As I look at our current roster and compare it to the last few years I see a lot of reasons for optimism. Except for one place!
Looking at our current roster this is what I see:
QB – Bradford started off the season last year really well. We had no run game and the D had not yet come into its own. If he can stay healthy I think we are good.
RB – We have our every down back and, not one but two, quality guys behind him.
WR – We could use a true #1 here but this is no longer the worst WR corp in the NFL. Austin has great promise as does Bailey. If we can get one of the vets to step up we are in OK shape here as well. Not great but good enough to compete.
TE – We have a receiving TE that has shown flashes and a solid blocking TE and some depth. No superstars here but a solid corp.
OL – Much improved over the past two seasons and getting better. We could use some depth but if Jones can step up and everyone comes back healthy we can hold our own against anyone.
Special teams – as good a duo as there is in the NFL, period.
DL – Holy Shit! The best in the NFL with depth. Enough said.
LB – A very solid set of LBs with some kids behind them that are getting better.
DB – here is my problem. I still see this group as young with too many projects and not enough NFL quality starters. Counting the draft and UDFAs we are in double digits in prospects but I don’t see anyone that says to me, we have no need at the position.
Yes Jenkins had an excellent rookie year but last year’s performance was pedestrian. Gaines behind him is an improvement at back-up talent but is that OK?
McDonald showed flashes when he was on the field but I don’t think he scares anyone around the league and while Cody Davis seems like a nice kid and a hard worker, not a NFL starter talent.
Tru is just ok and Joyner is an upgrade at back-up but once again, not making any QB lose any sleep.
Mo Alexander will likely beat out McLeod as the starter at FS and that is just sad.
At every other position while we may be young, I see definite and significant improvement. In the DB department I see us still young and looking for answers. I don’t see an appreciable improvement over two years ago. Some yes, enough to make an opposing DC have to take ANY of these guys into consideration when game planning, no.