First thing, you may be thinking, why the hell is there a picture of a Patriot in a Raider article?! My answer is that is my stud of the 2010 free agency class that Oakland will sign.
There are, I believe, five guys I really want us to re-sign: Seymour, Morrison, Howard, SeaBass, and Gradkowski. Assuming there is a new CBA in place by the time the free agency signing period starts, here are some guys I feel will be key for us to sign:
MLB Barrett Ruud, Tampa Bay—He’s young, and he’s is very good. He is a sure tackler and he will lock up the middle for years to come. He will allow us to move Morrison to SAM since that is his more natural position, IMO. Restricted FA (UFA with a new CBA)
RG Logan Mankins, New England—I have watched Logan Mankins since he played for my hometown Fresno State. He has played LG for NE, but I know that he is more than capable of making the switch to RG and he would still be a beast. He has started every game since being drafted in 2005. He’s a nasty player as evidence by his ejection against the Broncos his rookie year for hitting Ekuban in the balls after a missed field goal, makes him a perfect Raider. He is from California and I think he would be more than willing to sign with Oakland because then he’d be close to his family and I know that he loves spending time on his dad’s cattle ranch. Restricted FA (UFA with a new CBA)
LT Jared Gaither, Baltimore—I know that he is a RFA, but I wouldn’t mind offering him a contract that would give Baltimore our 2nd rounder. The only problem is that Baltimore could give him an offer that could require a 1st rounder, that I would not do. Gaither is only 24 and he is 6-foot-9 and 340 lbs. He is a stud LT and would allow us to move Mario to RT where he may be a better fit. Our OL would be pretty set with Gaither-Gallery-Satele-Mankins-Henderson. Restricted FA
RG Eugene Amano, Tennessee—He would be a great pick up if we are unable to sign Mankins. He would certainly be cheaper also. Besides, I wouldn’t mind having a OG who helped block for a 2,000 yard RB. Although, Barry Sanders ran for 2,000 yards and he had no OL…. UFA
RT Donald Penn, Tampa Bay or RT Willie Colon, Pittsburgh—If Gaither’s Restricted tag gets too pricey, Penn or Colon would be a good alternative. Both are Restricted FA (UFA with a new CBA)
DT’s Vince Wilfork, New England, Aubrayo Franklin, San Francisco, or Casey Hampton, Pittsburgh—This is the order I like those three NT’s. Any one of those guys will help the DL tremendously and Seymour would likely spend a lot more time at DE if we had one of those guys. All are UFA
CB Dunta Robinson, Houston—With Houston having DeMeco Ryans and Owen Daniels as free agents makes it unlikely that they will tag or maybe even resign Robinson. He would be a good guy to play opposite of Nnamdi and would benefit a lot from being under Nnamdi’s tutelage. Signing Robinson would move Chris Johnson to being the Nickle Back and I do not have a problem with that at all. UFA
CB Richard Marshall, Carolina—I love this guy. Aside from the fact that he was a star CB at Fresno State, he has been a great CB for Carolina. I would personally would like Marshall over Robinson. Restricted FA (UFA with a new CBA)
If we are able to get Ruud, one of the aforementioned OT’s, OG’s, and DT’s, and Robinson, that would allow us a lot more freedom with our draft picks. And these are only a total of five free agent signings, but they would be great quality signings.
We would be able to draft best player available pretty much every round as opposed to having to draft needs. We could still draft BPA at the position of the free agents we signed. Let’s say that we were able to sign Ruud, Mankins, Willie Colon, Franklin, and Robinson, this is how I can see our draft going:
1. DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech—I think he would be the most obvious pick. Ellis is getting up in age and Morgan would benefit to learn from a stud like Seymour, who I feel will sign a long-term deal with Oakland soon. OT could be the pick if Cable or Davis doesn’t feel confident with having Colon and Henderson as their bookend tackles. Eighth is too high for any DT outside of Suh and McCoy. The signing of Robinson would completely take away any chance of Haden being the pick. Morgan can be a great DE when he takes over for Ellis or Seymour, especially with how good Trevor Scott and Matt Shaunessy have been at DE also. We could have a great rotation of DE’s for years to come.
2. OC Maurkice Pouncey, Florida—This might be a bit high for a center, but that would be one of the few positions that wasn’t addressed in free agency. I think that he can challenge Satele for the starting job. even if he doesn’t this year, he would benefit from the year to learn the position and build his strength since he played mostly RT at Florida. Satele is a RFA in 2011.
3(1). RB Ryan Mathews, Fresno State—I know what you are gonna say, “But we don’t need a RB.” I know, but I can see Bush being offered as trade bait, yet again. Either way, I don’t see Fargas being around much longer and Mathews is a beast and a major steal in the 3rd round, IMO. Mathews has great vision, patience, hits the hole with authority, he has a vicious stiff arm, gains a ton of yards after contact and he can be a threat to take it to the house any time he touches the ball as evidenced by his three rushing touchdowns against Boise State this past season. They were 60, 68, and 69 yards. He scored on a 77-yard run on the first play from scrimmage against Idaho.
3(2). OG Mike Johnson, Alabama—A little depth for the interior linemen wouldn’t hurt, especially if Gallery has another injury marred year or if the injuries from '09 have a serious affect on his ability to play in '10.
4. QB Dan LaFevour, Central Michigan—Could be a great prospect to take over the starting gig after sitting for a year behind Gradkowski. He could very well challenge for the starting job right out the gate. one thing I am sure of is that Russell is gonna show up out of shape and he’s gonna struggle, again cuz he has no work ethic and no desire to be the best at his position. LaFevour can make all the throws and he is able to make plays with his legs. He finished his collegiate career with 102 passing touchdowns against only 36 picks, 47 rushing touchdowns and even one receiving score. His yardage? 12, 905 passing, 2,948 rushing, and 34 yards receiving. His completion percentage was 66.4 over the four years he was starter.
5(1). DT Geno Atkins, Georgia—It never hurts to have a good rotation of defensive tackles. He is a solid DT even though he may be a little undersized at 290 lbs, but doubt Davis will care if he runs his 40 in under five like he is projected to.
5(2) WR Taylor Price, Ohio—Mike Mitchell will no longer be the only Bobcat on the team now. Price is a solid WR and he can be used as a return guy also. I can see price being the 2010 version of Louis Murphy. He could have a good rookie year as either a return man or as a 3rd or 4th receiver.
7. DE/OLB O’ Brien Schofield, Wisconsin—He normally would’ve gone much higher than this but he tore his ACL while practicing for the Senior Bowl. He may not be ready to play by the start of the season, but he has good size (6-foot-2, 240 lbs.) and speed. He can play either SAM or be a rush end. With the depth that Oakland would have, it wouldn’t be a problem if he isn’t ready by the start of the season. He could be a major steal in the 7th since the injury will obviously affect his draft stock, but the kid is still a very tough player and would be a great asset.
I would certainly like to get everyone’s thought and opinion on my post….