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Pg First Postseason Mock Offseason


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Released/Retired:

Tony Gonzalez, TE [$7 million cap savings]

Asante Samuel, CB [$5.25 million cap savings]

Garrett Reynolds, G [$1.3 million cap savings]

Stephen Nicholas, OLB [$2 million cap savings]

Jason Snelling, RB [$1.4 million cap savings]

Matt Bryant, K [$2.8 million cap savings]

Cliff Matthews, DE [$650,000 cap savings]

$17 million cap savings

~$28,600,000 cap space

Note: We're going to keep DeCoud. Motta and Ishmael are not going to step in and do any better, as shown this year when Motta got time and made me wish DeCoud was back in. I am also far from impressed by this class of safeties so I don't want to burn a pick on one fairly early and getting a better one through free agency will cost more than the position is worth. Having experienced CBs so they don't have to help cover for them and improving the D-line so that the front seven is capable of stopping the run will help improve the play of our safeties by letting them focus on their own duties instead of splitting their attention across the field.

Re-signed:

Corey Peters, DT [should be fairly cheap due to the Achilles injury]

Dominique Franks, CB

Joe Hawley, C

Robert McClain, CB [2nd round tender]

Drew Davis, WR [ERFA]

Julio Jones, WR [Extension]

Roddy White, WR [Extension]

Free Agency:

Linval Joseph, DT/NT, Giants [i think he'll probably be re-signed by the Giants but they may roll with Hankins as their primary run stuffing DT going forward. They also have a flood of free agents, $16 million initial cap space, and not much savings to be found. They'll lose at least one big time free agent and Joseph won't be cheap]

Brian de la Puente, C, Saints [We need an experienced director for our O-line and we weaken the Saints to boot, who are the least likely to keep him of the top free agent centers due to their cap situation]

Eric Winston, OT, Chiefs [Will be a fairly cheap and experienced RT option]

Kevin Winslow, TE, Jets [Cheap veteran competition/depth]

Draft:

I'm going to use theProf's compensatory picks calculations for this mock.

1st - Stephon Tuitt, DT/DE, Notre Dame

I'd prefer to trade down at this point but I'm not going to mock that yet. People will call this an overdraft but this draft is like last year's in the sense that it's weak at the top and the talent sort of just blends together. I'm also not a big fan of this LT class and I'm not going to fall into the JA98 trap of taking a certain position high for the sake of taking it. At any rate, with a move to a LEO 4-3 and a significant portion of our DTs hitting the free agent market we can bring in Tuitt to primarily play 5-tech DE. He'll provide a stout edge against the run which was sorely missing last season and he can provide a good deal of pass rush on his own. He's also extremely athletic for someone his size (6'5", 315 lbs). Think of him as a very rich man's Red Bryant.

2nd - Aaron Donald, DT/DE, Pittsburgh

A continuation of the youth movement for the D-line. Some will complain he's undersized (6'0", 290 lbs) but he's a lightning quick interior pass rusher who has surprising stoutness against the run. He is a backfield nightmare and that is what we need. With Peters recovering from an Achilles injury he'll see a good deal of snaps but once he comes back we'll have a great rotation at 3-tech DT.

3rd - Joel Bitonio, G, Nevada

Played primarily at LT in college but he doesn't have the swift feet or length to stay there in the NFL. He does, however, have fantastic athleticism and power and thus will be a good fit inside in either a man blocking scheme or zone blocking scheme. He'll compete with Konz for the RG spot this season while he's groomed for LG in the long run to replace Blalock.

4th - Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State

People like to rave about how good the 2015 RB class will be and though it will have better talent at the top it won't be as deep as the 2014 class, which is absolutely loaded with 2nd to 3rd round talent. Due to that at least a couple will fall out of that range and Hyde is a likely candidate. He's a redshirt Senior (ie. a couple of years older), has had a larger workload over his career than the others (nowhere near the extent of Montee Ball however), and has some character questions. I expect the filter to be relaxed this year to get the toughness Blank said he wants now and first hand experience at the Senior Bowl with the coaching staff should help settle that. At any rate, Hyde is a huge (6'0" 240 lbs) bruising back who refuses to go down with surprising agility, break away speed, and hands. He reminds me of Steven Jackson in his prime.

