So we’re on the eve of Free Agency and things are starting to shape up with all of the rumors, trades, releases, and pre-FA signings.
As of the current state of rumors, it is sounding as though the Norwell dream that every team has in the offseason is heading to the Big Apple. So I’ll go away from there. We’re definitely going to sign an interior lineman though so that leaves Sitton and Jensen. I’m going to go with Josh Sitton, a LG at 31 years old who played very well last year (PFF # 5 OG). It appears that the Bucs are wanting to keep Marpet at C, so that takes Jensen out of the picture and Sitton should be able to be had for a much reduced contract in comparison to Norwell.
We’ve got the EJ Gaines to us rumor, so lets go with that. 26 year old, # 13 ranked PFF CB who does what we do well. That is a good signing for the money they’re talking about.
What else? I would be shocked if we release Ayers. Further, I’m also expecting a veteran Safety for a good deal to be signed so I’m sticking with Tyvon Branche who played extremely well last year (# 6 PFF), plays in the box well (allowing more C3 w/ Evans deep) and at 31 (like Sitton) won’t demand huge numbers. Finally, I’m expecting Clinton McDonald to resign.
I’m just not sure about them signing a rotational Edge player (certainly not a starter) because the bang-for-buck isn’t there. I certainly don’t expect us (nor want us to) sign Clayborn. Okafor or Barwin or someone like that? I’m just not seeing it. So I expect us to WANT to go heavy DL in the draft, especially Edge.
Given the way things have shaken out in the last few days, I expect Quenton Nelson to be available at 7. Buffalo is likely to move up for a QB and I think Chubb and Barkley are going to be the two position players along with 4 QBs drafted before us. So I’m thinking it is going to look something like this:
1st round – OG Nelson
2nd round – I expect Chubb, Landry, Davenport to be off the board at our pick and we don’t move up to get any of them. Sweat, Okoronkwo, and multiple DTs that we’re interested in are here as well. My guess is that we find someone enamored of Sweat’s combine numbers and we trade back a bit and pick up an additional 3rd to do so. Okoronkwo and Stephen Hays are still still on the board when we pick in the 2nd. My guess is its a tough call, but they go with Okoronkwo.
3rd rounders – My guess is the Bucs use their 4th rounder and flip 5th round picks to move up to pick 55 in the 2nd round or so and take DT Settle. For their other 3rd rounder, either Ragnow or Price will be available given their injuries so the Bucs go with one of those two for depth this year and to supplant Sitton likely the following year.
5th – 7th – RB (probably an all purpose player like Jaylon Samuels from NC State) and DB depth/special teams.
So that is my sense of how this thing is going to shake out. I know everyone would like to have more Edge rush/DL help, but the FA market just doesn’t shape up for it and our draft position just doesn’t shape up for it. I think Nelson is going to be available at 7 and I just don’t think there is any way we pass up that kind of prospect (and I suspect Buffalo is going to sell their 21, 22 and others to Indy most likely).
All in all, that doesn’t look too bad. The interior of the line improves dramatically in both starting line-up, depth, and the future (I’m very confident both Price and Ragnow are going to be good pros).
A) We get some 3-3-5 edge rush and the prospect of having Spence and Okoronkwo coming off the edge in 3-4 looks (w/ McCoy 5 teching).
B) Our DT position improves, our CB position gets younger (I can’t say improves as Gaines for Grimes is basically a wash), our Safety position improves (Branche is much better than any Safety we threw out there last year). The following year we’ll have to improve our defensive backfield.
C) Our RB position is basically a wash (sub Samuels for Simms), but (a) we get younger and (b) our running game and TRZ offense gets IMMENSELY better with that interior OL improvement of Nelson/Sitton/Ragnow or Price.
I would much rather have Jensen at Center and move Marpet back to Guard and then draft another Guard. I would also like to a safety added in FA like Tre Boston or Eric Reid and a RB and hit DL real hard in the draft
Realistic thread. Great job! I also see it going this way or something similar. The Bucs will thus be better but may not win more than 6 or 7 games.
That would leave the next regime with a very nice team. The West keeps improving and the rest of the South will come back to us.
I don’t understand why you’d wash our RB stable with ample opportunities to either sign a FA or draft one of the many.
We can’t afford to neglect the running game even if you do improve the interior of the OL.
