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Old 01-15-2014, 01:33 PM    (permalink
killxswitch
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Can we re-name this to the FA/Draft/Offseason thread? We don't have many posters so we probably don't need multiple threads.

I saw today that Pep Hamilton is being targeted by Vanderbilt as a candidate for their open HC position. What do you guys think?

I liked good Pep, but hated bad Pep so much this year. I was very frustrated with his personnel decisions (DHB, Satele, McGlynn all starting despite better options on the roster), his play calling (sometimes it was brilliant, but often it was not disguised at all and we clearly didn't have the talent to run the power I garbage), and the weeks where the team couldn't score in the first half.

I would be perfectly fine with it if Pep left. If we could get Kubiak to come here and install his ZBS, it would probably help Richardson a lot. And Luck would be so deadly on those bootleg rollouts.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:18 PM    (permalink
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I don't think you'll see a lot of tears among Colts' fans if Pep leaves.

I just read the post you made on Coltfreaks, it's a slightly different point of view from mine. Great ideas, Copy/paste it here.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:50 PM    (permalink
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Sure thing Max.


Areas of need, in order (my opinion, obviously):

C - Satele has to go. I hope one of the big two is available, hopefully Alex Mack is tired of the Clowns. And I've heard NO is like $14 million over the cap, so maybe they can't re-sign de la Puenta.
DL - No starter should be safe here. If there's an upgrade available and its fiscally responsible, do it. I really like Starks, and I think Arthur Jones.
FS - Bethea and Landry are both box safeties and we only need one, Bethea probably walks b/c of Landry's horrible contract.
CB - Need a CB2, can't trust Toler's health and even when healthy he's not consistent enough.
ILB - Need to either re-sign Conner (and actually play him) or sign a run stopper, and probably find a rotational coverage LB if Freeman can't do it.
OLB - If we can get Brian Orakpo or Jason Worilds we should do it. Otherwise we're probably drafting a guy and sticking with Walden and Werner.
OG - If center is upgraded I am ok with Thomas and Thornton as our guards, but I would like a 3rd guy that is starting caliber to compete with Thornton.
WR - I like Brazill, Rogers, and Whalen. But I don't think Wayne's replacement is on the roster. Not even Hilton, who I see as a high end WR2 because of his slight build.
RB - I don't trust Ballard/Richardson/3rd guy. No guarantee on Ballard's health or TRich's head getting right.

Of interest and potentially available:

OL - Lots of options here to improve the team.
- Alex Mack - Cleveland - C
- Brian De La Puente - New Orleans - C

- Geoff Schwartz - KC - G
- Jon Asamoah - KC - G
- Zane Beadles - Denver - G
- Garry Williams - Carolina - G
- Travelle Wharton - Carolina - G
- John Jerry - Miami - G

DL - Starks or Jones would be nice fits, I've wanted Starks for a while.
- Randy Starks - Miami
- Arthur Jones - Baltimore
- Linval Joseph - NYG
- Lamarr Houston - Oakland
- Tyson Jackson - KC
- Kevin Williams - Minnesota

FS - Might have to try to draft this guy or use Delano Howell.
- TJ Ward - CLE
- Jairus Byrd - BUF
- Stevie Brown - NYG
- Malcolm Jenkins - New Orleans

CB - I'd take any of these guys over Toler.
- DRC - Denver
- Sam Shields - Green Bay
- Alterraun Verner - Tennessee
- Chris Harris Jr. - Denver
- Captain Munnerlyn - Carolina
- Brent Grimes - Miami
- Aqib Talib - New England
- Mike Jenkins - Oakland

ILB - Could really use a guy that can run with TEs but I'm not sure he's out there. Could do with a run stopper too.
- Brandon Spikes - New England
- Kavell Conner - Indy

OLB - Just need one of these guys, I'm mostly interested in the first two.
- Brian Orakpo - Washington
- Jason Worilds - Pittsburgh
- Michael Johnson - Cincinnati
- Shaun Phillips - Denver
- Anthony Spencer - Dallas

WR - Yes I know I am the only one interested in Kenny Britt.
- Eric Decker - Denver
- Doug Baldwin - Seattle (RFA)
- Golden Tate - Seattle
- Hakeem Nicks - NYG
- James Jones - Green Bay
- Jeremy Maclin - Philadelphia
- Kenny Britt - Tennessee
- Emmanuel Sanders - Pittsburgh
- Danario Alexander - San Diego
- Julian Edelman - NE

RB - Can't enter the season with Ballard and Richardson as our only backs.
- Toby Gerhart - Minnesota
- Rashad Jennings - Oakland
- Bobby Rainey - TB
- Donald Brown - Indy (really surprised I am putting his name in here)
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:39 PM    (permalink
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Well, I don't think we can upgrade RB in Free Agency. The track record of mid-rounder Rookie RBs is pretty solid, we maybe can try to find a gem then.

