Happy holidays everyone! Our season has been over long before it was officially over. We have been thinking about new coaches and a new GM dating back to October. If it's not too soon to be thinking of all of their replacements, it's not too soon to be thinking about what our team will look like in terms of players. Mock drafts are fun, but unless you have a broader off-season plan in place, it doesn't show the whole picture. This holiday wish-list will include the free agents that we should retain, the free agents we should grab, and of course a mock draft.
Who To Retain:
Damon Harrison: Harrison beat out Idzik's Garay quickly in camp, and has never looked back. He has been a terror for us along our D-line, and deserves to be brought back.
Greg Salas: Salas is a little engine that could kind of player. He just keeps trucking, and has made a handful of big plays for us. He is cheap, and would be a nice 5th or 6th WR.
David Harris: "The Hitman" just went over 1000 tackles in his career and is still playing very well. PFF even has him with a positive pass coverage rating this year. If the money is right, I would bring him back.
Leger Douzable: With so many big names along our D-line, Douzable can be lost amongst the big names. His play though, is amongst the best on the team. He would be cheap depth that would keep our D-line strong.
Tanner Purdum: We need a long snapper.
Bilal Powell: This would be a luxury pickup. Powell has been underused, and thrown aside for bigger names, but show me a player that has improved as much as him. He should be splitting carries with Ivory instead of CJ. I love him, and so do you. Bring him back if he is up for it.
Who To Bring In:
Shaun Hil QB: No matter who we draft at QB, I think we need a vet starting from day 1. Hill has done a very efficient job in St. Louis as a fill in passer. I would have no problem letting him be efficient for us while our young stud sits and learns.
Daniel Fells TE: Unless he is playing against Chung on the Patriots, Cumberland is useless. Fells has shown that he can both catch and block for the Giants. His versatility would be a nice combo with Jace Amaro.
Chris Culliver CB: The 49ers have had a very disappointing season, but that doesn't mean everyone is trash. Culliver has been a defensive cog in San Fran's secondary. He would be an instant upgrade over anyone here.
Orlando Franklin RG/RT: In order for any QB to survive in our offense, we will need better blocking up front. It all starts in the trenches. Franklin is very versatile, and would improve our O-line instantly.
Dwight Lowery FS: This name should look familiar to all of you. Since leaving the Jets as a CB, Lowery has made a bit of a name for himself at safety. Bringing him in would allow Pryor to play in the box where he could thrive.
Randall Cobb WR: There is no way I would bring back Harvin at 10.5 million. His history of injuries is added to on a daily basis. Cobb is a much more durable option, who can be very productive. Cobb also gives a much needed speed presence down field. He knows how to get into the end-zone.
Who To Draft:
Round 1: Shane Ray DE/OLB: I know most people love Gregory over Ray, but my gut is telling me Ray will be the better pass rusher. This is the same gut that pulled for Ziggy over Dion and Coples over Ingram. Ray plays with so much aggression and power that will make him a beast at the next level. We would also be getting that edge rusher we always wanted.
Round 2: Garrett Grayson QB: Grayson is one of my favorite QBs, outside of the top two of course. If given some time to sit and learn, he could be a very productive QB for us going forward. He has all the tools to be a very good QB at the next level. He is my Jimmy Garoppolo of this year's draft.
Round 3: Daryl Williams OT: Brick isn't getting any better or younger, and Breno has been mediocre at best. We need to get better along the edges. Bringing in Williams now to get a red shirt year behind Brick would make a lot easier to transition to him when Brick is let go.
Round 4: Quinten Rollins CB: Rollins is one of my favorite CBs in the draft. He has really come out of nowhere to become the MAC Defensive Player of the Year. By nowhere, I mean he wasn't even a football player. He played basketball. If you are looking for red flags in his play, you won't find many. His only knock is that he plays for Miami (Ohio). We should have a safety net in place in case Milliner doesn't come back strong from his injury.
Round 5: Jay Ajayi RB: Even if Powell is brought back, Ivory won't last forever with his running style. It would be wise to solidify the position with the wonderful Jay Ajayi. He can catch, he can run and he is made of rubber. These are all attributes we can use at RB.
Round 7: Tony Lippet WR/CB: It would be an amazing thing if Lippet lasts this long. Lippet has put together a great senior season for the Spartans as a WR. He is now playing on both sides of the ball as a CB. In the early stages of the transition, he looks very comfortable at the position. His versatility would be appreciated on our roster.