The 3-4 is based on having defensive linemen to take up blocks and get double teamed in order to let your LBs make plays. So we want guys with the highest blockshed possible along the defensive front and speed in the LB corps to run the field and make plays.
Speed is the most OP stat in the game, your MLBs need it to make plays from sideline to sideline. Your user needs speed to make any plays at all. Your OLBs are primarily pass rushers who ned speed to chase down fast QBs and RBs outside. The 3-4 OLBs also need to have high blockshed and power or finesse moves because they’ll be rushing the passer both from the standard 3-4 set and in other formations like nickel and dime packages where the DE’s move to DTs and OLBs move to DE.
To stop the run in the game of football you need a total defensive effort. In my opinion, blockshed is the 1st, 2nd or 3rd most important stat on all positions on defense. Even cornerbacks.
In the below list, place players in the position I have them. The lineup has been optimized to run the 3-4 scheme. If you have exotic blitzes that drop linemen into coverage, adjust the depth chart or sub in players accordingly. You don’t want Terrence Cody in coverage.
And when making budget lists, don’t focus much on chemistry. Guys below the elite level don’t benefit enough from the small chemistry boosts you receive to build your lists around it.
LE – Daquan Jones or Vance Walker – Highest blockshed LEs. I prefer Daquan because he’s bigger and strength plays a minor role in 17 when o-linemen and d-linemen hit each other according to the developers. I have trust issues with the developers but I can’t go against them until I see something proves otherwise in regards to strength in 17.
RE – Danielle Hunter or Randy Starks (depending on if you believe in strength) High blockshed to hold against the run. Danielle is also really versatile with his high speed. He’d be great in a 3-3-5 scheme. Might even be the best silver card in the game with his high speed/blockshed combo.
DT – Terrence Cody – Biggest SOB in the game. Highest blockshed silver DT, high strength. Ideal for the 3-4 DT. Just slow as molasses so make sure he isn’t in the game on obvious passing situations. You can get Josh Chapman if you want someone with a little more speed here.
LOLB – Emmanuel Ogbah – Highest blockshed. You’re getting sick of me saying that? Also, 84 speed is elite for an LB at the start of a game.
MLB #1 – Zaviar Gooden (user) 86 speed is great for a LB user. His 66 blockshed is a liability but he’s a user, run around blocks instead of through them.
MLB #2 – Andrew Gachkar – The 2nd MLB is a tough choice, because you need them to be good at just about everything. Need good speed, play rec, zone coverage, pursuit and blockshed. But generally you want the blockshed a bit higher because in passing sets this player won’t be on the field. I feel Gachkar’s combo of all of them suits us well.
ROLB – John Simon – 83 speed is good, so is 84 blockshed and 80 power moves. A solid budget beast. His acceleration is lower than I’d like but life ain’t perfect.
CB – 1. Trae Waynes, 2. Anthony Brown – Speed is the name of the game at corner and it’s the end all be all we look for in silver players. Here we lose a bit of blockshed for top end speed in our outside corners.
FS – Antwon Blake – 89 speed is crazy for a free safety. For our standard cover 3 scheme we need someone really fast and that can diagnose plays. He actually has pretty decent play rec for a silver, his zone coverage at 71 is a little low. Unfortunately we have to sacrifice blockshed here but our front 7 having the highest blockshed possible should make up for it. He can sweep by and clean up without having to take on blockers.
SS – Sean Richardson – Tall and fast. Has good zone coverage and okay blockshed for playing in the box. His pursuit is underwhelming. I wouldn’t be mad if you went with Ryan Murphy instead due to his great mix of stats.