Ive read at least 3 articles in the past week and a half that mention us as contenders for the worst team in the NFC West. We missed the playoffs last season, but previously we were on a long streak of success so perception may lag..but ..well,
Is it true? Are we the worst?
We know weve got a quarterback who is, depending on who you talk to anywhere from good to elite. Certainly top 10, some say top 5 some say top 3.
Lets look at the rest of the offense. Britt will be coming back at center and its trendy to say he's really good there. I think he is about average.. but in any case, he is passable.
We have Duane Brown..that should be solid. Then.. a bunch of question marks. Some good questions marks though.. Fant was pencilled in at LT last year before his injury. What will we do with him and how good will he be? LG? RT? It would be cool to say we can expect a high pick to be added here..but at the moment we have just one high draft pick and it could go to another position.
Running back.. well.. Chris Carson flashed and the coaches seem high on him. I feel a bit suspicious about how much Carroll says they were counting on him. .it seems like revisionist history because beginning of the season it didnt seem like they knew he was the guy come regular season. He just seemed to outperform Rawls and Lacy. So..weve got Carson coming back and weve got JD McKissic and CJ Prosise.. who are basically the same person, just allocated different parts of the alphabet for names, and we have Mike Davis who played alright last year but "alright" production from the RB position last year was enough to make some of us giddy. Interesting..if the staff are really as big of believers in Carson as they profess this wouldnt be a position of need early so this wont look too different.. a couple of late rount of UDFAs will get put in here maybe.
Tight End.. we lose Jimmy Graham obviously. And he is one of the best in the game. But to my mind the offense worked better late season when Graham was used more closely as a pure receiver and Vannett was getting more use. Ed Dickson added in here.. Not sure how good we are at TE now.
WR.. the good news is we still have Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. Darboh comes back , still not sure what we have in him. Tanner McEvoy was kept on the roster last year and didnt have the big plays of the year before and maybe that is now considered a mistake..?Cyril Grayson is back. We signed oft injured Jaron Brown.. This unit looks.. average. At best. Tyler Lockett isnt really a starting outside receiver type is he?
Defensive line.. We lost Bennett and most likely Avril on the outside, and still have Frank Clark. Thats a lot of production gone but I kind of feel like Dion Jordan and Marcus Smith will make up for it more than some are saying. In limited time last year they looked better than they had with their previous stints, and with Frank Clark taking up some pressure, used correctly I have some belief in them. At Defensive Tackle.. well..thats the position that hurt us the most last year. Drafted a 2nd rounder who will never play for us. Used a 2nd rounder to bring in Sheldon Richardson who played alright, not great.. and moved money around to do it that gives us less money this year. All for a year where we didnt do anything. Sigh. Jones and Reed are ok here..
Bobby will be back at MLB as maybe the only cornerstone returning. Thats a relief. KJ Wright is there. So we are probably still good or very good on the second level of the defense.
Defensive backfield.. are we awful? Decent? Good? I dont know. Griffin was solid but didnt make a lot of big plays. Justin Coleman may have been the most consistent CB we had and he is coming back in the slot. The other side.. Elliot?THorpe? Johnson..? maybe a first round pick? I have no idea about it.. And at safety.. McDougal is good as a Kam replacement..unless he replaces Earl.. and we see .. someone at the other saftey spot we dont know much of.
I would say are are probably a C team, C+ because QB is so important.
John Schneider better have some awesomeness up his sleeve!