As we enter into the camp phase of the offseason, there are many roster spots yet to be won. It is tough to decide on a lot of these, but here's my early take on how the offensive position battles will shape up and who I think is the favorite to win.
QB: Assuming Bradford and Clemens will make the roster, there is really one battle to be had:
I really think this is Austin's job to lose. Brandstater is a carryover from the last regime and they seem to be fairly high on Davis. I expect him to be the 3rd QB. There is a slight chance that the winner of this battle will eventually be the #2, but I think that's a fairly long shot.
FB: There are no locks here. It is a three way battle:
I put Middleton in the FB category and I feel he has a decent shot to win the position. Drawing comparisons to Mike Tolbert, I don't think it is that farfetched if he could perhaps add on a few pounds. I'll also have him in the RB conversation, but I think his ability to play FB and RB give him an edge to make the roster. Would add a dimention to the FB position as he can catch and get some carries, giving him an advantage over the other two. Todd Anderson is a big dude but is slower than some lineman, so I'm not sure he has the ability to make the team, unless he can add on 30 lbs and play guard. Brit Miller might still be the favorite to win the spot. I base this on the fact that he is still around and there did not appear to be any sort of effort to replace him other than two UDFAs to battle with him.
RB: Steven Jackson and Isaiah Pead will be number one and number two. So that leaves us with four possible candidates for likely one roster spot:
Reynolds is probably gone despite the Montana connection. I like all of the other three for different reasons. Richardson is an athletic back with decent at best size at 5'10'' 196 lbs. But good speed. Middleton as I mentioned is a bigger back with some versatility. Looks powerful on film. If he can prove to be useful as a pass blocker and catcher he might win the 3rd RB job if they keep one of the other two FBs. Schweiger is an Ivy League guy out of Dartmouth. 5'10'' 210 lbs ran in the 4.4s. Will draw some comparisons to Danny Woodhead for the same reason Danny Amendola gets compared to Wes Welker. He can catch the ball a little, haven't seen any tape on him. My two favorites are Richardson and Middleton. And the fact that Richardson was drafted my give him an edge. At the very least it shows that the coaches like him the best.
WR: My locks for this position are Quick, Givens, Amendola, and probably Salas. After that it gets very confusing:
Likely two out of this bunch will make the roster. I'd say Steve Smith is definitely the favorite for one of the spots. After that its likely to come down to Alexander and Pettis. Gibson has had his chances and is likely gone. I don't know a whole lot about Nick Johnson other than he's very fast. Danario and Pettis also have some knocks on them that make them tough to keep though. Alexander with his knees, and Pettis with his suspension and inability to raise his arm when a punt is coming his direction. Alexander can provide a deep threat at times but is pretty much limited to a situational player. I'm a fan of both players, it's tough to decide who will win this one. While I think Pettis could be the favorite, I can't definitively rule out any of the other three. We'll see how this one plays out.
TE: Safest players are Kendricks, Hoomanawanui, and Mulligan. But I can't honestly say any are safe, although Kendricks is close to a lock to make the team. After that, I'd say the blocking oriented Harkey and the opposite in Deangelo Peterson are next in line for the 4th spot if there is one. Mike McNeil and Ben Guidugli are on the roster but I don't see them making it. Looks like we could use some Fendi Onobun to fix this mess.
The O-line backup positions are all very up in the air. Safe O-lineman are likely Saffold, Watkins, Wells, Dahl, Smith, and maybe Ojinnaka. After that, I have very little insight on any of the players. The remaining players on the roster are:
|Long, Joe T|
|Hay, Michael G|
|Hebert, T-Bob C
|Barnes, Tim C
|Turner, Robert C/G
|Hughes, Kevin G/T
Two of these guys will probably make it if we don't bring in outside help. If we don't it's likely Long or Hughes will make one of the spots and the other 4 will battle for the last spot.