A Backwards Approach to the Offseason

Most mock offseasons start with free agency to fill the obvious holes and end with the draft to fill any holes that remain. I will take a slightly different approach. Leading up to the draft, GMs put a lot of effort into scouting potential draftees, whom they then place on their big board. This gives them a strong idea of who will be available and what direction they will go in before the draft even happens. They then use this information to assess what holes need to be filled via FA. I will attempt to follow this model.

The Draft

Round 1: Ezekiel Ansah, DE

This draft is fairly top heavy at DE. This makes it highly likely that a top prospect like Ansah will fall to us. He is fairly raw, but he is ridiculously athletic and gifted. He has shown a great willingness to learn, as his reads have dramatically improved from year to year. We have one of the best Dline coaches in the league (Kacy Rodgers), so this pick makes a lot of sense.

2A: Phillip Thomas, S

The draft's top corners (Milliner, Banks, Rhodes, Trufant) will all probably be gone by the time we pick here, and I do not believe any of the other corners in this draft will actually be an upgrade over Marshall. This draft has a good supply of top safety prospects (Vacarro, Reid, Elam), making it likely that Thomas is here when we pick. He fits our scheme the best, as he is a rangy cover safety with a history of making plays on the ball (8 INTs this year, 3 of them returned for TDs). Keeping him over the top will allow Jones to roam more in the box.

2B: Dallas Thomas, OT

By this point, most of the top second round WRs will likely be gone, though there still should be good value in the 3rd. However, there are plenty of offensive linemen slotted for the first and second rounds, making it likely that Thomas falls to us here. He fits the scheme well due to his high athleticism, and if we get an upgrade at T somewhere else, he has the versatility to move to OG.

3A: Stedman Bailey, WR

Bailey is quick, fast, strong, and runs good routes. His size is sure to drop his stock here, but we will get a steal. In our scheme, he is not asked to be the #1; just get open. I would not be surprised if he becomes the next Jennings.

3B: Brandon Jenkins, DE

I know this would cause us to double up on DE, but this is a first round prospect who will likely fall to the third due to an injury. Ireland loves taking chances on once highly touted players who fall (Martin, Miller), and when paired with Ansah, Wake, and Vernon, will give us a strong pass rush throughout the game.

4. Marcus Lattimore, RB

Another first round talent who will fall due to injury concerns. As he would be asked to be the #2 or #3 back at most in our system, he will not see enough touches to make durability a huge concern. We can afford to take a chance on him this late.

Beyond the 4th, it is difficult to predict, as these players are not necessarily expected to contribute. Thus, knowing what holes we will likely have to fill, we can move on to FA.

Free Agency

Brian Hartline, WR- 4 mil

Since we are only expecting to spend a single third rounder on WR, we need to make sure we get our #1 and #2 in FA. Hartline has begun the negotiations at $6 mil, but Ireland plays hardball. He will ultimately sign for close to his value in a deep WR class.

Chris Clemons, S- 2 mil

Though we will acquire an upgrade at S in the draft, Clemons will come relatively cheap and will know the system well. He is a very solid backup and well worth his modest contract.

Sean Smith, CB- 6 mil

We do not expect to address CB in this draft, making it a huge priority in FA. Smith has come out and said that he wants a contract in the neighborhood of 6 years $42 mil, but again, a deep CB FA pool will force him to curb his demands slightly.

Tony McDaniel, DT- 2 mil

Solid depth signing. We don't need to spend much more than this on the Dline with the addition of two top DEs in the draft.

Greg Jennings, WR- 7 mil

I personally would prefer Bowe, but he will likely resign with KC. Wallace will be too expensive for his production. Jennings will be a solid teammate and a decent #1 WR who knows the system.

Martellus Bennett, TE- 5 mil

I really like Fasano, but Bennett is a much better player who will not ask for much more. He can both receive and block, giving us an upgrade at the position without going overboard.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB- 6 mil

Since we will not address CB in the draft, we really need to double up here in FA. DRC has had two bad years with the Eagles in a row, and in a deep CB class, will likely come at a reasonable price. He is a big playmaker, and will pair well with Smith on the outside.

Geoff Schwartz, OG- 2 mil

We are not expecting to bring in anyone to compete at the OG position. A cheap free agent signing with potential should be enough to push Jerry.

Dimitri Patterson, CB- Savings of 3 mil

It is not worth spending $5 mil on our 4th CB, so we cut him and bring him back to a more team friendly deal.

Notable Losses: Jake Long, Anthony Fasano, Reggie Bush, Randy Starks

Jake Long is too expensive for his production, and we can likely find an adequate replacement in the draft. Fasano is easy to upgrade in FA with Bennett. Bush is a dynamic player, but he doesn't fit the ZBS, and with the addition of a back like Lattimore, our RBs should be able to handle the load. Starks is no longer needed, as the addition of two top DEs allows us to easily move Odrick inside.

Total Spending- $31 mil

This gives us plenty of room for midseason signings, additional depth signings, rollover for next year, or allocation of more money to certain FA contracts.

Depth Chart

QB: Tannehill, Devlin, Late Round Rookie

RB: Miller, Thomas, Lattimore, Thigpen

FB: Lane

WR: Jennings, Hartline, Bess, Bailey, Mathews

TE: Bennett, Clay, Egnew

OT: Martin, Thomas, Garner, Yeatman

OG: Incognito, Schwartz, Jerry

C: Pouncey, Samuda

DE: Wake, Ansah, Jenkins, Vernon, Shelby

DT: Soliai, Odrick, McDaniel, Randall

LB: Dansby, Burnett, Misi, Trusnik, Kaddu, Spitler, Freeney

CB: Smith, DRC, Marshall, Patterson, Carroll

S: Jones, Thomas, Clemons, Wilson

K: Carpenter

P: Fields

LS: Denney

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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