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Posted by
Ravens
7 hours ago
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Baltimore Ravens

AFC North

Link to Hub

Coaching Changes

After ending the season by letting the Bengals score a winning touchdown on a fourth and 12 from 49 yards out, which lead to the country being forced to watch a hideous Bills playoff game, many fans were not sad to see the Ravens Defensive Coordinator, Dean Pees, retire. Personally I thought he was a good DC but his defenses seemed to give up big plays at particularly bad moments pretty often. Pees’ retirement lasted a whole month until he decided to become the DC of the Titans for one of his former players, Mike Vrabel. Dean Pees was replaced by the Ravens Linebackers coach, Don “Wink” Martindale. Martindale is beloved by his players and has developed a good amount of talent at linebacker, including CJ Mosley and Zach Orr (RIP), but in his 32 year coaching career he has only been a DC for one of them, and it didn't go great. Martindale was the Defensive Coordinator for the Broncos in 2010 and while he didn't exactly have a stacked roster, they allowed the most yards and had the least turnovers of any team and were bad in pretty much every aspect of playing defense. In Baltimore Martindale is inheriting a defense that lead the league in turnovers last and allowed the sixth fewest points in the league. Mike Macdonald has come in as the new linebackers coach for this season.

On the offensive side of the ball, many ravens fans may have been hoping to see Marty Mornhinweg fired after a mediocre unimaginative offense disappointed fans for most of the season, but John Harbaugh decided to do what he normally does and let his OC stick around for too long (see: Cam Cameron as OC for five years). Instead the one coaching bright spot in the offense , Greg Roman, was promoted to assistant head coach/ Tight Ends coach after his designs helped turn around the running game last year.

Free Agency

Players lost/cut Position New Team
Mike Wallace WR Eagles
Jeremy Maclin WR Unsigned
Danny Woodhead RB Retired/ Full Time Gym Rat
Ben Watson TE Saints
Austin Howard RT Colts
Ryan Jenson C Bucs

Going in to 2017 Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin looked like they could be a potentially exciting WR duo for Joe Flacco to throw the ball near. Shockingly Maclin could not stay healthy and ended up only catching 40 passes for a whopping 440 yards, Wallace played better, but was not as effective as he was in 2016 and had some drops in key situations. Danny Woodhead suffered a hamstring injury during the week one game against the bengals after looking like he could be a key part of the offense. After that he never looked completely healthy and Alex Collins became the lead back. Ben Watson was the offenses most reliable receiver, but with his age, it was an understandable to not to re-sign him. The only two players that walked in FA that I would have liked to stay are Austin Howard and Ryan Jensen. The Ravens decided not to pick up the option on Howard’s contract, deciding to instead take the 3 million dollar cap savings. The other player i would ideally like to have kept is Ryan Jensen, he played as a backup his first three seasons and ended up starting to begin the 2017 season and was very impressive in his first full season leading the Buccaneers to give him a $42 million 4 year contract. While Jensen had a great season this past year I wouldn’t have been able to get behind making him one of the highest paid interior lineman in the league because of one season.

Free Agent Additions/ Re-signings

Player Position Old Team money/year
Robert Griffin III QB Browns $1.1m/1 year
Michael Crabtree WR Raiders $21m/3 years
John Brown WR Cardinals $5m/1 year
Willie Snead WR Saints $7m/2 years
James Hurst OL Ravens 17.5m/ 4 years

RG3 is basically a no risk/low reward signing, paying a backup QB $1.1 million a year with only 100,000 guaranteed isn’t going to hurt the team in any way. If the Ravens went into the offseason knowing they were going to target Lamar Jackson in the draft they probably signed RG3 to mentor him and try to show Lamar how he succeeded and how he failed while having a similar style of play. Like I said there’s not really any downside to this signing and there’s no guarantee he makes the roster out of camp as the Ravens usually only carry two QBS, but while he’s on the team, how can you not love the purple dreads?

While there weren't any big splash signings by the Ravens this offseason, they basically revamped their whole WR corps in one offseason. Michael Crabtree is an older possession receiver, but he’s reliable for the most part and has scored 25 touchdowns in the past three years, so he could be a consistent threat in the redzone, something the Ravens have lacked since Anquan Boldin. I think the Crabtree signing was a very good decision, especially because the majority of his guaranteed money is gone after the first year, so if he doesn't live up to expectations it won’t be hard to move on.

John Brown has had some incredible flashes of play over the past few years, but has also struggled a lot with injuries. Brown could end up being a welcome surprise if he stays healthy, but expecting him to play all 16 games might be too much. Overall a one year $5 million contract isn’t a huge risk to take on a WR with big play ability like Brown.

Willie Snead might have been my favorite signing of the three WRs. Snead was suspended for PEDs last offseason and spent most of the season after he was reinstated in Sean Payton’s doghouse. While Snead has surely benefitted from playing with Brees, I’ve always been a fan of him as a receiver, he’s not a flashy player but he’s versatile, has good hands, and has some incredible hair.

James Hurst was brought back on a somewhat surprisingly large deal for a lineman who’s never been a reliable starter and whose claim to fame is getting bullrushed into Flacco's lap and tearing his ACL. Having a backup that can play at every spot on the line if needed definitely has value, but I’m not sure that the Ravens needed to hand Hurst a contract like this one in order to keep him around when he’s not really a guy you want to see on the field.

Draft

Round Pick Player Position School
1 25 Hayden Hurst TE South Carolina
1 32 Lamar Jackson WR QB Louisville
3 19 Orlando Brown OT Oklahoma
3 22 Mark Andrews TE Oklahoma
4 18 Anthony Averett CB Alabama
4 22 Kenny Young ILB UCLA
4 32 Jaleel Scott WR New Mexico State
5 25 Jordan Lasley WR UCLA
6 16 Deshon Elliott S Texas
6 38 Greg Senat OT Wagner
6 41 Bradley Bozeman C Alabama
7 20 Zach Sieler DL Ferris State

Thoughts on the Draft and the occasional grade

Hayden Hurst C-

I have three career touchdowns less than Hayden Hurst, but I've also never played college football. Hurst quit playing professional baseball after developing the yips and not being able to throw strikes anymore. After that he decided to give college football a try and played three years at South Carolina. In those three years he caught only 100 balls for just over 1200 yards, he had one touchdown in his sophomore season and two in his junior season. South Carolina isn't exactly known for being an offensive powerhouse but those are by no means first round tight end numbers. Obviously there's more that goes into scouting a player than just their college statistics and Hurst is better than the numbers he put up, but I don't think he was worthy of a first round selection. He is a well rounded TE who is a solid route runner and a reliable blocker, but the way the NFL is trending I think the Ravens put way too much emphasis on the blocking ability of Hurst, and nowhere near enough on his receiving ability, which is alright but not what a first round Tight End's should be. I am obviously not a fan of the pick and was even less of a fan of the pick during the draft after the Ravens traded down twice and still didn't take Lamar Jackson (they remedied that a few picks later).

