With the NFL season all wrapped and the draft as well as free agency still some time away from this point, I wanted to take a look at the newest quarterback, who got paid. Jimmy Garoppolo was traded to San Francisco for a second-round pick in the middle of the 2017 season and completely turned the franchise around, helping a 1-10 team win their next five games. That resulted in the front office making him the highest-paid player in NFL history, by giving him a five-year, 137.5 million dollar contract. After just seven career starts, it is fair to question if he is worth all that money. Therefore, I watched every snap of his time with the 49ers to offer an analysis on the young QB. I looked at his two games with New England as well, but decided to leave those out for now, since I’m judging him based on the system he will be a part of going forward, with Kyle Shahan signing a six-year contract himself, just a year ago. Let’s dive into the tape:
Two weeks ago I talked about newly formed position groups that aren’t talked about enough. Now I want to look at one spot for each team that has to be improved. This article is not about adding depth or planning for the future, but rather where a team needs help this upcoming season. You could make a case for multiple teams having to upgrade their quarterback play, but there aren’t many solutions out there. That’s why I focused on other positions.
I wanted to give an overview on each team and discuss why they need to improve at that specific spot. This week I talk about the NFC teams.
Through the offseason all 32 NFL teams have looked at their roster and tried to improve it, whether that is through free agency or the draft. That has resulted in some much improved position groups in combination with the pieces those teams already had. I want to point out six of those newly formed units, who I think will be a strength this season and help their respective teams win football games after hurting them to some degree last year. Here they are:
Defenses run the table right now. Other than Pittsburgh’s and Atlanta’s high-powered offenses it’s the defensive units that have carried the premier teams over the first five weeks. Sure those team’s offenses make the critical plays and Tom Brady will be the main figure in New England from now on, but the top defenses have made the winningest teams go. The criteria for what makes those units elite has changed over the past decade or two, since the focus has shifted more to being able to lock down receivers and mix coverages well, but I feel like being able to make offenses one-dimensional by shutting down the run has a lot of value.
Every NFL season brings new surprising underdog-stories and disappointments. After three weeks the standings look a lot different to how analysts predicted them to be and there have been a bunch of things going on around the league that not a lot of people saw coming. Here are some of them:
Every year some players at the bottom of team’s rosters around the league emerge and that’s what this list is about. The idea is not to talk about Pro Bowlers who may take the next step, but rather about guys and position groups who many people don’t even know of. All of them take on different roles – some might crack the starting lineups while others make their impact as a rotational players while some units will be much better than they were just a year ago. With the preseason in full swing we got a first look at all of them.
Every year over hundreds of players select their top 20 players in the league and the NFL Network compiles those lists to build the NFL Top 100. The first problem is that each player only lists his best 20, in which some of the guys at the bottom should never come up if everybody gave an objective opinion. The second one is that each player sees some on their fellow athletes twice during the season and some not at all and therefore they don’t get to see everybody on tape. So some mistakes are made and players get listed too high, too low or not at all. Here are my corrections:
No roster in the NFL is perfect. Good players move on if they don’t get paid as much as they would like, draft picks don’t always meet expectations and there’s a cap limit because of which teams don’t have the money to invest equally in every position. So it’s not only the teams who select early in the draft who would like to upgrade some position groups. All of them would benefit from that. So here are the biggest holes on some of the NFL’s rosters.
With the first days of training camp in full swing every NFL organization has to look at their roster and point out the biggest positional needs for their team to have as much success as possible. And that’s what I did for each team in the league. This list is not about building depth or planning for the future, but rather which positions have to be upgraded for them to win this year. Without any further ado, here it is:
So with a crazy Draft weekend in the books and a chance for me to evaluate every team’s draft class, I decided to determine who really helped themselves and who was hurt by some moves made. In addition to that I’ll name the biggest surprises that came up and which players were the greatest value-picks. Let’s dive right into it: