We have spent a lot of time discussing both the forthcoming draft and the free agent market. Now it is time to pull it all together. Here is my action plan to vastly improve the Niners 2010 roster (see Footnotes for explanations):
1. Release: WR Issac Bruce.
2. Resign as backups: OG David Baas (grade 65), CB Dre' Bly (grade 65), OLB Ahmad Brooks (grade 20), and OT Barry Sims (grade 58).
3. Sign as starting LOG: UFA Chester Pitts (grade 75).
The St. Louis Rams: (a) need wide receivers; (b) have tendered FS O.J. Atogwe (grade 67) at only the "right of first refusal" level (presumedly to try to resign him on the cheap late in the FA period).
5. Elevate Dominique Zeigler (grade 46) from the Practice Squad.
6. Draft the following prospects in April:
Round 1 - Pick 13: CRB/KR/PR C.J. Spiller / Clemson (rank 8, grade 95).
Round 1 - Pick 17: CB Kyle Wilson / Boise State (rank 28, grade 93) OR CB Earl Thomas / Texas (rank 18, grade 94).
Round 2 - Pick 49: TWR Demaryius Thomas / Georgia Tech (rank 42, grade 88) OR WR Arrelious Benn / Illinois (rank 57, grade 92).
Round 3 - Pick 65: OT Rodger Saffold / Indiana (rank 66, grade 80).
Round 3 - Pick 79: SWR Mardy Gilyard / Cincinatti (rank 93, grade 81) OR SWR Andre Roberts / Citadel (rank 119, grade 72).
Round 4 - Pick 110: 3-4DE Arthur Jones / Syracuse (rank 125, grade 79) OR 3-4DE Mike Neal / Purdue (rank 109, grade 74).
Round 5 - Pick 141: ILB Pat Angerer / Iowa (rank 150, grade 72).
Round 6 - Pick 172: OLB O'Brien Schofield / Wisconsin (rank 163, grade 64) OR SS Myron Rolle / Florida State (rank 173, grade 66).
Round 7 - Pick 208: QB John Skelton / Fordham (rank 146, grade 30) OR QB Zak Robinson / Oklahoma State (rank 197, grade 54).
In all cases where two prospects are listed, the first of the two would be my first choice, but may not be available. Note that ratings for Thomas, Jones, and Schofield have dropped somewhat because of recent surgeries.
7. In August, at the end of training camp, choose between Nate Davis and John Skelton (Zak Robinson) as to who has the most potential as QBOTF.
8. The resulting starters at the beginning of the 2010 season would be:
LG CHESTER PITTS
RG Chilo Rachal
LT Joe Staley
RT RODGER SAFFOLD
TE Vernon Davis
WR Michael Crabtree
WT DEMARYIUS THOMAS (or ARRELIOUS BENN)
SWR MARDY GILYARD (or ANDRE ROBERTS)
QB Alex Smith
RB Frank Gore
COP RB C.J. SPILLER
NT Aubrayo Franklin
LDE Isaac Sopoaga / ARTHUR JONES (or MIKE NEAL)
RDE Justin Smith
ILB Patrick Willis
ILB Takeo Spikes / PAT ANGERER
OLB Manny Lawson
OLB Parys Haralson / O'BRIEN SCHOFIELD
CB Shawntae Spencer
CB Nate Clements / KYLE WILSON (or EARL THOMAS)
SS Dashon Goldson
FS O.J. ATOGWE
KR C.J. SPILLER or MARDY GILYARD or ANDRE ROBERTS / ARRELIOUS BENN (if drafted)
PR C.J. SPILLER or KYLE WILSON or MARDY GILYARD
With these moves the Niners will certainly have the most improved roster of any team in the NFC West, and perhaps the entire NFL. Go for it, McC!!
1. Grades for both veteran players and draft prospects per Scouts Inc.
2. Ranking for draft prospects are mean of rankings by (a) DraftTek, (b) Huddle Report, (c) Draft Scout.
3. TWR = tall wide receiver; SWR = slot wide receiver; CRB = change-of-pace running back.