To begin, this took HOURS to complete, and I did not proof read
I hope you enjoy. If there are mistakes sorry, let me know and I will fix it. I tried to be realistic and also provide my input. I think this would be a GREAT off-season, but who knows. Anyway, post comments and provide your off-season mock.
First to deal with our free agents.
Sign these guys
Alan Ball - If we are going to re-sign ANY of the corners, I would re-sign him. Not only is he better at slot than McCain, but he is better as a special teamer. Brandon Harris has not shown enough to trust him in the slot full time, but he did show promise, so hopefully he can over come Ball at some point next season. Sign Ball to a 1 or 2 year deal for a low amount.
Bradie James - This one I struggle with, not because he is good, but because he could be good depth, I just don't think he would want to be here as a back up/special teams player. But Maybe we keep him anyway, one more season.
Connor Barwin - ONLY re-sign if it is cheap. He really took a step back and provided little as a pass rusher, but he really sealed the edge vs the run, very little runs came from the outside. Plus if he walks, we still need to fill the hole left at OLB, keeping him would be the cheapest (hopefully) and simplest. If he commands too much, prepare to draft a guy.
Glover Quin - He might actually be our first priority this off-season. He is a great run stuffing safety and very good in coverage vs TEs and Rbs, losing him only hurts us down the road against the Patriots. Don't over pay for a non play making safety, but know he is important to our defense. We just need to add a 3rd safety to prevent those deep passes against us.
Justin Forsett - Again, this depends on price, but I would try to retain him. Knowing I want to get rid of Tate, but knowing any rookie I bring in may take time to develop. Make him our number 2 for 1 or 2 seasons. He has the ability to step in as our starter if Foster misses some games.
Ryan Harris - I would offer pretty much the minimum to him. He knows our system, is younger, fresher and up to date on our playbook compared to Rashard Butler. The goal is to get a younger tackle to compete with Derek Newton. We will have 2 average back ups between Harris, Newton and a rookie.
Mister Alexander - He is an ERFA, offer him the minimum and he has to take it. Cheap for a guy who knows the system and is average hwen in the game.
Andrew Gardner - He is a RFA and I doubt he gets an offer, but again, I think its time to upgrade the depth and that means letting go of the useless guys. But I have a feeling he is brought back, so I am saying to re-sign him, even though I would not.
Let these guys walk
Rashard Butler - Isn't going to be a starter and we need to make plans to get a better RT while upgrading the depth all around.
Antione Caldwell - Same as Butler. The talent has surpassed him and the depth is already equally as good as he is.
James Casey - Its not that I do not want him back, but I think he may get a solid offer from another team (Patriots or someone trying to become them). I think a true FB with a better wr and a better blocking TE would suffice. We could try to be more creative by shifting OD or Graham to fb to cause mis matches.
Shaun Cody - He is older, and frankly not very good IMO. Time to move on.
Quintin Demps - Can we please move on from this disaster already. Im tired of watching him give up huge plays all the time because he is not disciplined enough to stay deep.
Tim Dobbins - Frankly Im ready to improve the depth at ILB, and it starts by getting rid of the bad players.
Keyaron Fox - Who the **** is this.
Shayne Graham - Im ready to see Bullock. This will greatly improve our average starting position allowed.
Donnie Jones - He was ok, but I feel younger guys with a more powerful leg would be better, plus cheaper and more long term.
Brice McCain - Its time to move on from this under sized over rated slot corner.
Jesse Nading - Can we please move on from him, he doesn't provide anything useful to this squad.
Stanford Routt - Did not show anything to deserve to come back, couldn't even beat out Harris.
Barrett Ruud - I would actually consider signing him to a cheap contract. He was ok in coverage, except for the Patriots, but that was Wades fault for assuming he could keep up with those guys. But ultimately I chose to let him walk.
After all these moves we have holes at WR, ILB, NT, S, RT and depth at corner, and along the oline, not to mention we need depth at DE and OLB plus another RB.
Free Agents I would consider if available
Wes Welker - The more I think about it, the more I think he becomes a free agent. Im not sure what he would command on the market, but if we can afford him, we should make a move. He would be an excellent upgrade to the slot and would be a valuable asset to Matt and our young wide outs. His personality would fit with our team as well. Others: Danny Amendola and Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Louis Murphy, Steve Smith (Rams), Brandon Tate. (LOTS of potential slot guys for our team)
Victor Butler - With Kiffin coming in, there is a chance some guys are on their way out, he was a back up to Anthony Spencer and may not be re-signed if they shift to a 4-3. He could be a decent depth signing at OLB for us. Others: Quentin Groves, Aaron Maybin, Erik Walden, Chris Wilson.
