ESPN Insider view of FA market (1 Viewer)

bergeaux

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These are all insider articles, so I can't post them up here... But here are some excerpts:

D-Line: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?id=3263747

ESPN said:
Defensive tackles

The defensive tackle position has a slew of names, but not many impact players. It's tough to find productive players at this position because all the good ones get locked up early. But there are several second- and third-tier players who can give valuable depth to many clubs' defensive lines. In fact, several players may be better off in a different scheme that will utilize their ability better.

Prior to being given the franchise tag, the marquee names in this class were Albert Haynesworth from the Titans and Corey Williams from the Packers. When healthy, Haynesworth drew many double-teams, which freed up other defenders, and his run-stopping ability gave Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz more flexibility. Plus, the Titans' defensive numbers were noticeably different with Haynesworth in the lineup.


DB overview: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?id=3266816

ESPN said:
Cornerbacks


The free-agent cornerback class is an extremely talented group. It is probably one of the deepest units this season. Asante Samuel (Patriots) is the biggest name hitting the open market and this class would have been even deeper if Nnamdi Asomugha (Raiders) and Marcus Trufant (Seahawks) weren't given the franchise tag.



Samuel will be one of the top free agents to hit the open market. He's a very instinctive corner who has great anticipation, ball skills and hands, but is inconsistent in the run game. He has good speed but appears to be more quick than fast. He uses his hands well to reroute receivers and he keeps his leverage while patterns develop. Samuel competes well with all receivers, but does not have great height to shut down the bigger athletes on the outside.


The second-tier group consists of Drayton Florence (Chargers), Travis Fisher (Lions), Brian Kelly (Buccaneers) and Randall Gay (Patriots). All four have the ability to be solid No. 2 or No. 3 corners in this league. Plus, they have value as a sub-defender and on special teams.
LB overview: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?id=3265183

ESPN said:
Inside linebackers

This is an extremely weak group of free-agent inside linebackers. Teams in need of help in the middle will have to target the draft to get what they need.

...

Kawika Mitchell is coming off a Super Bowl win and surely will be sought after on the open market. He played outside linebacker for the Giants, but probably is best suited in the middle. He isn't a difference-maker, but he would be a quality starter in the right system. However, as with many free agents coming off a Super Bowl victory, Mitchell could be overpaid because this free-agent ILB group is so weak.
K, P, ST overview: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?id=3267567

O-line overview: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?id=3257405

QB overview: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?id=3251322

RB/FB overview: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?id=3252007

WR overview: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?id=3252706

ESPN said:
This year's wide receiver group in free agency is a little bit stronger than last season's, but overall it's not a really strong group. However, there are some intriguing players who could fill a role as a starter in the right offensive system.

Clearly, the best receiver -- and without a doubt a true No. 1 target -- is Randy Moss of the Patriots. Moss was simply amazing last season, with 98 receptions for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns. He is still a phenomenal athlete with rare size, long arms, speed and receiving skills. He has the ability to stretch the field vertically with double moves, go routes and deep comebacks. However, can he maintain his positive ways and stay focused with a new lucrative contract?

<!-- end table -->...

<!-- end whole table -->The next tier of receivers consists of Bernard Berrian (Bears), Jerry Porter (Raiders), Bryant Johnson (Cardinals), Ernest Wilford (Jaguars) and D.J. Hackett (Seahawks).
TE overview: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?id=3254727

ESPN said:
The tight end class of 2008 definitely has more big-name attraction than last year's class. There are several players who could be marquee tight ends given the opportunity to match their talents with the right kind of teams. There are also several second-tier tight ends who could start for the right team and be productive.

This year's class would have looked a lot more glamorous if Philadelphia and Indianapolis hadn't put franchise tags on L.J. Smith and Dallas Clark. However, even though those two are not available, there are still several tight ends at the next level who have a chance to make a big impact.

After Smith and Clark, there are names like Eric Johnson from New Orleans, Ben Troupe from Tennessee and Michael Gaines from Buffalo. Johnson is more of a receiver than a blocker, ranking fourth on the team in catches with 48.


There are a lot more in the full articles and for those that don't have ESPN Insider access... Sorry!



Oh and they also have summaries of each division's team needs. Lots of info there as well, although not always accurate. They describe our LB corp as "solid" but not "spectacular". I would say "marginal", and only that high because of Fujita.
 

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