I doubt they release Toler, so we'll probably see the same cast of characters there, unless we can't resign Davis.

But they must, absolutely MUST try to upgrade OC and front 7. And it can't be just the draft.

I wish they didn't spend so much on mediocre players last year.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:06 PM    (permalink
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Before I really look at what players I want the Colts to target in either free agency or the draft I'm going to look at each position in turn and decide for myself, after reviewing the season, what our needs generally are.

Here are my thoughts on the defensive line.

Defensive Line:

Defensive End (Strongside 4 Tech)

Cory Redding: $4.39M ($3.5M Saving)
Ricardo Matthews: UFA

I though Cory Redding played well this year, though I would have preferred to see a better pass rush from him. The 4T plays a traditional two-gap style and is part of the two man effort to wall off the strongside of the offense in the run game. I thought Redding did that very well for the most part (though he did have some bad games). Testament to his importance in the run game is the fact that when he played well the run defence played well and when he played badly (SD, TEN, CIN etc) the defence played badly. Redding is a free agent at the end of next season and is getting to the age where resigning may not be the right option. With that in mind it is important for the Colts to already be in the process of identifying his replacement. While there is a cap saving to be made if he is cut I truly donít think the Colts could replace Reddingís production or leadership with a $3.5M player.

Ricardo Matthews is a free agent and should stay that way. It didnít matter what he played last season, run or pass, he inevitably played it very badly. A new backup end is strongly needed moving forward (and if it can be a guy who has the potential to eventually replace Redding the all the better).

Nose Tackle (Strongside 1 Tech)

Aubrayo Franklin: UFA
Josh Chapman: $0.55M ($0.44M Saving)
Montori Hughes: $0.55M ($0.39M Saving)

Aubrayo Franklin had a mixed year. The 1T also plays a traditional two-gap style and is the other part of the two man effort to wall off the strongside of the offense in the run game. Franklin did that to at least decent effect in the early parts of the season but struggled to achieve even an average performance in the second half of the season where he was clearly outplayed by his understudy. In reality Franklinís decline in performance, coupled with his age, means he shouldnít be resigned in the summer and a replacement (starter or otherwise) is required.

Josh Chapman was very good in the run game this season. Even in games where he had limited snaps it began to become clear when Chapman was in the game and when Franklin was in. The one weakness on Chapman is that he provides absolutely zero pass rush (0 sacks, 0 QB Hits and 0 pressures). Now he was a backup at a position that regularly comes out on obvious passing downs but he still played 18% of the teams passing snaps this season. While his poor pass rush worries me his strong run game means he is the obvious two down starter moving forward (short of the team signing a major free agent like Soliai).

Montori Hughes only played limited snaps and so couldnít really be evaluated properly. What small amount of plays he did have should similar ideas to Chapman in that he was good against the run but struggled to produce any sort of pass rush.

Defensive Tackle (Weakside 3 Tech)

Ricky Jean-Francois: $5.13M ($3.25M Saving)
Fili Moala: UFA

Iím not as down on Ricky Jean-Francois as some Colts fans are, though Iíll admit some parts of his game arenít great. The 3T gets a lot of one on one matchups as the LT is to stop the RLB, while the C is having to play the NT, leaving the 3T one on one against the LG. Even though the other two D-linemen play the two gap the 3T is a one gap penetrator in both the run and passing game. While RJF had decent success penetrating in the run game he struggled substantially to get any sort of success in the passing game (finishing with only 2.5 sacks, 5 QB Hits and 7 pressures Ė and he got 2 of those sacks, 3 of those hits and 2 of those pressures in a single game). Similarly to Redding Iím not sure his cap saving would sign a major upgrade with the top guys available (Jones, Starks etc) are more in the $7-9M range than the $3-4M range.

Fili Moala played well as a situational player in 2013 and played awful as a spot starter in 2013. When he was asked to step in a play the same role as RJF he struggled significantly. Frankly at this level there simply isnít a luxury of having a DT who can only play situationally and isnít good enough to play elsewhere. He is poor stopping the run at the best of times and when he was asked to play the same role as RJF he struggled to even rush the passer. A new backup tackle is needed, especially if RJF is retained.

