remember niklas showing any great D skill his first year. he was definitely out of position as a OLB; i remember sims the TE from MSU beating him with a very simple move for a TD and thinking 6'7" people do not belong at drop OLB . where do you come up with natural pass rushing skills, when he played drop LB? stats-wise he had 8 solo tackles and 12 assisted tackles and no sacks or tackles for loss.
niklas wanted to move to TE. yeah, he needs to improve his blocking but he is better than koyak and who knows how welsh will be when he returns. he was open a bunch of times in the middle of the field this year, but golson rarely ever threw the ball in the middle of the field.
moving a starter on O just makes no sense to me.
This post was edited by phineas 18 months ago
He was a great defensive end in high school and I know what he's capable of but you have a great point about Golson not throwing to the middle of the field. I expect that to happen alot more next season.
We can't equate depth with numbers.
Smyth and Heuerman are at the same stage as Niklas was two years ago, but maybe not quite as physically advanced. There's going to be a huge learning curve for them. Welch hadn't played much and is recovering from ACL surgery. Koyack has good credentials but went through a huge learning curve last year. Niklas is the best Notre Dame has there right now.
There was a reason Niklas was moved there last spring even though you already had an All-American in Eifert, Welch and Koyack. He was needed, and is especially needed there now.
Troy's the starting TE next year, so that would be kind of dumb
I thought welch was going to have a solid year last season behind eiffert. I believe that, if healthy, he will be our #1a TE, with TRoy at #1b. Like Lou said, koyak has the skills, just needs to get over the hump.
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