I'm serious and maybe crazy? Haha. I already started looking, call it an overreaction if you'd like but we're bad and I need an excuse to feel good about our teams future outside of Josh Allen and the Tre White and Tre Edmunds combo. (Good thing the Sabres season starts soon, am I right?!)
So, I took a look at the upcoming free agent class and upcoming draft class. At the very least, this post serves as a guide gives for who to watch on other teams, as well as which college prospects to keep an eye on for us as we likely draft very early in the 2019 draft. Just kindly skip this thread if you're going to be the one who says it's too early to judge our season.
Let's start with who we might look to resign and let go.
2019 Pending Free Agents:
Kyle Williams – Retires. (TBD, but I think he calls it quits and retires after this horrendous year, god bless this man)
Vontae Davis – Not likely to be brought back. Hope he can prove me wrong.
Lorenzo Alexander – Expect a 1 year deal, good locker room guy and still seems to perform given his age.
Ryan Groy – I think he is best used as a depth rotational guy like he has in the past. If he can be brought back for that, sure, resign.
Kelvin Benjamin – Someone will overpay him, hope it's not us. He's basically a jump ball WR and that's it.
Jordan Mills – Could be a decent depth player, should not be a starter. Need to upgrade here and have needed to since he was named a starter years ago.
Marshall Newhouse – Would rather not have him back.
Ramon Humber – Hasn't done much to warrant being back (again).
Jeremy Kerley – He's the only WR to show up so far, maybe gets another one year deal if he can keep it up.
Eddie Yarbrough – I think he gets a shorter term extension, somewhere between 2-4 mil per year depending on this year.
Phillip Gaines – He needs to improve in a big way. I see him being let go if his current play continues.
Logan Thomas – Like what I've seen. Like Yarbrough, I think he is brought back relatively cheap for depth.
John Miller – Hope to see him improve as the year goes on, but it doesn't look good. Think it will be time to move on once the season ultimately ends.
Outlook on 2019 Free Agents to watch: Offensive Line Options (more extensive list given the biggest need for us):
Ali Marpet, G/C (25, Tampa Bay Buccs)
Quinton Spain, G (28, Tennessee Titans)
Mike Iupati, G (32, Arizona Cardinals)
Mitch Morse, C (27, Kansas City Chiefs)
Matt Paradis, C (28, Denver Broncos)
Nick Easton, C (27, Minnesota Vikings) – On IR
Bobbie Massie, OT (29, Chicago Bears)
Rodger Saffold, G (30, LA Rams)
Ereck Flowers, RT (25, New York Giants) – Haven't been impressed by him, but maybe a cheap project?
Cedric Ogbuehi, OT (27, Cincinnati Bengals) – Similar to Flowers.
Jake Fisher, OT (25, Cincinnati Bengals) – Similar to Flowers, Ogbuehi.
Veteran QBs (options here aren't good, are they ever?):
Trevor Siemian, QB (27, Minnesota Vikings)
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB – Lol ?
Kevin Hogan, QB (26, Denver Broncos)
Brett Hundley, QB (26, Seattle Seahawks) Wide Receivers (not a lot of big names here):
Golden Tate, WR (31, Detroit Lions)
Randall Cobb, WR (29, Green Bay Packers)
Devin Funchess, WR (25, Carolina Panthers)
Donte Moncrief, WR (26, Jacksonville Jaguars)
John Brown, WR (29, Baltimore Ravens)
Chris Hogan, WR (30, New England Patriots)
Jermaine Kearse, WR (29, New York Jets)
Rishard Matthews, WR (29, Tennessee Titans)
Tight Ends (not much here either...):
Tyler Eifert, TE (28, Cincinnati Bengals)
Tyler Kroft, TE (26, Cincinnati Bengals)
Maxx Williams, TE (25, Baltimore Ravens)
Josh Hill, TE (29, New Orleans Saints) Defensive Line:
Trey Flowers, DE (25, New England Patriots)
Demarcus Lawrence, DE (25, Dallas Cowboys) – Probably gets a mega-deal from Dallas, so unlikely but worth mentioning.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE (29, Detroit Lions) – Similar situation to Lawrence unless he has a bad year.