Lamar Jackson A

Lamar Jackson has been an incredible player to watch from his first game at Louisville, in his college career he took home the Heisman trophy for his sophomore season and was a finalist for the award in his Junior season as well. Lamar is obviously an incredible athlete, but the reason he was a first round quarterback and one of my favorite quarterbacks in this draft class was because he's shown development as a passer every year he's started. Most people would think he regressed his junior year since he didn't win the Heisman a second time, but he played better in junior year than he did the year before, he just didn't produce the same win loss record and big upset wins that he did in his sophomore season. Before the draft there were rumors that some NFL teams didn't view him as a quarterback. Whether that was true or it was just teams and analysts spreading rumors, Lamar is a phenomenal quarterback, who just happens to also be the best athlete on pretty much any field he steps on. He ended up not doing athletic drills at the combine to reinforce that he is a quarterback and nothing else, but at Louisville's team testing day in 2017 it was reported that he ran a 4.34. What makes him a great quarterback prospect is that he doesn't always want to use that athleticism, he is very much the type of quarterback that wants to throw the ball first and will try to extend plays to make throws downfield, and then if those plays aren't there, he will take off. His biggest issue as a passer is his sometimes erratic footwork that leads to inaccurate throws, whether it was because of being pressured or wanting to get the ball out quick, I think if he can work on that in the pros that will be much less of a concern going forward.

Orlando Brown Jr. C+

After turning in the worst combine performance of all time, and being yelled at by coaches for his laziness while doing it Brown slipped from a possible first round prospect to a possible day three pick. Brown played very well at Oklahoma, not allowing a sack in his last season, but there is some concern over how much he was helped by Lincoln Riley, who is probably the best offensive mind in college football, and having a quarterback who can get himself out of trouble with his legs like Baker Mayfield. Run blocking is definitely where Brown is his best as he uses his massive body to overpower defenders, he has a harder time in pass protection where his lack of athleticism can be exploited by quicker players. I don't love the pick, but Brown being picked by the Ravens is a great story. His father, known as Zeus, was part of the original Ravens team and a fantastic OT during his career. Zeus passed away in 2011 and never got to see his son play college football. Orlando was born the year that his father moved to Maryland to play and wrote Ozzie Newsome a letter during the draft process asking them to draft him so he could play for his dad's former team.

Mark Andrews B+

Another Oklahoma player and Baker Mayfield's go to receiver in big situations. Andrews is much more of a receiving TE than a blocking TE, but he is a very good receiver. His junior year he won the John Mackey award for best TE in college football and hauled in 62 passes for just under a thousand yards and 8 touchdowns (more than double Hursts' career total). Andrews can be a great mismatch when used in the slot and should be the Ravens main TE on passing downs.

Anthony Averett A two year starter at Alabama, Averett will not see the field this year unless the team suffers a lot of injuries in the secondary.

Kenny Young An athletic ILB that could compete for playing time next to CJ Mosley this season

Jaleel Scott The Ravens love to draft raw speed/ size guys at WR and hope they can develop them, the only problem is that it basically never works out for them. Scott is incredibly raw and was definitely overdrafted.

I'm a huge draft nerd, but even I can barely tell you anything about most players that are drafted, I honestly didn't even know Ferris State was a school, let alone a school that was going to have a DE drafted out of it. The Ravens had a solid draft that provided them with a future QB, hopefully at least one TE of the future, a player that compete to start at RT right away, and some guys who look like they'll be solid depth.

Offseason news

This was Ozzie Newsome's last draft as a GM, and now his protege who has been waiting in the wings for the past few years, Eric Decosta, will be taking over. Ozzie was basically in charge of the Raven's draft beginning in their first year as a franchise, but was named GM in 2002, making him the first black GM in the NFL. During that stretch he has been one of the best GMs in the league, helping lead the Ravens to two Superbowls in less than 20 years of existing as a franchise. Ozzie will probably go down as one of the best talent evaluators ever (ignoring wr), and would certainly be headed to Canton if he wasn't already there as a player. Decosta has turned down multiple other GM jobs and interviews to stay with Baltimore and seems to have mostly similar philosophies to Ozzie, it's going to be hard to live up to the expectations that were set by his mentor, but with Ozzie's training and Decosta's years of experience as assistant GM he's in a good spot.

Projected Starting Lineup

Offense

QB: Joe Flacco

RB: Alex Collins

FB: Patrick Ricard

WR: Michael Crabtree

WR: Willie Snead

WR: John Brown

LT: Ronnie Stanley

LG: Alex Lewis/ James Hurst

C: Matt Skura

RG: Marshal Yanda

RT: Orlando Brown/ James Hurst

Defense

DT: Brandon Williams

NT: Michael Pierce

DE: Brent Urban/ Carl Davis/ Willie Henry

OLB: Terrell Suggs

OLB: Matt Judon

ILB: CJ Mosley

ILB: Patrick "Peanut" Onwuasor

CB: Jimmy Smith

CB: Marlon Humphrey

Nickel CB: Brandon Carr/ Tavon Young

FS: Eric Weddle

SS: Tony Jefferson

Roster Strengths and Weaknesses

Quarterback: Weakness with potential

Joe Flacco has been an average to bad QB since his incredible superbowl MVP run, unfortunately his contract has him locked on this roster through at least the 2019 season. After the superbowl run I was unfortunately one of the fans who considered him a franchise QB and thought signing him was a no-brainer. Since that extension the Ravens letting Tyrod walk, there's not much question in my mind that Tyrod has been the better QB of the two, and he's done it without a contract that cripples his team. The bright spot in this area of the roster is obviously Lamar Jackson, once a team takes a QB in the first round it's not a matter of if the old QB is benched, but when. I don't expect Lamar to start the season, but I would be surprised if he's not the starter by the end of the year. RG3 is also here.

Running Backs: Meh Alex Collins is the headliner here and he had a great second half of the year where he looked like one of the better backs in the league. Behind Collins there's Kenneth Dixon who got suspended and then hurt last year and never saw the field. He was an exciting prospect coming out of college, but missed most of his rookie year with an injury and at this point is mostly has to prove he can stay on the field before I get excited about him again. Buck Allen is a sold back whose strength is his receiving ability, but has never shown that he's able to carry a full load.

OL: Hopefully the starters survive this year The Ravens have become somewhat of an underrated Oline factory, with three starters leaving for free agency in the past three years and all three of them becoming some of the highest paid lineman in football. Kelechi Osemele went to the raiders on a 58 million dollar deal, Ricky Wagner went to the Lions on a $47 million dollar deal and Ryan Jensen left for the Buccaneers this offseason on a 42 million dollar contract. Hopefully they can continue developing that level of talent this year.Last year it seemed like the Ravens sent 10 Olinemen that played at some point to the IR, that being said they performed much better than one would expect when they cycled through players like they did. This year the only two returning starters are Ronnie Stanley, who's beginning to look like an upper tier LT and Marshal Yanda, who has been one of the best linemen in the league for the past ten years. Outside of those two guys it's pretty much a toss up as to who will start and how the line will perform.

