This lockout is taking it's toll on BGN lately. More posts about unrealistic trades and trash-talking between rivals. WIth us possibly being a few days away from free agency and trading, depending on Michael Gans of the 8th Circuit Court's ruling, it's a good time to dive into some of our most pressing questions.
1. How will we upgrade the RCB spot opposite of Asante Samuel? The popular choice is defintaley Nnamdi Asomugha and the heavily rumored choice seems to be Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. They only other option I see for us at that position would be Trevard Lindley, but only if the coaches were really confident in him. I don't see that happening know so everyone can relax. It would probably make more sense to get Nnamdi because our corners in the waiting, Lindley and Curtis Marsh, would be ready to take over in 2-3 years when Asante's contract is up and Nnamdi would most likely by released. DRC is a very viable option because he could be a starter for the next 7 years and his current contracts is about 5 times cheaper than Nnamdi's. Also, when Asante's contract is up we will only need to replace his position with a Lindley or Marsh, while DRC would still be the starter on the other side.The main knock on acquiring DRC is we wouldn't get a for sure shutdown corner which Nnamdi is.
2. Who will be our starting linebackers? Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. Our WLB could be Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews, Brian Rolle or Keenan Clayton. Chaney has the athletic ability to play the MIKE or WILL, but will probably only move to WILL if Stew is back our our MLB. Casey Matthews is probably the biggest longshot out of the four to play WILL but he has excellent cover ability and really lacks the ideal size and strength to play MLB or SLB. Clayton was our backup WLB last year and was outstanding in his one start against dallas in week 17. Brian Rolle's height is probably his biggest weakness but maybe at the same time his biggest strength as well. Depending on who is measuring, Rolle is about 5'10 which most experts will say is too small to be a starting LB but I think just makes Rolle a better player. The MLB position also depends on Stew, if we either tender him or resign him I think he is our MLB, if not that should go to Chaney who proved he is more than ready to be a starting LB. SLB is also a two-horse race. Stew could get moved here if he's back otherwise it should go to Moise Fokou who was solid after he took the job from Akeem Jordan last year. My prediction for 2011 is from Clayton, Chaney, Bradley with at lest one guy losing his starting job before the season is complete.
3. How will our Defensive line look? We are absolutley loaded with possible starters at both DT and DE. Trent Cole, Brandon Graham, Darry Tapp, Juqua Parker, Daniel Te'o Nesheim, Ricky Sapp, Phillip Hunt all could see a lot of time at DE while at DT we have Mike Patterson, Broderink Bunkley, Antonio Dixon and Trevor Laws. Jeff Owens will probably be let go while Jeremy Clark may be kept on our practice squad. Trent Cole is the obvious starter but the other 3 sports are up for grabs. Brandon Graham's ACL injury probably keeps him from being the starter but when he gets back to form whenever that may be, he will be a starter. Tapp and Hunt will see a lot of time in the DE rotation. Ricky Sapp is a very interesting case here, he was a tweener coming out of Clemson who has rehabbed very well coming off his knee injury and has put on about 5-10 pounds of muscle. As for DT, I think a lot of people will be surprised to see Trevor Laws and Antonio Dixon as our starters. Laws has great potential as a pass rushing DT which will fit in nicely with coach Wash. Dixon will be a starter simply because he is a all around outstanding DT in all areas and fits in with any 4-3 DL scheme. Bunk could do well in a reserve/roation role as well, but I think Laws beats him out. Patterson will also stay on as a reserve at least for 2011.