Lardarius Webb - DB
New York Jets - Marcus Maye struggled in 2017 and having someone on the roster like Webb to learn from would be beneficial. At this point in his career Lardarius isn’t the lockdown corner he once was, but will be serviceable as an alternate at free safety and as a dime corner.
Other Fits - Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Adam Jones - CB
Green Bay Packers - Pacman is going to have a tough time getting a contract that doesn’t include a hefty roster bonus. He played at a decent level in 2017, while fighting injuries most of the year. If he’s truly gotten healthier this offseason, he’ll have the best chance at sticking with the Packers, who could use him in the return game as well.
Other Fits - Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills
Lawrence Timmons - LB
Oakland Raiders - Timmons says that he only wants to be on a team where he will get significant playing time, and the Raiders might be willing to hand him the starting job over Cory James. This would also fit Gruden’s trend of going after 30+ aged free agents.
Other Fits - Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints
Karlos Dansby - LB
Los Angeles Rams - Somehow Dansby’s motor keeps running even at 36, and isn’t giving up on playing in 2018. He’s probably only going to be available for about 40% of defensive snaps, but should provide a great option in relief of Mark Barron, and will be a positive locker room influence.
Other Fits - Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles
NaVorro Bowman - LB
Oakland Raiders - I know that we all enjoy a nice hot take now and then, but there’s no need to overthink this. Bowman played at a high level and stayed healthy during his time on the Raiders, and has a great rapport with his teammates
Other Fits - New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals
Tamba Hali - DE
New England Patriots - I believe that Hali still has enough gas in the tank to play for one more season, he just might have to come off the bench to do it. He should thrive in a competitive atmosphere like New England, where he won’t be burdened with a large number of snaps.
Other Fits - Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans
Kony Ealy - DE
Kansas City Chiefs - Ealy is running out of time to make his money in the NFL, and after a lackluster 2017, needs to prove himself in 2018. Kansas City will be the perfect place to do that, as he can attempt to become one of the new leaders on a defense that lost several pieces this offseason. And if Mahomes is the real deal, this team could surprise a lot of people.
Other Fits - New York Jets, Tennessee Titans
Eric Decker - WR
Seattle Seahawks - Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin are both very talented, but the WR corps for the Seahawks drops off very quickly. Decker had a down year in 2017 and could be a great bargain for Seattle, as Decker attempts to show he can still perform at an NFL level.
Other fits - Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts
Jeremy Maclin - WR
Indianapolis Colts - Maclin has put himself into the same hole as Matthews, but has shown in the past he can be a real playmaker. His injury situation won’t help him unfortunately. With Andrew Luck back at QB, Maclin could bet on himself and attempt to get one more big money deal if he’s able to go for 8+ TDs with Indy.
Other Fits - Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans
Adrian Peterson - RB
Jacksonville Jaguars - I talked briefly in my 4/4 Mock Draft, that one of the new trends of successful teams in the NFL is having multiple playmakers at RB. Two examples were the NFC and AFC champions in 2017/2018, the Eagles and Patriots. Jacksonville can lean on Peterson in obvious running situations, helping to reduce the snap count for Fournette, even if it’s only 40-50 snaps a year, it will make a big difference over the course of his career. Peterson also gets the chance to play for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.
Other Fits - Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills
Other top free agents that I can’t predict right now:
Tre Boston, Kenny Vaccaro, and Eric Reid - I’m not in a position to talk about whether or not Reid’s protests are affecting his ability to get signed, but what I do know is that there are two guys named Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James that are as good if not better than the players listed. Fitzpatrick and James will also be on 5 year deals on a rookie wage, and could fall in the draft with the large amounts of QBs projected to be selected early on. If I was a team that needed a safety, I’d take my chances on trying to draft one of the top guys rather than overpaying one of the three I listed.
He’s a high level corner who is apparently “a few months away” from being able to sign with a team, due to an infection. His future will also become more clear after the draft, although I wouldn't be surprised if the Carolina Panthers take another look at him once he's fully recovered.
Thank you so much for reading! Please check out my most recent mock draft to see what holes your team could fill.
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