WR's and TE's: Meh with upside

With basically a completely revamped WR corps this year, it should be easy to improve on group of players that were a joke of a wr corps last year. It was so bad last year that Griff Whalen got playing time , the Griff Whalen from the infamous colts trick punt. Crabtree, Snead and Brown should lead the team in snaps with Chris Moore, Breshad Perriman and Tim White getting snaps as well. At TE Nick Boyle will likely start the season if he doesn't get popped for PEDs for the 15th time, with Hurst and Andrews probably taking more snaps as the season goes on. Hopefully the coaching staff will use Andrews as a mimatch weapon as opposed to just lining him up inline.

Front Five: Big strength

The Raven run a hybrid defense, so instead of DL and LBs I'm going to list the front five who are usually on the line and the Inside Linebackers. The Ravens lead the league in sacks last year, partially because some creative schemed blitzes and playing bad quarterbacks but the players in this group are legit. Terrell Sugg is somehow still a number one pass rusher, Matt Judon showed in his second that he was more than just a freak athlete and racked up 8 sacks and plenty of pressures. Behind those two as starters there are two promising young edge rushers in Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams. Last year they didn't contribute much, as Bowser never played as a true edge rusher in college and still had a lot of learning to do and Williams didn't look like the same player he didn in college. On the interior D-line Brandon Williams is right up there with Damon Harrison with his run stuffing ability, although he does not offer much as a pass rusher. Michael Pierce at nose tackle basically fits the same mold. When the Ravens need pass rush from the interior they usually sub those two out and bring out Willie Henry, who had a very promising year last year, Brent Urban can be a solid pass rusher when he’s healthy and Chris Wormley is a very good athlete on the interior who should see more playing time this year.

Inside Linebackers: Really depends on the second guy

CJ Mosley is the obvious starter here and one of the best Linebackers in the league. Mosley has been in the Pro Bowl every year but his second season since coming out of Alabama, he never leaves the field and is one of the leaders of the defense. The question here is who plays next to him.last year Onwuasor played 60% of the teams snaps and was probably about average, but he's a lighter LB who struggles against the run, so he's not really a guy you always want on the field. This year Kenny Young will likely compete for snaps next to Mosley.

Secondary: Holy Shit

This secondary should be one of the best in the league this year if they avoid major injuries. Jimmy Smith is coming back from an injury and is probably a top ten corner when healthy, outside of him Marlon Humphrey had a phenomenal rookie year and will probably be the other outside corner. At nickel corner it's going to be a competition between Tavon Young and Brandon Carr. Young missed last year with a torn ACL, but had a very strong rookie year in 2016 as a slot corner, Brandon Carr's play was good last year, but the Ravens might want to go with Young as the starter considering what he showed his first year. At safety the Ravens have one of the best safety tandems in the league with Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson. Last year was somewhat of a down year for Jefferson, but I think based on the rest of his career that a bounceback year is coming. Both guys are interchangeable at either safety position, and form a duo that is hard to find a big weakness in. Some other players that looked promising last year and that you should expect to see contribute this year are Maurice Canady at corner and Chuck Clark at Safety.

Special Teams: Better than your teams

Justin Tucker is a better kicker and Opera singer than your kicker and those are just facts. Hopefully this year he won't be the only/best shot for the Ravens to get on the scoreboard, but if he is knowing he has a weirdy accurate cannon instead of a leg is pretty comforting. Sam Koch continues to be one of the better punters in the league and showed last year that he should also have been the backup qb over Ryan Mallett, because he completed both pass attempts for 38 yards and has completed every pass he's ever attempted in his career (all 4).

Camp competitions

Quarterback

While I don't think the Ravens coaching staff will actually let this be an open competition in camp, Flacco could easily be replaced by the new weird JUGS robot that Iowa has and I don't think there would be a drop off. Flacco has either had the alright level of talent he used to have stolen a-la the Monstars, or he's just stopped caring and is ok with being a less funny, less handsome Jay Cutler. Unless something really changes with Flacco this season I expect to see Lamar Jackson start towards the end of the season, especially if the Ravens don't have a shot at the playoffs. Personally Flacco is just draining to watch play QB, and has made it less and less exciting to be a Ravens fan because you basically know that the team is never really gonna have a great day on offense and you're gonna have to hope the defense plays its ass off in order to get a win.

OLine

All three spots that don't have returning starters are going to be a competition in camp, and James Hurst is a possibility that no one really wants at all of them. At Left Guard it's going to be between Alex Lewis and Hurst, this coaching staff seems to want to give Lewis another chance even though he's constantly hurt. At center it's between Matt Skura, Alex Lewis and James Hurst, I expect Skura to win it after having some solid play last year. At RT it seems like it's been narrowed down to Hurst or Orlando Brown, but Alex Lewis was talked about here too since he played tackle in college, I expect Hurst to win but Brown playing this year wouldn't shock me

TE

Boyle comes in to camp as the likely starter and I think he'll start opening day too, but by the end of the year I expect to see Hurst and Andrews on the field more than Boyle. Former second round pick Maxx Williams is also here, but it wouldn't shock me if he doesn't make the roster, as he's been hurt a lot and hasn't showed much when he's been on the field.

ILB

Kind of already went over this one, besides CJ Mosley it's probably going to be a competition between Onwuasor, Kenny Young and Kamalei Correa. I expect Onwuasor to win and play most of the snaps, Young could get some snaps too, but Correa's looking more and more like a bust as there is talk he might be moved back to edge again after coming in to the nfl as an edge and almost immediately getting move to inside linebacker.

Nickel CB Again I've already discussed this and I'd expect to see more of Tavon Young than Brandon Carr.

Schedule Predictions

Week 1: vs Buffalo Bills W

At quarterback the Bills will be starting either Nathan Peterman or Josh Allen. That's really all the analysis needed here but I'll talk about it some more. The Bills have one weapon on offense, and there's some pretty serious accusations being thrown at Shady right now, so if he ends up getting suspended the Bills have the worst skill position group in the league, and what's shaping up to be a 2017 Bengals level Oline to go with it. Defense might be there strong suit, but even there they basically have one corner that scares you and their big offseason get was overpaying a Defensive Tackle that can't rush the passer. I think the Bills traded away way too much talent in the name of "rebuilding the culture" and are going to be one of the worst teams in the league this year.

Week 2: at Cincinnati Bengals L

It seems like the Ravens split the series with the Bengals every year, and since they don't play in week 17 this year and can't ruin the Ravens playoff chances I'm going to put the loss here. I expect the Bengals to improve slightly this year, they should have a better Oline and might actually let John Ross play some receiver this year instead of practice squad db. Also Carl Lawson could develop into a terrifying pass rusher in his second year.

