Mock Offseason: Take #1

Finding myself with a lot of time on my hands these days, finishing up my final semester in college, and still looking for a job, I have been posting a lot of stuff. One thing that I have not posted, and was not intending on posting for a while is my first "mock offseason". I obviously was holding out hope that there would be some more positives with this team to focus on, but as Gabbert and Laurent Robinson head to IR, I further doubt that there will be a whole lot positive to really focus on over the coming weeks.

Moving into this mock offseason I want to preface by saying a few things.

  • I am a fan of this team, and try my hardest to put the team first and foremost in my thoughts. At this stage, while I cannot say that Gabbert is a lost cause, I am leaning toward thinking this team needs to start seriously considering moving on from the "Gabbert as QB of the future" stance. As I have reiterated time and time again, I really do not think there is a QB in the draft worthy of a top 5 selection, but at this point I am a strong advocate of looking for a QB in the 2nd-4th rounds of this draft; I really think there are some good QBs likely to be available in those rounds.
  • While I do "love" MJD, when considering the best course of action for the team, trading MJD seems to make the most sense in my opinion. No doubt that would leave a gaping hole at RB, but the way I see it, given the position this team is in, MJD right now is more valuable to other teams, and so whatever another team might be willing to give up in a trade for MJD probably is better to have than MJD.
  • I have seriously been pondering the best course of action for this defense; I sensed that last year was a bit of a fluke, and that even if healthy, this was not a top 10 unit in the league. As of right now, I think that if a total rebuild is really in order (and I believe it is), moving to a 3-4 defensive scheme makes a lot of sense. On the one hand, it does mean that you look to trade Poz, who does not really like or thrive in the 3-4. On the other hand though, I am of the impression that the personnel other than Poz might actually suit the 3-4 better. I am personally of the opinion that Alualu and Mincey could be the DE and a guy like Branch could move to OLB and thrive. Then throw in a first rounder like Jarvis Jones, and this defense could be good pretty quickly. So, moving forward, do realize I plan on making this team 3-4 and drafting/signing players accordingly.

Step #1: New Coaching Staff

I am not unhappy with the current staff (exception being Heck who I was unhappy to see held over from the JDR era). I just feel that this team needs a fresh start and needs to distance itself from this season as much as possible.

As I look at potential options out there, one thing I want to make clear is that I am of the impression that a collegiate head coach, as opposed to a promising NFL coordinator, might be the best potential hire. The two guys who stand out to me at this point are Chip Kelly and David Shaw. Kelly obviously has been extremely successful as the Oregon Ducks head coach and apparently has interest in an NFL job. The major problem with him seems to be his offensive scheme and how well it would translate to the NFL. Personally, I think that Kelly likely won't look to implement the exact offense he uses at Oregon. I envision him implementing a more complex and "NFL-compatible" offense that is built on the same principles of his Oregon offense. I would still expect to see him go on 4th and short and implement a "high tempo" offense. As for Shaw, who I can only assume would be interested to move to the NFL as a head coach, he runs a pro-style offense predicated on a strong running game and play-action passing. He has had success in his 2 years as Stanford HC, particularly this year without Luck. Speaking of which, he also is very much a reason for the success of Andrew Luck at Stanford.

In the end, as I consider those two candidates, I think I would prefer Kelly. He is the riskier of the two to strongly pursue, but I think that given the direction of the NFL, as well as the state of this team, he makes more sense. I would be curious to see which coaches he brings from Oregon. I feel like I would love to see him bring Alioti as his defensive coordinator.

Step #2: Roster Management

Part I: Free Agency (list of free agents courtesy of - any mistakes are their fault)





Rashad Jennings


Greg Jones


Jalen Parmele


Brock Bolen


Michael Spurlock


Zach Potter


Maurcie Stovall


Eben Britton


Steve Vallos


John Estes


Have as many potential replacements for Meester around to make sure the best one wins the job.

Brad Meester


Time to move on and get younger at the position.

John Chick


Chick has impressed me in his play ever since he debuted for this team. Should be a nice situational player in a 3-4 defense as well.

George Selvie


I like Selvie and while I think eventually a better player can be found for depth, but at this stage it is a good move keeping him around.

Terrenace Knighton


He has disappointed, but I think that he can return to form and eventually be a good NT in a 3-4 scheme. I doubt he costs a ton after this season.

Kyle Bosworth


Daryl Smith


Derek Cox


For the right price, he makes sense to bring back. I am not sure he is a #1 CB, but if he is covering "lesser" WRs, I think he can be a GREAT player if healthy.

Chris Harris


Rashean Mathis


Time to move on from Mathis. Get younger and better at CB.

William Middleton


Part II: Cutting Players



Aaron Ross

Because he sucks?! Truth be told, I was never a huge fan of him coming in the first place, but given what was seen as a potential replacement for Mathis, I was somewhat ok with it. Turns out I was right to be skeptical from the start. Take Ross out of the NYG defense and he becomes subpar even more frequently. In the end, I think it is time to go to the draft, or the premier free agents to find some new CBs.

Chris Prosinski

JPQ!, the honor is yours on this one.

Guy Whimper

It can be argued that he is not bad as a 3rd string tackle, but I really think that a UDFA can be found who will be at least as good as Whimper has been for this team.

Laurent Robinson

I might have faulty information, but from what I gather he has been paid most of his guaranteed money, and cutting him would not actually cost a whole lot. Between his concussions and his play, he should not be a part of this team moving forward

Clint Session

Once again, my info might be wrong, but he also seems to not still have a ton of earned money left to earn. He really needs to call it quits. We can only hope he does that, but one way or the other, I think he has to go.

