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Mid Season Mock


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First of all let's define what I think our needs are. There are in my mind four positions where I see significant need for an upgrade to what we currently have.

Upgrade (FA or Draft)

Cornerback

Defensive Tackle

Left Defensive End

Right Tackle

Then there are our key free agents – hopefully we are in a situation where we can re-sign the below and still make moves in free agency ourselves. However we would have to address the position if not.

Dependent On Re-Negotiations

(Guard)– Dahl / Clabo

(Punter)– Koenan

(Speed Back) - Norwood

(Long Snapper) – Schneck

Finally there are the positions where we need depth and or insurance against age-related decline and/or retirement. These are as per the below. I feel we address these positions in the draft and allow them to develop behind the veterans.

Youth Needed (Draft)

Weakside Linebacker (Peterson 33)

Tight End (Gonzalez 35)

Centre (McClure 32)

Kicker (Elam 39)

Full Back (Haynes 31)

Signings (Existing Roster)

Re-Sign: Clabo ($4.5m/yr), Dahl ($2m), Norwood ($2.5m), Redman ($2m), Koenan ($1m), Williams (Min.), Snelling (RFA 2nd)

To Market: Finneran, Booker, Ojinnaka, Grimes, Harris

Figures given are the rough figure are the maximum I would pay. Every player barring Williams and Redman can be signed to a RFA offer sheet if it is an uncapped year – so these amount are predicated on the CBA getting sorted.

Redman won't generate much interest from around the league so renegotiation should be easy. Williams will depend on his recovery from injury.

If we end up tendering, Clabo gets a 1st and 3rd ($2.5m), Norwood and Dahl get 1st round tenders ($2m a year), everyone else a 2nd round tender ($1.4m). Of course they could sign the longer-term deals as these would still be on the table. If any team really wants to take our players we would have draft picks that are worth more than the players so we would come out ahead.

Signings (Free Agency)

Leigh Bodden, CB

I also like Carlos Rodgers but he will be an RFA if the CBA is not renewed. With our trend towards running more press-man coverage and being more aggressive on defence I feel Bodden would be worth inking to a significant deal (say 4 years $22 million with $12 million guaranteed).

New England may be unwilling to match this given that they have several young players in their secondary and are going to have to extend Wilfork. Atlanta should be an attractive destination as we are a potential contender and Smith is a players coach.

Reggie Hayward, DE

Hayward has had serious injuries in 2 of the last 4 seasons (06 and 09) so this is not a selection without risk. However I feel with a possible transfer to the 3-4 occurring and Gene Smith trying to get a younger and cheaper team given their attendance issues I'm not sure Hayward will be re-signed. He's a very good rusher though and would fit in well here.

We could potentially bring him in on a one year incentive-laden deal given him a opportunity to play for another big contract in 2011 (whether here or elsewhere). This would be much cheaper than bringing in someone like Kampman who would want a multi-year deal which might affect the cap in the future. The Falcons may be attractive as he would be playing opposite Abraham (thus fewer double teams) – allowing Hayward to play like Abraham did in 2008 and hence get paid!

Draft

Foxworth signed a big contract in Baltimore and is starting so he should garner a 4th round pick. Boley, while he did sign a $25m contract is injured and hence unlike to get us more than a 5th round pick. Peterson and Brooking offset, as do Romberg and Jackson. Therefore we get 4th and 5th comp picks. Tony G accounts for our 2nd, while Tye Hill accounts for our 7th.

1st Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

Has right tackle size at 6'6" 325lbs, but is a very good pass blocker and may even project as a 1st round left tackle quality pass blocker. Either way he is an elite run blocker. Placing him on the right side would greatly improve the pass blocking from both RT and RG – as it would allow us to slide Clabo (whose pass blocking is below average for a RT but would be very good as a RG) inside.

Davis could also play LT in a pinch (if Baker was injured) meaning that we would not be faced with the prospect of Svitek playing any significant time on the blindside of Ryan. Addressing three positions (RT, RG, backup LT) with one selection seems like a solid move to me.

3rd D'Anthony Smith, DT, Louisiana Tech

As we have seen this season, depth at DT is never a bad way of spending a pick. Smith is very similar to Peria Jerry (just slightly less explosive) but doesn't have durability concerns and would allow for a very successful (and young) rotation on the inside – aiding our outside pass rush.

4th JD Walton, OC, Baylor

Taken from a scouting profile: "He plays with a high motor and gives maximum effort on every play. He has a nasty streak, finishes blocks and doesn't stop until the whistle is blown. He's an intelligent lineman who possesses great leadership qualities and a passion for the game " He may not have the greatest physical tools in the world but in the 4th round no prospect is perfect!

4th (comp): AJ Edds, OLB, Iowa

Not an outstanding blitzer so doesn't accrue the gaudy statistics that some linebackers do. However he has excellent range and is very good in coverage against tight ends and running backs – and can also lay the wood at time although his tackling technique is textbook. A very solid player who could play on special teams immediately and would be a nice compliment to the rawer (but perhaps more physically talented) Adkins.

5th Tony Moeaki, TE, Iowa

Lots of potential – good speed down the seam and a willing blocker but does have durability concerns. However to get anyone who can replace Tony G this low down is going to require a leap of faith. Mainly basing this off the Michigan game where he was superb with 105 yards and 2 TD's.