Week 3: vs Denver Broncos W

Case Keenum played great last year, but he did that with a great coaching staff and one of the best rosters in the NFL around him. Keenum is moving from having two top 15 WRs, a reliable TE, a solid running game and a great scheme to the Broncos where I don't see him having any of that. Thomas and Sanders are a good wr duo, but they aren't on the level of Thielen and Diggs and I don't see rest of the offense wowing anyone. On defense Von Miller is one of the best pass rushers in the league and they added Chubb in the draft, but that's kind of all their front 7 has that scares anyone. In the secondary they still have two good corners after trading Talib away in Bradley Roby and Chris Harris, but the nickel corner spot is a big question, at Safety they have two solid guys in Justin Simmons and Darian Stewart but neither are really fantastic.

Week 4: at Pittsburgh Steelers L

The Steelers offense is still going to be one of the best in the league as long as Le'veon doesn't hold out, and even then they still could be. This game to me depends on if Le'veon is playing and how healthy Jimmy Smith is because he seems to be one of the few corners in the league that can actually cover Antonio Brown. In the draft the Steelers decided to draft a fifth round safety in the first round and completely ignore the fact that they have no competent inside linebackers, so I was pretty happy with that. I still expect the Steelers D-line to be a wrecking ball, but besides that their defense looks like it's going to regress bad.

Week 5: at Cleveland Browns W

The Browns have added a lot of talent through the draft the past two years, and I'm a big fan of Baker Mayfield, but with Hue Jackson as the HC and Gregg Williams having his FS play so far back they look like they're about to return a punt, I don't think the talent is good enough to overcome the coaching.

Week 6: at Tennessee Titans W

This is definitely one of the games I'm the most hesitant about putting as a win. Last year the Titans beat the Ravens by three points and benefitted from two awful throws by Flacco that Kevin Byard turned into interceptions. The Titans are a pretty young team with a first year head coach and I just don't have much faith in Mike Vrabel turning Mariota around and winning right away.

Week 7: vs New Orleans Saints L

The Saints have an incredible roster across the board and Drew Brees seems to not be affected by aging, they can attack you on defense basically any way they want to and on defense they have a bunch of young guys that seem on their way to developing into studs and some guys that already are some of the best at their position including Cameron Jordan and Marshon Lattimore.

Week 8: at Carolina Panthers L

Even with Norv Turner somehow getting another OC job(and hiring half of his family as his staff) I still think Cam will be able to produce. The Panthers have the pieces to be a dangerous offense this year, but I think Norv will hold them back from actually becoming what they can be. McCaffrey might not be a huge threat running the ball, but now they've added CJ Anderson to take some carries. Kelvin Benjamin being replaced with DJ Moore is a huge addition to this offense, because it's better to have Wrs that can actually separate. The Oline will probably be a weakness, but Cam's legs have always helped there. On defense there's still a very intimidating front seven, Thomas Davis will be back from suspension and a healthy Kuechly is pretty much unstoppable. The place you can take advantage of this defense is definitely the secondary where they have a very young, besides Mike Adams, and not very talented group of players.

Week 9: vs Pittsburgh Steelers W

See week 4

Week 10: bye

If the week 9 game against the Steelers ends up as a loss and the Ravens go into the bye with three losses in a row, it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see Lamar start after the bye. Obviously that depends on Flacco’s performance in those games, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say they won't be great.

Week 11: vs Cincinnati Bengals W

See week 2

Week 12: vs Oakland Raiders W

The John Gruden project has been hilarious so far, but not really in a good way for Raiders fans. Signing a coach that hasn't coached at all in ten years to a ten year 100 million fully guaranteed contract is crazy, especially when the owner probably can't buy out the contract if it does go south. Gruden has started by signing a bunch of old vets and there were reports around draft time that he had a completely separate draft board from Reggie Mckenzie and the scouting department and they were drafting off of Gruden’s board, which is believable because this draft was awful for the Raiders. Their Oline should still be a strength but I’ve never been sold on Carr and their only real threat at a skill position is Amari Cooper who is coming off a very down year. The defense is still awful outside of Khalil Mack, if you’re still relying on Leon Hall to play meaningful snaps in 2018 you’re doing something wrong.

Week 13: at Atlanta Falcons L

Even with Steve Sarkisian doing everything he can to hold the offense back with his playcalling there is a crazy amount of talent on this team and it just added Calvin Ridley. Sark’s second year in the NFL should hopefully be better than the first. On the other side of the ball the defense has a crazy amount of speed at pretty much every position. Dion Jones has emerged as one of the best linebackers in the league, Grady Jarrett is a monster in the middle of the line and if Takk develops and Beasley bounces back from a down year this front seven could be crazy good. Even if Takk and Beasley don’t take those steps the Falcons have a very talented secondary, Trufant can be a shutdown corner and Robert Alford would be a few teams best corner. Then with the combo of Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal at safety this defense doesn’t any big weaknesses to take advantage of.

Week 14: at Kansas City Chiefs L

The Chiefs are a very weird team in that they traded away their starting QB and their offense might actually improve. Last year’s offense was already one of the best in the league, but with the addition of Sammy Watkins and Patrick Mahomes bringing his style of play that is very different than what they’ve had with Alex Smith and could lead to more big plays, both with his legs and the cannon people call his arm. The defense will likely look worse this year though they are getting Eric Berry back, because that’s what happens when you trade one of the best corners in the NFL away. The chiefs added another good corner on defense when they acquired Kendall Fuller in their trade with the Redskins, but that still leaves them with just one starting level corner on the field.

Week 15: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers W

Even before getting into Jameis’ awful decisions off the field, there had to already be questions if he was going to be the future of the franchise based on how he played, because it certainly hasn’t been to the level anyone expects out of a #1 overall pick. After this offseason I don’t see how any team can trust Jameis enough to give him a big contract, especially the Bucs. This season their offense should improve at least slightly because while Jameis has not played well, he’s definitely a couple steps above Ryan Fitzpatrick. With the weapons this offense has it could easily be one of the best in the league, but QB play and coaching will likely hold it back again. On defense they decided the way to go this offseason was to stack the shit out of the defensive line. They still don’t have one dominant player that teams are scared of, but they went from two or three actually good players to a deep rotation of guys that should be good. This team is still going to have a pretty weak secondary with some young corners and Vernon Hargreaves well on his way to being a bust.

Week 16: at Los Angeles Chargers L

Knowing the Chargers they’ll be in playoff contention coming in to week 16 and need to win both of their last two games to get in, so i should probably change this to a win, but the roster is just too good on paper. The offense is loaded and has an improved Oline, and the defense has the best pass rush duo in the league with Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa and if Jason Verrett can stay healthy a great cb tandem.

Week 17: vs Browns W

See week 5.