4th (comp.) - Josh Huff, WR, Oregon

Some may criticize taking another WR but I think it's necessary. We're set at #1 and #2 with Julio and Roddy but beyond them it's questionable. Douglas is the Tony Romo of WRs in that he flashes greatness only to turn around and find a way to lose games while Davis and Johnson are largely just potential. Huff, who is a shifty yet physical WR, would compete with Douglas off the bat for the slot WR position. He reminds me of Wes Welker but with more physical tools. Lots of sites grade him lower than this but he'll be a fast riser due to everything he brings to the table.

5th - Christian Kirksey, OLB, Iowa

Though we found some gems in Worrilow and Bartu we still need some depth in the LB corps. Kirksey was a tackling machine for Iowa, notching up two 100 tackle seasons and was five shy from making that three. He is not an overwhelming athlete but he plays with good intensity, speed, and instincts. He could develop into a starter but at the worst he'll provide solid depth.

6th - Antone Exum, S/CB, Virginia Tech

He missed most of this season coming off an offseason knee injury and was likely rushed back. His loss in terms of draft stock, our gain. Though Exum mostly played CB in college his best fit will be at FS due to his stiff hips and overly physical play to stick with WRs. He has shown great ball hawking skills and is a great athlete during his career when healthy. He can be groomed to replace DeCoud after the 2014 season. Also, don't worry about him being too small to play at S because he's a CB since he's 6'1", 220 lbs.

7th - Anthony Fera, K, Texas

Though Bryant has been good for us but almost no kicker is worth almost $3.5 million. We replace him with Fera who, though not considered the top in the class, has better accuracy than Chris Boswell and it's not at the expense of leg strength since he's hit 50 yarders. I expect rookie jitters from him like we saw from Bosher which will cause fans to lose their minds but he'll be fine once that's out of his system.

7th (comp.) - Jemea Thomas, CB, Georgia Tech

Roster:

Offense

QB: Matt Ryan, Dominique Davis, Sean Renfree

RB: Steven Jackson, Carlos Hyde, Jacquizz Rodgers, Antone Smith

FB: Bradie Ewing

WR: Julio Jones, Roddy White, Harry Douglas, Josh Huff, Darius Johnson, Drew Davis

TE: Levine Toilolo, Kevin Winslow, Chase Coffman

LT: Sam Baker, Ryan Schraeder

LG: Justin Blalock

C: Brian de la Puente, Joe Hawley

RG: Peter Konz, Joel Bitonio

RT: Eric Winston, Lamar Holmes

Defense

LEO DE/OLB: Osi Umenyiora, Jonathan Massaquoi, Stansly Maponga

3-tech DT: Corey Peters, Aaron Donald

1/2i-tech NT: Linval Joseph, Travian Robertson

5/4-tech LDE: Stephon Tuitt, Malliciah Goodman

SLB: Kroy Biermann, Marquis Flowers

MLB: Paul Worrilow, Akeem Dent

WLB: Sean Weatherspoon, Joplo Bartu

CB: Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, Robert McClain, Dominique Franks, Jemea Thomas

FS: Thomas DeCoud, Antone Exum, Zeke Motta

SS: William Moore, Kemal Ishmael

K: Anthony Fera

P: Matt Bosher

LS: Josh Harris

The roster here numbers off to 54 so whoever loses the battle for the #5 WR spot between Davis and Johnson is out. That or whoever loses the #4 safety spot between Motta and Ishmael.

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Eric Winston is a primarily zone blocking guy (been that way with Hou, KC amd Ariz). Wasn't that your criticism of many of the OTs in this class?