Ben Tate - Detroit Lions trade a 5th round pick for Tate, even if Lions don't, pick a team in need of a rb and trade him.
Round 1 - Cordarelle Patterson WR, a big speedy wide out with great hands. Nice route running and can shield defenders with his body. This play maker is EXACTLY what this offense needs and it is another big guy for the red zone. He will learn A LOT from Andre and will immediately help this offense.
Round 2 - Kawann Short NT, a fast one gap nose tackle. Explosive and very quick to diagnose plays. He is very disruptive and has room to bulk up more to get better at holding the POA. He should greatly help our pass rushing by collapsing the pocket.
Round 3 - Rick Wagner OT, an athletic OT that fills a need. He has experience at both LT and RT and could add depth if nothing else. I expect him to compete and split time immediately with Newton at RT. Doesn't hurt he is a converted TE nor does it hurt he is from Wisconsin, our favorite college
Round 3 - AJ Klein ILB, a play making ILB who is side line to side line. He will compete to start day 1 and can help make an impact on TEs and RBs, plus is athletic enough to help blitz from the middle allowing Cushing to do other things.
Round 4 - Cooper Taylor SS, A rangy safety who is smart, athletic and a great build. Had a GREAT shrine game week and game day and really helped his stock. A great combine will elevate him even hirer, hopefully we get a chance to grab him in the 4th. He has TONS of potential and will be a solid choice as a 3rd safety.
Round 5 - Zach Sudfeld TE, remember this name. He has gone through tons of injuries throughout his career at Nevada, but he is super athletic, great size and finally healthy. He put up good stats his senior year and has shown the ability to be a good blocker. A great combine should lift his stock.
Round 5 - David Quessenberry OG, a good sized guard who is pretty athletic. He will take some time getting use to the speed of the NFL but he is solid depth.
Round 6 - Mike James RB, a veteran back with low miles from the "U". Great one cut and go runner, great hands and good pass blocking skills. He would be a GREAT 3rd back and will push for back up duties come seasons end. I really like him.
Round 6 - Tyrann Mathieu CB, if there, why the heck not? Take a chance on a guy with big time ability, I doubt he will be here though.
Round 6 - Joe Vellano DE, a non stop DE from Maryland who dominated in 2011 and played well through injuries in 2012. A run stuffing, sack generator who will fit in nicely with Watt and Cushing as being a gym rat with 100% commitment to the team and film room. He will be a riser after the combine, watch.
Round 6 - Ryan Allen P, a big leg, good athlete and younger and cheaper than Jones. He had 12 plus punts of 55 yards or more and an uncanny ability to place the ball within the 20. 43.5 NET per punt. Back to back Ray Guy (best punter in CFB) winner, FIRST TIME EVER, don't miss out on this guy Rick Smith.
Round 7 - Braden Wilson FB, a solid runner but a big time blocker. I just want a FB here.
Qb - Matt Schaub, TJ Yates
RB - Arian Foster, Justin Forsett, Mike James
FB - Tyler Clutts, Braden Wilson
WR - Andre Johnson, Cordarrelle Patterson
, Wes Welker
, Devier Posey, Keyshawn Martin
TE - Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham, Zach Sudfeld
LT - Duane Brown, Rick Wagner
, Andrew Gardner
OG - Wade Smith, Cody White
C - Chris Myers, Ben Jones
OG - Brandon Brooks, David Quessenberry
RT - Derek Newton, Ryan Harris
DE - Antonio Smith, Jared Crick
NT - Kawann Short
, Earl Mitchell
DE - JJ Watt, Joe Vellano
OLB - Connor Barwin, Whitney Mercilus, Bryan Braman
ILB - Brian Cushing, AJ Klein
, Bradie James, Mister Alexander
OLB - Brooks Reed, Victor Butler
CB - JJo, Kareem Jackson, Alan Ball, Brandon Harris, Tyrann Mathieu
, Roc CarMichael
SS - Daniel Manning, Cooper Taylor
, Eddie Pheasant
FS - Glover Quin, Shiloh Keo
P - Ryan Allen
K - Randy Bullock