We have some VERY promising rookies with Hooker, Wilson, and Basham, and I think Stewart and Hairston can develop into really solid players too. I could actually see Stewart developing into a beast DT and Hairston as a good nickel corner. I like Walker too. I think he has the tools, talent, and all ability to be a starting ILB for us the next 8 years or so. Marlon Mack could be our Shady McCoy the next 8 years. Then we have some 2nd and even 3rd year players who are either peaking and putting it together (Swoop, Doyle) or who are developing and have the tools and talent to develop into good-great players. Kids like Haeg, Clark, Dorsett, ROGERS!!!, Swoop, Doyle, Anderson, Ridgeway, McGill, E-Jackson, Morrison, and who knows. Maybe even Green smh, and Moncrief is still young. He should be going into his 3rd year. Not his 4th, but needed to leave Ole Miss for family reasons. He's been injured as well, but he's shown when he's on the field....He can straight up ball out. He has number 1 WR ability and I'm thinking this is his year. The year he stays healthy and puts it all together, and gives us 1,000 plus and 10 or more. He's a major potential breakout player this year. Not just with us, but the kid could make a name for himself all around the league. So I think while much younger, our 53 will be much more talented than the last few seasons. This year we should win the south by winning 10 games. Next year with another draft and FA, rookies from this year developing, etc, we should be a top 5 team.
I think we'll see a handful of these kids have either years where they take big steps, or have breakout, monster years. I think we will see big time production out of Swoop and Doyle. I think one of our young ILB's will step up. I feel Haeg has a nice skillset and is very talented, and with added strength and a year under his belt can be a really good G, and eventually by his 3rd year a stud G. AC will only help him on the left side IMO. I think Clark will have growing pains, but get better and better. He's got all the talent in the world. He's just raw and has to tap into that potential, and get use to the NFL and the stud pass rushers. But he's got star caliber talent IMO. But if he struggles... Good thing is we have 2 other young guys in Banner and Good to throw out there. Surely one of the 3 can just hold it down anyways. Banner ? I really don't know what I think of him. We'll see, but like a few others. He'll be a 2nd or 3rd year guy if he breaks out IMO. Skill positions !!!! I think Chestor Rogers is gonna make a name for himself and be our number 3 all year, give us good production. Dorsett I dont expect jack s*** from until he gets on the field and balls. Throws up some 100 years games, makes some plays, etc. I think Mack will be a threat every time he's on the field. I think he could be the mid RD steal among RB's in this class. He has alot of talent and the skillset to make it happen on the field. I think we'll have a very, very nice surprise with him tis year. DEFENSE !!!!! I see Ridgeway taking a pretty major step. He's got all the talent in the world, and again. The skillset to be a dominant DT. I said during that draft with a loaded crop of DT's, he could be the best of em all when said and done. Hopefully in our base D, Ridge steps up and starts along Hankins and Anderson. Bringing me to Anderson. He's quite a ways removed from the injury and sugary, and the rehab. He was on his way to being a Kyle Williams meets Justin Smith his rookie year, and a legit top 5 runner for DROY until the injury. Came back last year and wasn't hardly up to speed, but I think he's gonna pick off from his rookie year this year and be a force. A run stuffing machine he was his rookie season. I think we'll see a totally different player this year. Still the run stuffing beast who's improving on his pass rush and should end up putting up 4-5-6 sacks a year annually. No B$. He or Ridge either one have the talent to be a monster, top 10-12ish 3-4DE/DT..... McGill....Is he more than a special 3rd down designated pass rusher ? I think if he's a main backup he can give us 3-4-5 sacks a year and make some plays. I don't see him as having the makeup of a star, but I think with his ability to get into the backfield he could be a really reliable rotational/3rd down interior pass rusher. Back to a rookie. As I've already stated about Grover Stewart. I feel this kid has the talent and skillset to end up being a stud DT. He'll probably see limited action early, and play a little more and more as the year goes along. Not a lot, but some snaps to get him some NFL experience. He'll be a 2nd year guy IMO. I expect BIG things from Basham. I think he should get better and better as the season progresses and maybe put up 5-6 sacks. Maybe 7 who knows.. His 2nd year is when I think we'll see him really unleash and put up monster numbers. 