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jrry32

Jrry32's Second Mock Off-Season

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I wanted to change things up a lot to expose y'all to some different players. This mock is a bit more unorthodox. I took some chances in FA. It might be a little less realistic in that regard, but all of the players fit our scheme and make sense.
Cut
ILB Mark Barron
 
There's not much to say here. I think we're all agreed on this one. Barron stepped up in the playoffs, but we need somebody who offers more in terms of run fits.
 
Re-sign
OG Rodger Saffold
CB Sam Shields
ILB Bryce Hager
S Blake Countess
ILB Cory Littleton - Second Round RFA Tender
CB Dominique Hatfield - ERFA Tender
RS Jojo Natson - ERFA Tender
DL Morgan Fox - ERFA Tender
CB Kevin Peterson - ERFA Tender
OLB Garrett Sickels - ERFA Tender
WR KhaDarel Hodge - ERFA Tender
 
I doubt there are too many surprises here. I would say the only two possible surprises are not re-signing Ndamukong Suh or Dante Fowler Jr. I think Suh wants his final multi-year contract. That will make it not feasible to bring him back. I like Fowler Jr., but I am wary of his price tag as a former top pick. I think we all expect Joyner to go.
 
Free Agency
[IMG] 
Robert Quinn OLB
 
I'm guessing you didn't expect this one. However, I think bringing Quinn back has a lot of benefits. First, Miami is going to cut him, so it doesn't hurt us in the comp pick formula. Second, Quinn knows the scheme and this team well (he's respected here too). Third, Quinn can still generate 6 to 9 sacks per year and solid pressure, even if he isn't the player he once was. Finally, Quinn will come at a relative bargain and on a short-term deal. Plus, with Obo, Miller, Samson, and others, Quinn will rotate more and staying fresher will hopefully allow him to be more effective when he does play.
 
[IMG] 
Dontari Poe NT
 
Poe is another guy who will likely be released and won't count against the comp pick formula. He's coming off a couple of average seasons, so I think we'll able to get him on a short-term deal at a reasonable price. He's a great fit for what Wade wants in his NT, and it's possible Wade's scheme could vault him to a big season and a big contract with somebody else (which is a selling point for us). Dontari is a massive man at 6'3" 350, but he's an exceptional athlete who should do well in a scheme that lets him attack the backfield.
 
[IMG] 
Brian Poole SS
 
This is probably the riskiest move of my mock off-season, but I think it's one that could pay off in a major way. Wade is very particular about what he wants in a safety. He likes safeties who can play in the box, blitz off the edge, man up in coverage, and play the deep zones. That's a lot to ask, so there aren't a ton of guys who fit that criteria. Poole is interesting because he has spent three years as a slot CB in Atlanta. He was great as a rookie, but he has been so-so (at best) since then. Where he has consistently shined, though, is in his physicality as a run defender and his blitzing off the edge. I think, like LaMarcus Joyner, Poole is a better safety than CB. He doesn't possess the short-area quickness or loose hips to match up well in the slot. That all said, Poole has terrific instincts and is quite adept at reading route combinations. I think he offers exactly the sort of well-rounded skill-set that Wade values in a safety. And after not being tendered by Atlanta and so-so years as a slot CB, I think we can land him at a discounted price despite the fact that he's only 26 years old.
 
[IMG] 
Blake Bortles QB
 
I imagine that some people will groan about this, but I think it's a brilliant move. Bortles' stock is at the lowest it has ever been. He stunk up the field in 2018 and was one reason why the Jaguars drastically under-performed. Once he is cut, I don't see him getting a big-money deal. I think we can swoop in and offer him a fairly cheap deal. Why I love this idea is because Bortles has actually played solid football when things around him are good. When he's protected, has good play-calling, and good WRs, he's capable of being a competent starting QB. We're only looking for a backup QB. If we have a guy who is capable of being a competent starter in the right situation, we're ahead of most other teams. Think of guys like Nick Foles, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Case Keenum. When they were in bad situations, they looked bad. But they looked like competent QBs when things were going well around them. That made them valuable. With guys like Tyrod Taylor, Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Nick Foles, Ryan Tannehill, and Teddy Bridgewater on the market, we should be able to get Bortles cheap.
 
