Strangely enough, this is my favorite time of the NFL season. I spend more time reading Chia's posts and evaluating players than I do working. As such, the blog bug bit me this morning and I'm ready for a second attempt a blueprint for a successful off-season.
Here's what we are factoring in so we're all on the same page. Since many of the readers on this site actively view Drafttek.com, their latest mock is the one we will use for this post. Also, we're gonna roll with best guesstimate of 20MM in cap space after Newman is cut.
And finally, we are gonna assume Dre Kirkpatrick is gone by #14 despite that not being the current status on Drafttek. Here we go!
Cuts - I'm not gonna spend time on Newman, he's gone. What I haven't heard much demand for is letting Kenyon Coleman go. He has a 1.9M cap figure for 2012 and with Spears, Hatcher, Lissemore, Brent, Geathers, and J-Rat signed, it would seem plausible if not logical to cut Coleman and save some cash there. Going through the roster I don't see many other players we could cut to save cap space. Maybe Kosier at 2.25M next year but Jerry is gonna have to make some moves on the line for that to make sense. OK, add 1.9M to the available cap, let's move on to free agency.
Free Agency - The list of potential free agents has been discussed exhaustively on here. The CB, G, and DE positions have the most depth and fill needs for the Boys so let's start there.
Carl Nicks - Best guard in the NFL in my book. Only question is how much will he cost.
Ben Grubbs - Plays RG (position of need), I would rather have Nicks but if we can't get him Grubbs is a nice substitute.
Ladarius Webb - Love this kid and wanted Jerry to draft him as a rookie.
Brandon Carr - Plan B in the event we can't sign Webb.
Any combination of two of these guys (including Nicks and Grubbs) would greatly benefit the Boys and set us up nicely for the draft. I don't think signing a DE is necessary though I really like Kendall Langford, Jason Jones, and Red Bryant.
Draft - . I'm of the belief that we have more holes than draft picks...Jerry likes to play the board...Hmm, this may work.
Since we are starting the draft with Dre Kirkpatrick and Coples off the board, let's examine who is left at #14:
Mark Barron, Dontari Poe, Whitney Mercilus, Nick Perry, Janoris Jenkins, Peter Konz, David DeCastro, Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram.
Obviously we could use any of these guys so a trade down makes sense.
Trade: Dallas sends #14 to the Bengals for #17 and #84.
Trade: Dallas sends #17 to the Browns for #22 and #68.
Pick: With the 22nd pick, Dallas selects Dontari Poe NT from Memphis.
Pick: With the 45th pick, Dallas selects Markelle Martin FS from Oklahoma State. (Minnifield if he's there)
Pick: With the 68th pick, Dallas selects Vinny Curry OLB from Marshall.
Pick. With the 82nd pick, Dallas selects Jon Massaquoi OLB from Troy.
Pick: With the 84th pick, Dallsa selects Kevin Zeitler G from Wisconsin.
Pick. With the 113th pick, Dallas selects Mike Brewster G/C from Ohio State.
Pick. With the 144th pick, Dallas selects Dwight Bentley CB from Louisiana-Lafayette.
Pick. With the 175th pick, Dallas selects Nicolas Jean-Baptiste NT from Baylor.
Pick. With the 206th pick, Dallas selects IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT.
So, assuming a Guard and Cornerback in free agency, we have a new Nose Tackle moving Ratliff to RE, Markelle Martin competing for the starting FS spot, Curry, Butler, and Massaquoi fighting for the stating LOLB spot and providing depth behind the eventual starter, Zeitler, Brewster, Arkin, and Nagy as depth/competing for starting spot on the O-line, and Bentley and Baptiste as fingers crossed depth.
Please share your thoughts, no one is 100% accurate on where they will go in the draft but this seems pretty legit. Hope you enjoyed.