Inspired by @long distance and the fine work in the building the 2017 roster thread -- he got me thinking about where the roster could be upgraded, or at least competition added, to get to the 90 man roster for Training Camp. I'll throw out some draft prospects I like at each position. This is turning into a monster of a post, so grab some food and water, buckle up, hold on to your hats, etc, etc, etc. I started going alphabetically through the positions in the roster, but due to size limitations, I think I'm going to go defense first, and finish up offense in a second post. Although I list draft eligible players, I'm (mostly) skipping top 20 guys in my review. TEAM ROSTER NUMBER NAME POS. HT. WT. AGE EXP. COLLEGE DB: N/A Gilmore, Stephon CB 6-1 190 26 5 South Carolina 24 Jones, Cyrus CB 5-10 200 23 2 Alabama 22 Coleman, Justin DB 5-11 190 24 3 Tennessee 23 Chung, Patrick S 5-11 215 29 9 Oregon 25 Rowe, Eric DB 6-1 205 24 3 Utah 30 Harmon, Duron DB 6-1 205 26 5 Rutgers 31 Jones, Jonathan DB 5-10 190 23 2 Auburn 32 McCourty, Devin DB 5-10 195 29 8 Rutgers 37 Richards, Jordan DB 5-11 210 24 3 Stanford 43 Ebner, Nate DB 6-0 220 28 6 Ohio State RFA: 21 Butler, Malcolm CB 5-11 190 27 4 West Alabama ERFA: 36 King, Brandon DB 6-2 220 23 3 Auburn Our depth depends largely on what happens with the Super Bowl hero. I'd prefer to see him here, but if he goes to New Orleans, then I expect us to draft a corner and also bring in a few guys in UDFA, as well. Thankfully, it's a great year for corners! Otherwise, we have a clear #1 with Gilmore, a situational #2 (I really like Rowe against bigger receivers), and several guys who can be competitive in the slot. Safety seems all set for this year, but Richards stands out as someone who could and should be upgraded. I didn't like the pick at the time, and he's done nothing over the last two years to change my opinion. Great guy by all accounts, with excellent interviews, but he just seems to lack the long speed to cover in this league. Again, I expect the draft to include at least one safety, and possibly two. We seem to have shown an interest in Melifonwu, Jones, Hill, etc, so it's possible we're looking for a bigger, hybrid type player. Perhaps Brandon King steps up? CB 1st / 2nd Gareon Conley (top passer rating against in all of CFB at 13.9; great ball skills) Kevin King (athletic freak; incredible outside press corner with size & agility) Chidobe Awuzie (blitzer, ball skills, plays all 4 DB positions, 35 on Wonderlic) Budda Baker (ultimate DB wildcard; slot/FS/star; playmaker; +++ instincts) 3rd / 4th Outside: Marlon Humphrey (aggressive, physical player; loses ball at times; exceptional against run) Sidney Jones (top overall CB; top 15 talent; medical redshirt?) Cordrea Tankersley (inconsistent; exceptional against TEs; great size/speed) Ahkello Witherspoon (knocked down for tackling; coverage is top 10 worthy) Fabian Moreau (freak upside: 140.2 pSPARQ/2.2 z-score/98.7 NFL%; medical ?) Brian Allen (raw WR convert; intriguing size/speed with 6.64 3-cone) Slot: Howard Wilson (elite click-n-close, good tackling & ball skills; ideal nickel) Corn Elder (kamikaze tackler; reminds me of Butler in style, though a tier below) Jourdan Lewis (depending on DV charges; sticky slot; best pure man to man CB) 5th - 7th Brandon Wilson (plays offense, defense, special teams; elite testing numbers) Shaquill Griffen (elite testing numbers, physical & likes to hit, very raw) Marcus Sayles (13 blocked kicks in career; extraordinary agility/explosion numbers) UDFA: Joshua Holsey (instinctive, tough, productive; medical?) Dwayne Thomas (slot/safety; QB spy specialist; good blitzer/tackler) Jack Tocho (ask @manxman2601 for more info ) Jeremy Clark (huge size, nice tape; no testing numbers; medical concerns -- knee injury) S 1st / 2nd Marcus Williams (elite cover talent; like him better than Hooker at FS) Obi Melifonwu (can play press corner; covers TE; athletic freak) Josh Jones (plays LB/SS/FS/slot really well; perfect Chung replacement) 3rd / 4th Rayshawn Jenkins (headhunter; hybrid S/LB throwback player) Eddie Jackson (CB/FS, playmaker, great instincts, McCourty clone; medical questions) Johnathan Ford (speed speed speed, physicality, special teams, glue of secondary) Xavier Woods (discount Budda Baker; quality starter) Marcus Maye (leader of the secondary; instinctive; productive; good fit in NE) 5th - 7th Delano Hill (discount Josh Jones, and that's not a dis at all; maybe 4th round?) John Johnson (parents lose points for creativity; discount Eddie Jackson) Kai Nacau (discount Marcus Williams with more