I'm not much for words, here's my thoughts on a potential off-season plan. Let me know your thoughts.
1 - QB - Yes, the defense sucked, but QB takes the top spot due to positional value.
2 - NT - A good NT can take a ton of stress off the entire front 7, and Guion getting washed out regularly is a big part of why our LBs sucked.
3 - DE - Pass rushers are a premium.
4 - CB - I'm one of the few who liked Cook...maybe not a #1 CB, but matched up well with big WRs and mirrored big guys very well. Picking up multiple guys for depth is an absolute necessity though.
5 - LG - Jeff Davidson has done wonders with late round project guys like Sullivan and Fusco, but I'm not sold on Baca yet.
6 - SS - Sanford did well a couple years ago, and both Sendejo and Blanton intrigue me, but nobody has jumped out as above average during their opportunities.
7 - SLB - Yes, I think Sam is a higher need than both Will and Mike. I like Hodges and Mauti's potential, but if Greenway has another down year he could be gone. It's not a bad time to look for a replacement.
8 - DE - Depth at the position is a requirement for keeping legs fresh late in games, and late in the season.
9 - LB - Purely depth. We have enough young guys to not panic for at least a year.
10 - CB - Depth, can never have too much.
11 - OL - Depth, swing guys are valuable and cheap.
12 - RB - Backup
Free Agent Signings:
Linval Joseph - 25 - 1 tech - Joseph has been a monster in the middle for New York, and is the perfect size with the right skillset to play the 1 on a 4-3. He doesn't get off the snap as quickly as I'd like, but anchors extremely well and does well to push the pocket. With as big as he is, it would be smart to keep Fred Evans on contract, or draft a young NT late...keep the big mans legs fresh late in the season. A front-loaded contract sized similar to that of Vince Wilfork would be a nice selling point if the cap can take it, but as PPE69 pointed out, we might not be able to swing it.
6 years - $40 million
2014 hit - $6 million
Alterraun Verner - 25 - RCB - Verner busted out this year as an outstanding cover corner, being on the right side doesn't hurt. He would be a great fit for every reason mentioned by seemingly everyone this year, the biggest problem is his price tag. He will get around 9 million despite playing on the right side. The question then becomes, who would man the slot? Brandon Flowers offers a contract to compare to.
5 years - $42 million
2014 hit - $6 million
Everson Griffen - 26 - RDE - We know him, we like him. I think he will be a solid RDE, however I'm not sure that I'm ready to give him a huge contract just yet. I want to see him shore up the right side solo for a couple years before giving him something long term. I can see a contract similar to the one we gave Robison, offering just enough to whet the appetite.
3 years - $16 million
2014 hit $6.5 million
Marcus Sherels - 26 - SCB - Almost solely brought back as a Punt Returner. Did OK in relief, but is nothing more than depth and Special Teams. Zero guaranteed, 2 mil for easy rounding.
2 years - $2 million
2014 hit $1 million
Fred Evans - 30 - NT - As vikingva suggests in the comments, Evans has been a solid rotational NT the last few years and would make a better backup than Chase Baker. I doubt anyone else would be chomping at the bit to take him, so we can likely keep him for cheap. I don't know what kind of contract he would bring, so I'm guessing a bit here.
2 years - $3 million
2014 hit $1.5 million
Something like this would leave plenty of cap space available for an assumed 8 draft picks, throw in a contract restructure from Greenway and we'd be squeaking under the cap in 2014. Now, for the draft.
Spielman has mentioned a desire to move down, and has a tendency to move, so I take that into account here.
1.20 - Derek Carr - QB - Fresno State
Carr fits what the traditional Norv Turner QB can do, and the sting is much less at 20 than at 8. Arizona moves up to secure Jake Matthews who is a steal at 8, and gives up a bounty in return. Minnesota swaps 1st rds and gets ARI 2nd and 3rd as well.
2.40 - Lamarcus Joyner - S/CB - Florida State
Utility type DB that can play multiple positions, would likely be starting SCB.
2.53 - David Yankey - G - Stanford
Between the top 4 Guards, I like Yankey the best for his ability to play the run while not getting flat footed against good pash rushers.
2.62 - Christian Jones - LB - Florida State
Jones has a ton of versatility, and would at least compete for a starting spot. Here, Spielman makes another move with New England, this time giving our later 2 third rounders to move back into the 2nd round.
3.72 - Jackson Jeffcoat - DE - Texas
Vikings do very well with mid-round DEs --> Griffen, Robison, and Edwards before them. One Texas product could replace another in a few years.
4.104 - DeAnthony Thomas - RB - Oregon
Yes I'm falling into the Thomas crowd. I'm envisioning Sproles with SD under Turner.
5.136 - Aaron Lynch - DE - South Florida
Late round potential.
5.144 - Derrick Hopkins - UT - Virginia Tech
Spielman makes a move with Chicago who could use more youth on Defense.
2014 Depth Chart:
**TBD Veteran FA Signing**
DeAnthony Thomas (role player only)
Adam Thielan/Rodney Smith
Jeff Baca (swing lineman)
Robert Blanton (functional as CB depth)
**TBD 2 players**
I used the Trade Value Chart for the trades, and draft positions from various sites around the web. Thoughts?
Accidentally left Ty Zimmerman in depth chart at SS from old mock, removed Ty Zimmerman.
Previously had 'David Carr' at QB in depth chart, fixed the 'Derek Carr'.
Editted the Linval Joseph contract structure and 2014 cap hit.
Added Fred Evans to the FA list, edited the depth chart as well.