Hi all. Long time reader, first post. This season is about what I expected. Let's face it, we're one of the worst teams in the league as far as overall talent. However, we're going to be in the best salary cap shape and have some players we can build with. So here are my thoughts on how we can get back on the right path trying to be as realistic as possible with trades and signings.
Re-sign: Obviously, we want to get Veldheer and Houston. We probably also want Jennings back. I think if CWood is willing to give it another go, we'll kick the can down the road as far as getting a new FS. And we should take a wait and see approach as far as Tracy Porter is concerned. Backups such as Pashos might be worth it as well.
Cut: I think we can lose Ausberry, Crawford, Criner, and Nix off the top. None of these players are pulling their weight and we now have the cap room to improve on talent.
Trade: We don't have a #1 receiver. We need one (I suggest we draft one). We were hoping that D. Moore was going to be it, but he just isn't. With the emergence of Streater and Holmes, we don't need 3 guys of the same caliber. I think D. Moore has the best trade value since he's more of a known commodity. If Louis Murphy can net us a 7th round pick, I think D. Moore can also be of some value. I'd start by talking to the Jags who currently hold three 5th round picks.
I'd also shop Pryor. It is obvious that we don't have a franchise qb with either McGloin or Pryor. I think Pryor offers more trade value. McGloin has shown he can move the ball down the field, making him a capable backup. See if we can somewhere in the range of a 4th-6th for Pryor. If not, we can keep him.
FA Signings: I think the following signings would help us greatly without breaking the bank.
Dennis Pitta - The Ravens will probably want to try to keep him, but we could offer him a decent contract. I think he's better than Boss or Meyers and it would avoid having to use a 3rd draft pick on a TE in 2 years.
Captain Munnerlyn or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - I think both are better than what we have at corner right now. We should take the chance to upgrade when we can. Neither of these guys are tops in the league meaning they won't be too expensive. I like Munnerlyn better since he's only 25.
Brian Orakpo - the only one that might break the bank. A lot of teams will request his services. I think the Raiders should make a run for him but not overspend. He would obviously upgrade the defense immediately.
I've seen us at #3 and #4 but am not sure where we are exactly. I'm hoping we hop the Jags putting them between us and Cleveland, who has two 1sts, two 3rds, and two 4ths. With both teams in the market for qbs, I think we could slide back to Cleveland's spot at #5 in exchange for a 3rd and a 4th. If they don't want to budge, perhaps we can convince the Jags to jump up the one spot (similar to what the Rams did to the Browns a few years ago) and give up their 4th.
In the pick 3-5 range, if Barr is available, I like him. If we have a good offer to slide back a bit further (with say, the Vikes at #8), we could do that. If we do, I like taking either Evans or Watkins (but don't want to waste a top 5 on them.
2nd rd. - If Richardson is still available, I like him. If not, I'd hope that Murphy may be available or Donald out of Pitt. Or if a top qb slides (perhaps Blake Bortles, Carr, or Mettenberger), we could go in that direction. If options aren't available, a WR like Jordan Matthews or Allen Robinson may be available (if we didn't go with a WR in the 1st)
3rd rd. - If a RB like Carlos Hyde is still available, I'd take him. Otherwise, I would go with a G or DT (if we went with one of those in the 2nd, I'd move opposite). Potential guys include Gabe Jackson (if he slides that far) or Daquan Jones from Penn State.
Potential Extra 3rd rd: best available player...again, if we don't yet have a pick at G, DT, or WR, go there...otherwise - a CB, FS, or TE (if we didn't get Pitta) would be a good choice.
4th rd. - I like the idea of taking a 2nd receiver in this draft. Perhaps Devin Street from Pitt would fit in this spot.
Potential extra 4th: Another OL that can upgrade depth. We don't want to be using the same backups who are horrible for us. Another possibility may be McCullers from Tenn.
Potential 5th (if we trade Moore): best available player - another safety, or pass rusher would be nice. Perhaps a small-school guy?
6th and 7th round - Add depth...guys who can be solid backups. I went to Penn State so I know about a few players such as John Urschel (G), Glenn Carson (ILB), and Silas Redd (RB who transferred to USC). Any would help fill depth.
I know a lot of people are upset with Reggie and Allen. But we just weren't able to upgrade talent this year. Next year, we'll have that chance. I think this would be a good place to start.