Season Record Prediction: 9-7

Offensive and Defensive Schemes

Marty Mornhinweg returns this year as Offensive Coordinator after calling plays that lead to the the Ravens having the 27th ranked offense in yards per game. The offense last year was largely imaginative and ineffective until Greg Roman was given more control over the run game. After that point in the season the Ravens had a very diverse running scheme and finished right outside of the top ten in rushing offense. Roman used a downhill attack that utilized power, trap, and wham blocking plays pretty often towards the end of the year and that will likely continue this year as he has been promoted and should have more say in the offense. The passing offense will likely try to utilize play action off of the back of a strong running game.

On defense I don't expect Martindale to change the defense much from Pees’ scheme. I expect the Ravens to still use a hybrid defense that lines up in all different types of formations and uses creative blitzes to put pressures on opposing quarterbacks. I wouldn’t expect the Ravens to lead the league in sacks again, as they won’t get the chance to play Deshone Kizer(twice) and Brett Hundley, but they should still be a defense that gets consistent pressure and makes life hell for opposing quarterbacks.

Thanks to /u/PlatypusofDeath for taking the mantle over from /u/skepticismssurvival and to my friends for helping edit and format the post. Hope you guys enjoy it!

59
73 comments
565
Posted by
Bears
9 hours ago

Von Miller stripping Cam

D'onta Hightower stripping Matt Ryan

Brandon Graham getting Brady to seal the game

565
86 comments
75

1992: Sean Salisbury

1993: Jim McMahon

1994: Warren Moon

1996: Brad Johnson

1997/98: Randall Cunningham

1999: Jeff George

2000/04: Daunte Culpepper

2008: Tavaris Jackson

2009: Brett Favre

2012: Joe Webb (does he even count as a QB? Lol)

2015: Teddy Bridgewater

2017: Case Keenum

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37 comments
101

Not your best player, just the player who could eat for free anywhere in your teams city for life.

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455 comments
58
Posted by
Eagles
5 hours ago

I think Doug Pederson would have to trade Wentz, cut Foles, and he still would probably get another shot next season to win with Sudfeld.

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172 comments
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Intro: After our offseason writeup on was posted on reddit, I noticed a lot of mistakes and a lack of overall realism and detail. No offense to the author, for someone thats not a Redskins fan it's obvious you put a lot of work into it, I just think I could give a more detailed look at the team. For this informal writeup I will be mainly focused on the roster and training camp battles and I won't do game by game predictions because I think it's hard to predict games months before they happen. Anyway hope you all enjoy this cuz i spent a shit ton of time on it.

2017 overview: For the past  few years the Redskins have been the definition of average, and from an outside view 2017 was no different, with the team finishing 7-9 and taking their usual 3rd place spot in the NFC East. Expectations were high after Jon Allen(DE out of Alabama) slid to us at 17 after falling to due to injury concerns, and the hype was through the roof for 1000 yard Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor was brought in on a one year deal to help replace Garcon and Jackson.(Spoiler: He did not) After a promising 2-1 start, with a 230 yard rushing performance against the Rams in week 2 and a major Primetime rout of the then playoff contender Raiders in week 3 things were looking up, but then after a close loss to the chiefs in week 4 things went down in typical redskins fashion.  The rest of the season saw the team demolished by injuries(most weeks the injury report was longer than a cowboys players rap sheet). At one point a rookie udfa guard had to play LT and we resorted to starting TJ Clemmings. The team ended with 23 players on IR and had the most starters out of any team in the NFL, it was almost a relief when the season ended.

Coaching Changes: Not much change here, Kevin O'Connell was promoted from qb coach to passing game coordinator, there were rumours he could take a coaching job at USC and there are only so many promotions we can give him. Kyle Smith was promoted to Coordinator of College Scouting after being a huge part of our last 2 drafts.

Alex Smith Trade: I think I have the same opinion as most Redskins Fans, I'm glad we were proactive in getting a qb because we knew Cousins probably wasn't staying, and getting Alex meant we wouldn't have to trade up our first rounder on a qb. The thing I absolutely Hated was losing Fuller(we didn't even call him he found out through the internet) he was a fan favorite and finished with 4 ints, and 12 pds as a slot cb, his loss will hurt. The good thing in getting Smith is we save 11m from what Cousins is making which allowed us to get ZB and Richardson.

Notable Losses

Kirk Cousins, QB-Vikings

Kendall Fuller, CB-Traded to the Chiefs for QB Alex Smith

Bashaud Breeland, CB- Unsigned

Trent Murphy, DE/OLB- Bills

Ryan Grant, WR- Colts

Spencer Long, C- Jets

Terrelle Pryor, WR- Jets

Su’a Cravens, S- Traded to the Broncos

Niles Paul, TE- Jaguars

Terrell Mcclain, DT- Falcons

Junior Gallete, OLB- Unsigned

It is very tough losing Fuller, though im confident about letting Spencer Long and Breeland go. Murphy had one good season but was suspended for PEDs so dont know how much of it was due to that, he's also. coming off injury. Gallete was a good speed rusher but wanted money and playing time he wouldn't get behind Kerrigan and Smith. Mcclain should be easily replaced. Ryan Grant was a great route runner and very smart but 8 mil was too much for our WR.4. Niles Paul was a special teams captain and could do a lot of things but we let go so Sprinkle could play more. The good thing is the 4 comp picks we will get(the max) will bring us to 10 picks even after the supplemental draft.

Notable Free Agent Additions

Alex Smith, QB, 5 years(3 year deal basically) -Acquired in a trade with the Chiefs

Kevin Hogan, QB-Acquired in a trade with the Browns

Pernell Mcphee, OLB, 1 year- Bears

Paul Richardson, WR, 5 years- Seahawks

Orlando Scandrick(ughh), CB, 2 years- Cowboys

I like the Richardson signing, obviously 40 million is an overpay but the WR market is fucked up and he can open things up for Reed, Crowder and Thompson on the inside and give Doctson more 1 on 1s.

Pernell Mcphee is a quality backup and can stop the run.

I hated the scandrick signing as you will see we have an abundance of young(inexperienced ik) slot cbs on the roster that i'd like to see over a band-aid starter.

Hogan probably doesn't have much of a chance but if he somehow beats out Mccoy we can save 3 mil.

Not gonna get into smith much rn but he turned the ball over 3 times less than cousins, and is coming off his best year(ik, ik his weapons were good but he was the best deep passer even Without Tyreek)

Re-Signings

Zach Brown, ILB- 3 years

Mason Foster, ILB- 2 years

Quinton Dunbar, CB- 3 years

Shawn Lauvo, LG- 1 year

Deshazor Everett, S- 2 years

Bringing back Foster was good, he's not much more than average but his contract is cheap.

Re-signing Zach Brown was huge, if we had kept cousins we wouldn't have gotten him back, he has his issues in coverage but he's a top 12 ILB

I liked extending Dunbar, he will start for us probably and has a lot of potential

I didn't love the Lauvo re-signing, but he will probably be better then Nsekhe would.

