The scrappers. That’s pretty much what we had left at the end of the season and much to their credit, they held their own pretty well. Guys like Nik Needham, Ken Webster, Ryan Lewis and a cast off like Jomal Wiltz. Xavien Howard was already on IR as was Bobby McCain, yet the secondary wasn’t a glaring weakness. Xavien Howard’s availability is still up in the air despite the charges being dropped. His physical health is also in question with his twice injured knee. I’m not even going to construct a depth chart because so much is up in the air. I suppose I could pencil in Xavien Howard at LCB if he’s healthy and there are no ramifications of the domestic battery situation December 30th 2019. I’m expecting us to be active in both FA and the draft shoring up this secondary. You can never have too many good cornerbacks,
In free agency, the first guy that jumps out at me is former Bills and eagles CB Ronald Darby. He just turned 26, and while not an INT machine, he’s a solid cover corner and a scrapper as well. Trae Waynes formerly of the Minnesota Vikings will just be turning 28 and while he’s not a guy who snares a lot of INT’s, he’s also a pretty good cover corner. Artie Burns former Pittsburgh Steeler will yet to be 25 and while still a little raw with his skills, he’s been a starter and may still have potential. Eli Apple and Vernon Hargreaves were top prospects that fizzled out in their 1st stints in the NFL but might me worth a shot. Bashaud Breeland who has been on 3 teams is only 28 and has been a successful starter.
In the draft there are a few top shelf CB’s available and with 3 first RD picks and 2 second RD picks we will have a shot at a few of them. Jeff Okudah from Ohio St. seems to be the unanimous top prospect. It really varies after Okudah with C.J. Henderson, Treyvon Diggs and Kristian Fulton jumbled in many different orders. This may seem strange but what we did last year with Nik Needham, Ryan Lewis, Ken Webster etc. etc., I’m thinking we may not choose to use one of our high picks on a CB. If we do, it’s probably for a couple of reasons, one being they feel Howard can’t be relied upon. I think we may let the best CB’s fall where they may while we shore up the O-line and pass rush and possibly RB and then look in the 2nd and 3rd at other positions. We’ll see! The combine begins later this week so the fun begins as speculation runs rampant! Enjoy!