There's been alot of changes since my last mock. I'll give you guys a chance to pat me on the back later for correctly calling the Dunta Robinson cut. All jokes aside, the Comrade has alot of holes to fill in the coming weeks so I'll provide my best attempt to guess what he'll do. As you will see, this mock assumes we will switch to a 3-4 DEF. I've made quite a few changes to the draft, roster departures, and key re-signings sections. I've also added a section where I predict the 2013 53 man roster and depth chart. As always, let me know what you think. A link to the previous mocks are below. ****This mock assumes we will restructure Clabo's deal and will either restructure or extend Bab's deal to clear a few million dollars for 2013)****:
- Tony Gonzalez: Retired
- Todd McClure: Its time for Mud Duck to ride off into the sunset
- Garrett Reynolds: He shouldn't be terribly expensive, but we have cheaper in-house options
- Peria Jerry: He teases us each preseason, but eventually, every tease has to "put out"
- Lawrence Sidbury: Its a damn shame. If he becomes a star on another team, our FO will have some explaining to do.
Mike Peterson, Mike Cox, Tommy Gallarda, Luke McCown, Robert James, Chris Hope, Antone Smith, Kevin Cone, Tim Toone, Kerry Meier, Will Svitek
- William Moore: Pay the man
- Vance Walker: I think he's just as disruptive as Babs
- Robert McClain: He's young & has been a nice addition to the team
- Brent Grimes: Dunta's departure will open the door for Grimes' return.
- Sam Baker: T-Rex earned himself a new contract
- Chris Owens: He's young and has been solid as an outside CB. He will provide insurance for Grimes.
Free Agency additions
1. Shaun Phillips OLB: Even though he'll be 32 when the season starts, he's a much safer choice than Paul Kruger, Anthony Spencer, or Connor Barwin. Phillips is coming off a 9.5 sack season and has been as consistent a pass rusher there is. He's a yearly lock for 8 to 10 sacks and does well dropping back in coverage. He will be a respected member of the team from day one. (signs a 3 yr $15 mil contract)
2. Steven Jackson RB: He has alot of carries but he still runs with power and hits the holes with violence. He'll also be a huge upgrade over Turner in the passing game. He voided his $7mil deal to play for a contender so he knows he won't be getting a huge contract. (signs a 3 yr $12 mil contract)
3. David Nelson WR: Anyone who thinks we have WR depth is delusional. Even before the infamous phantom tackle, Harry Douglas was not getting it done. He fails to gain separation despite facing an opponent's 4th or 5th best defender. Nelson is a big target (6'5 214 lbs) who is good at getting separation. He's also sure handed and is a redzone threat. He'll instantly be an upgrade over HD. (signs a 3 yr $5 mil contract)
2013 NFL Draft
1st round Jesse Williams NT Alabama (6'3 323 lbs): What better way to change the identity of our DEF by getting the meanest, nastiest guy in the draft to anchor the DL. His reputation speaks for itself, so I won't get too detailed. He's incredibly strong and will have no problem collapsing the pocket in the NFL.
2nd round Brandon Jenkins OLB Florida State (6'2 251 lbs): Its no secret I have a man crush on Jenkins. Before his injury, both Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine played second fiddle to him. He's an explosive edge rusher and has all the skills to be an elite pass rusher in the NFL. He'll team up with Shaun Phillips to give us a much improved pass rush.
3rd round Sean Porter ILB/OLB Texas A&M (6'1 230 lbs): Robert James is useless and Mike Peterson is ancient. Spoon and Nicholas missed time this season with injuries and we need a guy who can step in and replicate what they do. Porter is one of the top coverage LB's in the draft but can also get after the QB as evidenced by his 9.5 sacks in 2011. Nolan will love his ability to excel at both. He should be a day one starter and passing down upgrade over Nicholas.
4th round Knile Davis RB Arkansas (5'11 227 lbs): In my last mock, I had ATL selecting him in the 7th round. Well, that's not happening after he put the league on notice at the combine. He absolutely tore up the SEC in 2010. If not for his injury history, he would have been regarded as one of the top RB's in the draft. He is often compared to Darren McFadden due to his violent running style, speed, and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He missed all of 2011 due to an ankle injury and did not have the same burst in 2012. He looks 100% healthy now.
4th round Dion Sims TE Michigan State (6'5 262 lbs):He's an incredibly athletic TE who reminds me alot of Fred Davis. He's a great blocker, has very good speed, he has soft hands, and he's a bull to bring down in open space. He will team with Coffman to give us a great TE tandem. (compensatory pick for Curtis Lofton)
5th round Oscar Johnson OT/OG Louisiana Tech (6'5 331 lbs) : He's a big, hulking blocker who was a 2nd team All WAC selection at left tackle. He has great strength and shows tremendous power on blocks. He also has experience at OG. He could be groomed to take over for Clabo or Blalock. He's a more polished than Holmes was when we drafted him.
6th round Abry Jones DT Georgia (6'3 313 lbs): What do you know-we draft another late round DT who has great upside. He was a productive member of UGA's DL and has shown he can penetrate and make plays behind the LOS. He has alot of experience in the 3-4. I think he'd provide an upgrade over Peria Jerry.
7th round Quanterus Smith OLB Western Kentucky (6'5 250 lbs): He plays for a small school but he is an absolute sack machine. He even had 3 sacks against the Alabama OL. He had 12.5 sacks in 2012 but he tore his ACL late in the season. He will be 10 months removed from ACL surgery by the time the season starts, so he may not have much of an impact in the early stages of the season. 2013 would probably be a learning year for him anyway. He's exactly the type of high upside guy teams draft late.
53 Man Roster (Star indicates the starters)
QB (2): Matt Ryan*; Dom Davis
FB (1): Bradie Ewing*
RB (4): Stephen Jackson*; Quizz Rodgers; Jason Snelling; Knile Davis
WR (5): Roddy White*; Julio Jones*; David Nelson; Harry Douglas; Drew Davis
TE (3): Chase Coffman*; Dion Sims; Michael Palmer
OL (9): Sam Baker LT; Justin Blalock LG; Peter Konz C; Mike Johnson RG; Tyson Clabo RT
(backups): Lamar Holmes; P. Manley; Oscar Johnson; Joe Hawley
NT (2): Jesse Williams*; Travian Robertson
DE (4): Johnathan Babineaux*; Vance Walker*; Corey Peters; Abry Jones
OLB (6): Shaun Phillips*; Brandon Jenkins*; Kroy Biermann; Jonathan Massaquoi; Cliff Matthews; Quanterus Smith
ILB (4): Sean Weatherspoon*; Sean Porter*; Stephen Nicholas; Akeem Dent;
CB (6): Asante Samuel*; Brent Grimes*; Robert McClain; Chris Owens; Terrance Johnson; Peyton Thompson
S (4): William Moore*; Thomas DeCoud*; Dominique Franks; Charles Mitchell
K (1): Matt Bryant*
P (1): Matt Bosher*
LS (1): Josh Harris*