I like what you’re working with in the draft so I say that we sign Isiah Crowell to be our feature back and look for a pass catching back late in the draft as you suggested or when the second wave of cuts begins after the draft.
I know he’s got some good tape, which should obviously take precedence, but I wasn’t knocked out by Settle in the combine. He looked really clumsy to me, even compared to a bunch of 300 lb DTs. I always enjoy your posts, though. You aren’t constantly bitching about the team but you aren’t daydreaming either.
Hey Nobody. Good post. This seems very much like what we are going to do. I like the draft portion of what you are saying.
In terms of FA, this is exactly what Licht is likely to do… and I think it is a mistake to rent 31+ year old players, especially when we have the cap-space to sign younger ones of equal or higher caliber.
Why would a player sign with the Giants over TB? Money? Location? I have no idea. How is it that other teams are lining up deals, but our team apparently cannot? I have no idea.
All of this to say, if this is how our offseason plays out it will be truly disappointing. I can’t believe Licht somehow kept his job this offseason.
As an FSU fan, I was unimpressed with Sweat. I understand the injury slowed his progress and he looked like a physical specimen at the combine. I thought he underachieved for the Noles. 3rd round maybe, would not be excited to grab him in the 2nd.
@ISLAND BUCS – I don’t really have too many thoughts on Pugh, but fresh off injured reserve due to back (even with no surgery)…likely to be leery of that after Sweezy.
@Ft Myers Buc Fan , @Graham, @Cerious – Lack of addressing the RB position in FA was just an omission on my part in this thread. In the past threads I’ve talked about Dion Lewis or Carlos Hyde (all purpose backs who can pass protect) as likely players to be wearing pewter next year. I’d expect to see one of those two or McKinnon.
I’m very dubious that we draft a running back in the 2nd or 3rd round given how much we need DL and interior OL and how much quality depth this draft has in those rounds. We’ll need a reliable back who can pass protect, run professional routes, catch the football, and make plays in space. So I’d anticipate that with the above 3 (and a late round pick for development and to fill out the position).
@The Anti-java – My guess is the Bucs would pass hard on Suh. Licht has been stressing locker room fit and he is a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiig locker room question. Also, he’s going to demand a chunk of coin that we won’t be willing to invest. But he played very well last year, so who knows? I still say they won’t.
@Ft Myers Buc Fan – My guess is Hays goes top/mid of the 2nd. Regardless of Settle’s combine, his tape is too good for him to fall. Players with good tape typically rise dramatically with the combine results, not plummet horribly. My guess is he’s an end of round 2, beginning round 3 guy. He’s in range for us there.
@Graham – For the LG vs RG pass pro breakdown, it basically boils down to this:
vs 3-4 Eagle Front – Both OGs are dealing w/ outside shade 5 tech DE’s and possible ILB blitz pick up.
vs 4-3 Over Front – LG primarily helping Center w/ inside shade 2 gapping NT. RG has outside shade, 1 gap, 3 tech.
vs 4-3 Under Front – Flip the above exactly.
So really, on Pass Pro, it just depends on the team’s predominate front. There are a LOT of Under teams now, so the RG is dealing w/ 3-tech a fair bit. Beyond that, it really just depends on general technique, leverage, play-strength, and awareness (which is side-neutral).
Regarding the running game? For us personally, we aren’t a predominate right handed running team (while many teams are). Nor are we predominate Strong-side (Dirk loves to run Weak side in Unbalanced formations against a numbers advantage from the Center over). So our Guards need to be able to move well going both right and left (pulling in Gap and crossing faces in Zone). So RG, LG in our scheme…not a lot of difference in the running game. The only major difference is will you be moving to your left or right on pulls, and both of those guys move fine left or right.
@Skipper – I fully expect someone to fall in love with Sweat’s tape (not us) and come up in the top/mid portion of the 2nd round for him. It would be awesome if it was us (as I surmised that it may be, as we need to acquire a few draft pics in mid-rounds and should have several players on the board available to us mid-2nd, so dropping back 5-8 spots wouldn’t hurt us).
If you go back to 2016 nobody was complaining about the Marpet/Pamphile combo at guard.
You’re half correct. Nobody complained about Marpet because he was very good. Pamphile, on the other, hand was a decent pass blocker but sucked at run blocking. The hope was Pamphile would grow and improve at his new position, but that didn’t happen.