Part III: Trading Players

Projecting trades is quite difficult, but for the hell of it, I will throw out some possibilities.

  • JAX trades Maurice Jones Drew to GB for 2013 and 2014 2nd round picks - Green Bay is lacking a RB plain and simple. Cedric Benson is not the answer to their running woes. If they were able to snag a guy like MJD, they suddenly become even more potent and dangerous on offense than they are right now. Two 2nd round selections might be a bit steep, but for the sake of the mock offseason, it is irrelevant because it is only one 2nd rounder his year.
  • JAX trades Paul Posluszny to NYG in exchange for 2013 2nd and 3rd round picks - one position on defense where the Giants are lacking is MLB. From my experience in NY, the fans are not devastated having Chase Blackburn, but Poz is almost definitely a major upgrade who could help solidify the LB group of the Giants, and further strengthen their front seven.

Step #3: Player Acquisition

Part I: Free Agency

For the most part, I see the free agent group this upcoming offseason as one that is going to be best utilized for depth. I do not see enough "standout" players likely to hit the open market that it makes sense to anticipate getting a future starter for the team. Having said that, here are a couple of guys I think could make a good amount of sense.

  • Chris Ivory - given the amount of RBs the Saints have in their roster, I figure Ivory is not going to be a major priority to bring back. He is a very nice option at the backup RB spot in my opinion.
  • Jim Leonhard - at all times, this team needs a white guy who plays safety on their roster. Seriously, once Quinton Carter is healthy enough, I figure Broncos will no longer be as reliant upon Leonhard, so they will let him hit free agency. I think he provides very nice depth at safety

Part II: The Draft







Jarvis Jones



Jones is really good. He has played OLB in the 4-3 and ignoring his strong pass rush ability, he can play in coverage and step in and stop the run. He is an all around talented defensive player who would be great to start a 3-4 defense with. (I also really like Dion Jordan, but at this point I am not entirely sure he is worthy of such a high pick)


David Amerson


North Carolina State

This team needs an upgrade in the secondary, and Amerson is having a less than ideal season leading into the draft, but in some regard I think he is trying a bit too hard this year. As a result of this "lackluster" season coupled with uncertainty regarding him as a viable CB in the NFL, he falls out of the first round. Luckily the Jaguars are drafting early 2nd and grab him without skipping a heartbeat.


Zac Dysert



As I pointed out above, the team comes first, and that means bringing in a new QB to theoretically compete for the starting job. In my opinion, Dysert heads up the "middle tier" of QB prospects and makes a lot of sense at this spot. Only issue is that like the last QB the Jaguars have drafted, this one has "beautiful" golden locks of hair.


Andre Ellington



MJD is gone, and there is no one on the roster to carry the load at RB. While I might suggest a guy like Eddie Lacy is better and will still be available, under the new Chip Kelly offense, I am looking for less of a "power" back, which is what I see Lacy more as. I like Ellington's skill-set more for this offense, and think he makes a lot of sense at the spot.


Kyle Long



Kelly gets one of his former players, and the Jaguars get their new right tackle. He has the pedigree, being Howie's son, and has the talent. He is a bit raw, but he should become a really good player and a cornerstone of this offensive line for years to come.


Shayne Skov



Skov as of right now is the middle round player who I think is going to be a MAJOR steal. This guy is a playmaker who I think with time can become really good. Between Poz being traded and Daryl Smith not getting any younger, I would be thrilled to see Skov in Black and Teal.


B.W. Webb


William & Mary

Webb is a CB from the FCS who is quite talented and should only further upgrade the secondary, which as of right now is pretty awfull. He also can hopefully contribute nicely on special teams, since he is pretty good as a return man.


Connor Vernon



Vernon's name popped up on my radar last year as a potential entrant in the 2012 draft. I was impressed then, and I am impressed now. He is not especially big or quick, but he seems to get things done.


Daimion Stafford



Not much behind Lowery and Landry. Stafford is a decent player who should present a nice backup option at safety.


T.J. Moe



The 7th round is the ideal place to take chances. Moe fits that mold. I believe he has enormous upside to become a good NFL player, but there is also a good chance he never amounts to anything. When I think of him, the best adjective I could think of to describe his game is "sneaky", and I would love to see if he can bring that sneakiness to the NFL.

Part III: Undrafted Free Agency

(This is only a partial list of some of the potentially undrafted players that I would like to see brought in to camp to be given a shot)




MarQueis Gray



Greg Reid


Valdosta State(FSU originally)

D.C. Jefferson



Omar Hunter



Nick Florence



John Boyett



Montel Harris



Aaron Hester



Kyle Juszczyk



Mike Shanahan



T.J. Barnes


Georgia Tech

Meshak Williams


Kansas State

Manase Foketi


West Texas A&M

Drew Frey



Step #4: Compile Roster for Training Camp

This is only a partial roster since I would envision more UDFAs brought in, as well as other free agents to be given chances to earn roster spots.

(rookies in italics, free agents in bold)




Gabbert, Henne, Dysert


Ellington, Ivory, Harris


Blackmon, Shorts, Elliot, Vernon, Moe, Gray, Shanahan


Lewis, Veldman, Jefferson, Juszczyk


Monroe, Long, Bradfield, Foketi


Nwaneri, Rackley, Nowak, Spitz


Brewster, Estes


Knighton, Pendleton, Barnes


Mincey, Alualu, Mosley, Lane, D'A Smith


Jones, Branch, Chick, Selvie


Smith, Skov, Allen, Stanford, Jones


Amerson, Cox, Harris, Webb, Rutland, Blake, Reid


Lowery, Stafford, Boyett


Landry, Leonhard, Frey







FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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