The  2018 Draft

R.1, P.13

Daron Payne, DT Alabama: I was hoping for Fitzpatrick or Derwin James here, and i'll admit I was pissed when we passed on Derwin, but we finished 32nd against the Run plain and simple, While a lot of that was because injuries there is no denying that we had the worst starting NT in football with the out of position and ineffective Ziggy Hood. After having some time I like the pick as he is only 21 and our D-line is all home-grown with Allen, Payne and Ionman(Matt Ioannidis) Payne should help us greatly improve in Run D, and allow Allen to get after the qb more instead of taking double teams.

R.2, P. 59

Derrius Guice, RB, lSU: I still can't believe we got Guice(We even were able to trade down for a 3rd), he was widely believed to be the 2nd best back in the class, He is not a  tested receiving back but he is great between the tackles and has a mix of speed and power. I'm among those that think the Character Concerns are absolute BS, many of the rumours going around on Draft Night have been shown to be false(Eagles visit fight was denied by Howie), proving that there were false rumours going around. He helped raise 20k for Cancer, Took 50 redskins fans to the movies, and even rescued a woman from.a burning car. He is also only 21 and him and Payne could be the face of our team for many years. Absolute Steal

R.3 P.74

Geron Christian Sr., OT, Louisville: This was a luxury pick, last year injuries forced us to start an undrafted rookie RG at LT and TJ Clemmings attempted to play Tackle for us for 2 games. Geron is very athletic with very good footwork and his main strength is pass pro and his ability to play both LT and RT. He is somewhat underpowered and has  some questionable hand technique. He is coming into a very good situation where he can learn from Trent Williams, Morgan Moses and Ty Nsekhe, at 21 years old he is our swing tackle of the future

R.4, P.109

Troy Apke, Pen State, S: This was a questionable pick but one I understand I was hoping to get a starting guard around here but we didn't address the position at all. Apke is a raw safety with 4.31 speed who can “run run”. CBs Fabian Moreau and Quinton Dunbar were major Special teamers but at least 1 will start and he other will see increased PT. So in order to replace them we get Apke who can play all 4 special teams and will probably be a gunner for a year or 2 before getting a chance to contribute.

R.5 P.163

Tim Settle, Virginia Tech, NT: I think this was a big steal, we had a second round grade on him and he slid a lot, mostly due to weight concerns. Hes a big NT at 330 but has surprisingly good footwork and burst, I could see him having a role early in running downs. At 20 yo he's the youngest player on our team I think

R.6, P.197

Shaun Dion-Hamilton, ILB, Alabama: The Alabama inside linebacker joins teammates Allen, Anderson and Payne. He has major injury.concerns and is a bit undersized, but was apparently the smartest player in the Alabama Defense. It's worth noting we traded up for him and Gruden has said multiple times he could start down the road. He has a lot of competition for the backup ILB spots tho.

R.7, P.241

Greg Stroman, CB, Virginia Tech: We really should change our name to Alabama Tech, As Stroman is one of 3 VA tech players we drafted this year. Stroman is undersized but extremely good in man coverage, and is a very good punt returner. He faces a lot of competition but his return skills could land him on the roster.

R.7, P.256

Trey Quinn, WR, SMU: Trey Quinn, this years Mr. Irrelevant is getting. lot of hype from redskins fans. He had 114 catches in his final year of college and can play outside and in the slot(*insert Sneakily athletic Joke). He could see a lot of time in the 2019 season if we can't keep Crowder, i'm excited for him, but I have another WR that i'm a little more excited for….

Supplemental Draft, R.6

Adonis Alexander, CB, Virgina Tech: Off-field stuff caused Adonis to be releases by Tech.And we took him with a 6th round pick in the supplemental draft. The 6’3 corner has very similar measurements to Richard Sherman. There is 0℅ he starts this year but if he makes the roster Torrian Grey(our secondaries Coach and former VA Tech coach) could develop him. We could lose him but i'd like the practice squad for him.

Roster

Bold=Starter

QB

Alex Smith: The Alex Smith trade took a lot of people by surprise and brought the end of the Kirk Cousins Era. You can go back and forth on Kirk and Alex and make a good argument for either one, but this season Kirk will make 11 mill more than Alex and if Kirk is better he's not 11 mill better. Alex is a game manager who takes care of the football, turning the ball over 3 times less than cousins. He also can make plays with his feet which Gruden really likes. Obviously Alex had a lot of help in KC and we won't know which version of Alex we are getting till week 1. Our season depends on how well he can adjust, but Gruden's system is very qb friendly.

Colt Mcoy: Colt “Cowboy-Killer” is definitely one of the better backup qbs in the league, he is entering his final year on contract but unless he does horrible in preseason and hogan plays very well he should be safe.

Kevin Hogan: We swapped 6th round picks with the Browns to get local qb Kevin Hogan, He could just be a camp arm but he has experience and could play well enough  in preseason to earn a spot on the 53 or somehow beat out Mccoy.

RB:

Derrius Guice: No surprise here, the RB many consider the steal of the Draft becomes the 1st and second down power back the team has been looking for since Alfred Morris. He has impressed in OTAs with his receiving ability, but we won't know till training camp how his pass blocking is.

Chris Thompson: Im listing him as a starter because he will be our third down back. He broke out last year with 300(4.6 ypc) yards rushing and 510 rec yards on 39 catches(13.1 avg) in 10 games, hes such a likeable dude and im glad we extended him before last season. For a guy his size he is a very good pass blocker and is probably one of the most respected guys in the locker room.

Samaje Perine: a 4th rounder last year, Im a lot higher on him than most, he was running behind a demolished O-line that in some games had ⅕ starters on it, he did have 2 back to back 100 yard rushing games against the saints and giants. He ended the year with 603 yards rushing and 1 TD(3.4 ypc) and hauled in 22 of 24 targets for 180 yards and a TD. I expect him to spell Guice and be a late game closer.

Rob Kelly: I love Fat Rob Kelly but I think his time is done here. He finished last year with 194 yards rushing and 3 tds(3.1 ypc). I think we keep 4 rbs but the 4th is likely a backup to CT

Kapri Bibbs: I think he gets the 4th rb spot, the former bronco and member of the super bowl team joined in week 14. In 3 games he finished with 80 yards rushing and caught 14 of 17 targets for 130 yards and a TD.

Byron Marshall: Taken from the eagles practice squad last year, Gruden likes him, has a chance to be 4th RB, practice squad likely

Martez Carter: UDFA rookie, third down back type, competing with Byron for PS spot.

Keith Marshall: 7th rounder in 2016, missed both seasons with injury, 4.3 speed but probably has no chance

WR

Josh Doctson: 2016 1st rounder, Doctson has been underwhelming but I don't think he belongs in the same category with Treadwell and Perriman, had 500 yards and 6tds with one being a major game winner against the seahawks, has had his share of endzone drops tho(chiefs, broncos)

I think he gets 700-750 8 tds

Paul Richardson: Had 700 yards with the hawks, also had 13 rec of over 20 yards, will play desean jackson role and open things up for crowder, reed, and Thompson, has made some crazy catches and is good in the red zone, plays bigger then his size. He has been praised for his route running which he didn't get to do a lot in seattle because….reasons.

