I'm going to start off by addressing you Sam-Haters and Clowney-Lovers. IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. Snead and Fisher are tied at the hip to Bradford and that 2nd pick will be traded. So there. Live with it. Anyways, let's take a lot at the rams, position by position heading into 2014.
Quarterback: The current regime has pegged Sam as the guy. Before getting hurt he was on pace or a 3800+ yard, 34 TD, 10 Int year with a QBR of 90.7. Clemens has been a serviceable back-up in the back end of 2013. Not a need but a guy could be drafted in round 5-7 to groom.
Who fits: Jimmy Garapollo, Tom Savage
Running Back: The feature back for 2014 has been found in Zac Stacy. I was in the Eddie Lacy camp last May and was severely disappointed when we passed on him. I'm happy now, as Zac has proven himself the poor-mans Eddie Lacy. Zac probably could've won ROY if he ha started all 16 games. Cunningham is a nice change-of-pace back but question marks still surround Pead. "He's the next Lesean McCoy" we were told. Now we are painfully aware that he is anything but. Most of his struggles seem to be mental, so I give him another year before getting the boot. Not much need to draft here unless it's best available late on day 3.
Who fits: Storm Johnson, DeAnthony Thomas
Wide Receiver: One word that could characterize this unit is "frustrating". We've never grabbed that #1 AJ Green or Dez Bryant type but we do have a lot of upside. Tavon is a big-play game breaker in open space and in the return game. Pettis is decent enough, he's been good in he red zone and he's relatively cheap. Givens is a field stretcher but his underwhelming sophomore campaign is concerning. The most pleasing surprise of 2013 has to be Stedman Bailey. He came on strong In the later half of the season, displaying good route running ability and hands. Looking forward into 2014, I think that Quick will emerge much like Vincent Jackson did starting in his 3rd year. VJ and Quick are similar, both big body second round projects out of small-pedigree schools. I see Quick taking over the #1 spot with Bailey taking over Pettis's role, Tavon In the slot and Givens used as a deep threat. 2014 is make or break for this unit.
Who fits: Let's just wait until 2015
Tight End: Many are disappointed with the performance of Jared Cook thus far, but his 51 reception, 671 yard, 5 TD year is consistent with his best years in Tennessee. He's the player we signed not the player we payed for. That's not to say his ceiling isn't high, it most certainly is, but he needs to gain some physicality. Then there's Lance Kendricks, and what he lacks in pass catching he makes up for in blocking. I'm all for keeping him around as he's cheap and effective. The only thing that may need to be added through the draft is a late round receiving tight end.
Who Fits: Colt Lyerla
Offensive Line: I could break this down position by position but because of Fisher's love for versatile lineman, it can be done all at once. This is a bigger draft need than other positions on offense so let's get a bit more in depth.
What We've Got:
Jake Long - LT for the next 3-5 years. Injury is conscerning but he should play the majority of 2014.
Joe Barksdale - A journeyman tackle who hit his stride this year as one of PPF's highest rated lineman. He'll be in a contract year so resigning in 2014 at a lower price would be beneficial.
Harvey Dahl - Although old, Dahl's played solid when on the field. Unfortunately, he hasn't played up to his price tag and we are right against the cap in 2014. Looks for him to either restructure or not be in horns come 2014.
Scott Wells - Same as Dahl, but with more injuries. The only real reason to keep him around is for experience.
Barrett Jones - Here's a big question mark. He could've been a first rounder had it not been for his lisfranc injury. On top of that, no one has seen anything of him this year. He basically redshirted his rookie year. Regardless, I have high hopes for Jones. He was 6'4" 305lbs coming out of Alabama and has spent 2013 adding more bulk. His build and experience makes him versatile at guard and center so expect to see him playing both in 2014. Future stud if you ask me.
Who we need to keep:
Rodger Saffold - His past is littered with injuries but he proved his salt in 2013. He played both tackle positions in 2013 as well as guard. As most of us know, the line really hit it's stride when he kicked inside to guard and Barksdale filled in at tackle. In my eyes, keeping Saffold is our #1 priority.
Tim Barnes - Undrafted, he improved week by week after filling in for the injured Scott Wells. Expect him to keep improving under Boudreaus' tutilege. Probably never a Pro-bowler but great for o-line depth.
So with Dahl, Wells and Saffold potentially being gone next year we have some holes to fill come May. We don't need a tackle in the first but rather a few versatile Guard/Tackle types on days 2 and 3.
Who Fits: David Yankey, Gabe Jackson, Morgan Moses, James Hurst, Cyril Richardson, Zach Martin, Chris Watt
There it is in a nutshell. I'm interested to here your takes on each position entering 2014. For next time, expect a defensive breakdown or a profile of the 2014 offensive line class.