Alright gang. Wanted to sit down and realistically compare the roster to last year now that the draft and free agency is largely wrapped up. Things could certainly change by the time we're done with training camp, but for now, or at least on paper, here's how I view the roster.
Groups with virtually no change:
- QB - Still just Kirk backed up by warm bodies.
- WR - No major changes in the offseason. Drafted Nailor late, will compete with Bisi/ ISM for WR 4-5.
- HB - Chandler was a late round addition. He might make trading Mattison possible, but that is probably doubtful.
- OL - Probably a slight upgrade. Brought in Reed/ Davis in free agency, probably overdrafted Ingram (who is also only a guard). So we might have a moderate improvement at RG. Everything else on the line remains the same. Good but not truly elite OTs, one of the worst centers in the league, and an average LG.
- TE - Probably a slight downgrade or wash. We lost Conklin, but are getting Irv back. Irv is the guy who was supposed to break out for years now, but we haven't really seen it yet. Conklin at least was pretty involved. Mundt and/ or Muse might be a marginal upgrade over Herndon/ Davidson.
- LB - Probably a slight upgrade. We added Hicks but lost Barr. Talent is similar between the two, but Hicks has been historically healthier. Asamoah is certainly an upgrade over Surratt/ Dye, but not sure how much he'll get on the field over Hicks/ Kendricks.
- DL - Overall, slight upgrade. This one is tricky, and largely revolves around Hunter and ZDS' health. IDL really didn't change much. Phillips for Pierce is probably a wash or a slight downgrade.. Lost Richardson and added a few late round picks/ UDFA types, which is probably an overall downgrade. For the DE/ Edge/ OLB/ Whatever the hell we're calling them .... Hunter/ ZDS is a significant upgrade from the END of last season when it was Wonnum and Willekes/ Richardson. Our DL/ Defense was still pretty bad at the beginning of the season even when we had Hunter, Griffen, and Pierce, so I'm not going to count my chickens yet though. OLB depth is a concern, since our other ends were primarily 4-3 DEs.
- CB - Significant upgrade. This one is easy. Alexander/ Breeland were two of the worst corners in the league last year. Dantzler should be penciled in as a starter with maybe some competition from Booth, and Sullivan/ Hairston should at least be a step up from Alexander in the slot. It's a really low bar since he was LITERALLY the worst corner in the league, but I at least think they can pull it off.
- Safety - Wash/ Even. Woods was actually decent last year for the most part. He had a couple big mistakes in coverage and got beat deep, but he was good in run support. Above average overall. I thought Bynum looked good in spot duty, so for it to be any kind of significant upgrade, Cine would have to come in and play at Harrison Smith's level right out of the gate. That's a lot to ask from a rookie. Only two rookies last year were ranked ahead of Woods (39th) by PFF. Jevon Holland at 4 and Trevon Moehrig at 25.