I'm ok with Tuitt. Over drafting is an unknown factor at this point. If he goes to combine and blows it up in good way, he could vault top 10 with his measurables. I , too, have Donald. I think he's a Babs type, but even better. Don't know of I like your guard pick, but it understand your logic. There is a good chance the falcons don't give up on Konz at G at this point. De la puenta is ok, but outside Mack, I'd just as soon go with Hawley/Konz competition and bring in a Michael Johnson as a DE/OLB with those dollars--particularly since you're basically drafting a DT in 43 with the first pick and a 5 tech in any 34 sets. Johnson with Osi, Mass and Biermann wouldn't be a bad 43 DE rotation, who could also play OLBs.

I like Huff ok. I do like Kirksey pick. Hyde? I'm kinda, meh on him but I get the pick

Exum pick doesn't make a ton of sense as we went late rond safeties last year. If we want Decoud replacement, we either had Motta or Ishmael in mind, or will get a vet or go higher.

Overall, pretty good. Although I'm still a bit miffed over signing a zbs OT like Winston

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Agree with all the signings/cuts except for i'd prefer to have Babs back with us, but since you went so heavy on the DT i see why you did not. And Kellen Winslow is awful along with off field crap.

Not a big an of Tuitt. I know a lot are, but i just don't see what is so great about him. I didn't see all the athleticism that people talk about.

Don't know much about Exum. Don't know where that would leave Motta and Ish

Would also like to hear your reasoning on Winston because i've read you talk about ZBS non stop this offseason

Edited by Clark Kent™
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I just blew my load after reading this mock. Best mock I've read and more importantly the most realistic. Would love to trade down (like you mentioned) in the teens and get Tuitt.

The combination of Tuitt and Donald would transform the whole defense let alone the front 4. I have no idea about the other picks. I just love you're 1st two and that's enough for me.

Free agents are perfect and we can sign them all to reasonable contracts with out breaking the bank.

The only gripe I have is the Matt Bryant cut. Sure it might save us a little, but he is to reliable to get rid of.

Overall fantastic mock and somebody get this to TD ASAP!

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Eric Winston is a primarily zone blocking guy (been that way with Hou, KC amd Ariz). Wasn't that your criticism of many of the OTs in this class?

I'm ok with Tuitt. Over drafting is an unknown factor at this point. If he goes to combine and blows it up in good way, he could vault top 10 with his measurables. I , too, have Donald. I think he's a Babs type, but even better. Don't know of I like your guard pick, but it understand your logic. There is a good chance the falcons don't give up on Konz at G at this point. De la puenta is ok, but outside Mack, I'd just as soon go with Hawley/Konz competition and bring in a Michael Johnson as a DE/OLB with those dollars--particularly since you're basically drafting a DT in 43 with the first pick and a 5 tech in any 34 sets. Johnson with Osi, Mass and Biermann wouldn't be a bad 43 DE rotation, who could also play OLBs.

I like Huff ok. I do like Kirksey pick. Hyde? I'm kinda, meh on him but I get the pick

Exum pick doesn't make a ton of sense as we went late rond safeties last year. If we want Decoud replacement, we either had Motta or Ishmael in mind, or will get a vet or go higher.

Overall, pretty good. Although I'm still a bit miffed over signing a zbs OT like Winston

No, most of the top OTs in this class fit best in a man blocking scheme. My thing with Matthews is that he's purely a ZBS LT and I do not think he'll take the job to start off and I see him struggling badly at RT, a la Eric Fisher and former teammate Luke Joeckel. As for us, the Tice hire suggests they may be making the switch to a ZBS since Tice likes incorporating zone concepts and hint at their recognition that such a switch would help Konz and Holmes out since that is what they're best suited for, maybe Baker to, and since they're the ones we have to work with they might as well continue loading up on talent that fits it, such as Eric Winston.

The other major point I'd like to address is that Exum is a 2nd-3rd round talent but he's going to fall because of his offseason injury and subsequent lack of play last season. It's basically a low risk, high reward pick there since if he bounces back, like I expect, we'll get a great player at a great discount and if he doesn't then whatever it's only a 6th round pick.

I read through it twice to make sure I didn't accidentally overlook James Wilder Jr's name. VHF77.gif

Don't worry. In this scenario he'll fall completely out of the draft and we'll get him as an UDFA.

