Free Agency this year looks to be very strong.
On this blog, the consensus of what we need to get for next year is:
…..That’s a lot of positions.
Well, here’s my quick analysis of what positions I think should be upgraded through Free Agency.
Note: All projections are made using KFFL.com and footballsfuture.com
OL will be the second in this 5 part series.
This O-Line was so promising last year. However, scheme changes & position changes stopped that ABRUPTLY. My thoughts:
Jared Veldheer is a GEM that Al Davis found. Last year, Veldheer and Wisniewski held the left side down. They need to be paired together again, in my opinion, and a Center is needed. Shore up the left side like before, and build the right side of the offensive live – Veldheer & Wisniewski should show improvement together, and if one side of the line is better for the run, then the team is better off somewhat.
Cooper Carlisle is a serviceable LG/RG. Mike Briesel…is not playing like his contract demands him to play. And our RT situation is bad, but shaping up to improve – Khalif Barnes, who held his position down last year, is coming back from his injury, and Tony Bergstrom, our rookie lineman, played tackle in college, both taking Willie Smith’s position. So Oakland has the ability to patchwork up the right side.
Here’s the problem. There aren’t any NOTABLE Centers in this Free Agency Class. NONE. So Wiz is staying. I honestly like Carlisle and Barnes on the right side – the results have been seen before, and that’s much better than what is on the field now. However, the hole at LG is filled by Carlisle. So, two more pieces to this line are needed- a GREAT RT, and a Good LG. Carlisle is much better on the RG side - where he is familiar playing. And it is known that it needs to get better on that side.
Oakland also has Alex Parsons as backup Center, Lucas Nix as a backup guard (shout out to brhynno for his post on him on tSABP) and Zack Hurd (on IR) as a backup tackle (as per NFL.com). The depth could, and needs to get better. Nix, is a rookie, and still developing (I don’t know how caught up he is).
Here’s what the line is looking like right now:
Starting: Veldheer, Carlisle, Wiz, Breisel, Barnes/Bergstrom
Backups: Nix (G), Parsons (C), Bergstrom (G), Smith/Bergstrom(RT)
This shows where the holes are – LG, RT, and backup LT. The reason why is because the most desirable lineup is this:
Starting: Veldheer, new LG, Wiz, Cooper/Breisel, New RT
Backups: New LT, Nix/Bergstrom(LG), Parsons (C), Cooper/Breisel (RG), Barnes/Bergstrom (RT)
Another problem: Cooper Carlisle is a FA next year.
The next problem is that all of the available RTs and LGs. Most will be kept by their teams – either by new contracts, or by Franchise tags. The ones that we most likely will be able to target (as per KFFL.com) are:
1) Jeremy Trueblood (OT) (backup tackle for Tampa Bay recently, but has starting experience)
2) Will Beatty (OT) (Starter for NYG, so far allowed only 1 sack and 10 QB hurries, which is GREAT, NYG probably will resign)
3) Kevin Boothe (Serviceable linemen on a solid NYG Offensive Line)
4) Andre Smith (OT, CIN) (Not that great of a RT, but better than Smith)
That being said, our best option, is to sign Carlisle, one of these tackles, and Draft RT or LG with our picks.
Let’s say that Mckenzie signs Beatty/Trueblood (best case scenario) and Carlisle, and Bergstrom starts next year. Willie Smith is let go, Nix is kept (and looks to be serviceable), and we draft/sign a LT/RT for the future. Here is what the line would look like (barring any injury):
Starting: Veldheer, Bergstrom, Wiz, Cooper/Breisel, Beatty/Trueblood
Backups: New LT, Nix (G), Parsons (C), Cooper/Breisel (RG), Barnes (RT)
This, in my opinion, would be the best lineup Oakland can have. Reason is because it contains players that are developing, as well as proven starters on the Offensive Line. However, it counts on Bergstrom developing FAST, Lucas Nix starting to show some development, and a key signing to the offensive line.
That being said, please comment. For some reason, I had trouble putting this together (Maybe I am tired, I don't know. It is 3AM over here), but leave what you think should happen.