Projecting Every NFC Team's Starting Lineup

Sean Tomlinson@@SeanGTomlinsonNFL AnalystMay 9, 2017

Projecting Every NFC Team's Starting Lineup

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    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    The pieces for every NFL roster are generally in place by early May, with a few exceptions after veteran free agents are signed. An important leg of the offseason is complete, but it's only the first one.

    The next task is figuring out how the new and highly touted free agent or early draft pick fits onto the roster. What role is that explosive pass-rusher best suited for in his new defense? And should your second- or third-round cornerback start right away or wait a bit while watching and learning?

    Those questions are often answered by the players themselves in organized team activities, training camp and preseason games.

    We still have a good feel for who will rise to claim starting jobs and how new acquisitions will be used. After an offseason of shuffling and roster building, let's explore what the final results could look like in the NFC.

    Note: Check back Wednesday for the AFC projections.

Arizona Cardinals

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    DE Robert Nkemdiche
    DE Robert NkemdicheChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Offense: WR Larry Fitzgerald, WR John Brown, LT Jared Veldheer, LG Mike Iupati, C A.Q. Shipley, RG Dorian Johnson, RT D.J. Humphries, TE Jermaine Gresham, TE Troy Niklas, QB Carson Palmer, RB David Johnson

    Defense: LDE Robert Nkemdiche, NT Corey Peters, DT Rodney Gunter, SAM Chandler Jones, ILB Haason Reddick, ILB Deone Bucannon, WLB Markus Golden, LCD Patrick Peterson, SS Antonie Bethea, FS Tyrann Mathieu, RCB Brandon Williams

    The Calais Campbell era is over for the Arizona Cardinals. There's no dodging the sting of that reality because Campbell is uniquely powerful, fast and large at 6'8" and 300 pounds. But Robert Nkemdiche was a first-round pick in 2016 for a reason. That reason is to be Campbell's successor after he finished with 81 tackles and six sacks over three seasons at Ole Miss as an interior pass-rusher.

    Haason Reddick is set to provide a great athletic presence at linebacker, and Karlos Dansby will then rotate in as a run-down thumper. Reddick soared during the predraft process and should take a Cardinals run defense that allowed only 3.6 yards per carry in 2016 to an even higher level.

    Budda Baker may not be a "starter" right away, but he'll still see plenty of snaps while operating in a sort of Tyrann Mathieu role as a hybrid safety and slot corner. The Cardinals love their versatile defensive backs, and Baker fits that description. He recorded five interceptions and 18 passes defensed over three seasons with the Washington Huskies.

Atlanta Falcons

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    DE Takkarist McKinley
    DE Takkarist McKinleyAssociated Press

    Offense: WR Julio Jones, WR Mohamed Sanu, LT Jake Matthews, LG Andy Levitre, C Alex Mack, RG Hugh Thornton, RT Ryan Schraeder, TE Austin Hooper, QB Matt Ryan, RB Devonta Freeman, FB Derrick Coleman

    Defense: LDE Takkarist McKinley, DT Dontari Poe, DT Grady Jarrett, RDE Ra'Shede Hageman, SLB Vic Beasley, MLB Deion Jones, WLB De'Vondre Campbell, LCB Robert Alford, SS Ricardo Allen, FS Keanu Neal, RCB Desmond Trufant

    Austin Hooper should be ready for a leap. The second-year tight end and third-round pick out of Stanford in 2016 saw limited snaps during his rookie year while playing behind Jacob Tamme and Levine Toilolo. But he still posted impressive numbers despite his lack of opportunities.

    Hooper scored three times in the regular season and logged four games with 40-plus yards, all on only 19 receptions. In a starting role, he would add yet another weapon to the Falcons' already scary offense

    Takkarist McKinley, the Falcons' first-round pick in 2017 who had a moving tribute to his grandmother, should start right away if he's healthy and recovered from offseason shoulder surgery.

    McKinley has sky-high potential as a 250-pound defensive end who ran the 40-yard dash at the combine in 4.59 seconds. He emerged during his final season at UCLA with 10 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss.

