(If there is ever football again)
Rookie Free Agent Pick Ups
1. Nick Bellore, ILB, Central Michigan
Bellore is limited in coverage and as a pass-rusher but has the size, smarts, motor and toughness to develop into an effective two-down run-stopper and contributor on special teams (ESPN.com). He is certainly athletic enough to make it as a linebacker in the NFL and during three of his four years he posted over 100 tackles. Since I wasn’t very happy with the other Linebackers that we drafted, we should get Bellore to increase the competition level. He could end up beating out a few of the linebackers that we drafted ( ie. Brian Rolle and Greg Lloyd)
2. Scott Lutrus, OLB, Connecticut
Lutrus comes with durability concerns but he showed well at the NFL combine and has the speed, toughness and smarts to provide depth on the strong side for a base 4-3 defense (ESPN.com). I’m not as high on Lutrus as Bellore, but if we don’t get Bellore, he would be a solid second pick. Showed that he could play during his freshman and sophmore years, but his production and durability dropped off greatly during his junior and senior years.
3. Joe Lefeged, S, Rutgers
Lefeged possesses a nice combination of size and straight-line speed, and the range, discipline and toughness to contribute as a sub-package safety and special-teams player early in his career. He also has the ability to develop into a starting strong safety in time (ESPN.com).
4. Zach Hurd, G, Connecticut
Hurd has good size (6-6¾, 316), strength and long arms, plus the natural ability and toughness to develop into a quality backup guard in the NFL (ESPN.com).
5. Martin Parker, DT, Richmond
Parker has the size (6-2⅛, 303) and athleticism to play DT. He also had amazing statistics finishing his career with 19 sacks, 46 tackles for a loss, and 288 tackles. The downside is that he played at Richmond a smaller school. He is certainly going to be picked up and it should be by the Eagles.
6. Ricky Henry, G, Nebraska
Henry is a blue-collar player with excellent toughness and a mean streak, and he flashes above-average upper-body strength in the run game (ESPN.com). We can use a few more Offensive Lineman in camp to shake things up and I’ve always been a fan of tough smash-mouth lineman.
7. Pierre Allen, DE, Nebraska
Allen has the size (6-3½, 273), upper-body strength and long arms to provide depth and possibly develop into a starting left end in a four-man front (ESPN.com). He looks like he has some potential to be an effective backup lineman. He had alright statistics but limited measurable. He probably doesn’t have the speed to turn the corner in the NFL, but certainly has the size to play DE.
Other Trades and FA Pick Ups
I want to trade Kevin Kolb as soon as possible for as much as possible. I still have my reservations about Kolb as a starting QB in the NFL. I certainly saw flashes of his ability last year, but we don’t need him. Vick is playing lights out and I really like Mike Kafka as a back up. I would however bring in a a second veteran QB into the mix. If we can trade Kolb for a first round pick and a starting CB we would be much better off.
If we don’t trade Kolb or don’t get a starting CB in the mix, we need to pick one up in FA. The obvious name is Nnamdi Asomugha, but we’ll see what happens there. I tend to think that he is going to be too expensive and he’s not getting any younger. Still, I would love to have him. I also would consider bringing in another veteran linebacker and possible DE or DT, but I don’t think that a D-lineman is absolutely necessary. Lastly, if we can get a solid offensive lineman in FA, we should do that too. I’m still not sold on Winston Justice and I’m concerned that Jamaal Jackson isn’t going to be himself at center.