usa_today_10210214.0.jpg
Ryan Groy C/OG
 
We tried to sign Groy after the 2016 season when McVay and Kromer had just been hired. The Bills matched our offer and kept him. Groy hasn't played as well away from Kromer's system, so I think we can sign him now cheaper than what we offered a couple years ago. He'll provide quality depth at Center and Guard.
 
NFL Draft
Round 1 Pick #31 - Jeffery Simmons NT Mississippi State
Analysis: Prior to Simmons tearing his ACL during training, I had written him off. He wasn't falling out of the first 15 picks. Hell, he might not fall out of the top 10. Well, Simmons' misfortune is our luck. He might have miss his rookie year. If things go well, he goes on the PUP list and is available for the final stretch. Regardless, Simmons is a monster. In a lot of classes, he'd be the top DT. He played NT in the 3-4 for MSU, including for Todd Grantham, who runs the Phillips 3-4 (he coached under Wade in Dallas). Simmons is Wade's prototype at NT. He's been compared to a young Suh. When left 1 on 1, Simmons' guy almost always goes backwards. When doubled, Simmons has flashed the ability to stand up and even split double teams. He's a freakishly gifted athlete at 6'4" 305 pounds. He demonstrates the power to overwhelm interior OLs, the speed to pursue and blow up zone-stretch plays, and the anchor to do the dirty work inside. Simmons has active hands as a pass rusher and run stopper who is quite adept at controlling the hands of the OL and flashes the ability to win quickly with an arm-over swim move. One of his biggest selling points to me is his relentless effort. He will pursue plays sideline to sideline from the NT position. The kid has a nonstop motor. His weaknesses are inconsistent leverage, a need to better understand what blocking schemes are trying to accomplish, and a need to develop more pass rush moves. All of those things are coachable and should improve with experience. Imagine Aaron Donald taking this kid under his wing. I'm so excited about the possibilities.
 
Round 3 Pick #31 - Justin Layne CB Michigan State
Analysis: Layne is a tad raw as a CB, but he's very gifted. Layne is a converted WR, who even played some WR in 2018 when needed. Unsurprisingly, he has outstanding ball-skills and soft hands. As it stands now, Layne is a very gifted press-man CB. He has patient footwork at the LOS, lands his punches with expert precision, has disruptive physicality, and is smooth out of his transition. Further, he's a great run defender at CB. While he needs to increase his play strength and bulk at 6'2" 185 to keep from being glued to blocks, he's a willing and fearless run defender who tackles well on the edge. The weak points of his game are his rawness in zone and off-man coverage. He's a generally sound zone defender who will execute his assignment, but he doesn't yet have the instincts or comfort to be a game-changer there. The problem for him in off-man coverage is that his short-area quickness is very average, so WRs can separate against him with sharp, quick cuts when he can't use his physicality and length to disrupt routes. Layne is leggy, rangy athlete, so he best fits in either a press-man heavy scheme or a zone-heavy scheme (as he develops more in zone coverage). As we all know, Wade prefers to run a press-man heavy scheme, but has run a zone-heavy scheme of late to accommodate Peters. Thus, Layne fits well with what we're looking to do now and in the future.
 
Round 3 Pick #37 - Christian Miller OLB Alabama
Analysis: Miller is player who is flying under the radar despite playing for Alabama. The reason for that is injuries. Miller didn't play much before this year due to injuries. If he had, I think we'd be talking about him in the late-first round. Miller is a versatile edge defender who looks comfortable dropping into coverage, rushing the passer, and setting the edge. He's technically sound in the run game and does an outstanding job of setting the edge and turning plays back inside. As a pass rusher, he's very dangerous. He has the flexibility to bend the corner and flatten, he uses a variety of pass rush moves (the long arm/stab move being his most effective) and flashes advanced pass rush plans, and he has a powerful punch that he lands with consistency. At 6'3" 245, Miller will need to add some bulk and get stronger for the NFL game. His injury history is concerning. And Miller is a tick slow off the snap too often for my taste. Still, Miller has all the tools as a pass rusher and can contribute both in run defense and coverage. You don't find too many guys in the late-third round you can say that about.
 
