The rebuilding process started last year, and is getting lose and closer to it's finish, in one-two years, maybe three years, the process will be complete. I'm thinking it'll be two years, but lets look back at how this team has been rebuilt.
Many players were cut, older players being replaced by new ones, we all know that. But the last 2 drafts really picked this team up.
Torry Holt was signed, bringing us a talented, but aging receiver(youth movment)?
Round 1: Eugene Monroe - He has been playing at a high level, and is playing at a higher level then some of the league's elite players, and held his own, against Dwight Freeney, Mario Williams, and Demarcus Ware.
Round 2: Eben Brittion - He was not playing as great as Eugene, but was playing well, and struggled sometimes.
Round 3: Terrance Knighton - POT ROAST, is playing better then almost every DT in the game, he is one of the top 5, he is a force in the middle, stuffing gaps, and now getting pressure on the QB(4 sacks), and hes taking on double teams with ease.
Round 3: Derek Cox - Derek playing well last year, but he was picked on a lot, by the opposing offense, especially Peyton. This year he struggled early, and was benched, but as been playing well getting 3 picks in the last 5 games.
Round 4: Mike Thomas - M80 has been playing very well, this season, showing he isn't just a slot receiver. He is great on bubble screens, punt returns, and is great at getting YAC, oh yea can't forget he is also great at catching dflected balls :).
Round 5: Jarret Dillard - He has pretty good hands, and jump up, and grab most balls, but he is struggling with inujuries, being placed on IR two years in a row.
Round 6: Zach Miller - This guy is amazing, and was a great steal, if he played TE in college he would of been a high pick, he's speedy fast, pretty good hands, and has great size, but he struggles with blocking.
Round 7: Rashad Jennings - This guy almost got undrafted, he was a compensatory pick, and hes playing very well, this year everybody called him, the best receiving RB in the league, but he's spelling MJD now, and he's doing a great job, with about 5 yards per carry, and two consecutive games with TDs.
Round 7: Tiquan Underwood - Tiquan "Drops" Underwood, that says enough. He's fast, oh boy, but he can't catch.
We finished the season 7-9, considerably well, for a team being rebuilt. Torry Holt molded and influenced the young receivers, M80, MSW, Jarret Dillard. But Torry Holt then got cut, not scoring a TD, and his molding job was done.
Aaron Kampman signed, bringing us a great, and needed pass rusher, but is just coming off a torn ACL ;o.
Round 1: Tyson Alualu - REACH!!!!!!!!! Was the words out of most analysts mouths to describe it, especially you know who....but he is playing very well, him and Pot Roast are forces in the middle, and has 3.5 sacks? And quite a few TFLs.
Round 3: D'Anthony Smith - We won't know until next year, because of an early injury, putting him on IR. T_T
Round 4: Traded to Oakland, along with Quentin Groves, for the monster run-stopping Kirk Morrison, Kirk has been playing well in the triangle, against the run, but struggles against the pass. Triangle= Pot Roast Alualu,and Morrison on top.
Round 5: Larry Hart - He is getting pressure, but struggles a lot against the run.
Round 5: Austen Lane - Playing decent at the RE spot, he doesn't get muchpressure, but his size helps against the run, did you know NFL Mocks labeled him as a steal?
Sleeper/ Steal Alert
Every year the NFL Draft is littered with Busts and Steals/Sleepers. Steals/Sleepers are what make a team’s draft special and build decision makers reputations. Some of the more famous Steals/Sleepers include Tom Brady (round 6 pick 199), Terrell Davis (round 6 pick 196), and Zack Thomas (round 5 pick 154). But a Steal/Sleeper doesn’t necessarily have to be drafted in the later rounds. An example would be the Green Bay Packers getting Clay Matthews at pick 26 after players like Larry English were selected. Matthews earned a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl after registering 10 sacks in his rookie season. We are going to examine some of the different sleepers in this year’s draft.
Austen Lane- DE- Murray State
Austen Lane comes from the small school of Murray State where he put up impressive numbers. Many will question those numbers due to the lack of top level competition. However, there is no denying Lane’s ability and he answered some of those questions with a strong performance at this year’s Senior Bowl. Lane has great size at 6-6 and 276lbs and many feel he has the frame to add more weight and still keep his athletic ability. Lane will benefit from a good defensive coach addressing his technique and hitting the weight room. Even with the questionable technique Lane was able to produce back to back season with 11+ sack seasons. Lane’s size makes him a good candidate for the defensive end position in a 3-4 defense. However, to fill that role he will have to improve against the run and put on some more weight. Look for Lane to come off the board in the 4th-6th rounds and could be someone that produces a lot of sacks at the next level.
Round 6: Deji Karim - He is very quick player, and is like MJD in size, many thought he won the backup RB spot, but doesn't look like it anymore, thanks to Rashad Jennings, recent play. Good kick-returner , though, we start at around the 30-35 yard line every time, or better.
Round 6: Scotty McGee - He had a strong pre-season, but is on IR now.
John Henderson later got cut.
Out of the 2008 draft we have 5 starters, and two key playmaking back ups.
Out of the 2009 draft we have 2 starters(including Kirk), and 1 key back up.
We also have a few other key pieces of the rebuilding process.
Struggling Reggie Nelson, got traded to Cincinatti(what were they thinking), for a pick, and David Jones(decent nickleback)
Courtney Greene our new SS was picked up off waivers from Seattle, and he's playing quite well.
Jeremy Mincey, an undrafted FA from a few years ago, is now starting at RE, and he has 3 sacks through 3 games starting(4 sacks total), look for him to be spelling Kampman, next year.
After the season look for Marcedes to be re-signed, Rashean to be cut, Harvey to be cut, and a new FS, and CB, to be drafted this year, and probably a QB too.
Btw for all you people who didn't know Greene was crying, or it was sweat in his eye, take a look, looks like pain to me.