Building the Roster
We obviously have 3 key free agent which we would need to make decisions on; Welker, Talib and Vollmer. Salary cap wise I think we could keep two of the three, but that would limit us in other areas. I think Welker is the biggest key and hardest to replace so I would give him a 2-3 year deal. Vollmer probably has the most value around the league, so I would look to tag and trade him to a team that is desperate for OT help. Talib is looking for a big pay day so I would let him walk and look to replace him with another veteran in a very strong free agent CB class.
In terms of other free agents, it looks like there could be some good value with not many teams having money to spend. There are 3 guys that are free agents (or likely to be cut) that interest me the most. DT Glenn Dorsey from KC has already been discussed on this board and I think he is an ideal buy low candidate. I think he would be perfect as a base 3-tech and sub package DT. CB Nnamdi Asomugha who most people expect to be cut is my main CB target. He has dropped a bit in the last two years but is ideally suited for a physical, man to man defense. And finally Safety Adrian Wilson who is expected to be released by the Cardinals. Last season he was my top S target but he lost playing time as the year went on. I think he still has something in the tank and could not only contribute, but help develop a young SS.
WR- Wes Welker
WR- Julian Edelman
RB- Danny Woodhead
CB- Kyle Arrington
LB Tracy White
CB- Marquice Cole
LB- Niko Koutovedis
CB- Nnamdi Asomugha- 6'2" 210lbs
SS- Adrian Wilson- 6'3" 230lbs
DT- Glenn Dorsey- 6'1" 297lbs
Tag and Trade
Sebastian Vollmer to SD? Chi? For a 2nd and 4th round pick
This is an extremely deep draft so I would look to trade back and pick up as many picks as possible. I donít think there is too much difference between the quality of players between #20 and #80, so I would look to load up on picks in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds.
Iím not going to predict the exact picks for each draft trade because there is so much change throughout the draft so I will just estimate.
Trade QB Ryan Mallett to Cleveland for 1st (16-25)
Mallet for #6 isnít very realistic, but a Cleveland trade down and Mallett for a mid/late 1st might not be crazy
1st (Cle) for two 2nds
2nd (mid round) for two 3rds
2nd (late round) for 3rd and 4th
4th for two 5ths
1. DT- Jonathon Hankins- DT- Ohio State- 6'3" 320lbs
I think he could be ideal for the 5 Tech DE position in the Red Bryant mold. He has the size (6í3Ē 320lbs), strength, anchor and lateral agility for the position and could contribute from day 1. He seems to be falling at the moment so he may actually be available here. If heís not I would trade down and take Jessie Williams from Alabama who I think also has the size and strength but doesnít quite have the athletic upside of Hankins.
2a. OL- Barrett Jones- Alabama 6'4" 305lbs
He seems to be falling and I donít know why. He has been as dominant and consistent an offensive lineman as there has been the past few years in college football and he has done it at every position. Last year many experts had him as a 1st round LT, now he could be an elite C or G. His talent, toughness, intelligence and versatility will make him a top quality NFL offensive lineman from day 1.
2b. WR- Justin Hunter- Tennessee- 6'4" 200lbs
I donít usually go for the raw, athletic WRís, but Hunter is too good to pass up. His combination of size, speed and athleticism is off the charts and he probably has the highest upside of any WR since Calvin Johnson. He is a big target with a huge catch radius, and will be a big play waiting to happen.
3a. SS- TJ McDonald- USC- 6'2" 210lbs
Iíve watched him closely for 2 years and I think he will be a very good NFL SS. In my opinion he is the best fit of any safety in the draft or free agency to fit that Cam Chancellor role in the 4-3 under and would add some size, athleticism and attitude to our secondary. I also think the fact the he is a long term starter, team captain and son of a 6 time All Pro SS certainly work in his favor.
3b- WR- DaíRick Rogers- Tennessee Tech- 6'2" 206lbs
We got the big play WR earlier, now we get the physical outside guy to compliment him. If Rogers character checks out he will be a steal here. Before the season he was my top rated WR and I think his style of play would suit this team perfectly.
3c. CB- David Amerson- NC State- 6'3" 195lbs
He is a faller that had a horrible year, but you canít teach 6í3Ē with speed, athleticism and ball skills. This is a pick based purely off his skill set and not his play because I think the potential here is huge. He played out of position at NC State playing a lot of off zone or off man coverage. I want to see him playing up at the line, using his length to press the receivers and try and run with them. He is a gamble, but in the 3rd round I think itís worth the risk.
3d. OT- Terron Armstead- Arkansas-Pine Bluff- 6'5" 306lbs
Donít really need to say much about this pick, he has been well discussed already.
4. MLB- Vince Williams- Florida State- 6'1" 247lbs
This is my new binkie and I fell in love from the 2nd play I saw of him. Brandon Spikes has 1 year left on his contract and I donít think we can afford to keep him so I think Williams would be a perfect replacement. He is aggressive, instinctive and plays the game hard and fast. He has great discipline, reads the play and uses his hands well to disengage and make the play on the ball carrier. He isnít quite as powerful as Spikes but he isnít far off. I think he is a much better athlete than Spikes and can stone RBís at the line as well as chase them to the sideline. He also has a much better feel for dropping into coverage and has fantastic instincts against the run. He has had some injuries but I donít know why he doesnít have more hype. I think this guy is a future stud and star in the NFL if he can stay healthy.
5a. TE- Michael Williams- Alabama- 6'6" 269lbs
Binkie #1. Best blocking TE in the NFL from day 1, I also love him as a lead blocking FB that is excellent at getting to the second level and opening up big running lanes.
5b. LB- Ty Powell- Harding- 6'2" 245lbs
Former community college S turned DE turned OLB. Powell has great athleticism and has dominated lower levels. People raved about his change of direction ability at the Senior Bowl and I think he could develop into a quality coverage LBer with some pass rush skills in the NFL. Probably a STer to start, but with some development he could be a sub package ace.
7a. K- Dustin Hopkins- Florida State
Competition is never a bad thing and Gostkowski has a very high cap number. If Hopkins can produce similarly to Gost, he might win the job and save the Pats some cash.
7b. LS- Carson Tinker- Alabama
The top LS in the draft, this is just so we donít have to compete with other teams for him as an UDFA. I think he would be an upgrade over Aiken and adding a contributor to the 53 man roster in the 7th round is never a bad thing, even if he is just a long snapper.
What I think these Free Agent Signings and Draft picks would do is add size, speed and aggression to both the offense and defense and hopefully help us take the next step to a Super Bowl Championship.
QB- Brady, Vet FA (Cassel, Hoyer?), Kafka
RB- Ridley, Vereen, Bolden, Woodhead, Demps
WR- Welker, Lloyd, Hunter, Rogers, Edelman, Slater
TE- Gronk, Hernandez, Ballard, Williams
OT- Solder, Cannon, Armstead, Zusevics
OG/C- Mankins, Connolly, Jones, Wendell, McDonald
5 Tech DE- Hankins, Deaderick
NT- Wilfork, Love
3 Tech- Armstead, Dorsey, Forston
Leo- Jones, Bequette, Francis, Cunningham
SLB- Hightower, Ninko
MLB- Spikes, V. Williams, Fletcher
WLB- Mayo, Powell, Tarpanian
CB- Asomugha, Dennard, Amerson, Arrington, Dowling, Williams, Cole
FS- McCourty, Wilson, Gregory
SS- Wilson, McDonald, Ebner
K- Gostkowski, Hopkins
LS- Tinker, Aiken