I know I'm being greedy, but I'd love another OLB, a backup RB and a backup anywhere on the O Line. Just in case.
This off season has been excellent. We've literally addressed each position we needed to.
From needing: G, OLB, DT, S, WR and backup RB only backup RB remains.
We got a great guard. Great potential at OLB and WR and exactly what we needed at DT in a big fat run stuffer. At safety we addressed both spots with Mikell and he's a perfect fit (although I'll always miss OJ!).
We did not over spend, we spent wisely at positions of need and crucially paid relevant money to the importance of each position with regards to the quality of player.
Defensively, I have no worries.
DT is not that important schematically and the need was addressed by a solid guy for the right money. If Bannan started for the Ravens and we got good production from the undersized Gibson, I don't see how it isn't a great sign, unless the injury bug hits. Regardless of injury to Bannan or Robbins, we have solid depth in Cudjo, Gibson (who I'd like retained) and Darrell Scott who should finally show his worth (if camp stories are to be believed).
Remember it was outside runs that bothered us last year, and even with undersized DTs we still have JL to stop the RBs for minimal gains. The gut is secure.
At DE with the rotation we have tremendous upside and proven production within the scheme. Quinn added to Long and Hall is scary, but I think Selvie can also prove to be a valuable player. He made plays last season despite the 7th round status and with this supporting cast can contribute.
At OLB we got some ATHLETICISM. Again the thing we lacked at OLB. I feel that even though statistically our OLBs weren't great, they aren't BAD players. I felt that they were victimized due to limited athleticism and as such were made to look worse. No lateral speed to get to the flats for dump offs, screens and tosses/stretches. Diles is a fast LB with a nose for the ball. Hopefully that will make up for the limited Zone skills, and can be improved within the scheme. (Hines can play OLB in Nickel and Dime sets in his place) He has upside to blossom within the scheme.
Mikell at Safety is a great get, schematically and leadership-ally. The restructuring of Butler's contract is also unheralded, but really means that a good depth and rotation at Safety spots can happen. We have the vets and then the potential for the future too.
CB we've been set a while IMO, but the addition of Harris for nickel and dime sets as an instinctual cover guy has been solid. He is old, slow and oft injured, but in terms of guidance to Jerome Murphy and Bradley Fletcher alongside Bartell will be crucial. His savvy and intelligence should also work well within the scheme.
Dahl opens up the run game, especially if Bell isn't cut after all. Can you believe it? For once, the Rams will have 5 competent to excellent starting Offensive Linemen. The benefits of this are too obvious and mundane to write, but bigger holes for Sjax = good thing and more time for Bradford = better thing.
The Mike Skywalker signing has left me scratching my head in a good way.
As a big fan of Danario, Gibson and Avery (as people and players - specifically their upside) I know at LEAST one will be cut or traded, and this is upsetting. We may even lose two or both.
Clayton is a great guy who DESERVES a new deal with us, but in this case I may have to be a cold bastard and profess that he shouldn't be considered. I've voted yes on T Rams post out of compassion, but with my thinking hat on, I can't see his role being of any specific importance. Avery is a vet, while unestablished, likewise with mike Skywalker and both players ability and potential is better suited to the long term plan for the Rams, in addition to this Clayton isn't the best scheme fit (inconsistent hands, small frame and lack of top end speed). Clayton's value last year was immense, specifically with his ability to act as a safety blanket for Bradford and as a mentor to the young stable.
This young stable is now entering that crucial 3rd year for WRs under a coach who I will admit has brought the best out of his WRs and each player has a more specific and tangible fit within it than Clayton.
I can see our WR corps looking like this:
Gilyard on PS.
Curry as a special teamer? If not definitely PS.
That'd be my ideal WR corps for this season.
In addition to this is the TE corps that is looking strong and has excellent potential.
- Bajema (blocking ONLY)
- Fendi (too much upside to let loose)
Fells is a good player, but jack of all trades master of none kinda guy and is expendable IMO. He's also got a good market for his services, so it's not like he won't continue to have a career and I wish him well with it.
Ultimately I'd actually like to swap Bajema for the recently released and fellow mouthful Brandon Manumanuela, who is a better blocker and can also be classed as a FB, which Bajema can't.
Kendricks may be the H-Back but I'd rather he didn't have too much contact with 300+lbs DLinemen; I'd rather he outrun LBs and plough safeties for TDs, but that's just me.
Offensively we're looking very good for this season AND next season AND season after AND the season after that AND recurring.
Are you satisfied with this off season/Free Agency?
Why? Why not?
Any holes left to fill?
Observations on new additions?
Who makes the roster and why?