Round 4 Pick #31 - Lil'Jordan Humphrey WR Texas
Analysis: I initially had Isaac Nauta here, but I decided to go a different direction. Humphrey provides for an interesting dynamic. He's a 6'4" 230 pound slot WR. Basically, he's an undersized slot TE. Humphrey is a natural hands catcher with the ability to climb the ladder and win jump balls. He's one of the best YAC WRs in the draft, consistently breaking tackles after the catch. As a blocker, he flashes the ability to do damage, but he needs to be more consistent attacking defenders. At times, he chooses to be passive and catch defenders, which results in him going backwards. His route running isn't raw or polished. He needs to be mindful of his route tempo, as it can tip the depth of the route he's running. He also doesn't possess overly loose hips or quick feet. Still, he runs solid routes and generates separation with subtlety by setting defenders up and selling his breaks well. I'd like to see him use his size and strength better as a route runner. It'll allow him to create more separation against smaller CBs. Still, he's intriguing in the slot because he dwarfs your typical slot CB and is too athletic for the vast majority of LBs and safeties to handle in coverage.
 
Round 5 Pick #31 - Travis Homer HB Miami
Analysis: I think Travis Homer is this draft's Philip Lindsay. Homer doesn't have Lindsay's top-end speed, but he breaks tackles better than Lindsay. What I love about Homer's game is his ability on passing downs. He's a physical and technically sound pass protector who will not hesitate to throw his body around. While he's still perfecting his blitz recognition skills, he stonewalls blitzers when he reads it correctly. As a pass-catcher, Homer showed much softer hands this year and is difficult to cover due to his crisp routes and impressive agility. As a runner, I actually thought Homer was 6'2" 240 pounds when I was watching him this year. It's not until I looked into him recently that I realized he's only 5'11" 205. I actually checked Miami's roster to make sure I had the right guy. Homer runs like a back 30 pounds heavier. He is an extremely physical runner who bowls people over when he gets behind his pads. He has the agility and elusiveness to also make players miss in the open-field. His burst and cutting ability make him an effective zone runner. Moreover, Homer displays good vision and patience. His running style will prevent him from being a bell-cow runner, because he won't hold up at his size if he has to carry the ball 250 times a year. Nevertheless, Homer can be an effective member of a committee and a dangerous passing-down HB.
 
Round 6 Pick #31 - Khalil Hodge ILB Buffalo
Analysis: I originally had Khalil Hodge slotted in as our fourth round pick, but I realized that he won't be a guy valued highly by a lot of teams. Hodge didn't even receive an invite to the Combine (which is just nuts). Over the past two years, Hodge has averaged 148 tackles per year. He is a three-time captain and a true defensive leader. His football character is off the charts. However, Hodge is also a limited athlete who fits more into that thumper role that a lot of teams no longer value. Hodge diagnoses plays quicker than any LB I've watched this year. He almost never gets it wrong. He also displays good speed downhill, he has the size (6'1" 250) and strength to take on blockers, he plays with consistent gap integrity, and he rarely misses tackles. Hodge also shows comfort backpedaling in zone coverage and reads the QB well. That all said, Hodge lacks the speed to run sideline to sideline, and he lacks the short-area quickness and fluid hips to handle man coverage responsibilities well in the NFL. He's a very smart and instinctual defender, but he has his athletic limitations. I'd also like to see him use his hands better to keep blockers from getting to his chest. 
 