12 or more sacks and 4-5 FF's. With Wilson we have a stud on our hands just like a couple more from this class, IMO he will play very, very well but with some growing pains, but again. I feel he will get better and better as the season goes along and if he isn't starting by week 1, he'll take over by week 3-4 after Melvin looks like Greg Toler with no legs. Melvin SUCKS. Yeah maybe he'll step up and put it together, but I'll believe it when I see it. I'd rather throw Wilson, Hairston, and Mitchel out there week 1 and let em learn on the fly. They're getting very vital experience in practice and preseason and will all get better and better. Especially Wilson. But I think we could see Wilson come out and ball out like I was saying. But again, with a few growing pains along the way. I know we got a future household name with him, but will he be a 2nd year star ? Or will he ball out day 1 ? I'd say a bit of both. He'll have some great games, and some games with bad matchups and he'll probably have normal rookie struggles, but the kids a stud in the making. Then Hooker. He's gonna make a name for himself EARLY IMO. He'll have 5-6 INT's, and I feel his tackling will be better than most expect. His talent, his skillset, his makeup, and his ball instincts are off the charts. We finally have that centerfielder at FS. That ball hawking, rangy, athletic, roaming FS. I think he's a DROY caliber player for us this year. Ed Reed with a bit of Earl Thomas is the ceiling. He'll reach it. Like with Wilson, Basham, and Mack we got a steal getting him in the middle of the 1st. He's a top 6-8 talent who fell. We got a steal, and again. A kid who should be a corner stone player for the next 8-10 years. Wilson would have been a late 1st in some drafts, maybe Basham, or at least top-mid 2nd RD. Bottom line is I'm pumped about our young kids. We're on our way. 12 just has to be 100% the next 12 or more years.
Also...The guys we signed.. I think Simon is an ascending player who is just starting to tap into his potential. He's a relentless, hard working, blue collar guy who will give it hell each snap. I think his best football is going to be with us could put up 8-10 sacks, and I think Sheard could put up 8-10 as well. Maybe more as he's always had that potential. The 2 of them with Basham, and an improved DL should give us our best pass rush in the last few years. Then we have maybe decent depth after them with Ayers/Mingo/Mount/Sickles. 1 of those guys should be a capable 4th OLB and play some solid snaps. Probably all 3 if they all make it. Hankins is going to be a pure star with us. Run stuffer who can get into the backfield and give you a few sacks. Didn't he have like 8 one season ? I could see him giving us 4-5. I think he'll stay on the field for the most part in sub packages. I will say this about Margus Hunt. Ever since his 3rd year or so I've wanted to see how he'd look in a 34. I'd kinda like to see him make the 53. Maybe he can show a little more each practice and preseason game. Who knows when it comes to guys like him and Woods. Then I just don't know at ILB. We have the 3 young guys, who all do things well, all have a nice skillset, and tons of talent and potential, and I hope at least one of the 3 starts, but we have Bostic and Spence. Spence. I thought looked good Sunday. He's the kinda kid I could see stepping up and becoming a really, really good player now that he's healthy and has a fresh start with the opportunity to start and be a signal caller. Basically this is his shot. He can do a bit of everything. Cover, tackle, he's athletic and can be a sideline-sideline guy, he can blitz and get a few sacks. He's got a nice all around skillset IMO. Almost exact same could be said with Bostic. He's a talented kid who hasn't put it all together. Maybe he does with us, again.....Who knows. Then we'll see how the guys I didn't mention look. I didn't mention them for a reason unless I accidently left somebody out. But yeah. I'm really excited for this new beginning. We should have basically a whole different team with an entire different attitude. A partial infusion of young talented playmakers mixed with some 25-26-27 year old ascending free agents to mix with our few actual good players from last year like Vontae, Butler, TY, etc. Bet on it. We're gonna be a good team.