Richard Shiro / Associated Press
Some players have the traits of a week 1 beginner with a potential of three down, but the actual playing time will depend on the form more than most.
The term “start” continues to evolve as does “basic defense”. The following honorable mentions could technically “start” the season but will have very variable roles and time sheets.
Isaiah Simmons, LB / S: Simmons is a prototypical knife player from the Swiss army who will see his role change from week to week. How and why will focus on what the coaching staff wants, but it is not a lockout for reaching 50% of snaps in week 1 or in a season.
Patrick Queen, LB: The accusation of being undersized will drive Queen out of the pros, and with Queen at 6’0 “and 229 pounds, that’s fair. But he still projects well, although he’s limited to cover matches and blitzes for most of his work.
Kenneth Murray, LB: There is something of a similar story for Murray, who could have problems against the run but still be a fun chess piece for the defensive coordinators.
Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge: Much for Gross-Matos will depend on the plan and plan of attack. He could find himself targeted by opposing offenses in the racing game, which could limit him to a specialized role in the first year.
Zack Baun, LB: Like others listed here, Baun could have a huge impact on a limited basis in the right scheme. If it exerts effective pressure on less than 50% of the photos, the teams will not complain about the cost of investment.