5th (comp): Leigh Tiffin, K, Alabama

I don't know much about kickers but I've heard commentators say this guy either holds or is close to a load of Alabama records so he must be pretty decent. Have seen him hit a 54 yarder so he's clearly got a leg.

6th: Rashawn Jackson, FB, Virginia

Only seen him once but he's a big guy (6'1" 255lbs) and made at least one huge block on a DT that I saw so he looks like a Mughelli type. The struggles of Turner with Ovie out makes me believe that we need another bruiser rather than a pass-catcher / oversized tailback as his backup.

UDFA: #5 WR, Safety (special teamer)

I'm hoping that Jenkins can get back to his 2008 form so we don't have to take a no.2 WR although I have to admit that this is starting to become a concern. Weems can be a reliable no.4 so we just need someone with good hands to fill in for Finneran as the fair catcher and a special teamer. We have three starters at safety but no depth behind them.

COMMENTS PLEASE (either on the needs or the players taken to fill them)

Edited by FalcoChicquera
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Falco, well thought out and explained.

Would largely agree that the team needs are correct even though I am more worried about WR than another FB. If Jenks doesn't come around and we let go of Finn, we will need another bigger reciever that can play #2 WR.

Agree with players letting go. Koenan may cost us more than $1M. Agree with Comp picks (4th and 5th Rd)

Would agree with CB Bolden signing however I'm a little leary of signing a DE with risk (Howard+health)We have invested enough risky DEs....JA98, Beiemann, Sid & re-signing CDavis. I would rather we bite the bullet and go after Kampmann. I know it is big bucks but DE is an important position. While serving as a mentor to both Biermann and Sid, he would instantly relieve pressure form Abe when they are on the field at the same time. He could slide over and give Abe a rest for a few plays as well. Biermann and Sid could still get a lot of playing time as the older guys rest. Eventually, Abe will retire and Kampmann could then be the experienced DE while the still young Biermann and Sid provide a solid DE rotation.

As far as draft. As clear cut #1 need, I'm thinking we have no clear cut sure fire starters at Cb. Have talent, size and injury concerns with players we have. I would like to see a Cb drafted (relively early) along with Bodden FA signing.

Beginning to warm up to the idea of drfat OT Davis with our first pick. With JA98 sliding inside and playing with enrgy and emotion not sure we should invest 3rd pick on DT even though I personnally like DT Smith. OC Walton maybe but may able get a just as good C later in draft. Edds I like alot.

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Falco, well thought out and explained.

Would largely agree that the team needs are correct even though I am more worried about WR than another FB. If Jenks doesn't come around and we let go of Finn, we will need another bigger reciever that can play #2 WR.

Agree with players letting go. Koenan may cost us more than $1M. Agree with Comp picks (4th and 5th Rd)

Thanks - appreciate that you took the time to reply.

I did say that WR may be a need:

"I'm hoping that Jenkins can get back to his 2008 form so we don't have to take a no.2 WR although I have to admit that this is starting to become a concern"

But I can't write him off just yet - we have a good amount of money tied into him and he has the tools - he just needs to catch the passes that are thrown his way.

I don't know how much punters cost really so I will defer to you on that.

Would agree with CB Bolden signing however I'm a little leary of signing a DE with risk (Howard+health)We have invested enough risky DEs....JA98, Beiemann, Sid & re-signing CDavis. I would rather we bite the bullet and go after Kampmann. I know it is big bucks but DE is an important position. While serving as a mentor to both Biermann and Sid, he would instantly relieve pressure form Abe when they are on the field at the same time. He could slide over and give Abe a rest for a few plays as well. Biermann and Sid could still get a lot of playing time as the older guys rest. Eventually, Abe will retire and Kampmann could then be the experienced DE while the still young Biermann and Sid provide a solid DE rotation.

I think Green Bay might extend Kampman - p.4 of this link Green Bay Gazette says he has had 24 QB hits this year so he is clearly contributing. Green Bay has no salary cap issues so I think they re-sign him. I could justify not re-signing by saying he does not want to play in a 3-4 - but I am never as sure rationalising decisions based on emotion rather than cold hard cash (which justifies Bodden and Hayward being available)

As far as draft. As clear cut #1 need, I'm thinking we have no clear cut sure fire starters at Cb. Have talent, size and injury concerns with players we have. I would like to see a Cb drafted (relively early) along with Bodden FA signing.

Beginning to warm up to the idea of drfat OT Davis with our first pick. With JA98 sliding inside and playing with enrgy and emotion not sure we should invest 3rd pick on DT even though I personnally like DT Smith. OC Walton maybe but may able get a just as good C later in draft. Edds I like a lot.

Not taking another corner in the draft is based on Williams coming back healthy. Between Houston, Williams, Owens and Jackson and Hill I think we can find a no.2 corner and a nickel back. If Williams can't come back the same after his injury I agree we will have to get another project in - in that case I like Jerome Murphy of USF in the 3rd and we will have to go with what we have at DT.

I do think we need the DT though - Johnson and Lewis IMO are not up to the standard we require. A 4 man rotation of Babs, Jerry, JA98 and Smith with Walker filling in if there are injuries looks a lot more solid - and if we have the roster room we can retain Johnson as extra insurance (I think Lewis will be cut in camp next year - he hasn't shown anything to me in the games so far this year)

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