We haven't heard the last of the Chris Long/Glenn Dorsey debate, not by a long shot. It's merely in a momentary lull, but as soon as the season starts, as soon as one or the other makes their first NFL tackle or sack, be prepared to see that conversation revisited all over the internets. Throw in the fact that both now play in the same state and you can see the path to year round Governor's Cup jokes.
So let's do something different with the community projections. Let's compare the two, Dorsey and Long, through projections, with nothing but reasoned analysis, idle speculation and fan optimism as our guide.
Obviously, we're most concerned with Chris Long. By all accounts, he was one of the most, if not the most, NFL-ready player in the draft, ready to step in and be a contributing member of whatever team that drafted him. But, there's only a certain amount of readiness a rookie can have; the NFL requires some adjustment time, no matter how good you are. So, while he may be ready, he's not going to be at his peak in his rookie season. Duh.
Believe it or not, that actually ups my optimism for the season. Look no further than to those bitter memories of 2005. As mentioned yesterday in the Leonard Little results post, the D-line that year featured Little in his prime and rookie Anthony Hargrove on the other side. In a season that won't be remembered as one of hte Rams best, the two DEs still managed to record 16 sacks, 9.5 for Little and 6.5 for Hargrove. Now, that's nothing special, nothing special at all, but think about it in the context of what third round pick Anthony Hargrove was able to do with Leonard Little on the line with him and Ryan Pickett and Jimmy Kennedy in the middle (who had 5 sacks between them). Little's three years older, but by any measurement the 2008 Rams defense is better than the 2005 defense.
Long has the potential to put up numbers on the level with some of the best Rams rookie seasons in recent memory.
Now, on the other side of the state, the other side of the 2008 draft's "coulda, shoulda, woulda" story, Glenn Dorsey became the centerpiece of a rebuilding project. Like Long in St. Louis, Dorsey became a starter the minute the Chiefs drafted him. But for all the hype accorded to the "best player in the draft" he'll need some time to get used to the Pro game. For your Dorsey projection, I'll refer you to the fine folks at Arrowhead Pride , which is where I'm going to go to get my info to project the numbers, as I know so very little about the Chiefs.
The rules: project for Long and Dorsey the number of games played, tackles, sacks, forced fumbles, and interceptions. Obviously INTs won't be as big a factor, but we'll include them for posterity's sake.
Post your projection in the comments, and we'll tally them up and review on Tuesday.