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As much as I read you shoot down others ideas I was hoping for much better out of you . I like the idea of going heavy on tackles but tuitt at 6 is more than a reach. Even if we trade back hageman is the better prospect. Tuitt is you guys datone Jones of this draft. Love Donald but I don't think gambling on a third round guard makes sense unless you plan on starting konz at the position. Snellling once again is highly underappreciated and I would rather use a fourth on an actual position of need.

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No, most of the top OTs in this class fit best in a man blocking scheme. My thing with Matthews is that he's purely a ZBS LT and I do not think he'll take the job to start off and I see him struggling badly at RT, a la Eric Fisher and former teammate Luke Joeckel. As for us, the Tice hire suggests they may be making the switch to a ZBS since Tice likes incorporating zone concepts and hint at their recognition that such a switch would help Konz and Holmes out since that is what they're best suited for, maybe Baker to, and since they're the ones we have to work with they might as well continue loading up on talent that fits it, such as Eric Winston.

PG, are you sure about this? I was under the impression that Tice is more of a Man-Blocking guy. If he is a Z-B guy, then Hawley, Konz and Holmes will have better chances of succeeding.

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Not a big fan of this, not terrible but I think we could do much better. As others stated if we picked Tuitt , we should have a move down scenario. We reached for JA98, let's not do it for Tuitt. I don't think Winston does a whole lot to improve the RT position. I like the Linval and De le Puente signings, in the draft love the Carlos Hyde pick but I think he will be gone in the 4th, prolly need to get him at 3.

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Good mock. Not a fan of the whole draft.

I like the cuts but would add Decoud to the cut list. Drop De La Puente and stick with Hawley and steal from someone's idea of signing Ryan Clark in the offseason to replace Decoud.

I think Tuitt is too far of a reach but it may not be once the draft comes around. I love the Aaron Donald pick. I don't mind the Guard in the 3rd. We need that.

I dislike the 4th rounder RB pick. I am definitely in the save it for 2015 boat when it comes to RB.

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I said in the start of my write up for Tuitt that I'd prefer to trade down before taking him but I'll start doing trade downs later when free agency is underway so needs and likely intent are more clear for the draft.

As much as I read you shoot down others ideas I was hoping for much better out of you . I like the idea of going heavy on tackles but tuitt at 6 is more than a reach. Even if we trade back hageman is the better prospect. Tuitt is you guys datone Jones of this draft. Love Donald but I don't think gambling on a third round guard makes sense unless you plan on starting konz at the position. Snellling once again is highly underappreciated and I would rather use a fourth on an actual position of need.

I like them both but Hageman is not the better prospect by any means. They're both essentially the same size, both very athletic, and good taking on multiple blockers, but Tuitt separates himself in his ability to rush the passer. He was also more productive this year despite getting a late offseason hernia surgery which didn't allow him to work out in the lead up to the season which caused him to miss the preseason training process and play overweight. People fell in love with Jones because he was insanely athletic but was a tweener with no real niche in the NFL which is not the case with Tuitt.

Not a big fan of this outside of Joseph in FA. Also where was it reported we are going to the Leo 4-3?

The LEO 4-3 is where most of those three DT fronts were coming from. Kayoh made a good write up on it with photos of the front seven to demonstrate it:

http://boards.atlant...20#entry8135614

We're moving to a defense that utilizes LEO and 3-4 personnel. It's just a matter of getting D-linemen who can actually execute that form of defense.

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I said in the start of my write up for Tuitt that I'd prefer to trade down before taking him but I'll start doing trade downs later when free agency is underway so needs and likely intent are more clear for the draft.

I like them both but Hageman is not the better prospect by any means. They're both essentially the same size, both very athletic, and good taking on multiple blockers, but Tuitt separates himself in his ability to rush the passer. He was also more productive this year despite getting a late offseason hernia surgery which didn't allow him to work out in the lead up to the season which caused him to miss the preseason training process and play overweight. People fell in love with Jones because he was insanely athletic but was a tweener with no real niche in the NFL which is not the case with Tuitt.

