Step 1: Solidfy Defensive Front 7
Sign DL Calais Campbell, 5 years, 60 million
Likely could make up as much as 16m but I'm hoping realizing what he could bring to this defense, teams championship window, and being able to stick it to Arians twice a year will help lower his price.
Step 2. Solidify O-Line
Sign OG Ronald Leary, 5 years, 40 million
Sign OT Breno Giacomini, 1 year, 1 million
KC set the market for OGs, so while I would want Leary at like 6-7, 8-9m looks like the price. Leary has been dependable for the Cowboys for the last 4 years. At 27 years old, he's just entering his prime. He's gotten better each season and was quietly elite last year. Superb pass-blocker who can road grade with experience last season with a QB similar to Russ Wilson. Also, gives everything he has on every play. Just a really quality OG and I love him over any other lineman on the market or in the draft. I liken Leary to the Brandon Mebane of Offensive Guards.
Step 3. Keep The Floor
FB Marcel Reese, 1 year, 1.5 million
TE, Brandon Williams, 1 year, Vet Min.
LB, Mike Morgan, 1 year, Vet Min.
CB, Neiko Thorpe, 1 year, 1 million
SS, Jeron Johnson, 1 year, Vet Min.
Estimated Cost: 5m
RFAs (all 1 year, RFA min):-
RB, Troymaine Pope
OT, Garry Gilliam
MLB, Brock Croyle
LB/S, Dewey McDonald
CB, Mo Seisay
CB, Stanley Jean-Baptisse
FS, Steven Terell
Estimated Cost: 4.5m
Note: Not All these guys will make the cut.
Step 4. Extend.
OC, Justin Britt, 4 years
TE, Jimmy Graham, 2 years
DE, Cliff Avril, 2 years
SS, Kam Chancellor, 2 years
Notes on Step 1, Defensive Front 7 Outlook With Calais Campbell.
DE: Bennett, Campbell, Avril, (Clark), (Marsh)
DT: Rubin, Reed, Jefferson, Smith
SLB: Clark, Morgan, Marsh
MLB: Wagner, Croyle
WLB: Wright, McDonald
Base DL: Bennett, Rubin, Reed, Campbell
Nickle DL: Clark, Bennett, Campbell, Avril
Seahawks get bigger, tougher vs the run in Base D with Campbell at LDE and Clark at SLB. Adding about 50 pounds over Avril and Morgan.
Seahawks pass-rush also becomes any QB worst nightmare. Remember 2013, this group could be more dominant.
Campbell can also play some 3T in Base D or RDE, and Avril should get plenty of snaps to keep him satisfied.
The question is whether or not Clark can fill the Bruce Irvin Role. I think he can. Seahawks have 3 DL coaches, the newest member is Clint Hurtt, former OLBs coach specialist of the Bears. Hurtt kind of profiles as a coach that will likely develop those DE/SLB hybrids we saw the Seahawks doing in 2013.
Player: Irvin (Clark)
Height: 6'3 (6'3)
Weight: 245 (271)
Arm Length: 33 3/8 in (34 3/8)
BenchPress: 23 reps (19 reps)
40 Yd D: 4.50s (4.66)
20 Yd S: 2.66s (2.63)
10 Yd S: 1.58s (1.58)
Vert. Jump: 33.5 in (38.5)
BroadJump: 123 in (118 in)
20YdSh: 4.03s (4.05)
3-Cone: 6.70s (7.03)
As you can see other than 40 Yard Dash and 3 Cone, both players measures are pretty similar, even trading 5 inches in the jumps.
However, if Clark tested at 245, he likely would have put up crazy numbers. If Irvin tested at 271, it would have been bad, remember his collegiate weight was 225. So, as athletic as Irvin was, I think Clark is right up there with him. But Athleticism is only part of the formula.
Where Clark is better than Irvin was is Instincts, Tackling, Taking On Blockers, and Setting Up The Point of Attack. Also, feel Clark is a more complete pass-rusher utilizing his overall strength rather then just speed rush.
Where Irvin is better than Clark is natural coverage ability as Irvin was once a JuCo Safety.
But I think with Clint Hurtt in the mix possibly added to develop that specialized DE/SLB role. With Clark being more complete and farther along in development than Irvin was especially considering Clark has 2 years under his belt entering his age 24 season. Irvin was a 25 year old rookie. 26 when he converted to LBer. Clark probably won't be as good as Irvin in coverage, but I think everything else he'll be much better.
Notes on Step 2: Offensive Line Outlook with Ronald Leary.
While LT is much needed, I chose to go with Ronald Leary because he'll not only improve LG but his presence will help the LT. And I chose to invest in Campbell and the impact he would bring with his presence to this defense.
With Leary and Giacomini in the mix the O-Line will look something like this:
LT: Fant vs Gilliam vs Odhiambo
OC: Britt, Hunt
RT: Ifedi, Giacomini
LT is a battle of youngsters, leaving open the possibility to add a vet down the road.
LG is manned by the quietly elite, imo, Leary with possibly becoming elite Britt at OC.
Glowinski goes back to his more natural side at RG sliding Ifedi over to RT, who will be pushed and mentored by Giacomini.
Depth-wise: Odhiambo can play 4 positions, Gilliam swings tackle, Glowinski swings guard, and Ifedi/Giac could likely play RT and RG if needed.
Step 5. The Draft (my preference)
#26: DB, Buddha Baker
#58: CB, Kevin King
#90: DT, Ellijah Qualls
#102: RB, Jeremy McNichols
#106: Trade Down adding 4th and 5th round picks
4 picks on Day 3 that I won't process.
Baker and King add a much needed talented youth infusion to the secondary and ups the competition.
At CB, you have King competing with Elliot, Desir, Thorpe to start at RCB. Dark horses in Jean-Baptisse and Mo Seisay. Buddha Baker will back up Earl but he'll also press Lane in his NCB role. Don't think Shead will play this year.
At S, you'll have Thomas/Baker and Chancellor, Terrell, JeJo are kept as depth insurances/camp bodies, Parrish Cox figures in somewhere. And Dewey McDonald can play some SS as well.
Qualls adds another big body for the run game but a guy who can disrupt the pocket as well. He'll be developed as a Rubin replacement and will push Jefferson or Smith for 3rd DT in rotation.
McNichols is a two-fer. As he has similar qualities to Prosise but is more compact and tough as nails. So with McNichols my depth chart would like this at the skill positions:
RB Rawls, McNichols, Collins, Pope (KR/PR)
TE Graham, Vannett, Williams, (Fant/Gilliam)
WR Baldwin, Prosise, Richardson, Kearse, McEvoy, Lockett (I.R.)
2nd part of getting McNichols is moving Prosise to WR. At 6'1, 220 pounds and with his running ability, Prosise, becomes a dangerous semi-big bodied play-making threat. Mega Golden Tate. CJP will still do some RB things but not as much as you save his health by matching him up on DBs rather than throwing him into the fray against DL/LB.
WE ALL WE GOT, WE ALL WE NEED!!!!!!!!!!!