Keep in mind that I try to predict what we will do, and keep it as realistic as possible.
**NOTE** I will only be listing guys who make the 53 man roster.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (1-2 year deal)
With the team talking to Brandon Weeden before he signed with the Cowboys, it's looking like we're searching for a new backup QB. We showed interest in Fitz last offseason, but he chose to sign with Tennessee, as he had a shot to start there. There's a chance that we could address the backup QB spot with a mid-round pick, but I'm starting to think it's more likely that we sign a vet backup and draft a QB late to develop on the PS. You could substitute Jason Campebell's name here, as I could see him signing because of his connection with Hue.
- Robert Ayers (2-3 year deal)
With Ayers visiting today, I could see the team looking to add a run stopping DE/DT type of player to compete with the aging Robert Geathers for that role in camp. Another player on the market who could fit that role is Corey Wooten.
- Uche Nwaneri (2-3 year deal)
With the visits of Nwaneri, Ducasse, and Newhouse, it seems them team is looking to FA for depth on the OL. I expect an OG to be signed to take over Pollak's (who looks to be the probable starter at C) role as the main backup, and to be a guy who can step in for Boling if he has a setback and isn't ready for the start of the regular season. Another guy to look at is Travelle Wharton, who was previously with the team before being cut due to injury.
**NOTE** I will not be doing UDFA's. Also, I have seen us projected a 6th and two 7th's as comp picks, so I'll go with it.
Round 1: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
A player with his stock on the rise after a good Combine performance, Fuller would be a very solid addition to our secondary. A very talented corner with plus coverage ability, ball skills, and tackling, he also has the ability to be a special teams contributor. His two big knocks were speed and durability. He answered the speed questions by running in the 4.4's at the Combine, and though some might consider this a slight reach, it's not worth trading down and risking San Diego taking him at 25. Fuller has the potential to be a very good #1 corner, and would make for a nice pairing with Dre K in the future.
Round 2: Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina
Here's your MJ replacement. Martin has all the talent in the world, just needs to be more consistent with showing it. Very lengthy, and has the potential to develop into a pass rushing nightmare, putting up 11.5 sacks his senior season. With that being said, he's a better run-stopper than pass rusher. He should heavily benefit from the DL rotation here, and could make an impact as early as his rookie year.
Round 3: Ja'Wuan James, OT, Tennessee
A solid run blocker and pass protector who needs some work on his technique, Ja'Wuan James was a very good OT in the best conference in college football. Somewhat of a sleeper as he was outshined by Antonio Richardson at Tennessee, James has the ability to develop into a quality LT if given time. James steps into AC's role as the swing tackle while developing to take over for Big Whit in a couple of seasons.
Round 4: Rashaad Reynolds, CB, Oregon St
A team captain and leader of the Oregon St defense, Reynolds is solid in every type of coverage. Very good tackler, and has the ability to play boundary corner, though is better off as a nickel corner, which is great for us. Considered a "jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none" by some, there is one aspect that stands out about Reynolds game, the ability to create turnovers. Reynolds had 6 picks and 2 forced fumbles his senior season. Being a team that runs a lot of nickel, Reynolds would go along great with Fuller and Dre K in the future.
Round 5: Tyler Larsen, C, Utah St
With the release of Kyle Cook, I expect a C to be brought in somewhere in the mid to late rounds to compete for the job. Larsen is a pretty solid value at this point, and should be someone we look to develop behind Mike Pollak. Has plus mobility and is very strong. His biggest strength is his run-blocking ability, which will definitely be welcomed by Hue. Effective at driving DTs back in short yardage situations, and has proven to be durable, starting the final 51 games of his career at Utah St.
Round 6: De'Anthony Thomas, WR/RB/RS, Oregon
A dangerous speedster who is a threat to take it to the house everytime he touches the ball, Thomas can be lined up in the slot and in the backfield, replacing (and potentially upgrading) Hawk in the gadget role. Joe Reedy (who says he will still cover the Bengals at times) tweeted a while ago that even though Tate was re-signed, the team is expected to draft a return man in the later rounds. We have shown interest in Thomas, and he should be able to provide an impact (even if just a handful of times a game) right away.
Round 6 (Comp): J.C. Copeland, FB, LSU
Wrecking ball of a run blocker for Hue's new run-oriented offense. Copeland has also shown some ability to carry the ball in short yardage situation and as a receiver out of the backfield.
Round 7: Avery Williamson, LB, Kentucky
Talented tackler who looks to wrap up. Pretty solid in coverage. Should be a solid contributor as a backup LB, with slight potential as an eventual starter. Very alert as a defender, and possesses the coveted "always around the ball" ability. I see his ceiling as a solid guy to rotate in, that could start a few games if an injury occurs. Can't ask for much more than that from a 7th rounder.
Round 7 (Comp 1): Stephen Morris, QB, Miami (FL)
Plus athlete and tremendous arm strength. Not very accurate and lacks ability as a decision maker. Morris has flashed at times, and is worth a late round flier to see if he can be developed into a quality backup on the PS.
Round 7 (Comp 2): Damien Williams, RB, Oklahoma
Not much tread on the tires with only 114 carries last season. However, Williams averaged 4.9 yards per carry and scored 7 times. Shows patients as a runner while setting up blocks, and has a nice combination of size, speed, power, and agility. Hs shown ability as a receiver out of the backfield. Coming off of a solid Combine performance, Williams looks to be a good sleeper pick with some potential as a ball carrier in the NFL.
53 Man Roster
QB: Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick
RB: Gio Bernard, BJGE, Ced Peerman, Rex Burkhead
FB: J.C. Copeland
WR: AJ Green, Marvin Jones, Mo Sanu, Dane Sanzenbacher, De'Anthony Thomas, Cobi Hamilton
TE: Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eifert, Orson Charles
OT: Andrew Whitworth, Andre Smith, Ja'Wuan James
OG: Kevin Zeitler, Clint Boling, Uche Nwaneri, Tanner Hawkinson
C: Mike Pollak, Tyler Larsen
DE: Carlos Dunlap, Kareem Martin, Wallace Gilberry, Margus Hunt, Robert Ayers
DT: Geno Atkins, Domata Peko, Brandon Thompson, Devon Still
SAM: Rey Maualuga, Sean Porter
MIKE: Vinny Rey, Avery Williamson
WILL: Vontaze Burfict, Emmanuel LaMur
CB: Leon Hall, Terence Newman, Kyle Fuller, Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick, Rashaad Reynolds
S: Reggie Nelson, George Iloka, Shawn Williams, Taylor Mays
K: Mike Nugent
P: Kevin Huber
LS: Clark Harris
- Bruce Taylor
- Chris Lewis-Harris
- Onterio McCalebb
- TJ Johnson
- Larry Black
- Stephen Morris
- Damien Williams
- UDFA WR