Possible Targets For Free Agency & The Draft
Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Terrence Cody (62) shows his gloves prior to Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
I am pretty sure that nobody disagrees that a nose tackle is needed. Cam Thomas was not fun to watch last season. The only question is whether we draft one, sign a free agent, or both. I am going with signing a free agent, and keeping Cam Thomas on the cheap, if he doesn’t sign elsewhere. This year’s free agent pool is deep, and the draft is not as deep for starting caliber nose tackles. There may not even be a worthy candidate when we pick at 25, unless we move up. I would hope that doing this would be the absolute last resort. I don’t see Telesco heading into the draft hoping that a nose tackle falls to 25, and he would probably prefer to use that pick on another position. But, Telesco did do that with left tackle position last season, and I’m sure that even Telesco was delighted that Dunlap worked out as well as he did, and that wasn’t his ideal plan. There was some luck at play there, most defnitely.
So, who do I like? The obvious answer would be Linval Joesph, or Paul Soliai. But, those guys might to be too expensive for us. Telesco may surprise me, and break the bank on one of them, but I am not holding my breath. If he does go out and sign one of them, I would be absolutely fine with either one. But, I am a little bit nervous that Joseph plays in a 4-3, and wonder if he could make the transition to 3-4. His biggest fans think it would be no problem, and that he was coached well, so let’s leave it there.
My actual answer would be Terrence Cody. The Ravens are going to let him test free agency. They have enough players that they need to retain already. He came out of Alabama with high expectations, but was never able to land the starting role in Baltimore. He has struggled some with injury, but I get this feeling that he isn’t really as bad as some are making him out to be. Credible sources say he will never be a starter, and other credible sources say that his best years are ahead of him, and that he will be a major steal. I say that he is young enough to take a shot on at 25 years old, he has a pedigree of good coaching (Alabama & Baltimore), he is HUGE & powerful, he already played for arguably one of the best 3-4 defenses in the league, and he fits our price range. I would sign him to a one year “prove it” contract or an inexpensive two year deal. Then, we could see what he can do. He is much better at defending the run than he is at getting to the QB, but that is the exact opposite of Cam’s skill-set. If Cody doesn’t end up being disruptive enough in the backfield, then try to get Cam in there on those downs. Cam Thomas had 2 sacks during his rookie year in 2010, and 4 sacks in 2011, when he was used this way. His role should probably be a rotational pass-rushing nose tackle.