February 22, 2010

Free Agent Rundown: Ryan Pickett

With Vince Wilfork off the market (barring a team offering him truckloads of cash while giving up two first round picks), one final nose tackle worth looking at is Green Bay's Ryan Pickett.

Pickett is the biggest nose tackle in the market at 6-2, 340 pounds. He is coming off his first year in a 3-4 defense with the Packers.

Dom Capers engineered the transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 in Green Bay with solid results. Green Bay finished at number two in total defense, and first against the run.

Green Bay did struggle against high-powered passing offenses like Pittsburgh and Arizona, but the run defense was solid for most of the year, surrendering just 83.3 YPG. Pickett was a big reason for the success along with a rotation at nose tackle that included first-round pick BJ Raji.

Pickett is a nine-year veteran who can play in the 4-3 or the 3-4. He only started nine game last year in the 3-4 and missed three games due to injury. Obviously, this will raise questions as to whether Pickett can take a full season starting at nose tackle.

However, given that the 'Skins will likely split time between the 4-3 and 3-4 this year, Pickett could be a great addition. He could play nose tackle in the 3-4, and provide quality depth at defensive tackle in the 4-3.

Pickett is the most affordable option at nose tackle. He doesn't have the star power of a Vince Wilfork or a Casey Hampton nor does he have their abilities. However, he is still an impact player who can create space for run pluggers like London Fletcher.

Like Hampton, Pickett could receive the franchise tag. The Packers want to resign him and Pickett has expressed a desire to remain with the team so it's likely he'll never hit the market, yet the deadline for applying the franchise tag is just three days away (Feb. 25th) and the Packers aren't a big spending team.

Chances of coming to Washington: Not good simply because it seems Pickett will end up staying in Wisconsin. Should he hit the market, he's a great fit for the Redskins because of his versatility. He's also an affordable option in comparison to Hampton.

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