Gerard Warren is running with the first unit in New England. He’s operating as a 3-4 defensive end for the first time in his career. The 325-pound Warren is a fascinating player. He was drafted third overall by the Browns in 2001. He was shipped to Denver in ’05 (around the time when every Browns defensive lineman was showing up in Denver). After two ho-hum seasons, he became a Raider. Now, he’s in New England.
So what’s fascinating? Warren has always shown tantalizing talent (mainly rare burst for a player with his resounding strength), but lazy habits and iffy stamina have put a cap on his output. In short, for a third overall pick, he’s been an underachiever – perhaps even a bust.
Most journeymen underachievers become backups. You might think of Warren as a backup, but he’s actually started all but seven games in his career. Have we ever seen a third overall pick disappoint but still start for an entire decade?
At 31, Warren is still in his prime. He has the right tools to occupy blockers in New England’s power-based 3-4 scheme. Don’t be surprised if we see another 16 starts added to his name in 2010.
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