Jamison Crowder:  Top 12 slot wr imo, Took him a while to get going and he struggled(a lot) with fumbling punts. In a contract year. Finished last year with 790 yards and 3 tds. I hope we can keep him but with the wr market being what it is I could see him leaving after this year.

Robert Davis: 6th rounder from last year, im super excited for him 6’3 with 4.4 speed, spent last year on PS, has looked very good at otas, I think he gets the WR 4 spot, couldn be the star of preseason

Brian Quick: Not very quick, only thing he has going for him is being a veteran and experience, had 77 yards last year including a major one against the hawks.

Maurice Harris:: 3rd year udfa receiver, 6’3, made crazy td catch against Vikings, good ST and is entering a critical year

Trey Quinn: 7th round 6’0 rookie from this year, can play outside and in the slot, we will probably keep 6 wrs so i think he makes it.

Simie Cobbs: Best UDFA rookie wr, not very fast but is good at 50/50 balls, My guess is PS but he might get poached.

Cam Sims: 6’5  udfa from Alabama, has been doing good at OTAs, fighting for PS spot

LT

Trent Williams: Top 3 LT in the NFL and 6 time pro bowler, played injured last year, He will help Alex Smith have a hopefully smooth transition

Ty Nsekhe: 34 years old and on a one year deal, Above average Backup, can play guard as well

LG/RG

Shawn Lauvo: The weak spot on the line, 30 years old, injury prone and a below average starter

Tyler Catalina: UDFA last year, suprisngly made the roster, played pretty bad at both tackle and guard

Brandon Scherff: 2 Time Probowler, A top 10 guard in the NFL, very good run blocker, we picked up his 5th year option but we will need to pay him eventually

Kyle Kalis: Another UDFA from last year played well in preseason but surprisingly was cut in favor of Catalina, played 3 games for the colts and was not great, he was cut and we brought him back to compete with Catalina.

Center

Chase Roullier: Chase Roullier was a 6th round pick from last year, started 7 games for us and all things considered he looked pretty good. He did have his rookie mistakes, he high snapped a ball that led to a fumble but was luckily recovered, and at the beginning of the season he struggled in run blocking though he did get better. He was very good in pass pro  though and only allowed 1 hurry in his final 4 starts. We were confident enough in him to let Spencer Long go. Im not expecting a pro-bowl but I think he can be an average center at least, and i'm excited to watch him play, and he seems like a cool dude.

Tony Bergstrom: Came in in the middle of the year and was forced to play as our third string center with like a week of practice, he was horrible in run blocking I think but decent at pass pro. He's a lock to make the roster  as our backup C.

Casey Dunn: Undrafted Rookie, undersized, My guess is pracitce squad

RT

Morgan Moses: I think Morgan is super underrated, he's probably a top 10 or at the very least top 12 RT. He played almost all of last season on 2 injured ankles

Geron Christian Sr.: 3rd round rookie, see draft section for nore, excited to see him in Preseason

TJ Clemmings: Nope

TE

Jordan Reed: This is a big year for Jordan, if he is healthy he will make Alex Smith's first year so much easier,and if not then a trade or pay cut is a possibility. But hes a game changer and our playbook has a lot of plays designed for him.

Vernon Davis: Vernon Davis is still going strong at 34 years old, finishing last year with 648 yards and 3 tds, He's a respected guy in the locker room and we are lucky to have him. He is also reunited with his former qb Alex Smith for the end of their careers.

Jeremy Sprinkle: A 5th round pick last year who should have more playing time as we let Jack-of-all-Trades Niles Paul go in FA. He only had 2 catches last year but one was a TD. He's probably our best blocking TE as the run game was better when he was on the field.

Matt Flanagan/ Garrett Hudson: UDFAs fighting for a PS spot

LE

Jonathan Allen: Our 1st round pick from 2017 was quietly having a great start to the season before landing on IR in week 6. While he only had 1 sack, he was getting tons of pressure and doing the dirty work for the Defense. In his 5 games  on the field, Preston Smith had 4.5 sacks and Matt Ioannidis had 3, after he was gone Preston had 3.5 in the final 11 games

Anthony Lanier:  an UDFA from 2016 who made the team but was inactive, but last year he had a minor break out and should be our 3rd down pass rush specialist. In the final 6 games he played like a fire was lit under him(which is terrifying when your coach makes u play butt-ass naked) He had 5 sacks, 6 batted passes, a ff and a blocked fg, roster lock

NT

Daron Payne: 1st round rookie from this year, Gruden says he will start at Nose

Stacy Mcgee: Brought in last year from the raiders, was decent but unspectacular with 44 tackles and no sacks, probably make the roster but might miss some of training camp with an injury.

Tim Settle: 5th round rookie we had a second round grade on, will contribute early.

Ziggy Hood: He's a leader and seems like an awesome guy but he's over 30, gets no push in the pocket and was horrible at nose

Phil Taylor: Super injury prone and over 30, would have started for us last year after an awesome preseason but got injured, i don't think he makes it

RE

Matt Ionnidas, Ionman, King Ionnidas: 2016 5th rounder, Had a minor breakout last year, gets a ton of push in the pocket, He and Jon allen were 2 of the top 4 pass rushing DEs until week 6 when Allen landed on Ir and he broke his hand. He and Allen can be really good

Tavaris Barnes: Camp Body, maybe has a shot at PS

LOLB:

Ryan Kerrigan: Since 2014 he has the most sacks since Von Miller and leads the league in FF(22) since being drafted, beat player on our Defense , having Payne and Allen back will help

Finished 2017 with 13 sacks

Pernell Mcphee: Injury Prone but a high quality backup, can stop the run and play some D-line. Roster Lock

ROLB

Preston Smith: 2015 2nd rounder, Preston Smith is in a contract year and could get payed big, he was off to a great start with 4.5 sacks in 5 games but went 8 games without getting another, finished with 8 sacks, 2 ints and a FF.

Him and Kerrigan had the most sacks of any OLB duo last year

Ryan Anderson: 2nd round Alabama OLB from last year, didnt show anything finishing with only 15 tackles in 180 snaps. He should get more time this year so im hopeful. Roster Lock

Alex Mcallister: Speed rusher, spent last year on PS, I think he goes there again.

Pete Robertson: 3rd year UDFA, doubt he makes it

ILB

Zach Brown:  He would have lead the league in tackles if he stayed healthy, He is super fast and athletic and very good against the run(yes, we do have players that are good against the run), will benefit from another year in the system.  He's not very good in coverage but he's not a liability either. Finished last year with 127 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Really glad we re-signed him

Mason Foster: Was injured early last year, but had a game sealing INT vs the Rams after he popped his shoulder back into place. Pretty much an average starter.

