I used sort of a conglomeration of player rankings I found on various sites to put this together and tried to avoid any pipe dream kinds of signings or picks, so if you’re expecting Trumaine Johnson or Allen Robinson this isn’t the mock for you. I also matched the signings with actual contracts signed last year for context (2 years for O’Donnell).
Cap Space $40,031,517
(As of 1/15/18)
New Cap Space: $82.7M
Fuller 5/52.5, $20M guaranteed (2017 Dre Kirkpatrick contract with bigger guarantees) - Big step this year and while I think he’s a bit overvalued given the lack of takeaways the market will bear this and he’s a good, solid corner who’s excellent against the run as well, is still just 25 and should be a building block for the future of this defense.
QB Sanchez 1/2 - Vet backup and obvious mentor for Mitch. Hell, they’re handing out this offseason outside of football. Obvious rapport there. If forced to play would be a competent but highly unspectacular backup, and if Mitch misses significant time our season is sunk no matter who our backup is.
CB McManis 1/1.5 - Excellent ST has clear value even if he should never play a snap on defense again.
ILB Jones 2/4- Solid #3 ILB and good ST contributor. Underwhelmed me as a starter but wasn’t a disaster either.
OLB Acho 1/1 - Consummate pro as a depth player and 4-phase ST player
RB B Cunningham 1/1 - Depth RB is an adequate runner and an asset in the passing game. Versatility fits Nagy backup RB role well. Can return KO.
OT B Sowell 1/1 - Depth OL who can play 4 positions. He’s not great but as depth he’s adequate. In this scenario ideally he’s #4 OT and a weekly inactive rostered for extenuating circumstances only.
LS DePaolo 2/2 - Didn’t hear anything about him last year. As a LS that’s a great thing. Keeper.
P O’Donnell 4/10, $3.4M guaranteed (2016 Jon Ryan Contract) - Has improved every year and is now a solid, reliable punter who can also kick off.
TE Brown 1/1 - Young depth TE who is a passing game asset. He’s capable if called upon but with limited upside.
CB Callahan 1/1 - Depth CB with experience outside and inside. Staying healthy an issue but he’s a capable player on limited reps here.
AS Houston-Carson 1/1 - Core ST contributor really showed his value when McManis was hurt in 2017. Good role player.
WR Meredith 2.7M (2nd round tender) - Ascending WR when tore up his knee last August. Should he set by TC and expected to fill a top 3 WR role. Extension candidate but here we are letting him play out the year on his RFA deal to force him to show recovery from the ACL, continued development and a fit with the Nagy offense.
Goldman 3/27, $14.5M guaranteed (2017 Jonathan Hankins contract) *tacks on at the end of his rookie deal; 2018 cap hit remains 1.8M* - Young defensive core player is a 2-down run stuffer and a good one. Here we get maybe a bit of a discount for extending before UFA status, but ultimately reward home grown talent. This deal gives Goldman upper echelon money now with good guarantees but also the opportunity to hit FA again at 28 for a second big contract. Good compromise deal for both sides.
WR Randall Cobb (projected release by GB after the Adams extension) 4/32, $19.95M guaranteed (2017 Kenny Stills contract) - Skill set as a quick receiver with big RAC ability who can play both outside or in the slot is a really strong fit for what Nagy does. Numbers going down the last few years speaks to the emergence of Davante Adams more than any decline IMO. A long term asset and security blanket for our young QB.
WR John Brown 2/11, $5.5M guaranteed (2017 Markus Wheaton contract) - Established NFL deep threat with big potential in this scheme. Brown showed huge potential and RAC ability in AZ before poor QB play largely undermined his role in the passing game. This is a bet on a better situation getting him back to 2014-15 levels, with a 1-year out of it’s a miss.
CB Ross Cockrell 3/16, $8M guaranteed (2017 Marcus Cooper contract) - Cockrell is a solid cover corner with good size, with a bit more upside than Prince in terms of the ability to take the ball away. He projects here as the starter on the boundary opposite Fuller. What we were hoping for when we signed Cooper last March.
