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Thread: Free agency offiacially openes up tomorrow

  1. #1
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    Free agency offiacially openes up tomorrow

    I've been hearing the Vikings are making a run at QB Shaun Hill. May not be anything exciting, but it looks like a good replacement for vet back-up QB Cassel.

    Which free agents do you all have your eyes on and why? Please be realistic with your choices

    Here are a couple players that I like...

    SS Nate Allen - I wanted the Vikings to draft him. I think he has played well for Philly and would be a good addition. He shouldn't break the bank and worst case senerio he adds good depth, but I think he would win the starting spot next to H. Smith.

    DE Da'Quan Bowers - He didn't live upto his potential in Tampa so he could come at a bargin price. I think he could be a good fit in the Viking's system and with some good coaching by Zimmer maybe finally realise his potential. Worth the risk/reward at only 25 years old.
    All he does is catch TOUCHDOWNS!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    I understand they had an interest in OG Clint Bolling from Cincy but he's since resigned with the Bengals. Stefen Wiesnewski might not be a bad idea if they think he can play OG. He's been a OC with the Raiders since being drafted in the 2nd round four years ago. Only missed a couple of games in that time. Durability and availability are nice in a player.

    MLB Mason Foster would be a good pickup too.

    Shaun Hill was the best option we had as a veteran backup, so I'm glad we got him. Free agents aren't much if you don't overpay for them, and we know that's not happening don't we?

  3. #3
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    I was really hoping the Vikings would land Bolling, but that has gone by the boards. So now I'm hoping they sign Michael Johnson. He would be a nice addition to the DE rotation. I believe Robison's contract is up at the end of next season so if the Vikings sign Johnson to a multi year deal, they would have no concerns at DE for several years to come. But I'm not getting my hopes up because as Hyper alluded to ... the Vikings don't over spend on FAs.

  4. #4
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    That is why I was looking at SS Nate Allen and DE Da'Quan Bowers. I thought they would both likely come at a bargin price with upside potential still.

    Allen would have added good depth with the potential of winning the starting job next to Smith, but he has signed with the Raiders. Not sure what he ended up getting.

    Last I checked Bowers is still available. I think he would be a good fit in our system and would make a good depth rotation DE for us. He didn't live upto expectation in Tampa so he should come cheap. With some good couching in the right system maybe there is still some potential there.
    All he does is catch TOUCHDOWNS!!!!!!!!!!

  5. #5
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    Checking In On Our Free Agency Target List: Latest Rumors
    Mar 13 2015 06 AM | Arif Hasan in Minnesota Vikings
    http://vikingsjournal.com/_/minnesot...st-rumors-r458

    It’s been four days since free agency started, and our list of 55 players has been mostly signed away. Who’s left, and what’s happening with those players?
    The Vikings have let free agency pass them by, like they do in most years. That can be real concern for worry, but in this case is OK. After all, the issue with many of these positions is not that we know that the Vikings are bad at them, it’s that we don’t know much given all the new blood on the roster. The Vikings may have good players at positions of supposed need.

    Even then, there are still 18 players available on our list of 55 total players rolled out in January. Are those players still really available for the Vikings, or does the rumor mill say otherwise? We can go through every one of those players and see.


    #52: Jah Reid, OG/OT

    What we had to say:

    Reid moves well for his size, and his agility allows him to keep track of defenders in tight spaces. He plays with a lot of leverage and power, and is much more technically sound than people give him credit for.

    Reid is an underrated talent who happened to lose out on a talent competition with a new offensive line scheme and one of the better lines in football. He deserves another shot at that type of competition, because his time on field was fairly decent with massive room for improvement.

    What’s up with him:

    Nothing. There hasn’t been a word about him, either in terms of teams being interested in him or his travels.


    #43: George Selvie, DE

    What we had to say:

    Selvie in some ways would be the perfect fit for the Vikings’ DE situation. Probably not starting quality, but above the level of most replacements. If Robison continues to struggle, there’s credible ability to replace him, and if it turns out that Scott Crichton is a starting quality player, there’s no significant loss in terms of contract or cap space.

    Selvie still has work to do in nailing down what he needs to do to win in terms of technique, but he has fundamentals down in terms of his base and aggressive hands, but refinement is a concern. Definitely one of the less athletic ends in the league, Selvie can still get the job done and is a high-effort player that can use his instincts to get to the quarterback if the pieces are around him to help.