Josh Harvey-Clemmons: A 7th round pick from last year. A 6’3 Converted Safety who I think could be pretty good. Could be in line for some more PT. finished last year with 16 tackles and a .5 sacks. Worked some with the 1st team in OTAs so he should be safe

Zach Vigil: Came in and played pretty well for us in the middle of the year. i think he makes the roster. The refs robbed him of an INT against the Broncos. finished with 60 tackles. Competing with Spaight, but I think he makes it

Martrell Spaight: Could be the odd man out, 4th year 5th round pick, He's a good ST, but not good in coverage, and missed a lot of tackles, finished last year with 75 tackles, if he plays well enough  in preseason. he could push Shaun to the PS.

Shaun Dion-Hamilton: 6th round rookie, undersized but smart, injury history

Vontae Diggs/ Jerod Fernandez: UDFA rookies fighting for a PS spot

CB

Josh Norman: No competition here for the cb1 spot, Jno is a leader and still solid but I think it's his last year, moving on after the season would help a lot for extensions for preston smith and Scherff

Quinton Dunbar:  2017 third round pick Fabian Moreau could win the job but im going with Dunbar. Dunbar's story is interesting, came to the skins a few years back as an undrafted wr who couldn't catch and was moved to cb, now he projects to be a starter. The 6’2 Corner played 300+ snaps and didn't give up a TD, defended 8 passes and intercepted wentz. The battle for the cb2 spot is the biggest one of training camp.

Orlando Scandrick(hopefully not), I hated this signing, scandrick is old and has a major injury history, luckily there are a lot of guys in position to win the job, Moreau being the big one, with Holsey and Stroman having a small chance too. For now he's listed as a starter but he has vet little guaranteed money so I hope they won't just give him the job.

Fabian Moreau: 2017 third round pick, He was projected by some to be a late first before tearing his pec at his pro day. He ran a 4.3 at the combine. The 6’0 cb is more of an outside cb but could probably play the slot, big expectations from the fans

Josh Holsey: 2017 7th rounder, was a ST only guy last year and was decent, hes 5”11 and projects as a slot cb, could be pushed to the PS due to all the new corners(Stroman)

Adonis Alexander: 6’3 supplemental 6th rounder, super raw with some off field concerns but could have a role next year

Greg Stroman: 7th round rookie, very good in man coverage, slot cb, can return punts which may give him an edge over Holsey.

Danny Johnson: UDFA rookie slot cb, has been impressing at OTAs, could win a PS spot and maybe kick out Holsey, but will need to improve against the run

FS

Montae Nicholson: 2017 4th rounder, We really didn't like this pick. He has great athleticism  at 6’2 and 4.4 speed but was seen as a big reach, but now he is the most hyped player on our Defense. He only played a few games due to injury but had an INT of Carr and looked good roaming the backfield. Gruden called him the Jordan Reed in how much he allows them to do

Troy Apke: 4th round rookie, 4.31 speed, probably is a ST only guy while he develops

Fish Smithson: 3rd year UDFA who impressed in Preseason last year after getting an INT, spent last year on the PS, could return there but will compete with Blanding and Everett

SS

DJ Swearinger: The unquestioned leader of our Defense, came in last year and was made captain before playing a snap. His hit on Lynch in week 3 shows the player he is. He did have some big plays allowed but was an above average safety with 70 tackles, 4 ints, 10 pds, and a FF.

Deshazor Everett: Re-signed to a 2 year deal, good ST and good depth though he has his issues in coverage, forced a fumble against the broncos, probably safe

Quin Blanding: Local 6’2 UDFA rookie, not very fast(4.6 speed) but an excellent tackler, zone coverage experienced, and finished with 495 tackles in his career, Gruden says he has a chance to stick, could land on the PS but I think he makes the roster

Upcoming Free Agents

Preston Smith

Jamison Crowder

Anthony Lanier

Pernell Mcphee

Colt Mccoy

Future Needs

CB

LG

ILB

TE

QB

2019 Projected Draft Picks

1 1st round

1 2nd round

2 3rd round

1 4th round

2 5th round

2 6th round

1 7th round

I hope we hold off on QB this year and wait for the 2020 draft. I like most of our depth so I wouldn't hate it if we used most of our picks to move up for a blue chip player, I see CB as our biggest need next year.

Expectations

Secondary: I will start off with the area I think we regress most in, surprisingly our secondary was 11th in yards given up, even though we allowed the 5th most explosive plays I think we fall anywhere from 16-22 range. We lost 2 starters in Breeland and Fuller and there will be a lot of new faces. I'm optimistic the cb2 situation. will work out with Dunbar/ Moreau, but im less confident in the slot cb situation, we are in a division with Beasly, Shepard and Agholor. Some Days I think our pass rush allows them to look really good, but they will have to gell fast or guys like Rodgers and Matt Ryan could have big days if they don't communicate.

Pass Rush: This is the one area i think we are top 5 in, we were 7th last year with Allen and Ionman getting injured after week 6 and this year we add Payne in the 1st, I think this unit will get a lot of respect after a few games

Receivers: I don't think we have a 1000 yard receiver this year, there will be a lot of targets between Doctson, Reed, Crowder, Richardson, Thompson, Davis and a few for guice, If reed is healthy he has the best chance, followed by crowder, but I think we have a well balanced passing game and smith gets to 4k yards(Cousins got to it all 3 years he was here)

Run D: Im not gonna go crazy since we were last in the nfl last year so I will predict a top 18 Run D, Injuries played a large role in that and we replaced the worst starting NT in the NFL.(Its ziggy hood)I think the potential is higher though.

Overview: I really do think we are a better team than most give us credit for and I think we will be competitive in every game, especially with all our guys coming back from IR, but with that being said we are in the NFC which is going to be a bloodbath and our Division is headed by the reigning super bowl champs, and Barkley and Zeke will give us headaches twice a year and test our revamped run-d. My prediction is 9-7 for the season, I don't think that will be enough for a wild-card appearance in the NFC(Just a daily reminder, it is stacked as hell). If we underperform i could see Gruden leaving and the new coach will have 10 picks to work with. Anyway I hope you enjoyed this, I spent quite a bit of my time on this and I hope it gives you a better perspective on our team. HTTR!

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38 comments
50
Posted by
Eagles
6 hours ago

It seems like 95% of NFL fans, every offseason, predict the same teams that were good the previous season to be good again the upcoming season. But of course, this is almost never the case.

Personally, I’m not sold on the Saints for this year. They’re a trendy superbowl pick, but I can’t help but see last year as an outlier.

Three straight seasons of 7-9 followed by 11-5 isn’t promising, in my eyes, going forward. Ingram is missing 1/4 the season. Kamara looked incredible, but the law of averages is undefeated all-time and I wonder how he’ll manage with as a known commodity with film on him now. Brees is another year older, and one always has to be weary of that potential drop off due to age.

Of course, I could be completely wrong and the Saints could win 12 games. Who knows! That’s part of the fun of the NFL. So, who do yall have?

50
147 comments
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