What I like about the roster construction this off-season is the amount of depth they’ve amassed.
It’s easy to just look at the top-end signing and picks, but when you look at the depth chart not, there’s legit NFL players fighting for spot as backups.
One area of particular attention this offseason was offensive guard. They drafted two guys there, let one starter go, added Garnett (who could be a major sleeper) and re-signed Aboushi and Wiggins, who are both solid, versatile vets. Benenoch was brought in for extra competition.
But this isn’t the only area of focus.
Linebacker and the defensive secondary had big overhauls. This crop of DBs looks way better than last year’s on paper. A CB combo of Okudah and Trufant is way ahead of Slay and Melvin, in large part because Trufant is such a big upgrade at the #2 CB spot. Then you have Coleman, Oruwariye, Agnew, McRae, Ford, Virgin and Roberts, and that’s a deep CB group.
Safety is the same. I see no step back going from Diggs to Harmon at all. The safeties are deep with Harris, Kearse, Adams, Killebrew and Moore (who played all 16 games year).
All the offseason moves point to a 3-4 base defense, with concentration on upgrading the LB spot.
Coming in are Ragland, Collins, Okwara and Lee. Out is Kennard, and that’s about it. Tavai will be more experienced. JRM improved a lot last year after floundering for awhile in previous seasons.
Even WR got some attention. The top 3 are back, plus Hall, but they brought in Geronimo Allison and drafted Cephus for some threats behind the top 3 that they lacked last season. Geremy Davis is mostly a ST guy, but definitely has the size to be a red-zone target.
My one big worry is whether Vaitai is ready to handle RT full time. If he isn’t, then you’ll be filling in with stopgap guys like Wiggins, Crosby and Aboushi (or move Dahl back to OT if he’s healthy and you’re desperate?)
Overall, this teams looks a whole lot better to me.
Health, of course, is going to be a major factor. A new strength and conditioning staff hopefully helps that a lot (fingers crossed), although missing some offseason workouts and such won’t help.
I am cautiously optimistic going into this season, especially with the marginal offseasons everyone else in the division had.