RT Cameron Fleming 2/10.25, $3.5M guaranteed (2017 Ben Ijalana contract) - Split reps with Waddle in NE at RT after Marcus Cannon’s season ending injury. NE doesn’t protect their tackles in pass pro any more than KC does and Fleming more than held his own. Here Fleming gets an audition for a long term gig at solid short term money, and we get a potential upgrade to Massie at about the same money with a 1-year commitment.
K Cairo Santos 2/4 (2017 Robbie Gould contract) - Santos wasn’t the wrong guy for us long term IMO when we signed him midseason - it was just the wrong time with him rushing back from injury. He’s healed now. He’s a reliable, consistent kicker who’s still very young, and one with whom Nagy is familiar and likely comfortable.
TE Ed Dickson 2/4, $1.2M guaranteed (2017 Lance Kendricks contract) - with the Sims release here we need to fill the secondary TE role behind Shaheen. Dickson has shown to be able to do fill this role, and has ties to Mark Helfrich.
DE Tank Carradine 2/2.7, $300k guaranteed (2017 Evander Hood contract) - Depth 5T drafted in SF under their Fangio era. Signing him here to be essentially a younger Unrein. Solid rotation player.
WR Tavon Austin (projected release by LAR) 1/2, $1M guaranteed (2017 Kendall Wright contract) - a good fit skill set wise for the Nagy scheme. Here he’s cast in the appropriate role as a sub package WR.
ILB Korey Toomer 2/3 - Depth ILB against whom Nagy coached last year in the AFC West. An upgrade over Timu.
1 EDGE Harold Landry, BC - Our defense is an elite pass rush away IMO from jumping from good to great. Landry is arguably the top pass rush prospect behind Chubb. The pick cards as a reach here in early January however Landry should crush the combine and if that follows a solid showing at the Senior Bowl he’s going to move up. His 16 sacks in 2016 speaks to the upside.
2 OG Will Hernandez, UTEP - We need to get younger at guard and after Nelson Hernandez is right there with Braden Smith to be that next guy. We also get a long term answer here at a 2nd round salary which allows us to spend more at premium positions.
4 EDGE Marcus Davenport, UTSA - Athletic freak at 6’7” 255 from a smaller school is getting a lot of buzz for his potential. The more young edge rushers the better. I want waves of pressure coming off the edge.
4 WR Steve Ishmael, Syracuse - Good size and crazy productive in college, Ishmael brings a contrasting skill set to the smaller speed players. Here’s where the Nagy and Helfrich spread concepts ideally speed the transition from college to the NFL. Here we’ve set Ishmael up so that he’s not going to be forced into a big role though until he earns one.
5 OT Brandon Parker, NC A&T - Developmental tackle prospect ideally our swing or pushing for RT by 2019. Hopefully he shows enough right away to keep Sowell inactive.
6 CB Justin Thomas, Oklahoma - Boundary corner size played 42 games for the Sooners with 8 INT. Depth for now. Bigger role for later.
7 RB Justin Jackson, Northwestern - RB depth is more of a need than I think most people realize. Jackson produced big numbers in both the running game (5440 yards and 41 TD) and passing game (122 receptions). His versatility will make Cunningham expendable sooner than later.
QB Trubisky, Sanchez
RB Howard, Cohen, Cunningham, Jackson, Burton (FB)
WR Cobb, Brown, Meredith, Ishmael, Austin, White
TE Shaheen, Brown, Dickson
OT Leno, Fleming, Parker, Sowell
OG Long, Hernandez, Kush, Morgan
C Whitehair (Kush backup C)
DL Hicks, Goldman, Bullard, RRH, Carradine
OLB Floyd, Landry, Davenport, Young, Acho, Irving
ILB Trevathan, Kwiatkowski, Toomer, Jones
CB Fuller, Cockrell, Thomas, LeBlanc, Callahan, McManis
S Jackson, Amos, Demps, DHC
(KR/PR Cohen, Austin)