physicality; reportedly has matured) Jason Thompson (special teams star; team captain in 1st year with team; super athlete) UDFA Montae Nicholson, Leon McQuay III, Khary Bailey-Smith, etc DL: N/A Ealy, Kony DE 6-4 275 25 4 Missouri N/A Guy, Lawrence DL 6-4 305 27 7 Arizona State 74 Hamilton, Woodrow DL 6-2 315 24 2 Mississippi 90 Brown, Malcom DL 6-2 320 23 3 Texas 92 Grissom, Geneo DL 6-4 265 24 3 Oklahoma 98 Flowers, Trey DL 6-2 265 23 3 Arkansas 99 Valentine, Vincent DT 6-2 320 (lol) 23 2 Nebraska 97 Branch, Alan DL 6-6 350 32 11 Michigan 96 Kilgo, Darius NT 6-3 319 25 3 Maryland Nink is listed as a LB, so we'll get to him later. Clearly we're in need of an infusion of talent at DE. The inside of the DL looks very strong, however, with Branch headlining a young and talented group of run stoppers who can also push the pocket against the pass. Grissom is in a make or break year, but has been disappointing thus far. Hamilton is just a guy and could be upgraded. Kilgo is intriguing, but behind Valentine / Brown. Ealy is inconsistent but has real promise. Flowers is an ascending superstar. One-sentence short breakdowns: Roster Review / Big Board (incomplete) Long form breakdowns: DL & EDGE Players: Run stuffers, designated pass rushers, hybrids, etc 1st DE: Charles Harris Derek Barnett Taco Charlton Jordan Willis Inside/outside: DeMarcus Walker Chris Wormley 2nd DE: Tarell Basham Carl Lawson Derek Rivers DT: Montravius Adams Jaleel Johnson Larry Ogunjobi 3rd / 4th DE: Ifeadi Odenigbo (binkie alert) Daeshon Hall Keionta Davis Trey Hendrickson Deatrich Wise DT: Davon Godchaux Tanoh Kpassagnon Eddie Vanderdoes 5th / 7th DE: Fadol Brown Tashawn Bower Isaac Rochell Cameron Malveaux DT: Grover Stewart Josh Augusta UDFA: DE: Hunter Dimick Garrett Sickels Josh Carraway DT: Patrick Ricard Josh Tupou K: 3 Gostkowski, Stephen K 6-1 215 33 12 Memphis Bring in a camp leg to give him some rest. Ratchet up the competition level while he works to regain form as an elite kicker, instead of merely a very good one. No need to draft anyone this year. LB: 44 Bates, Trevor LB 6-1 247 23 1 Maine 50 Ninkovich, Rob LB 6-2 260 33 12 Purdue 52 Roberts, Elandon LB 5-11 235 22 2 Houston 53 Van Noy, Kyle LB 6-3 243 26 4 Brigham Young 54 Hightower, Dont'a LB 6-3 265 27 6 Alabama 55 Freeny, Jonathan LB 6-2 255 27 6 Rutgers 58 McClellin, Shea LB 6-3 250 27 6 Boise State One superstar and Super Bowl hero, and a bunch of role players. We could stand to add some depth and quality here. I expect at least two linebackers in the draft and UDFA, and possibly more. We could use outside DE/OLB types, as well as coverage players. The draft has some nice options for each type of player. There's some cross-over with the DL section, so again I'll refer readers to my other thread instead of giving mini-breakdowns after player names: DL & EDGE Players: Run stuffers, designated pass rushers, hybrids, etc I love Ninkovich, but he's 33 and plays a physical position. I hope to keep him around as a steady veteran presence, and I would love to see him get into coaching after his playing days are over, but I don't think he's likely to be a consistent playmaker at this stage of his career. Freeny is not very good, but he's the truest backup we have to Hightower. I think he sticks around, but I would like to challenge him in camp. Roberts is young and fiery, with great production against the run; if he can improve against the pass, then he's likely going to earn more playing time in a rotation with Hightower, which may help mitigate the injuries for each player. Van Noy clearly outperformed McClellin last year, but both had their value at times. Van Noy should only improve with a full training camp, and he could be a valuable player in a rotation. I'd like to see McClellin show more pass rush and coverage ability, but we may have already seen his peak. He could be easily challenged/upgraded. Bates is a wildcard, with good athleticism and some potential in coverage. We'll see how he does in camp. 1st / 2nd OLB: Haason Reddick (super binkie) Tyus Bowser ILB: Haason Reddick (listed twice because he's that good ) Jarrad Davis Raekwon McMillan 3rd / 4th OLB: TJ Watt Ryan Anderson Vince Biegel Carroll Phillips ILB: Jordan Evans Kendall Beckwith Eric Wilson Harvey Langi Duke Riley 5th - 7th OLB: Samson Ebukam (discount Reddick, but still a binkie) Darius English Jimmie Gilbert Evan Schwan ILB: Chase Allen Richie Brown James Onwualu Blair Brown Ben Gedeon LS: 49 Cardona, Joe LS 6-3 245 24 3 Navy Excellent player. Maybe bring in a camp body to give him some days off, but he should be a lifetime Patriot.