Carolina Panthers

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    MLB Luke Kuechly
    MLB Luke KuechlyGrant Halverson/Getty Images

    Offense: WR Kelvin Benjamin, WR Devin Funchess, LT Matt Kalil, LG Andrew Norwell, C Ryan Kalil, RG Trai Turner, RT Daryl Williams, TE Greg Olsen, QB Cam Newton, RB Christian McCaffrey, FB Darrel Young

    Defense: LDE Charles Johnson, LDT Star Lotulelei, RDT Kawann Short, RDE Julius Peppers, SLB Shaq Thompson, MLB Luke Kuechly, WLB Thomas Davis, LCB James Bradberry, SS Kurt Coleman, FS Mike Adams, LCB Daryl Worley

    Christian McCaffrey is whatever you want him to be, and the Carolina Panthers will want him to be a little bit of everything. The Heisman runner-up in 2015, who finished with 2,664 yards from scrimmage that season, should quickly rise to lead the Panthers in backfield touches. However, Jonathan Stewart will still be called upon for short yardage and goal-line work.

    Julius Peppers should be a starter in name only. He'll likely receive the most snaps in a rotation with Vernon Butler and Mario Addison at that defensive end spot. Peppers can do a lot with little even as a 37-year-old. In 2016, Peppers was on the field for only 58.1 percent of the Green Bay Packers' defensive snaps, and he still finished with 7.5 sacks.

    The Panthers' pass defense has nowhere to go but up after allowing 268.2 yards through the air per game in 2016. The unit should improve as young cornerbacks Daryl Worley and James Bradberry continue to mature, and the addition of veteran Captain Munnerlyn will help too.

Chicago Bears

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    WR Cameron Meredith
    WR Cameron MeredithRey Del Rio/Getty Images

    Offense: WR Cameron Meredith, WR Kevin White, LT Charles Leno, LG Josh Sitton, C Cody Whitehair, RG Kyle Long, RT Bobby Massie, TE Adam Shaheen, QB Mike Glennon, RB Jordan Howard, FB Paul Lasike

    Defense: DE Akiem Hicks, NT Eddie Goldman, DE Mitch Unrein, LOLB Leonard Floyd, ILB Nick Kwiatkoski, ILB Danny Trevathan, ROLB Lamarr Houston, LCB Prince Amukamara, SS Quintin Demps, FS Adrian Amos, RCB Kyle Fuller

    To avoid a face plant offensively, the Chicago Bears need at least one of their young wide receivers to really go kaboom. Cameron Meredith had a solid second season with his four 100-plus-yard receiving games and 888 yards. But now he has to rise above that, and ideally the Bears will also get a positive contribution from Kevin White, health permitting.

    Adam Shaheen, the rookie tight end drafted in the second round, can add more youthful zest to this Bears offense. He is a 6'6", 278-pound giant who can move with the speed and acceleration of a slot receiver. He finished his final season at Ashland with 867 receiving yards, many of which came after the catch, and 16 touchdowns.

    Speaking of eruptions, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd could supply one in 2017. His playing time during his rookie season was cut short due to injuries, but he still recorded seven sacks and one forced fumble over 12 games. Floyd also totaled 35 total pressures and likely would have received Defensive Rookie of the Year votes had he played the full season.

Dallas Cowboys

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    DE DeMarcus Lawrence
    DE DeMarcus LawrenceRon Jenkins/Associated Press

    Offense: WR Dez Bryant, WR Terrance Williams, SWR Cole Beasley, LT Tyron Smith, LG Jonathan Cooper, C Travis Frederick, RG Zack Martin, RT La'el Collins, TE Jason Witten, QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott

    Defense: LDE DeMarcus Lawrence, LDT Cedric Thornton, RDT Maliek Collins, RDE Taco Charlton, SLB Damien Wilson, MLB Anthony Hitchens, WLB Sean Lee, LCB Anthony Brown, FS Byron Jones, SS Jeff Heath, RCB Orlando Scandrick

    The Dallas Cowboys offensive line has been on its own private mountaintop for the past few seasons.

    In 2014, the unit bulldozed space in front of running back DeMarco Murray when he ran for 1,845 yards. Then the group somehow breathed life back into Darren McFadden in 2015 (1,089 rushing yards) and opened up canyons for Ezekiel Elliott in 2016 (1,631 yards).

    But the feared Cowboys O-line may come down a little bit from that peak in 2017 after tackle Doug Free retired and guard Ronald Leary departed as a free agent. Now La'el Collins is being prepared to step in at right tackle, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. That will leave a hole at guard for (gulp) Jonathan Cooper to fill, and it shows the Cowboy don't trust 2015 third-round pick Chaz Green just yet.

    DeMarcus Lawrence has now spent two straight offseasons recovering from back surgeries. He primarily played right defensive end in 2016. But Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has already told Moore that he wants first-round pick Taco Charlton to be the right defensive end, which will push Lawrence to the left side. If Lawrence falters there and can't improve on his one sack in 2016, Tyrone Crawford may soon leapfrog him.