I think tuitts only edge in pass rushing is the fact that he lined up at DE. I do think he definitely will be more effective in a 4-3 scheme but in the nfl his value will drop if he lines up on the end in a 3-4 scheme. Bottom line I love his size and athleticism and I feel he played out of position most of the time at Notre dame. Also in many instances it seems that he only holds the point of attack. I didn't see him pushing lineman into the backfield enough nor did I see him constantly shedding blocks. Do I think he has potential yes but as a first rounder I think hageman is more polished.

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I think tuitts only edge in pass rushing is the fact that he lined up at DE. I do think he definitely will be more effective in a 4-3 scheme but in the nfl his value will drop if he lines up on the end in a 3-4 scheme. Bottom line I love his size and athleticism and I feel he played out of position most of the time at Notre dame. Also in many instances it seems that he only holds the point of attack. I didn't see him pushing lineman into the backfield enough nor did I see him constantly shedding blocks. Do I think he has potential yes but as a first rounder I think hageman is more polished.

Correction: 3-4 DE, a position not normally associated with pass rush. Their primary goal is to hold the edge against the run, not to rush the passer. That Tuitt has shown he can do both very effectively is part of what makes him an intriguing prospect. Also, Hageman's main question is that he's not polished. He was extremely raw coming into this season but started implementing better technique this year instead of completely relying on his size and athleticism. Either way, they're both most likely going to fill the same role in the NFL at 5-tech DE.

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Correction: 3-4 DE, a position not normally associated with pass rush. Their primary goal is to hold the edge against the run, not to rush the passer. That Tuitt has shown he can do both very effectively is part of what makes him an intriguing prospect. Also, Hageman's main question is that he's not polished. He was extremely raw coming into this season but started implementing better technique this year instead of completely relying on his size and athleticism. Either way, they're both most likely going to fill the same role in the NFL at 5-tech DE.

That was my point he isn't worth taking at six to play the 5 tech De. Too me there both he and hageman are DTs. Their athleticism is what makes them enticing prospects at the DT position. I would argue that the main goal for any dline player is to both create push and hold the point. Given that neither has proven to be ultra consistant at this neither is slated to be drafted in the top ten. But imo hageman has had more flashes of being dominant up front where as Tuitt has consistently underwhelmed (although he may actually be just as good playing at Dt which i feel is his more natural position).

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No, most of the top OTs in this class fit best in a man blocking scheme. My thing with Matthews is that he's purely a ZBS LT and I do not think he'll take the job to start off and I see him struggling badly at RT, a la Eric Fisher and former teammate Luke Joeckel. As for us, the Tice hire suggests they may be making the switch to a ZBS since Tice likes incorporating zone concepts and hint at their recognition that such a switch would help Konz and Holmes out since that is what they're best suited for, maybe Baker to, and since they're the ones we have to work with they might as well continue loading up on talent that fits it, such as Eric Winston.

PG, are you sure about this? I was under the impression that Tice is more of a Man-Blocking guy. If he is a Z-B guy, then Hawley, Konz and Holmes will have better chances of succeeding.

I found this article helpful in terms of Tice's philosophy/scheme:

http://www.midwayill...nning-game.html

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I bet he'd like jake Matthews

If we make the switch to a ZBS then I won't complain too much about drafting Matthews since I think he'll be very good at that position in that scheme. I simply doubt his immediate impact since it's doubtful to me that he'll supplant Baker and I have even greater doubts that he'll produce at RT in the meantime.

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PG, I really like what you are doing with this offseason plan. Well done! I like the idea of using free agency to get a veteran nose DT, OC, OT, and TE, and then use the draft to fill in the other needs. I doubt that Hyde will still be there in the 4th round, so you might pick a free safety at that point, although I do understand your point about Exum.

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If we make the switch to a ZBS then I won't complain too much about drafting Matthews since I think he'll be very good at that position in that scheme. I simply doubt his immediate impact since it's doubtful to me that he'll supplant Baker and I have even greater doubts that he'll produce at RT in the meantime.

well if we do use some ZBS then Greg Robinson could be good too... after all, that dude pretty much clears out an entire ZipCode when he runs blocks laugh.png
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