    What’s up with him:

    The Vikings are interested in him, or at least, they inquired. Other than that, there’s been little said about teams interested in him or visits he plans to take. It sounds like if the Vikings do want him—if their plans with Michael Johnson fall through—they may be able to get him.


    #38: Brandon Harris, CB

    What we had to say:

    Harris is an extremely instinctive corner, who in college, didn’t give up very much at all because of his savvy ability to read the intentions of opposing players. He has pretty good ball skills and can flow to the run with extreme speed.

    In the final weeks of the season, Harris saw more snaps, mostly against the Giants, Jets and Colts with an early season heavy-snap rotation against the Cleveland Browns. In those final weeks, Harris showed positive play—covering T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Reggie Wayne, Percy Harvin and Odell Beckham, Jr.

    In those games, he allowed six receptions on 15 targets for only 49 yards—with three pass deflections. It’s a very good showing that is evidence for promise, especially in the slot position the Vikings are unsettled at.

    With enough physical talent and what looks to be improved play, a small salary for a look on the 90-man roster seems more than reasonable.

    What’s up with him:

    There has been no chatter on Brandon Harris, though he recently did take a flight… somewhere.


    #36: Terence Newman, CB

    What we had to say:

    Newman has had a shockingly good year for the Bengals, though that’s not to say it has been stellar. At 36, Newman only has one or two seasons left, and it may not even be as a starter. Nevertheless, the Vikings should consider bringing Newman in for the same reason they brought in Chris Crocker: to have a knowledgeable defensive back in team meetings and on the practice field to accelerate the development of the other defensive backs.

    Newman is still a smooth corner who can play with the kind of savvy that allows him to stay in-step with some of the best receivers in the NFL, and didn’t find himself toasted as often as you’d expect of a cornerback his age against some of the elite athletic talents in the NFL.

    Still, Newman is set to drop off a cliff sooner rather than later, so it’s not as if the Vikings would be buying the two-time Pro Bowler at his peak. Still, Newman can play and he may still be able to play at a high level. If confusion was a primary issue for the Vikings secondary last year (it was), then they can get rid of a lot of it by signing someone who revived his career in the system and knows the calls.

    He closes well in zone coverage, reads receivers well and still performs well against the run. He’s clearly lost a step and keeps investing in technique in order to hide it, but will still get exposed, possibly in a big way many times this season. Though never the biggest turnover machine, Newman does a good job getting his hands on the ball and can at least force quarterbacks to reconsider targeting him.

    Should the Vikings spend a roster spot on what amounts to an emergency cornerback and another coach? Given that the confusion in the secondary was one of the biggest weak spots to an otherwise stellar defense, and that one can never have too many cornerbacks… probably

    What’s up with him:

    The older cornerback had mulled retirement, but decided he wanted to continue playing. Unfortunately, for him, he hasn’t received much attention from anybody, and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, who would probably be the most enthusiastic of any coach in terms of pursuing him, has been pretty tepid in support at best.


    #35: Jermaine Gresham, TE

    What we had to say:

    Gresham has not been received well by Cincinnati fans by and large (in part because of the superior play of Tyler Eifert and his first few seasons with the team) but Gresham is still relatively young at 26 and has improved his biggest flaw—drops. As a player who would be asked to take on a rotational role that would upgrade to a starting role if Kyle Rudolph reinjures himself. As a receiving option, he’s perhaps a better route-runner than Rudolph and he knows how to use his body to wall off defenders.

    Underrated in his athletic ability, he’s both fast and powerful. This past year, he’s improved his blocking to be on par with other tight ends who are asked to play multiple roles. If that blocking improvement is genuine, then it not only speaks to Gresham’s ability to improve every season as a player, but the kind of versatility the Vikings would want in a rotational tight end.

    What’s up with him:

    He has been visiting the Raiders for days, and it is expected he will sign there. If not, expect the Browns to express interest, especially after losing Jordan Cameron to Miami.


    #33: Daniel Thomas, HB

    What we had to say:

    If the Vikings are searching for a physical presence in the run game to replace Matt Asiata and provide an excellent counter to Jerick McKinnon, they could do a lot worse than Daniel Thomas, who could never stick in Miami but may provide excellent running-back-by-committee type production.

