1. The wide receiver position, the unkown being Jerome Simpson - What's going to happen with his legal issues??? My thoughts are that since no charges have been filed he's probally going to be OK. Assuming this is the case, WR should be a position of strength for this team going forward, I'd resign Simpson ahead of Caldwell and let Andre walk after the season. Next year, I see our starting WR positions consisting of AJ Green, Jerome Simpson, and Jordan Shipley. Ryan Whalen and Andrew Hawkins can be the back ups to the slot position and I think Arman Binns will be ready to move up and will actually be a great fit to back up on the outside for AJ and Jerome.
2. The Linebacker postion, the unkown is who will we be able to resign and how will Keith Rivers and Muckelroy respond from there respective injuries. I'm optimisc so I say they both respond well and come back strong. I think Rey gets resigned to a long term extension and we aleady have Thomas Howard locked up for another year. I actually think we loose Manny Lawson and Dan Scuta but figure out a way to extend Brandon Johnson. Next year our LB corps will be similiar to this year, Rey in the middle but Muckeroy will now be the one backing him up instead of Skuta. Thomas Howard and Keith Rivers will be the other starting LBs, although Donte Moch will see a lot more playing time. DeQuin Evans along with another mid round draft choice that we take in this upcoming draft will end up completing the LB corp on our 53 man roster.
3. The Defensive backfield has lots of unkowns!! This is by far the hardest position group to predict because there are so many wild cards!!! Kelly Jennings, Pacman Jones and Taylor Mays are all huge wildcards for this team!! If they can all get healthy and Zimmer can use his magic to get them to produce everything will change because all three are extremely fast, athletic, and have huge upsides. Reggie Nelson and Cris Crocker also need to become more consistent!!! My thoughts on this group are going to be a little vague b/c I need more time to see how things pan out the rest of this year, but my initial feeling are that Gibril Wilson, Cris Crocker Jeromy Miles and Morgan Trent are all gone after this year and we end up drafting several DBs in the first 3 rounds (CB RD 1 and safety RD 3). Again, this could very easily change based on invidual players performance during the 2nd half of the season .
4. The Offensive line unkowns are will Andre Smith get a new deal and how early and how many guards will we take in the 2012 draft, 1 or 2. My feelings are we will get a new deal done for Andre and we will take just one guard early in the draft who will eventually replace Bobby but not in 2012 because he will be replacing Livings. We will actually keep Bobbie around for one more year and allow Boling time to develop and build up some more strength so he can be the one to replace Bobbie in 2013.
5. The Running backs - The only running back unkown is who replaces Ced in 2012 b/c I do not see him playing here next year. My thoughts are we will NOT trade up for Richardson and he will be gone before we draft, therefore I think we end up taking Chris Polk in the 2nd round.