Overall

Despite what others think I personally believe the Defensive Line played quite well this year, especially in defending the run. They did struggle to create a consistent pass rush but I also think finding players who can replicate the success in the run game, while adding a consistent pass rush, will be neither easy nor cheap. Though obviously if a player becomes available with out breaking the bank then they should be pursued. Better depth is needed as none of Franklin, Moala or Matthews should be resigned but I am largely, if only temporarily, content with the starting group of Redding, Chapman and RJF.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:14 PM    (permalink
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Pendelton played decent in limited role. He might be part of rotation next year.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:43 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
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Pendelton played decent in limited role. He might be part of rotation next year.
He was decent against New England but was average at best against Kansas City and pretty bad against a pretty bad Jacksonville.
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In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:30 AM    (permalink
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I would like to see what Pendleton can do with a full offseason. I think Redding needs to be phased out, he wears down in games. No surprise, he is getting old and plays a tough position.

I'm not as high on RJF as you are Seamus. But we are stuck with him so I am hoping for an upgrade somewhere else, I suppose at Redding's DE spot. Could RJF slide to Redding's spot and rotate with him if we were to sign Arthur Jones in free agency?
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:36 AM    (permalink
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I would like to see what Pendleton can do with a full offseason. I think Redding needs to be phased out, he wears down in games. No surprise, he is getting old and plays a tough position.

I'm not as high on RJF as you are Seamus. But we are stuck with him so I am hoping for an upgrade somewhere else, I suppose at Redding's DE spot. Could RJF slide to Redding's spot and rotate with him if we were to sign Arthur Jones in free agency?
The two roles are pretty different however Redding's role is closer to what RJF played the backup to in San Francisco (ie a pure 3-4 two gap) so he could make the transition.

For what it is worth I'm not that high on Arthur Jones for the DT spot. I think Jones is more suited to Redding's position than RJF's (which is why he plays at Redding's spot in Baltimore). He's an elite run stopper but I question whether or not he would be a substantial upgrade in the passing game. Personally if we were going to sign a marquee D-Line player I would look closer at Randy Starks than Arthur Jones.
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In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

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Old 01-17-2014, 09:57 AM    (permalink
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I am a fan of Randy Starks as well, but I think Jones is more realistic given his connection to Pagano and the fact that he's younger. Randy Starks would be a great signing.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:27 PM    (permalink
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Man I can't wait for March to come so that the offseason will go through a fun faze. I don't really have much interest in scouting for players the Colts won't draft. It is difficult to find players to scout for a late second round pick with free agency not even started.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:02 PM    (permalink
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Inside Linebackers:

Middle Linebacker (Strongside 30 Tech)

Pat Angerer: UFA
Kelvin Sheppard: $0.78M ($0.78M Saving)
Josh McNary: $0.5M ($0.5M Saving)
Mario Harvey: $0.57M ($0.57M Saving)

The MLB (sometimes called the Ted or Jack Linebacker by other teams) needs to be very strong at the point of attack, a downhill thumping, stack and shed type player. His job is to effectively be the FB of the defence, keeping the WLB (or an in the box Safety) clean so they can make plays. He needs to be to Freeman what Bart Scott was to Ray Lewis. And most of the guys the Colts tried in this position this season were terrible at it. It is also not suprising that the only two guys who had even moderate success in the position this season (Josh McNary, and at least in the run game Mario Harvey) where Defensive Ends/Outside Linebackers in college, the sort of guys used to getting stuck into the opposing offensive line.

Pat Angerer spent his entire season at MLB and was consistently atrocious while doing so. Iíll give him some degree of a bye ball in that he was hurt for most of the season but he simply isnít suited to the role. Angerer doesnít miss a lot of tackles but he isnít a good downhill player. He is best at avoiding contact with the line, flowing untouched to the ball carrier and making the tackle, rather than what he is asked to do as the MLB which is seek contract with the line and clear a path for someone else. Frankly Pat Angerer does not fit the system. He should be allowed to leave and seek out a team that will play him to his strengths, while the team should replace him with a player who has the ability to play the position, instead of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, something that the coaches are all too fond of.

Kelvin Sheppard struggled significantly this season, though did do better in coverage as the season wore on. He did, in my opinion, continue to struggle in run support for the majority of the season, culminating in an awful performance against New England. I will introduce one caveat though. Shepherd had good games against San Diego, Arizona and the playoff game against Kansas City. There was a big difference in his play there. He was playing the WLB position, not the MLB position. Sheppard changes direction well, plays very well in space and is a good open-field tackler (probably the best open-field tackler on the team). He does struggle when asked to take on blockers and can get caught up when in traffic. That reads as almost prototypical for what the Colts want at the WLB and the exact opposite of what they want at the MLB position. And the plays mirror that. When he backed up Angerer or replaced him as a starter he struggled. When he backup up Freeman he played well. And he should be used next season with that in mind.

Josh McNary was the only player I feel remotely confident with at this position, and even he struggled when played out of position. Heís strong at the point of attack, disruptive in the run game and pretty good in coverage as well. McNary is without a doubt the best option for a starting MLB that is currently on the roster.

Mario Harvey was a mixed bag. Similar to other players he played the run poorly when out of position; though unlike the majority he was in position most of the time. He lacks the athleticism to play the WLB role, but is ideally suited to the MLB role. To say he is a liability in coverage is a complete understatement. He is simply far too stiff to play to have anything but a negative impact in coverage. He is a decent backup two down guy but I question the need to have such a player on the roster.

Weakside Linebacker (Weakside 20 Tech)

Jerrell Freeman: $0.58M ($0.57M Saving)
Kavell Conner: UFA

The WLB has pretty much one job. He is there to make plays. The entire set up of the defence is for the OLBs to set the edge, and the MLB and the D-Line to take on blocks, in order to force the running back to a particular hole, where the WLB is sitting, unblocked, to make the tackle.

Running wise Freeman had a mixed year and was much better at the start of the year. As he started having to more regularly take on blocks from the offensive line he began to wear down and became less effective in the run game. He went through a horrible string of games towards the end of the year, where he started making less tackles (average about a whole tackle less a game) and where he was missing tackles in every game, largely because he wasnít being left clean on those plays, meaning he had to make arm tackles without being able to put his full body behind it. He did make up for it though in by making plays in the passing game (including sacks, interceptions and a fumble recovery).

If he is kept clean the Freeman is prototypical for what the Colts want to do. If the rest of the front 7 do its job he is a 150+ tackle a season player, while adding multiple sacks and making plays in coverage. It is ridiculous that Freeman didnít make the Pro Bowl this year, mostly due to one player (Vontaze Burfict) being listed at the wrong position, and another (Patrick Willis) being picked on reputation. As far as I can tell he isnít even listed as an alternate (so the injury to NaVorro Bowman wonít get him there). Even if he has now twice been on the receiving end of a Pro Bowl snub he is still playing at a Pro Bowl level and should continue to do so. It seems almost criminal that the Colts have Jerrell Freeman signed for $580K for 2014, and will be in a position to sign him for less than $3M for 2015. There arenít that many Pro Bowl calibre linebackers in the playing for so little.

Kavell Conner simply didnít get the number of opportunities he deserved. While he wouldnít be suited to playing the MLB role for the team neither would the majority of other people who played it this year. I can see why he was limited in such a way. He isnít great in coverage. He is probably second only to Mario Harvey as the worst ILB the Colts have in coverage. So he is limited to two downs. So his role this season was to spell the Colts best ILB, limited to two downs. And with that in mind I donít think he will or should be resigned. He is like a lot of other Coltsí linebackers. He is perfect for the WLB position. And like most other Coltsí linebackers he falls into the same problem. He isnít as good as Jerrell Freeman. Frankly with what limited good play he offers I donít think he is worth resigning. Iím also confident that the likes of Sheppard could cover the position more than adequately. So if the team can upgrade the MLB position then I donít see a need to also find depth at WLB.

Overall

The team is completely set at the WLB position, both in terms of a Pro Bowl calibre starter and more than adequate depth. The MLB position is another story altogether. While I am interested in seeing how Josh McNary continues to develop, and am happy at the depth that he and Mario Harvey provide, Iím not confident at this moment in times with him at the starting position. This is definetly a position the Colts could look to upgrade moving forward and, arguably, the most important need in the Front 7, and perhaps the entire defence.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:34 PM    (permalink
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I mentioned this in the Colt Freaks but does anybody else like Marcus Smith DE/OLB? He looks like a fantastic fit as a pass rusher and also seems to be able to drop in coverage at times from the little tape I have seen. He moves pretty fluidly standing up. The Colts had a meeting with him as well as Michael Sam but I don't think Sam can play OLB. Here is some tape Marcus Smith. Tell me what you guys think.

Walter Football has him 2nd to 3rd round but on this board he is projected later and is not being picked in the 3 round mocks I have seen.

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Old 02-21-2014, 01:29 PM    (permalink
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I know I am late on this one RCA but I like what I am seeing there. Seems like he is a bit eager to hit the backfield and teams may take advantage by running up the middle, but that is what NTs and ILBs are for. I like his burst, ability to stack and shed blockers, and that he seems to have a plan when he gets to the QB. He seems somewhat polished as a pass rusher. Wouldn't mind him at all.

Here's some potentially good news:

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Grigson stops short of saying Samson Satele is in future plans. Said #Colts have plan, won't divulge it.
Tweeted earlier today. Can't wait to get the bum off our team.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:01 PM    (permalink
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I know you disagree with me killxswitch, but I'm high on Aaron Donald. I brought his name up on Colt Freaks.

Kelcy Quarles is an interesting guy that might be a good fit.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:50 PM    (permalink
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Where would Donald play? RJF is entrenched at 3 tech and I don't see Donald playing 5 tech the way he is built. I doubt he is on the Colts' radar. He can clearly penetrate but I just don't see him as a fit.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:53 AM    (permalink
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Marcus is getting NO buzz from anyone. I love that sleeper there. I only see good things on film. Some people are saying he doesn't do well in coverage or move in space well, but 1 I disagree and 2 he would rush mainly anyway. He is my prospect crush right now.

I LOVE Donald, but I tend to agree with killxswitch there. And regardless there is no way he falls to us anyway.

I hope Satele gets off our team sooner rather than later. I wish we would have rolled with Shipley and kept him as a backup for this upcoming year. Stupid ****.

It is good to get some buzz on our forum guys! Any Safeties that you guys would want to take with our first pick? We need a true FS. I actually don't think that one gets addressed in FA cause there aren't much better options. Ward would be nice I guess. Byrd will get tagged. I think we might hit that one up in the draft. Do you guys think Howell is starting material?

I would like to spend our first pick on

WR seems like another good position to hit up. Jordan Matthews or either of the beasts from LSU would be awesome.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:31 PM    (permalink
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From what I've seen I like Marcus Smith a lot and would be very happy if the Colts take him with their first pick, he looks like a pretty good pass rusher and not terrible at coverage. I'm kind of surprised that he isn't getting any hype.

As for WRs I'm so excited about this class, I think that the Colts should address FS or OLB with their first pick then address WR in the 3rd or 4th, because with this class I'm pretty sure they can still find starting caliber talent there.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:50 AM    (permalink
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Grigson said publicly they will not tag Vontae Davis. I hope that means they are about to sign him long-term.

Hard to say for sure but it looks like the positions to look at in the draft are DB, WR, and maybe ILB and OLB. Help at center, DL, and probably one of the DB need positions will need to come from FA.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:26 PM    (permalink
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Grigson said publicly they will not tag Vontae Davis. I hope that means they are about to sign him long-term.

Hard to say for sure but it looks like the positions to look at in the draft are DB, WR, and maybe ILB and OLB. Help at center, DL, and probably one of the DB need positions will need to come from FA.
Yeah, I hope that means we are at a deal. If we lose him to FA then we will just be spinning our wheels on D.

I'm interested to see what positions we hit with FA. The only position I don't care to work on in FA is WR and of course we start eyeing Decker. I was hoping Beckham would stay a sleeper and we would have a shot at drafting him, but it looks like he impressed in the combine too much. Jarvis Landry would do too though, and he has slipped to 3rd day talk.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:06 AM    (permalink
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Not sure I buy Landry dropping to day 3. Then again I thought for sure Stedman Bailey would be a 2nd rounder and he did drop to the 3rd so who knows. I'd be very happy with Landry in the 4th round. Or wait, do we have a 4th?
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:15 PM    (permalink
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Our 4th rounder is now Montori Hughes. We have 2, 3, 5, 7 & 7 iirc.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:21 PM    (permalink
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****, this is too good of a draft to be low on picks. And it's loaded in positions that we need also.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:54 PM    (permalink
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****, this is too good of a draft to be low on picks. And it's loaded in positions that we need also.
I know. It's very frustrating. This would be the year to have acquired picks, not pissed them away.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:18 PM    (permalink
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Judging by that Scout.com list of Free Agents, this actually looks like a solid group of Free Agents.

Do you guys have any sleeper, under-the-radar names?
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