It's late. I work early tomorrow and my 5 month old son, who is teething, is going to be up most of the night. Yet, here I sit writing about football, unskilled and unpaid, for a bunch of cards junkies like myself who just cannot put down the needle. For those of you who read my previous post, Offseason: Part 1, you will understand why I am so excited about the cards right now. It is like Keim himself wrote that post, although he most likely has superior penmanship. I could not be happier about how this league year has started. Where to begin.
We got the best LT on the market, 26 with very little injury concern at a bargain price, especially considering the projected cap increases. If the cap goes to 160 mil, like it is projected, Velhdeer's 7-7.5 million a year cap hit will work out to about 4% of the cap. He has the potential to be a top 5 OT. If it works out and he is a stud, what a deal. If he is so-so, we are paying him appropriately and if he stinks, we can cut him without creating a lot of dead money.
We kept our defence mostly intact. I know we will miss Dansby, but there is no way that it is smart to pay a (soon to be) 33 year old ILB that kind of money. We all know what Dansby is about; Karlos Dansby and money. For those who say that this is his last chance for a big pay check and he needs to look out for his family and blah blah blah. HOW MUCH MONEY DOES HIS FAMILY NEED?!?! Is 54 million that much different from 56 million?? Yes, (approx. a 2 million dollar difference) but you catch my point. If you are not able to grow and manage 54 million, then that extra 2 million will not make a difference. Plus you now live in Cleveland and play for the Browns. Have fun Karlos. Next Man Up.
This brings me to the Draft. And this is the biggest reason why I like what we have done this offseason. Because we have been able to keep our defence mostly intact, fill our glaring need at LT (as well as add some O line depth), add a TE (a risky TE, but a TE nonetheless), and a speed receiver/returner, we do not have any terrible holes in our roster. We still have some weaker areas: CB depth, TE, RG, RT, Pass Rusher, S. But nothing so bad that we will have to force a pick.
I am not going to pick specific players beyond round one that I hope we draft. Instead I will describe the type of player/positions I hope we draft because after the first round it is a total crapshoot.
- O line: Lewan, I do not think he will fall to us, but golly gosh darn it I hope he does. More realistically I would love to see Z. Martin join us. Versatility is so valuable on the O line.
- S: Pryor, I get excited thinking about PP, Pryor, and the HB roaming on the back end. He reminds me of a younger Adrian Wilson, only faster.
- QB: Palmer is a greybeard and I do not want a repeat of what happened when Warner left. There is nothing that comes close to the value of a franchise QB. If Bortles or Bridgewater manage to slip to us, I have no problem drafting them and letting them learn and be coached up for a few years. I'd pass on Manziel.
D Line/LBer: Barr, Mack, Ealy, Ford, Donald, Nix, Jernigan, Hageman, Tuitt, Mosley, Sahzier, Van Noy: I trust our FO and just think that it is important to have a strong front 7 on D.
I think that O line, D line, and QB are the most important aspects of football team. Plus, I just like Pryor as he fills a need and there is not much depth at safety.
Types of players, in no particular order, I would like to see drafted:
Blocking TE- A big time blocker with reliable hands. I am so sick of Rob "no hands" Housler Dropping passes. We have enough weapons, it is time for some reliability and blocking help. We kind of have this in Ballard, but it may be time to upgrade.
Project TE- Draft one of those ex-basketball player type (Gates, Graham, Cameron, Thomas) TE's late and start to develop him
Slot CB: Small, quick, feisty: what we all hoped J Fleming was. I do not want TM having to play slot CB, we need him roaming centre field.
High risk/reward WR: We have a very strong group of WR with a true professional (Fitz) as their leader. Riskier players can slide due to red flags and I think we have a strong enough locker room to manage the risk and get the most out of him. Preferably a speed guy. I think we could get a later round gem a la Tyrann Mathieu.
FS/SS: Anything. We just need to improve this position. We have RJ and TM is recovering, and that is about it. We could use an upgrade or at least some depth.
Scat Back: Heaven forbid something happen to Ellington, but we have no one that could take his place in the offence, which is frightening considering he is small and we are building our offence around him. We need a plan B.
Fast LB: Speed is now a must at the LB'er position. We need a guy who can carry J. Cook and V. Davis down the seam. I know I said I would not mention names, but I have a huge talent crush on Peirre-Louis. He can fly. when it comes to speed, Al Davis and I are kindred spirits.
Pass Rusher: This kinda goes without saying. Even if he is just a 3rd down guy for the first few years, we need to keep investing in pass rushers
Love some feedback. Go Cards!