This is Part V, and the final installment, in a series ranking each player on the roster at specific positions. You can read the other installments at the links below. A brief reminder that this is a ranking based on the likelihood of making the 53-man roster, not a ranking of pure talent. I’ve included the assumptions again at the bottom of the article.
Part I: Offensive skill positions | Part II: Offensive line Part III: Defensive front seven | Part IV: Defensive secondary
Part V is for the specialists
Nick Folk – Folk gets the nod because Dallas spent a draft pick on him and he was brought here for a specialized task. It appears that all he has to do is have a strong leg on kickoffs, and he’ll make the roster. He’s younger that Gramatica, and can be groomed for the future.
Martin Gramatica – The diminutive one is in trouble. If Folk can kick FG’s with any accuracy there may be no place on the team for Gramatica.
L.P. Ladouceur (Lock) – I don’t think we have anybody else who does long snapping, so he has to be the guy.
Mat McBriar (Lock) – He’s good, real good.
Sam Paulescu – Mr. Paulescu will be known for one thing, saving McBriar from kicking his leg out during camp. After that, sayonara.
The floor is now open. These are just guesses at a very early part of the offseason, so don’t hold me to them once training camp arrives. A lot of these players I haven’t seen play in person, and some of them I’ve never even seen on TV. But it should make for some fun discussion.
I might have missed a few bottom-of-the-roster players who were signed along the way, so if I did, remind me and I’ll up date the post.
Some ground rules for my rankings.
I moved some players around based on things that the coaches and Jerry have said, plus the needs at the position, and plain old gut feel. Not all of them will happen, but I tried to make educated guesses.
Draftees get more benefit of the doubt. If a draftee is competing with a back-up veteran, sometimes the draftee gets the nod even if the vet might be the better player at this moment.
This isn’t a direct ranking of each player’s talent level; other factors sometimes play into the ranking. For example, I think that Terrell Owens is our most talented receiver by a small margin over Terry Glenn, but Glenn has already been paid his bonus while Owens has not. This makes Glenn just a little more of a lock than Owens to make the 53-man roster, so he comes in ahead of Owens, but both are locks in my opinion.
Don’t get too mad at me if I slay one of your pet cats by putting him at the bottom of a ranking. I’ll readily admit I don’t know a lot about UDFA’s and some of out draftees, so I just ranked them on gut feel, need at the position, or by throwing darts at a chart with their names on it.
Be forewarned, I have an unfair bias in favor of veterans over the UDFA’s right now. Until I see some of these guys at camp, if they were one of the last guys signed and not drafted, then they’ll probably rank at the bottom.