With the NFL Scouting Combine less than a week away and more than a month of intense draft coverage ahead – not even counting the following analyses and undrafted free agent work – I decided to at least put together one piece about free agency. To do so I took the top ten teams in terms of cap space for 2019 according to spotrac.com and found one player I think would fit well with them. This can be due to personal connections, scheme fit or simply a combination of need at the position and the money to spend. While it is often times about all the small moves a team makes over the course of the offseason and how a team builds depth (also through the draft), I thought it would be fun to put together some pairings that I believe would make sense. I did not include likely franchise tag candidates such as DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney and Nick Foles – who the Eagles will look to trade once they have secured his rights. With that being said, I still think we have a strong class of edge rushers and there are three safeties who were among the very best at the position just two years ago. On the other hand, there are no big fish at quarterback out there, assuming Foles will be tagged, such as Kirk Cousins last offseason, and I will tell you to look for your team to draft a receiver out of college, because outside of one veteran pass-catcher these guys on the market will all be overpaid. So here are some of the fits I found when looking at who is available and where these ten teams could use some help.
In the NFL there is constant competition at pretty much every position. Front offices try to find replacements for aging players or those, who will soon demand contracts they can’t afford. That creates an environment, where every man is working as hard as they can to earn a starting spot. Only competition gets the best out of football players and it is vital for a team’s success. I picked out the eight positional battles that will be most interesting to watch through training camps and beyond. So here they are:
Like I do every year once the official player’s countdown is fully released, I wanted to make my own top 100 list. There is a serious misconception about the voting process. While opinions are heavily based on last year, this list is about the 2018 NFL season. It’s not about grading what they did last year alone, but rather what to expect from them this upcoming campaign. That’s why it is the top 100 players of 2018. I mean only 12 teams even played this year so far. Of course you should have recency bias to some degree, but you also have to look at the body of work and what you believe they are capable of. Without any further ado, here’s what I came up with:
After talking about the biggest remaining needs for each team in the NFL at this stage of the offseason, I decided to look at the squads that I believe could make a serious improvement and surprise some people in 2018. With that I mean they should exceed expectations despite not being looked at as contenders right now. Therefore I didn’t mention the obvious candidates such as the Packers, who get their franchise QB back, or the Texans, who are everybody’s offseason darling right now. All but one of the upcoming teams missed the postseason by multiple games, with the final one not really being looked at as a playoff team for some reason.
Continuing my series on the biggest needs for every NFL team after the main phase of free agency and the draft, I’m jumping to the opposite conference. Once again, this could be starters, backups or in one case even a strategic change necessary. Not only is it the lesser accomplished teams that need some help, even the powerhouses could use some serious upgrades. Here we go:
Now that we’ve wrapped up the major parts of free agency and the draft, I decided to take a look at each NFL roster, to see where every team could still use some help. This can be a need for a starter or some more depth at a specific position. We are starting with the NFC side and I will come back with the AFC version next week.
With the NFL season all wrapped and the draft as well as free agency still some time away from this point, I wanted to take a look at the newest quarterback, who got paid. Jimmy Garoppolo was traded to San Francisco for a second-round pick in the middle of the 2017 season and completely turned the franchise around, helping a 1-10 team win their next five games. That resulted in the front office making him the highest-paid player in NFL history, by giving him a five-year, 137.5 million dollar contract. After just seven career starts, it is fair to question if he is worth all that money. Therefore, I watched every snap of his time with the 49ers to offer an analysis on the young QB. I looked at his two games with New England as well, but decided to leave those out for now, since I’m judging him based on the system he will be a part of going forward, with Kyle Shahan signing a six-year contract himself, just a year ago. Let’s dive into the tape: