Cook’s “Way Too Early” Projected Bucs’ 53-Man Roster

Quarterbacks – 3

QB Jameis Winston
QB Ryan Griffin
QB Gardner Minshew
Analysis: The Bucs are gambling with no veteran backup at the quarterback position but are keeping their fingers crossed they can keep Jameis Winston healthy for all 16 games. Tampa Bay signs Minshew as an undrafted free agent and he gives Bruce Arians and staff a developmental player without any pressure of playing any time soon.

Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Running Backs – 5

RB Darrell Henderson
RB Peyton Barber
RB Andre Ellington
RB Ronald Jones
RB Dare Ogunbowale
Analysis: The Bucs could look to sign a free agent at this position this offseason, but if last year was any indication of the market, the Bucs aren’t willing to overpay. Barber enters camp as the starter but will be pushed by Henderson who will need to earn the trust of the staff quickly.

Wide Receivers – 5

WR Mike Evans
WR Chris Godwin
WR Adam Humphries
WR Justin Watson
WR Bobo Wilson
Analysis: With Humphries back in the fold, the Bucs look to have one of the better wide receiver groups in the NFL. Godwin is expected to have a breakout year without having to share reps with DeSean Jackson, and Evans should continue his assault on Bucs’ receiving records.

Bucs TE OJ Howard - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs TE OJ Howard – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Tight Ends – 4

TE O.J. Howard
TE Cameron Brate
TE Antony Auclair
TE Tanner Hudson
Analysis: The Bucs typically keep four tight ends, but Arians will be running a lot fewer two tight end sets than Dirk Koetter did. Still, the team needs special teams players and they usually come from the tight end position. Howard is a Pro Bowl-caliber player, while Brate is a starting-caliber tight end in the league. Auclair helps on special teams and in-line blocking and Hudson is special teamer and a developing receiving tight end.

Offensive Line – 9

LT Donovan Smith
LG Ali Marpet
C Ryan Jensen
RG Dru Samia
RT Jonah Williams
G Alex Cappa
OL Caleb Benenoch
OT Leonard Wester
OT Oli Udoh
Analysis: The hope is that with better coaching, the Bucs offensive line can live up to its potential. Smith is back without the worry of a contract year, and Williams and Samia could take over starting roles. The Bucs are still high on Cappa, who will compete at right guard and right tackle in camp and serve as the backup center. Oli Udoh can sit back and learn from the veterans as he develops his game coming from small school Elon.

Bucs DT Vita Vea
Bucs DT Vita Vea – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Defensive Line – 6

NT Vita Vea
DT Gerald Willis
DE Chase Winovich
DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches
NT Stevie Tu’ikolovatu
DT/NT Ed Alexander
Analysis: The Bucs defensive line has been revamped but will be built around second-year player Vita Vea. The additions of Gerald Willis, Chase Winovich and Ed Alexander makes this a young, but talented group who will need to grow up in a hurry.

Outside Linebackers – 4

SLB Carl Nassib
WLB Jason Pierre-Paul
SLB Kendell Beckwith
WLB Noah Spence
Analysis: Nassib is the starting strongside outside linebacker in the Bucs’ 3-4 defense and will be the pass-rushing strongside defensive end when the team goes to a four-man front on nickel pass-rushing downs. Pierre-Paul will have the same duties as a weakside outside linebacker in a 3-4 and playing defensive end in nickel defense. If healthy, Beckwith will rotate with Nassib on the strong side in a 3-4, and Spence will back up Pierre-Paul on the weak side.

Inside Linebackers – 4

ILB Kwon Alexander
ILB Lavonte David
ILB Adarius Taylor
ILB Kevin Minter
Analysis: Alexander is back with teammates Lavonte David to form one of the best duos in the NFC, as long as Alexander is recovered from his ACL injury. The Bucs could look to upgrade the position after final roster cuts, but are okay with entering 2019 with this group.

Bucs CB Vernon Hargreaves III - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs CB Vernon Hargreaves III – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Cornerbacks – 5

CB Patrick Peterson
CB Carlton Davis
CB Vernon Hargreaves
CB Ryan Smith
CB Javien Elliott
Analysis: An awful unit in 2018, with the addition of Peterson and the return of Hargreaves, the Bucs cornerbacks could be one of the most improved units on the team. Add in Davis’ trial-by-fire in 2018 and the team will look for a big jump in improvement for the former Auburn standout.

Safeties – 5

FS Justin Evans
SS Landon Collins
SS Andrew Adams
FS Jordan Whitehead
SS MJ Stewart
Analysis: The Bucs are counting on Evans to bounce back after a down year in 2018. He can be a big-time playmaker in Bowles’ secondary. Collins will automatically make this group considerably better and expect Bowles to use his safeties in a more aggressive scheme than we saw with Mike Smith. Adams proved he can play in the NFL and he and Whitehead will provide solid depth.

Specialists – 3

K Matt Bryant
P Mac Loudermilk
LS Drew Ferris
Analysis: The Bucs will add another kicker possibly to compete with Bryant, maybe even giving Cairo Santos an opportunity to win the job, but for now, if Bryant is healthy the team believes he can solidify a position that has been undependable since Bryant left. Mac Loudermilk, who is an undrafted free agent punter from UCF, will handle the kick off duties while also replacing Bryan Anger.

What Do You Think?

Did you like my Bucs’ 2019 Offseason Battle Plans? Does it adequately address Tampa Bay’s needs? Which additions did you like best? Let me know what you think in the article comments section below.

Scott Reynolds and Trevor Sikkema have already provided their Battle Plans and Matt Matera and Taylor Jenkins will have theirs on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

 

 

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Previous articleSikkema’s Bucs Battle Plan For The 2019 Offseason
Next articleBucs Monday Mailbag: Leftwich, Watson, Draft Choices
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

49 COMMENTS

  1. I like this plan a lot, my favorite so far. I love that you are keeping Humphries.
    Only two disagreements.
    I do not think trading two second round picks for a CB is a wise move. I’d rather have the picks, to be honest.
    And, although I love the trade down with Washington, I think we could get a lot more than their first, a second, and a fifth for moving up ten slots. Teams that need QBs are desperate.
    I’d suggest we could get their first, second, third and their second for next year. Seriously.
    The way I see it, we have three possible trade down partners. Miami, Washington, and New England. Washington has the worst judgement and would be the easiest to exploit.
    We could potentially trade down a second time from fifteen with the Pats. The have two second round picks to offer, maybe more.
    Go Bucs!

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  2. This one is somewhat pie in the sky IMO with Peterson and all home town discounts etc. who knows but lot of this seems far fetched. I think they need to throw more at the O line too and go overboard like they did last year with D line. Starts up front period and that’s most important piece that needs improved on offense.

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    • “pie in the sky” was exactly what I was thinking as well. I think it is far more likely the Bucs go after Tyran Mathieu than Landon Collins since Mathieu would cost less and is a free agent this coming season, if I remember correctly. Too many OT drafted early in the 1st round don’t pan out, so I could see the Bucs still drafting a DT in the first round even though McCoy is likely to stay a Buccaneer as of last Friday. They’ll wait for the 3rd or 4th round to take an OT. I conditionally agree with Cook on his 2nd round pick, even though I could also see the Bucs waiting until the 5th round to take a RB. If the Bucs pick up a decent G in FA, then the Henderson pick makes all the sense in the world. If not, picking up Ben Powers or someone similar at the G position makes more sense.

      Mark’s prognostications depend on too many trades, giving up too many draft picks and doesn’t factor in McCoy staying with the Bucs.

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  3. Mark, I’d have to say that I like your plan the best. That would be a hell of a draft… As Pete Wood was saying, I don’t know that continually trying to build the team through signing or trading for high-priced veterans is the way to go. Licht has not shown a lot of success in that area. My concern for this season is how quickly is the new 3-4 scheme going to be locked in before it becomes rote for the players? Are we going to have to endure a half of a season of learning curves before the defense is up to speed and effective?

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    • While there’s sure to be a learning curve, we’ll be in nickel between 60-70% of the time, and the Jets actually played 7 DB’s on occasion, with 4 of them being safeties. Would expect there to be a few guys added that have familiarity with Bowles and his staff that will be able to assist in teaching the concepts, which should lessen the curve.

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      • I hope that’s the case… Kinda scary to be leaning on the DBs for that high of a percentage throughout a game.

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  4. I guess you guys are putting them up in order of believability. Look forward to tomorrow’s that has us clone Reggie White.

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  5. Would not give up that much for an ageing corner, think we can get a solid vet FA. I like the idea of moving on from Dotson, a year over due IMO, with a solid tackle from a big time program. Williams would add a lot of talent to the O line, it needs it. If we’re moving to a 3-4 defense your plan Mark doesn’t account for that. Bringing back Kwon, who might not even be ready to start the season? No FA LB’s, or not drafting any? Better re think that strategy.

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  6. A draft that’s defense heavy but the Bucs two first picks will be offense??If someone offers Humphries over 2.5 million dollars a year u let him walk.Over rating our players like always!!He has no elite speed or quickness.If you line him out wide there is no separation from the corner but u think he’s worth 6.6 million a year?

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  7. What happened to good coaching with young & hungry players versus a bunch of seasoned players who have proven in the past no coaching is going to make them any better than what they are now? I’m not feeling it with any of PR’s battle plans.

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  8. Didn’t the bucs already come out and say they are keeping McCoy? I’m guessing you guys wrote these before it was said?

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    • The Bucs haven’t said a word about keeping McCoy

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      • I’m a bit confused cause you guys posted on here just a couple of days ago that the bucs will retain McCoy…so which is it?

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        • We didnt post anything of the such. We posted a report from Rick Stroud that was unsourced. We put we cant conform or deny.

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          • understood, thanks for the clarification and nice plan Mark.

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  9. Okay, where to start. I like the draft pick because it all starts up front on both sides of the ball. However, I understand GMC is staying so you can scratch some of the DTs in the draft. The OL is an obvious issue as they got stonewalled in the run game and were a turnstill in the passing game. However I don’t like starting rookies and neither does BA.
    We can find a decent mid-round rB in the draft. Unless Jim Brown has found a magic youth elexor, a good RB who can catch and block is all we need. We don’t need to overpay.
    Our DL is fine with Carl Nassib, GMC, JPP, and Vea, but we need more depth (draft). Also, we have good LBs (if they all recover from injuries), but some additional depth from the draft will help. I don’t understand why everyone is putting Beckwith at OLB when he is a classic, big, fast, thumper best suited for ILB. He should switch places with David who can be a pass rushing demon. We keep putting little guys inside and big guys outside. Huh? I think Davis will improve at CB and VHIII gets it now. All our DBs will be much improved with these coaches, but I want the Honey Badger brought in.
    Overall, I think Mike Smith and the previous OL coach were big problems. BA and his coaches will fix this talented team. I think they could win 10 games now without any additions. All they needed was excellent coaches who can teach. I know; I have already started drinking the Kool-aid.

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    • Again this was what WE would do as GM. This isn’t a prediction story

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      • We understand it is just your prediction, But I agree, why put Beckwith outside and David inside? I also don’t think Nassib is a good fit in a true 3-4. That is why CLE cut him. He is a much better fit in a 4-3 and I think he will rotate in when we are in nickel.

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        • Don’t forget, Bowles and Arians stressed they aren’t going to squeeze players into a Defense, they will build it around what we have… We have some really good players to build around, it could be something never seen before… Can’t wait to find out what is to come…

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    • Don’t feel bad about that, 76. They’ve made vats of the “kool-aid” and are still on back order. Most fans are buying into the hype, myself included. Thing is, this time it feels real.

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  10. 76Buc a agree we need at least one more play maker in secondary and second the Homey Badger. I think we give up way too much for Peterson here and not sure they would let him go anyways.

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    • fredster my thoughts exactly about Peterson.

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  11. Honey lol

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    • I don’t know which plan is worse yours or Scott’s. Why give away all those picks for Peterson a CB and take on that salary. Your plan guarantee losing and coaches getting fired and rebuild in 2020. (Hypothetically) if we’re going for a title how about we give away three 1st Rd to Dallas for LT Smith and take on his salary at least it solves our biggest problem.

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  12. I think you guys have all done a good job of providing various different great ideas. I Love that CB and Safety were addressed, I just think we may have to rely of guys like Adams, who played like a Pro Bowl Safety when he finally got playing time in the last few games, to take over a Starting job or Stewart being a quick learner at Safety if we want to be have a chance to fill out the team with such little Cap Space.

    I Love the Williams pick at 1 but RG is our true weakpoint. Good part about this is there’s a chance Williams could solidify RG while Cappa or Benenoch take RT, only if that’s the way it plays out best.

    If Brate and Humphries can come cheaper then that is ok. They are 2 of my favorite guys but honestly, in the end I think Brate is one of the few guys we could get a Draft pick for while Humphries may be the odd man out white Godwin possible taking the Slot position as suggested before.

    If we let Humphries and Humphries go we can keep McCoy with a restructured deal and the Dline stays solid AF.

    The Leterson trade sounds like a game changer at CB, 2 2nd round picks sounds like a lot along with a conditional pick.

    I still wonder if there are any player for player trades we could make like with Brate.

    In the Draft ultimately, I feel like after researching Arians, his Staff has a knack for finding talent deeper in the draft. So trading down with a team like Washington and then again with a team towards the bottom of the draft like Oakland or New England who always seems to have 18 Compensatory picks could possibly bring us:

    1 late round 1st
    2 2nds (Washington and New England)
    4 3rds (Ours, Washington, 2 New England’s)

    Just as an example, and that’s after the Peterson trade. I don’t wanna give up Future Bro Bowlers But I keep thinking this will be this best way to fill out our depth chart.

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  13. Yea by far my favorite plan. You address the OL, the running game, and you target defensive players wherever you can. I dont know how realistic getting Patrick Peterson is, or Collins, but i love the moves. Just hate that the consensus is a 3-4 defense even tho they lack the players for it

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  14. So far I got, Scott’s plan as grade D.

    Trevor’s plan, grade B

    Cook’s plan, grade B.

    They only think keeping me from giving Cook a B+ or A, is not keeping GMC.

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  15. Hey Mark Cook! You’re hired as the new GM of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

    Favorite battle plan so far.

    I like the idea of taking defense in the draft since its loaded with talent, but wouldn’t be upset with a trade down that still nets a decent replacement for Dot in the middle of the round.

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  16. Plan has good points. I like the draft picks but I don’t think J Williams falls to 15. I’m not a Patrick Peterson fan would be satisfied with the Honey Badger. Glad you kept Hump but hate to see McCoy go. I think all three of you guys are leaning toward a 3-4 too much. I think we will see it a lot more but 4-3 will still be dominant defense. Finally I think Matt Bryant has had a great career but outdoors in the elements I don’t think we are going to break the curse.

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  17. Nice one Mark! Here’s a 53 man roster iteration I’ve been messing around with over the last few weeks. No picks for player trades or trading down. Did one with LeVeon Bell in there, but team became a little unbalanced.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OyzH5XKRnTT-P47sKvsWM5RH4Epg9PFAumP0vTz6iAU/edit?usp=sharing

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  18. Tough to see the Bucs outbidding everyone for Collins and getting the Peterson from AZ, but anything is possible. More realistically, think we’ll see a couple ex-Jets added such as Mike Pennel or Henry Anderson and Mo Claiborne or Buster Skrine to provide vet depth at DL and CB and bring familiarity with the system. Do see Mathieu being a stronger possibility to be added as well for S depth over Collins.

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    • Not just Peterson, but “THE” Peterson lol

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      • Lol… I had to read that twice to make sure I seen’t it right. Looking at career stats, “THE” Peterson seems appropriate

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  19. Each one of these writers battle plans have some creative ideas, I enjoyed reading.

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  20. To this point, each battle plan has left a lot to be desired. Collectively, though, an incredible and realistic plan could be formed

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  21. Mark’s ambitious plan has merit and flaws. No way that T Johan Williams falls to 15th pick. Laughable. Cody Ford or Greedy Smith maybe. A Deshawn trade might get a fourth or fifth round pick to the right team like the Browns or Cardinals or Raiders. He would be a short term investment. Losing McCoy would weaken the pass rush and run defense. Trading for a CB or S makes sense or a possible free agent. I agree with his cuts ideas. Trading back with Denver makes more sense. Another second pick and future third round pick.

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  22. Like to see the harsh critics of these battle plans come up with their own. So easy to be the arm chair critic.

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    • These “harsh” , “arm chair” critics are also not having their thoughts monetized. Most commenters who have a criticism of something one of the PR writers published have offered their remedies to the problem THEY see. Don’t expect a 3-page survey of the landscape followed by thoughts on correcting the divots and a plan of attack on razing the land. I get your point, though

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  23. Decent ideas, love the trades, love the dumps, EXCEPT keeping Benenoch, seriously worst player Bucs ever had as starter, watch the film, Bye, Bye yesterday, better yet, would have cut last year during season! PLUS I would let Hump and Brate roll to keep GMC, really a stud, and has ALWAYS represented! CANNOT be weak in the middle of the field!!! Watch Alexander, NEVER has been a MLB, (on outside at LSU, NO NOSE for ball, its innate), and watch Beckwith- has nose and fits nicely in middle but whats up with injury status? Take off Bucs goggles, Alexander with recent injuries, not worth the money, let him find a new job. Swap some draft pics and free agency signings to LBs?! I really wonder if we would be better selling out draft for DE, and Linebackers? Would we be better with Lavonte, healthy Beckwith or his replacement, then bring in 2-FA LBs who know Bucs system, or top lb pic in draft! Ugh, Lot of holes on this team, love Peterson and Collins deals, but think putting to much in DL in draft, and not belly of our D at our current weakest position-linebackers! Believe thats why everyone picking D White for us in mocks! BUT, If we got Collins and Peterson, HELL YEA, Im in on your strategy, cant have everything!

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  24. I grade Mark’s as my fave, followed closely by Trevor. However, the Peterson trade with the Cards is a pipedream IMO. I dont believe anyone in Arizona’s front office will be anxious for Arians to succeed here after his one year “retirement”, and if he does they surely dont want to be one of the benefactors…..

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  25. This is prolly the best one so far. Pros: adding Patrick Peterson and Landon Collins. These guys will greatly improve our secondary. Adding RB help. Darrell Henderson is really good. Cons: not adding a LB in free agency or the draft. not adding DT help until the later rounds. That DT depth would worry me.

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  26. Like the others, some good some bad.

    I don’t understand signing D Smith long-term, then using the 5th pick on a OT. That’s a very high pick for a RT, or that’s a lot of FA money for a RT (if you were thinking of moving D Smith). Don’t get me wrong, I like the use of the 5th on an OT, but only if franchise Smith.

    I think you’ve just swapped one huge defensive problem (the terrible 2018 secondary) for a new one (Vea, Edwards and Willis as our DTs…ouch). Yes, the secondary looks much better (although personally I think Collins is overrated for that much money – still a big improvement over what we had), but it’s at the expense of the trenches. I could see teams run all over us – why pass into Peterson/Collins/Evans when you can run into Edwards/Willis plus whatever exists at MLB (I guess two guys coming off ACLs).

    There has to be some middle ground here PR guys:
    – sign Honeybadger (way less than that Collins deal)
    – sign a CB like Jackson
    – sign a veteran RB like Yelden
    – keep GMC
    – franchise D Smith
    – sign Kwon on a 1 year deal
    – draft an OT (I prefer Taylor, but whichever)
    – draft an OG (would love Lindstrom)
    – cut all of the deadweight needed to hit the cap

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  27. Great series of playing GM by all three of you guys, Mark! It definitely helps keep a keen interest in the Bucs while we’re all waiting to see the moves the Bucs actually make next month and in April. Even disagreeing with several of your moves, I find it interesting to see such a diverse range of opinions from all three of you.

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  28. Not being a jerk, honestly asking – did I miss something? If you trade our first rounder for Peterson, where does the pick for Jonah Williams come from? How are we trading back from 5 if we’ve already traded 5 for Peterson? So yea, what did I miss?

    In regards to the plan, the Peterson trade sounds ridiculous to me. How anyone could propose trading much MORW for Peterson than we did for Revis, when we saw Revis’s play fall off within just a couple years of being taken, is totally beyond me. Smart organizations don’t look at a 28 year old player who relies to an enormous extent on his natural athleticism and says, “Yea, let’s trade three incredibly valuable, cheap, young assets for one expensive asset that’s great now but will likely begin to get worse (maybe a LOT worse) within 3 years.” Actually, the smart teams (read: Patriots) are consistently on the other ends of deals like that.

    Two firsts and a second for Peterson is nothing short of absurd.

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  29. I don’t get all the love for this one, Mark. I mean no offense, but I dislike most of this. I already discussed the Peterson trade and the first round pick that I don’t think exists any longer above. In addition to that, I hate the long term deal for Smith. He’s a bad player. Nothing more needs to be said about it that hasn’t been said before, I don’t think. Landon Collins is a super sketchy signing, IMO. The total lack of work done on the gaping hole at RG is a problem. In this plan, we cut four defensive linemen, we sign one, and we spend two mid round picks and one late rounder on replacements. Seems like that just miiiiight damage a DL that’s already got great overall. Spending a 2nd rounder on another RB just makes me shake my head.

    I also think a lot of these contract figures are off. I don’t see Donovan signing for $11M per year. Nor do I see Kwon signing for $5.5M. Nor Collins for $9M. Almost across the board, these contract offers are lowball fantasies that these guys aren’t going to take, and the draft picks are of guys that aren’t likely to be there with those picks.

    And again – where does the Jonah Williams pick even come from if we deal our 1st for Peterson? Assuming I’m right and that pick doesn’t exist, where are we getting our RT in this plan?

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    • Familiar, we traded our 2round pick this year and next for Peterson. Not our first. Then he traded back and reaquires a 2nd round pick from Washington.

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  30. Mark, you’ve got to be kidding me trading away years of picks for a guy that may only have a year or so left. Feels like Revis all over again. Agree with Landon Collins and I’d love to grab a veteran CB and RB in FA or maybe as part of a trade for GMC or D-Jax. Most teams will be looking for us to just release both those guys, but a creative GM could find a deal for a decent, younger player and a low draft pick.

    Draft should be heavy on lineman on both sides of the ball, but emphasizing offense and LB’s.

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  31. If we end up with 3-4 2nd rd picks, I want to know where are the 2nd rd picks from the last 4 yrs???
    Do we trust Licht to use them????

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    • The best strategy for the draft, for ALL teams, is to acquire more picks. Your odds of winning prizes are greater with every extra ticket you get. Licht has missed on some 2nd rounders, for sure, but he’s also hit on some and some later picks, too. Ali Marpet was a 2nd rounder. So was Carlton Davis, a player whose talent I still absolutely believe in. Chris Godwin and Kendell Beckwith were 3rd rounders. The jury is still out on Noah Spence, another 2nd rounder.

      Point is, he has hit in some. If you want to increase the chances that we have more successful draft picks, the only reliable way to accomplish that goal is to get MORE picks.

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