Projected Starters
QB: Jared Goff
HB: Todd Gurley
XWR: Brandin Cooks
ZWR: Robert Woods
SLWR: Cooper Kupp
TE: Tyler Higbee or Gerald Everett
LT: Andrew Whitworth
LG: Rodger Saffold
C: John Sullivan
RG: Austin Blythe
RT: Rob Havenstein
 
5T: Michael Brockers
NT: Dontari Poe
3T: Aaron Donald
WOLB: Robert Quinn
Mo LB: Cory Littleton
Mike LB: Khalil Hodge or Micah Kiser or Bryce Hager
SOLB: Samson Ebukam
RCB: Aqib Talib
LCB: Marcus Peters
SLCB: Nickell Robey-Coleman
FS: John Johnson
SS: Brian Poole
 
K: Greg Zuerlein
P: Johnny Hekker
LS: Jake McQuaide
Edited by jrry32

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I think I like this one more. While Quinn has regressed, I think he might be better next year than Fowler and as much as I liked Fowler I don't want to give him a lot of money which I think he'll command. 

Simmons after tearing his acl has been on my radar. Still think he doesn't last till 31 but it is now in play and he offers tremendous value. 

I actually really like the Bortles signing. He'd be a really good backup. If we can get him for a reasonable price I'd be all over it. My ideal backup would be Chad Kelly but know that won't happen. 

Groy seems like he'll be a staple in 6 your mocks. Think he'd have a shot to win the starting job from Sully or Blythe? 

Edited by LeotheLion

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53 minutes ago, LeotheLion said:

I think I like this one more. While Quinn has regressed, I think he might be better next year than Fowler and as much as I liked Fowler I don't want to give him a lot of money which I think he'll command. 

Simmons after tearing his acl has been on my radar. Still think he doesn't last till 31 but it is now in play and he offers tremendous value. 

I actually really like the Bortles signing. He'd be a really good backup. If we can get him for a reasonable price I'd be all over it. My ideal backup would be Chad Kelly but know that won't happen. 

Groy seems like he'll be a staple in 6 your mocks. Think he'd have a shot to win the starting job from Sully or Blythe? 

Yep, Groy will likely stay. It makes too much sense imo. If Sully takes a step back, I could see him fighting for a starting job. But even if he doesn't, it's nice to have three guys off the bench who can start and not embarrass themselves (Noteboom, Groy, and Allen).

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I was wondering how long it would take people to start floating the idea of bringing Quinn back.  It's been something I've been toying with for a little over a month now.

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2 hours ago, The LBC said:

I was wondering how long it would take people to start floating the idea of bringing Quinn back.  It's been something I've been toying with for a little over a month now.

I think it makes sense if we can't get Fowler to accept a "prove it" deal. It doesn't hurt us in the comp pick formula, we know the sort of person we're getting, and we know that Quinn can offer some pass rushing ability. He's not the monster that he was before injuries took their toll, but he's still capable of giving us some production off the edge. I think it's a safe move. And maybe if we can keep Quinn fresh and healthy by rotating him quite a bit with Obo or a draft pick along with Aaron Donald's interior disruption, we sneak a really good season out of him. It's worth remembering that if you count the playoffs, he gave us 9.5 sacks in 16 games in 2017.

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I actually like this quite a bit. Quinn has been on my radar for a while too. 

I still wonder how he’d fit in our D. Isn’t that we originally traded him anyway? Seems like more of a natural 4-3 end than a 3-4 EDGE

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I like this a lot, but I am guessing this is assuming Whitworth comes back? Or are you all in on Noteboom?

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On ‎2‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 11:56 AM, btfd16 said:

I like this a lot, but I am guessing this is assuming Whitworth comes back? Or are you all in on Noteboom?

I am assuming Whit comes back, and I am all in on Noteboom.

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17 hours ago, jrry32 said:

I am assuming Whit comes back, and I am all in on Noteboom.

I think he comes back, but I don't know if he has another deep run in him....there is a lot if miles on those tires. 

Maybe he starts the season and eventually gives out?

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