Brandon Graham, DE (31, Philadelphia Eagles)
Dante Fowler, DE (25, Jacksonville Jaguars)
Frank Clark, DE (26, Seattle Seahawks)
Allen Bailey, DL (30, Kansas City Chiefs) Linebackers (don't expect a lot of these names to actually hit the market):
Jadaveon Clowney, EDGE (26, Houston Texans)
Anthony Barr, LB (27, Minnesota Vikings)
CJ Mosley, LB (27, Baltimore Ravens)
KJ Wright, LB (30, Seattle Seahawks)
Shaquil Barrett, LB/EDGE (26, Denver Broncos)
Shane Ray, LB/EDGE (26, Denver Broncos)
Deone Bucannon, LB (27, Arizona Cardinals)
Denzel Perryman, LB (25, LA Chargers) Corners:
Bradley Roby, CB (27, Denver Broncos)
Jason Verrett, CB (28, LA Chargers) – injury concerns, but top corner when healthy
Darqueze Dennard, CB (27, Cincinnati Bengals)
Rashaan Melvin, CB (29, Indianapolis Colts) A lot of good safeties on the market, but I think it's about the only position we don't need to look at outside of adding depth.
Overall assessment: We are currently projected to have $91,393,690 in cap space for 2019. It's very early obviously so I won't project too much in terms of what we'll end up with. That said, I'd expect us to go after at least two to three of the higher price point players at key positions. I'd like for us to target Ali Marpet to slot in at center or guard. One way or another we should look to free agency to replace Vontae Davis opposite of Tre' White, we need someone that can hold that side of the field consistently and hopefully find someone younger. With corner being a spot we can't afford to draft given some of the other talent available, I think a great option to throw some money at would be Bradley Roby, who deserves a starting role and #2 corner money. We will definitely have to overpay, but that's the nature of free agency and I know the talent is there (Ohio State fan!), I think Denver fans would agree. It's way to hard to project much else this early but a lot of big names of interest. Some will get tagged, but theres always a couple that hit the market. If guys like Clowney and Anthony Barr do find their way to the open market, however unlikely, I'd expect us to be in on them. We have the money to spend and I would hope we go after a couple of the top tier players.
Top 20 Big Board Prospects (via Matt Miller minus QBs):
1. Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
2. Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
3. Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan 4. Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
5. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
6. A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
7. Devin White, LB, LSU 8. David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
9. Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss 10. Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
11. Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
12. Zach Allen, EDGE, Boston College
13. Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
14. Dre'Mont Jones, DL, Ohio State
15. N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
16. Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
17. Kendall Sheffield, CB, Ohio State
18. Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State
19. Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
20. Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
WR / OL to watch beyond top 20:
WR: Anthony Johnson, Buffalo; Deebo Samuel, S. Carolina; Marquise Brown, Oklahoma; JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford; Ahmmon Richards, Miami (Fl.); Bryan Edwards, S. Carolina; Juwan Johnson, Penn State; Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska; Kelvin Harmon, NC State
OT: Dalton Risner, Kansas State; Martez Ivey, Florida; Kaleb McGary, Washington; Mitch Hyatt, Clemson; Bobby Evans, Oklahoma; Trey Adams, Washington (major injury – out all year); Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama; Michael Dieter, Wisconsin; Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin; Nate Herbig, Stanford; Isaiah Prince, Ohio State; Connor McGovern, Penn State
Overall assessment: I know OL is our biggest need, but this years DL class is one of the best ever. Coming away with Nick Bosa or Ed Oliver with our likely top 5 selection would be a huge get (who am I kidding, we're picking in the top 2). It's not like both positions on the DL couldn't use an upgrade. You can't go wrong with either guy, I think both will be superstars at their position. I think we all know where we have to go with the remainder of our selections. WR and OL are huge needs. A lot will change between now and the draft so I won't make an extensive draft list, rather a watch list of those two positions beyond the top 20.
Please feel free to mention other names to add to any list here. I'll continue to add to this if it gets any attention.
I am also very happy to add another position group if you're looking for guys to keep an eye on.