Re-signed Players: Mewhort, Desir, Vinitieri, Moncrief, Bostic, Mingo, Swoope
Key Additions: OG Andrew Norwell (Panthers), LB Todd Davis (Broncos), RB Charles Sims III (Bucs) CB Deshawn Shead (Seahawks ), WR Albert Wilson (Chiefs), S Cody Davis (Rams)
Key Losses: Melvin, Gore, Butler, Aiken
I re-signed more Colt FAs than I had originally predicted (Mewhort, Moncrief, and Bostic) to be bridges to developmental players. I finally came around to Mewhort due to the realization that Isaiah Wynn will not be available to us in Round 2 (I think he’ll get snagged in the back part or Round 1). I’ve listed Norwell, but if we miss out on him (I’m starting to believe he’ll be tagged), we’ll have to sign the best interior OL we can find (Brandon Fusco would be my guess). Not the best year for that. I had originally re-signed Melvin to be our #1 CB, but I felt it was too much reliance upon injured players at the position. Todd Davis could be a real star at Will LB as we move to a predominantly 4-3 scheme. Mapping LBs to the 4-3, I re-signed Bostic to be the starting MLB until my mike-of-the-future draftee (spoiler alert) is ready. Since many have noted how we are moving to Seattle-style CBs, I now have two ex-Seahawks competing for the starting CB role opposite Wilson (who I really hope is ready).
Trade-Down – Being conservative and not predicting an aggressive trade. The trade down to the Jets will net us a 2nd and a 4th. This seems like the least we’d get, but we’re only going down a few picks and we still pick up the player we wanted anyway. So, it’s all free picks for us…
1-6) Bradley Chubb, OLB, NC St. – Can’t pass up a top pass-rusher. They are too hard to obtain.
2-36) Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina St. – Only a few draftniks are projecting this high of a rise for Leonard, but I see a Tyus Bowser-like bump for him. He was probably the biggest Senior Bowl winner. I see him as our MLB of the future, and Bostic will bridge the gap until he’s ready.
2-37) Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame – We need a down-the-field threat who can also win contested catches. This is Moncrief’s role, but I double up to help ensure a successfully rebuilt WR corps.
3-67) Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon – Hard to figure where Crosby will be selected. I’ve seen him recently in the 1st and recently in the 5th. He needs some NFL strength and conditioning, as he has a sloppy body. But he’s a very natural pass protector who also has a knack for run blocking. I’m a Denzell Good fan, but he can’t stay healthy (and maybe he’s not athletic enough for the new Philly-style system), and Crosby could be a LT Heir Apparent who plays RT early in his career.
4-106) Josh Allen, RB, Notre Dame – Some running back will fall in such a strong year for the position. Allen’s a big, powerful back with the speed and quickness to hit big runs. He might have more pass protection potential than other options. He’s been inconsistent with his vision through the middle, which helps him fall to here. Sometimes he looks phenomenal at this, though…
4-109) Alex Cappa, OL, Humboldt St. – He showed a lot at the Senior Bowl. I see him as an athletic guard option, which is the favored type for the Philly-style offense. He might be buried on the depth chart at first, but he has starting potential relatively early in his career.
5-142) Kentavius Street, DT, North Carolina St. – We need some more of the penetrating interior rushers on our line. Street showed that in spades at the East-West Shrine game. Purely a depth option for the time being, but this is the one addition on the DL to try and fit the new system better.
6-181) Natrell Jamerson, S, Wisconsin – One of the stars of the East West Shrine game. This is the second attempt to improve the FS position to bridge the gap until Hooker is back. If all goes well, Jamerson could be the Melvin Bullitt we had during the Bob Sanders days…
7-221) Dane Cruikshank, CB, Arizona – A fourth Seattle-style CB for the boundary. I like our slot options with Hairston and Moore, and hopefully competition on the outside will give us a good duo.
So there you have it friends and neighbors. As tempting as it is to predict much more in Free Agency and draft trades, the reality is that we won’t be able to get everything done this year. Here’s my projected 53-man depth chart:
TE: Doyle, Daniels
LT: Castonzo, Haeg
LG: Mewhort, Vujnovich,
RG: Norwell, Cappa
RT: Crosby, Good
Slot: Hilton, Rogers
WR: Wilson, St. Brown
QB: Luck, Brissett
RB: Mack, Sims III, Allen, Turbin
DE: Sheard, Hunt
NT: Woods, Stewart
DT: Hankins, Anderson, Street
Rush DE: Chubb, Basham
SAM: Simon, Walker
Mike: Bostic, Leonard, George
Will: Davis, Mingo
CB: Wilson, Cruikshank
FS: Davis, Green, Jamerson
Nickel: Hairston, Moore
SS: Geathers, Farley
CB: Desir, Shead
Notable cuts: LeRaven Clark (flamed out as an OT and doesn’t fit the Philly-style OG), Ridgeway (not enough of a penetrating style for the 4-3), Swoope (not Ballard’s baby, so he loses out to Travis).