    Thomas can be a plugger in the run game without necessarily being reduced to a goal line role, he has the size and the speed to be a prototypical running back. Unfortunately, plagued with vision issues, poor running technique and occasionally injury, Thomas hasn’t been able to put it together to have more than a few breakout games for the Dolphins.

    At Kansas State he showed much better pad level, power and speed than he ever did in Miami, so there’s certainly something here in terms of becoming a project-type back that can revive his career somewhere else, even if he’s been underwhelming so far.

    What’s up with him:

    There isn’t much buzz on the former Miami Dolphin, though the Patriots have shown interest in him. He should be available late in free agency if the Vikings want a committee back with some degree of upside.


    #32: Patrick Robinson, CB

    What we had to say:

    After struggling for two years on the field and a third on the bench, Robinson put together what amounts to a relatively average year for the first time since 2011, his second year in the league. The good news for Robinson is that he’s only going to be 27 when the season begins and he has a base of talent to draw upon. A first round pick in 2010, Robinson earned a reputation for speed and strength from his playing days at Florida State, and his thicker build, along with a 4.40 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, drew the attention of NFL scouts.

    Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to build on it in a consistent way, having some of the worst starting cornerback play the NFL has seen. To his credit, he has often followed the best receivers the other offenses have to offer, but it’s not much of an excuse.

    But Patrick Robinson, like Josh Robinson of the Vikings, may be in store for a promising year with the right coach. Mike Zimmer turned one Robinson, who had phenomenal physical ability in both speed and strength as well as a very promising early showing, into a very good cornerback. He can do the same for Patrick Robinson, who has the added ability of competing with Captain Munnerlyn in the slot.

    Robinson plays much better in the slot than outside (the inverse of the other Robinson) and could do well playing an exclusive role there. He flashed extremely instinctive play at times and played with good technique in college and often in the NFL. Even if he doesn’t win the camp contest, the right coaching could make him one of the top depth options at cornerback in the NFL.

    What’s up with him:

    Five teams have shown interest in him, and the Vikings are one of them. It should be an interesting race to watch.


    #31: Stevie Brown, S

    What we had to say:

    Brown may best be remembered for an eight-interception season with the Giants, starting in place of the injured Kenny Phillips. After missing all of 2013 due to an ACL tear, Brown returned to an underwhelming 2014, and was benched for Quintin Demps a few weeks into the season.

    Brown’s performance in the final games of the season was far better than it was at the beginning of the year—better than most safeties—which suggests that Brown perhaps didn’t fully recover from injury until later. That happens quite a bit with ACL tears, and it’s no surprise that it took quite a bit of time for him to see the field and perform to his standards.

    That said, he was never as good as eight interceptions would imply. Both in 2012 and this year he left cornerbacks out to dry and didn’t provide appropriate help in zones, often letting teams into the seams to gain big yardage. Though he’s improved against the run, he’s still occasionally a liability there, as he’ll miss tackles and provide a less than physical presence when tackling.

    The Vikings would sign Brown hoping that he can regain his speed (which looked limited this year) and therefore form, while combining that with a nose for the ball and a yet-to-be-seen kind of discipline that allows him to prevent big plays.

    What’s up with him:

    He’s likely staying in New York. The Giants were close to a deal over the weekend and were expected to have signed him by now. No other teams have expressed interest and they continue to work on a deal.


    #30: Sterling Moore, CB/S

    What we had to say:

    Moore is a key part of Dallas’ surprising defensive performance. Moore, originally an Oakland Raider before becoming a New England Patriot (with key plays in the 2011 AFC Championship Game), has experience at both safety and cornerback. After the Patriots waived him, the Cowboys picked him up, cut him, and re-signed him partway through the 2013 season to provide depth.

    Though his film wasn’t as impressive as Orlando Scandrick’s, Moore proved to be a starting quality player at three positions—slot, free safety and boundary corner. The Patriots even used him as a linebacker at times. He defends the run well, and though undersized, does a good job matching up with a variety of receivers.

    Moore has the requisite speed and agility (and it shows up on film) to play the variety of roles he’s been asked to and generally plays with good instincts, reading well enough to break to them when familiar route concepts present themselves.

    At the moment, he does a better job reading receivers than quarterbacks and needs to improve on that if he’s to be a better zone player, but that’s not to say he’s terrible at it. Moore is one of the more underappreciated players on the list, but he certainly has his fair share of warts. He needs seasoning, but could be had for cheap and may challenge Captain Munnerlyn later on in camp.

