Now that we’ve powered through the draft and the big wave of free agency, let’s take a look at a couple of position groups that are going to be ultra competitive when the uniforms go on later this month; the defensive backs and the offensive line.
You knew the secondary was going to get major attention and there’s no doubt that Brian Gaine added enough talent to make for some very interesting and perhaps painful playing time decisions for the coaching staff. If everyone performs as well as they are supposed to, these decisions should be filed under the category of ‘luxury problems.’
Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson are the elder statesmen here. If JJoe plays outside and Kareem, inside, then where does Aaron Colvin play? Because he WILL play. Colvin could possibly play outside. But let’s not forget what a healthy Kevin Johnson can do. Do you see where we are headed?
Also, Tyrann Mathieu could play some at corner. And every draft pundit seems to think third round ‘steal’ Justin Reid can too. All you have to do is ask.
Speaking of the rookie and the Honey Badger (sounds like an 80s kids movie!), they obviously figure big into the mix at safety. But Andre Hal is still here. And so is Corey Moore. This is going to be fun.
On the offensive line, it’s a little easier to figure out. Or is it? Let’s keep it simple and put Nick Martin at center flanked by Zach Fulton and Senio Kelemete. But wait, Jeff Allen is still in the building. And Bill O’Brien hasn’t been shy about Kyle Fuller’s abilities.
Rookie Martinas Rankin could battle for time at either tackle spot. But let’s place Julien Davenport at LT and Seantrel Henderson at RT for now. David Quessenberry might even get into the mix. And Kendall Lamm is certainly eager to show why the coaches thought he could do the job in camp last season. And there’s undoubtedly going to be an undrafted free agent or two who piques interest.
You get the picture. There are choices up front. This won’t exactly be like coming to camp with a veteran group that can finish each other’s sentences. There will be an ‘under construction’ phase that they’ll have to get through. But the hope is there are enough bodies here to carve out a productive starting five with enough depth to thrive through a 16 game schedule.
The pads won’t be popping until August. But OTAs will be a good opportunity to get a first look under the hood of the 2018 squad. And there will be plenty of tuning up going on.