    I've slotted Scandrick in at one of the cornerback spots for now, but he could lose a training-camp battle to rookie second-round pick Chidobe Awuzie. Scandrick is now 30 years old and has been slowed by injuries over the past two seasons. He's still effective enough, but Awuzie might emerge as the better option after his 11 passes defensed in 2016 for Colorado.

Detroit Lions

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    RB Ameer Abdullah
    RB Ameer AbdullahDylan Buell/Getty Images

    Offense: WR Golden Tate, WR Marvin Jones, LT Taylor Decker, LG Graham Glasgow, C Travis Swanson, RG T.J. Lang, RT Ricky Wagner, TE Eric Ebron, QB Matthew Stafford, RB Ameer Abdullah, FB Michael Burton

    Defense: LDE Cornelius Washington, LDT A'Shawn Robinson, RDT Haloti Ngata, RDE Ziggy Ansah, OLB Paul Worrilow, MLB Jarrad Davis, OLB Tahir Whitehead, LCB Darius Slay, SS Tavon Wilson, FS Glover Quin, RCB D.J. Hayden

    Ameer Abdullah will be the "starting" running back, but this backfield could become a true time share. Abdullah has flashed his talent when healthy and ran for 101 yards on his first 18 carries of 2016. The problem, of course, is he was limited to just those 18 carries by a foot injury.

    Theo Riddick will still get plenty of snaps in an effort to both limit the punishment Abdullah has to endure and give the Lions an effective change of pace. Riddick is a reliable pass-catcher out of the backfield and scored five receiving touchdowns in 2016.

    Abdullah's staying healthy will help to improve a Lions rushing offense that was nearly nonexistent in 2016. So will the additions of tackle Ricky Wagner and guard T.J. Lang, who were both signed as free agents. The Lions averaged only 3.7 yards per carry without Abdullah and had poor blocking in front of Riddick and Zach Zenner.

    D.J. Hayden should get the first shot to start at cornerback opposite Darius Slay, but he'll likely just be a placeholder until 2017 second-round pick Teez Tabor is ready. Tabor flopped during the predraft process due to his lack of speed in workouts while recording a 40-yard dash time of only 4.62. But the former Florida Gator is coming off a college career highlighted by eight interceptions and 28 passes defensed over three seasons.

Green Bay Packers

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    RB Ty Montgomery
    RB Ty MontgomeryJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    Offense: WR Jordy Nelson, WR Randall Cobb, LT David Bakhtiari, LG Lane Taylor, C Corey Linsley, RG Jahri Evans, RT Bryan Bulaga, TE Martellus Bennett, QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Ty Montgomery, FB Aaron Ripkowski

    Defense: LDE Kenny Clark, DT Christian Ringo, DT Mike Daniels, LOLB Nick Perry, LILB Jake Ryan, RILB Blake Martinez, ROLB Clay Matthews, LCB Davon House, SS Morgan Burnett, FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, RCD Kevin King

    There was a whirling vortex at right guard in the space formerly occupied by T.J. Lang. The Green Bay Packers signed an aging Jahri Evans, and he should slide in as a quality temporary solution. Evans will turn 34 years old just prior to the 2017 season; he may have come down from his six-time Pro Bowl perch, but Evans is still a reliable interior blocker. He allowed a modest 26 pressures in 2016 on 1,138 snaps.  

    The Packers used three picks on running backs in the 2017 draft. But those picks didn't come until Day 3, which is when we started to get the hint Ty Montgomery would remain Green Bay's backfield leader.

    That was confirmed when head coach Mike McCarthy recently spoke to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It's a role Montgomery earned by transitioning smoothly from wide receiver to running back while averaging 5.9 yards per carry in 2016.

    The Packers' pass defense was regularly shredded in 2016 and allowed a league-worst 8.1 yards per pass attempt. That's why rookie cornerback Kevin King could get a shot to start immediately. At 6'3 and 192 pounds, he has the size and athleticism you're looking for.

    King was part of the Washington Huskies' stacked defensive backfield and allowed only one touchdown over his last 28 college games.