    It also helps that he’s the youngest player on this list, at 24 (and he will be 25 when the season starts). The Vikings need players who are young and have shown both coachability and moments of excellent play. If he can be cleaned up, he’ll be a great long-term investment.

    What’s up with him:

    A number of teams are interested in him, though we don’t know who other than the Buccaneers, who are hosting him at the moment.


    #22: Brandon Spikes, LB

    What we had to say:

    If you could get the best version of Jasper Brinkley, would you? The Patriots and the Bills have and would, and Buffalo finished as Football Outsiders’ second-best defense because of the smart use of a platoon system at linebacker despite missing Kiko Alonso.

    Even with his lacking athleticism and tepid play as a coverage defender, Spikes found work as the premier two-down linebacker in the NFL. He navigates through traffic in the run game better than nearly anyone else in the NFL, in part because of having instincts that rival Patrick Willis’ and exceed Luke Kuechly’s.

    The Vikings can upgrade from Jasper Brinkley with a two-down linebacker who shouldn’t cost much but should help Minnesota move to the top of the run defense rankings. For all the defensive improvement the Vikings made this year, they still ranked 24th in yards per attempt allowed and 26th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA ratings.

    Minnesota made most of its defensive mark in the passing game, and complementing that with a cheap situational linebacker to improve the run defense could be well worth it.

    What’s up with him:

    Two-down linebackers do not go early in free agency, not even him. He has not yet been contacted by a team, which is to be expected.


    #21: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB

    What we had to say:

    Why should the Vikings be interested in him? Substitutes don’t suffer from the same wear and tear that starters do, and he’ll probably be forced to sign for veteran’s minimum. Further, he was surprisingly effective for the Colts before his injury. He averaged 4.7 yards a carry and 2.9 yards after contact, showing the kind of powerful elusiveness that Marshawn Lynch does on a regular basis.

    He doesn’t seemingly have the frame to be a power back (he was the lightning to Brandon Jacobs’ thunder in New York) or much of the film in New York to prove that he could fit in that role, but he did a good job in Indianapolis in his time there, converting 67 percent of his third-and-short attempts and 64 percent of them over the past several years.

    It’s true that he’s not the strongest back out there, but he wins with vision, patience and leverage—far more than Matt Asiata did on a regular basis and with more speed.
    Bradshaw also happens to be a bigger threat in the passing game than anyone on the roster, unless Jerick McKinnon improves at a lot of things very quickly. He consistently ranks in the top ten of yards per route run of running backs, something running backs don’t do from year to year, and he runs a wide variety of routes well, with fluidity, deception and separation—far more polished than almost any back in the NFL with significant snaps, and a much better runner than most of the ones who happen to be more polished.

    He limits drops and makes the most of the field situation, grabbing the first down, even if he won’t go for 70 yards on every play. A smart player in the passing game, Bradshaw can be used to block or catch and is savvy enough to run a complicated option system or simply be an outlet back. He adjusts to the ball well in the air and has an intuitive understanding of positioning.

    No team should sign Bradshaw if they want him as a feature back, but a team looking to improve its depth could do a lot worse than Bradshaw.

    What’s up with him:

    There's very little about him being said, though that may be because it is difficult to generate interest in a broken-down running back who is currently being investigated for a marijuana charge.


    #19: Louis Delmas, S

    What we had to say:

    The Lions were tired of his injury history (and more importantly, managed their cap poorly) so cut Delmas despite signing him to a new contract and seeing him play every single game for them (98 percent of snaps) after signing the contract.

    He of course tore his ACL playing for the Dolphins with a month left in the season.

    Delmas showed up on the Lions’ injury report as questionable, doubtful or out for 23 of the 33 eligible weeks of the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the vast majority of them related to his knee. He was on the injury list as probable every week of 2013 and suffered a non-contact ACL injury with the Dolphins in December. The knee issues ranged from irritation to persistent tendinitis and ligament tears (including a partial MCL tear) before his ACL tore with the Dolphins.

    Though an ACL tear is on a different plane in terms of injury than his previous injuries, it’s worth pointing out that he has returned from each injury at full speed and recovered unusually quickly from each one of them. Perhaps he rushed himself back on the field each time, but that his play doesn’t drop off is remarkable.

    Delmas would have to be on a somewhat accelerated timeline to get on the field on opening day (Adrian Peterson’s ACL tear was two weeks later into the season), but the PUP list rules do give the Vikings some additional leeway.

    When Delmas is on the field, he’s a prototypical safety. Underrated for his coverage capabilities, Delmas is seen as mostly a strong safety who takes good tackling angles while hitting extremely hard. He doesn’t always wrap up and that creates issues, but for the most part makes an impact in the run game. Extremely fast, Delmas knows how to maximize the force he puts out with his body despite a 200-pound frame.

    Still, there will be long stretches of play in coverage where he is difficult to attack, and he serves as an excellent addition in terms of run defense, taking down ballcarriers of all sizes—even taking down heavier backs like 235-pound Jonathan Stewart one-on-one.

    A healthy Delmas isn’t necessarily a top five safety, but he certainly could be a top fifteen safety in the right system. Pairing him with Harrison Smith for what should amount to very little money is tantalizing enough to be worth a try. After all, not all injury-prone players continue to be injury prone.

    What’s up with him:

    Though identified by local media in Indianapolis and Washington markets as a good fit for positions of need, no teams have called on him that have been made public. He's still recovering, so that may be the biggest reason.


    #15: Stevan Ridley, RB

    What we had to say:

    Ridley represents a long-term investment while the Peterson investment at least looks like it’s nearing its end. It may be difficult to convince a starting caliber back to wait a year or two while seeing perhaps 100 carries a year if he’s lucky, but the alternative is him attempting to convince teams after coming off of an injury that he’s a starting quality back and not just a rotational option or the product of Bill Belichick’s genius—after all, LeGarrette Blount could only seemingly produce in New England, while Laurence Maroney petered out at his next stop and BenJarvus Green-Ellis was significantly less impressive in Cincinnati.

    Ridley is a violent player whose intelligence isn’t just put on display with his vision and patience, but his use of leverage to maximize power at the point of contact. Ridley forced 23 missed tackles in 2013 despite only 178 carries and had 2.2 yards after contact per attempt.

    It’s significant that New England, with their stable of running backs, had Ridley start all but one game for them this year before he went down. It helps that he happens to be one of the better pass blockers in the NFL, having allowed no sacks, two hits and three hurries in the last three years.

    While he’s not the fastest player in the NFL, he’s a fair bit faster than most power backs, and that easily includes Matt Asiata. He’s quick for his size and has decent breakaway speed and is comfortable in the passing game, even though the Patriots preferred Shane Vereen in that role.

    He’s a consistent player (ranked seventh in Football Outsiders’ success rate metric in 2013 and fourth the year before) that can grind out short-yardage plays; his career conversion rate on third or fourth down and three or less to go is 64 percent, while league average for running backs is 55 percent—and his rate rises to 68 percent if you exclude his rookie year.

    The injury issue is of course worrisome. There’s no need to project an Adrian Peterson or Jamal Charles-like recovery for him. Ridley was not only injured early in the year, but he may find himself in a situation (like with the Vikings) where he doesn’t have to carry a significant load (or run at all) early in the season. His timetable isn’t eight months, but 10.5 if he wants the first carry of the season, and over a year with the PUP list in effect.

    Given his youth, he’s a worthwhile investment. His team history and injury will depress his contract far below his likely value—he was already underrated in New England—and if the injury has a long-term impact on his speed, agility and power, he’ll only be a rich man’s Matt Asiata. Given the contract he’ll command—probably no more than $1.5 million at best, that’s almost a sure upgrade for very cheap.

    What’s up with him:

    The Vikings are the only team to inquire about him so far, a likely result of his injury.


    #13: Stefen Wisniewski, OG/C

    What we had to say:

    The Vikings don’t need a center, that’s not the point. Wisniewski at 313 pounds (occasionally listed at 307 or 315) is a perfectly acceptable size for a guard, and actually has guard experience with his time in Oakland, starting 13 games for them at left guard his rookie year, with a stint at center when Samson Satele went down.

    But he’s underrated as a guard. He doesn’t have the raw power as some of the NFL’s strongest linemen, but some of the best guards in the league don’t display dominating raw strength. Folks like Evan Mathis, Andy Levitre and Ben Grubbs have found themselves to play at the top level at their position despite average strength at their position. Like those players, Wisniewski wins with quickness, balance, footwork and leverage.

    He can do that once more at the guard position, as he moves far better than people give him credit for, making him an ideal replacement for Charlie Johnson, who was the team’s pulling guard on the majority of pulling plays.