Los Angeles Rams

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    OT Andrew Whitworth
    OT Andrew WhitworthAssociated Press

    Offense: WR Robert Woods, WR Tavon Austin, LT Andrew Whitworth, LG Rodger Saffold, C John Sullivan, RG Rob Havenstein, RT Greg Robinson, TE Tyler Higbee, QB Jared Goff, RB Todd Gurley, FB Sam Rogers

    Defense: LDE Ethan Westbrooks, DT Aaron Donald, RDE Michael Brockers, SLB Connor Barwin, ILB Alec Ogletree, ILB Mark Barron, WOLB Robert Quinn, LCB Trumaine Johnson, SS Maurice Alexander, FS Lamarcus Joyner, RCB E.J. Gaines

    The Los Angeles Rams ended the eyesore that was Greg Robinson at left tackle when they signed Andrew Whitworth during free agency.

    The question now is whether moving Robinson to right tackle will help him salvage his career. The answer may come with a sad trombone. Robinson has been a warm and welcoming sight for any opposing pass-rusher, allowing 18 sacks over just three seasons.

    The Rams' pass rush needed a roundhouse kick to the backside after recording only 31 sacks in 2016. That should come from Connor Barwin when he's paired on the outside with Robert Quinn. Barwin was a part-time rotational player in 2016 and on the field for only 69.1 percent of the Philadelphia Eagles' defensive snaps. But in that reduced role, he still finished with five sacks while generating 30 pressures.

    The receiving options available to quarterback Jared Goff are underwhelming after the departure of Kenny Britt. Both Tavon Austin and Cooper Kupp are slippery slot receivers, but it doesn't give Goff a real field-stretcher.

    Austin averaged 8.8 yards per reception in 2016, and Robert Woods has averaged only 12.1 yards per catch over four seasons.

Minnesota Vikings

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    RB Dalvin Cook
    RB Dalvin CookAssociated Press

    Offense: WR Adam Thielen, WR Stefon Diggs, LT Riley Reiff, LG Alex Boone, C Pat Elflein, RG Joe Berger, RT Mike Remmers, TE Kyle Rudolph, QB Sam Bradford, RB Dalvin Cook, RB Latavius Murray

    Defense: LDE Brian Robison, NT Linval Joseph, DT Tom Johnson, RDE Everson Griffen, SLB Anthony Barr, MLB Eric Kendricks, WLB Emmanuel Lamur, LCB Terence Newman, SS Andrew Sendejo, FS Harrison Smith, RCB Xavier Rhodes

    The Vikings' rushing offense did laps around the drain in 2016 for a few reasons.

    The first was obvious: Awfulness usually follows when you remove running back Adrian Peterson from an offense centered around him. The second reason was, well, also obvious: The run blocking left much to be desired, and now rookie third-round center Pat Elflein can anchor a turnaround. Elflein earned positive run-blocking grades in three straight seasons while at Ohio State.

    Dalvin Cook is a multipurpose threat who fell to the Vikings in the draft due to character concerns. He's a quality downhill runner who can continue the tradition of a powerful run-oriented offense in Minnesota. Cook is also a skilled pass-catcher out of the backfield, recording 2,253 yards from scrimmage along with 20 touchdowns during his final season at Florida State.

New Orleans Saints

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    OT Ryan Ramczyk
    OT Ryan RamczykAssociated Press

    Offense: WR Michael Thomas, WR Ted Ginn, LT Terron Armstead, LG Andrus Peat, C Max Unger, RG Larry Warford, RT Ryan Ramczyk, TE Coby Fleener, QB Drew Brees, RB Mark Ingram, FB John Kuhn

    Defense: LDE Alex Okafor, DT Nick Fairley, DT Sheldon Rankins, RDE Cameron Jordan, SLB Stephone Anthony, MLB A.J. Klein, WLB Dannell Ellerbe, LCB Delvin Breaux, SS Kenny Vaccaro, FS Vonn Bell, RCB Marshon Lattimore

    The New Orleans Saints landed Ryan Ramczyk late in the first round. He was one of the few Week 1 starting-caliber offensive tackles available in the 2017 draft, and he could bump Zach Strief to the inside.

    I still have Andrus Peat listed as a starting guard here, but that's likely to change before Week 1. The Saints have two straight-ahead and plowing runners in Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson, and Strief is the much better run-blocker.

    Ingram will likely be on the high end of a time share with Peterson, with plenty of touches to go around after the Saints attempted 404 rushes in 2016. There will be multiple faces filling multiple roles in the Saints backfield. That includes third-round pick Alvin Kamara, who will try to do a Reggie Bush impersonation after his 683 receiving yards as a running back during his two seasons with the Tennessee Volunteers.

    The Saints took a smart free-agency flier on defensive end Alex Okafor. He saw his playing time with the Arizona Cardinals decrease after the addition of Chandler Jones. But Okafor showed promise earlier in his career with eight sacks in 2014.

New York Giants

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    TE Evan Engram
    TE Evan EngramAssociated Press

    Offense: WR Odell Beckham Jr., WR Brandon Marshall, LT Ereck Flowers, LG Justin Pugh, C Weston Richburg, RG John Jerry, RT DJ Fluker, TE Evan Engram, QB Eli Manning, RB Paul Perkins, FB Rhett Ellison

    Defense: LDE Jason Pierre-Paul, LDT Damon Harrison, RDT Dalvin Tomlinson, RDE Olivier Vernon, SLB Devon Kennard, MLB B.J. Goodson, WLB  Jonathan Casillas, LCB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, SS Landon Collins, FS Darian Thompson, RCB Janoris Jenkins

    The New York Giants could have their first two picks in the 2017 draft start for them in Week 1. On one side of the ball, tight end Evan Engram will become another athletically gifted target available to quarterback Eli Manning.

    In 2016, all Giants tight ends combined for 609 receiving yards. During the same season, Engram piled up 926 receiving yards and eight touchdowns for Ole Miss.

    The shiny new rookie on the defensive side will likely be defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. Grabbing a pocket-collapsing interior defensive lineman became a priority early in the draft for the Giants after Johnathan Hankins left as a free agent.

    Tomlinson has both the size and power to slide in without needing to watch and develop first. The 6'3", 310-pound tackle recorded 62 tackles and three sacks during his final year with Alabama in 2016.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    RB Ryan Mathews
    RB Ryan MathewsRob Leiter/Getty Images

    Offense: WR Alshon Jeffery, WR Torrey Smith, SWR Jordan Matthews, LT Jason Peters, LG Allen Barbre, C Jason Kelce, RG Brandon Brooks, RT Lane Johnson, TE Zach Ertz, QR Carson Wentz, RB Ryan Mathews

    Defense: RDE Chris Long, RDT Fletcher Cox, LDT Timmy Jernigan, LDE Brandon Graham, SLB Nigel Bradham, MLB Jordan Hicks, WLB Mychal Kendricks, LCB Jalen Mills, SS Rodney McLeod, FS, Malcolm Jenkins, RCB Patrick Robinson

    Ryan Mathews is still on the Eagles roster, and I'm listing him as the starting running back here. But it wouldn't be surprising if he was released at the end of training camp. Mathews is an oft-injured runner heading into his age-30 season and is owed $4 million in 2017.

    If he's cut, the Eagles would then roll with a committee approach while dividing up situational carries between Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and fourth-round pick Donnel Pumphrey.

    The Eagles gladly halted cornerback Sidney Jones' injury-induced fall during the draft. Jones didn't allow a touchdown in coverage during the 2016 season and he was available for the Eagles in the second round because of an Achilles injury suffered during the Washington Huskies pro day.

    He'll boost a 13th-ranked secondary, but likely not until around midseason if he ends up on the PUP list. In the meantime, 2016 seventh-round pick Jalen Mills will keep Jones' seat warm.

San Francisco 49ers

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    QB C.J. Beathard
    QB C.J. BeathardAssociated Press

    Offense: WR Pierre Garcon, WR Marquise Goodwin, LT Joe Staley, LG Zane Beadles, C Jeremy Zuttah, RG Josh Garnett, RT Garry Gilliam, TE Vance McDonald, QB Brian Hoyer, RB Carlos Hyde, FB Kyle Juszczyk

    Defense: LDE DeForest Buckner, NT Earl Mitchell, DT Solomon Thomas, RDE Arik Armstead, LOLB Ahmad Brooks, MLB NaVorro Bowman, ROLB Reuben Foster, LCB Dontae Johnson, SS Eric Reid, FS Jimmie Ward, RCB Rashard Robinson

    Garry Gilliam was atrocious at right tackle for the Seattle Seahawks, but the 49ers signed him to an offer sheet for a reason: They don't have a better option. Gilliam gave up 113 pressures over the past two seasons.

    C.J. Beathard didn't get showered in much quarterback draft buzz, and the bar for becoming a predraft darling who's the answer to the question "where will the next Dak Prescott come from?" can be low.

    New 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has lofty hopes for his third-round pick and told Sports Illustrated's Peter King that Beathard reminds him of Kirk Cousins. For now, Brian Hoyer will be a veteran bridge yet again, and Shanahan can dream on a prospect who completed only 56.5 percent of his pass attempts for Iowa in 2016.

    Joe Williams could quickly develop into a quality midround pickup who can provide instant running back depth for the inevitable Carlos Hyde injuries to come. Hyde has missed 14 games over his three NFL seasons, and Williams finished with 1,514 yards from scrimmage during his final year at Utah in 2016.

Seattle Seahawks

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    RB C.J. Prosise
    RB C.J. ProsiseAdam Glanzman/Getty Images

    Offense: WR Doug Baldwin, WR Jermaine Kearse, LT Luke Joeckel, LG Mark Glowinski, C Justin Britt, RG Germain Ifedi, RT Ethan Pocic, TE Jimmy Graham, QB Russell Wilson, RB C.J. Prosise, FB Malcolm Johnson

    Defense: LDE Michael Bennett, LDT Ahtyba Rubin, RDT Jarran Reed, RDE Cliff Avril, LOLB Cassius Marsh, MLB Bobby Wagner, ROLB K.J. Wright, LCB Richard Sherman, SS Kam Chancellor, FS Earl Thomas, RCB DeShawn Shead

    In late April, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett told's Sheil Kapadia he'll be ready for training camp after suffering a severe leg injury on Christmas Eve 2016. The Seahawks will take any Lockett sighting they can get in August, as he changes the nature of their offense with his speed, multipurpose ability and elusiveness in space.

    Get ready for the annual questions about whether the Seahawks' awful offensive line will derail an otherwise promising season. Any team even considering putting Luke Joeckel at left tackle, instead of guard where he belongs, is destined to get its quarterback trampled again. Russell Wilson has been sacked 40-plus times in four of his five NFL seasons.

    The Seahawks may never have a true "starting" running back in 2017. I've listed C.J. Prosise here because he won an imaginary coin flip in my head. If both Prosise and Thomas Rawls stay healthy, then Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll could choose his weekly starter the same way and have success.

    Rawls hobbled through 2016, but in 2015 as a rookie he averaged 5.6 yards per carry. Prosise averaged 5.7 yards per carry in 2016 on his 30 attempts.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    RB Doug Martin
    RB Doug MartinTom Pennington/Getty Images

    Offense: WR DeSean Jackson, WR Mike Evans, LT Donovan Smith, LG J.R. Sweezy, C Joe Hawley, RG Ali Marpet, RT Demar Dotson, TE O.J. Howard, QB Jameis Winston, RB Doug Martin, RB Alan Cross

    Defense: LDE William Gholston, LDT Gerald McCoy, RDT Chris Baker, RDE Robert Ayers, SLB Cameron Lynch, MLB Kwon Alexander, WLB Lavonte David, RCB Vernon Hargreaves, SS J.J. Wilcox, FS Justin Evans, RCB Brent Grimes

    For a time, it seemed like Doug Martin would be playing his football elsewhere in 2017. He has an injury history and will miss the first four games of 2017 due to a suspension.

    However, Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht can't stop gushing about Martin's offseason and how great he's looked during workouts. It's probably a good time to remember Martin is only one season removed from posting 1,402 rushing yards.

    The Buccaneers targeted safety Justin Evans in the second round to improve their 22nd-ranked pass defense in 2016, and he has the coverage instincts to do just that. Evans allowed an average of only 8.3 yards per reception in 2016 and also snatched four interceptions.

Washington Redskins

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    RB Samaje Perine
    RB Samaje PerineJackson Laizure/Getty Images

    Offense: WR Josh Doctson, WR Terrelle Pryor, SWR Jamison Crowder, LT Trent Williams, LG Shaun Lauvao, C Spencer Long, RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses, TE Jordan Reed, QB Kirk Cousins, RB Samaje Perine

    Defense: LDE Jonathan Allen, Ziggy Hood, RDE, Terrell McClain, WLB Ryan Kerrigan, LILB Zach Brown, RILB Mason Foster, SLB Preston Smith, LCB Bashaud Breeland, SS Su'a Cravens, FS D.J. Swearinger, RCB Josh Norman 

    Samaje Perine was a fourth-round pick in April, but he could easily beat out Rob Kelley for the lead backfield job with the Washington Redskins. Perine averaged 1,481 yards from scrimmage per year over three seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners.

    Rookie cornerback Fabian Moreau could also sneak up to steal a starting cornerback job after falling in the draft due to injury. Moreau recorded two interceptions and eight passes defensed to close out his college career at UCLA. He might challenge Bashaud Breeland, who allowed a passer rating in coverage of 91.7 in 2016.

    Unless otherwise noted, advanced stats via Pro Football Focus.