    If Wisniewski can be tempted into playing guard, he’d be well worth the investment. Like Louis Vasquez was for the Broncos, he could be the young, hidden gem (he’ll be 26 to start next season and is 25 now) that explodes onto the scene on the interior. Simplifying his duties and using his quick footwork as a pulling guard, his keen understanding of leverage and growing strength makes him not just an adequate replacement at guard, but a potentially top-level one.

    What’s up with him:

    After visiting Tampa Bay (where he would be a guard), Wisniewski is heading to Seattle for a visit, where it's hard to think of a better fit. The Vikings have not inquired about him as far as we know.


    #11: Joe Barksdale, OT/OG

    What we had to say:

    Barksdale has gone under-the-radar for the last two years as a viable and even “good” offensive tackle. The St. Louis Rams probably want to keep him, but have the flexibility to move on from him with tackle-capable players in Jake Long, Greg Robinson and Rodger Saffold.

    It’s true that Barksdale had a shockingly poor season as a pass protector after playing extremely well in 2013, but it’s also the case that neither Jake Long nor Greg Robinson did well at all from the tackle spot. Davin Joseph and Scott Wells also ranked near the bottom of the league in pass protection metrics. It may be the case that Austin Davis and Shaun Hill are not particularly adept at manipulating the pocket and avoiding pressure.

    It so happens that the year before, Scott Wells was the best center in the NFL at preventing pressure, while Jake Long and Davin Joseph both outperformed their 2014 selves—with Long finishing well within the top half, unlike this year.

    It seems unlikely that four members of the offensive line would suffer dramatic drops in pass blocking effectiveness at the same time (with some going worst to first) without an external factor at play, in this case the sack avoidance abilities of Kellen Clemens and Sam Bradford exceeding those of Austin Davis and Shaun Hill.

    Further, he can play guard. His strengths are magnified there (leverage, power, punch, drive) and some of his weaknesses can be covered up (reading in space, quickness). At 326 pounds, he has the size for the position, and he certainly has the attitude. He can be a violent player and this year improved his run blocking from the tackle position quite a bit. His hand usage is frenetic but good, and he usually makes first contact against pass-rushers, something that can help him out at guard.

    It’s a similar situation for some of the other offensive line signings on this list. Barksdale is a starting-quality player that can be had for replacement-level price (despite never being injured in his NFL career). The Vikings can start him at guard and let go of Charlie Johnson, while at the same time investing in an insurance policy in case Kalil’s late-season improvement was just noise and not a genuine return to form.

    What’s up with him:

    There has been nothing in the news about Barksdale, either in terms of interest or visits, except some scant surprise that the Rams were willing to part ways with him.


    #8: Rolando McClain, LB

    What we had to say:

    He was a stellar defender for Dallas and played in 15 of Dallas’ 18 contests, improving both their passing and running defense when it looked like all was lost after middle linebacker Sean Lee went down with a knee injury in practices.

    A jack-of-all trades, McClain was good at everything, great at nothing. Putting aside an unreal performance against the New York Giants, McClain still ranked as the top inside linebacker in “run stop percentage,” a measure Pro Football Focus put together in order to measure how often a running back was tackled before he attained successful yardage, usually at or behind the line of scrimmage.

    He did it through a combination of above-average take-on skills—extending and locking out his arms on a regular basis to beat blockers—above-average instincts to detect the flow of the play, very good reaction times, speed and strength. In terms of getting to the ballcarrier, McClain’s performance was among the best at his position, though it was sometimes obviated by poor tackling technique, leverage and angles.

    As a player in coverage, McClain was once again, “above average,” but not stellar.

    The ideal situation for him would be a linebacker platoon—he can be a starter on all three downs, but may do best in a two-down MLB role with the Vikings, while still providing solid all-around depth anywhere in the platoon system.

    Having an above-average linebacker in the middle to boost the defense would be a big boon, and McClain’s nagging injuries (and off-field issues with Oakland, of which there were many) keep him out of the top five.

    What’s up with him:

    The market was always going to be weak for a one-year wonder who had already retired once. Add in the fact that he's one drug policy violation away from a four-game suspension and has a worrisome concussion injury and it makes sense he didn't go in the first wave despite his performance. The Cowboys have touched base with him, but their addition of Jasper Brinkley may cause pause. Still, no one else seems to have contacted him and he may stay in Dallas.

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