Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 3/8/13
Picking a team from all free agents is like giving gifts found from the Island of Misfit Toys.Remember, these players are here because their former teams didn't want them in the first place.Granted, there's value in this pool of players; Mike Wallace and Greg Jennings are top-tier pass-catchers.I'm looking for that value. Let's begin with my play caller, shall we?QB: Matt MooreWhere's the love for Matt Moore? In his sole year as a team's starter (Dolphins in 2011), Moore completed 60 percent of his passes, threw for 16 touchdowns, and had a quarterback rating over 87.If you surround him with a reliable running back and defense, Moore could lead a team into the playoffs...he at least deserves the chance. Not to mention, all other free agent QBs will most likely never take an NFL snap again. Charlie Batch? Luke McCown? David Garrard?RB: Steven JacksonThis year's slate of free agent running backs amounts to past their prime (Ahmad Bradshaw, Shonn Greene), role players (Reggie Bush), and underdeveloped (LeGarrette Blount).Although he's getting older, I have to take the consistency in Steven Jackson. Since '05, Jackson has yet to run under 1,000 yards, ran under four yards a carry just once (3.8 in 2010), and he's great catching passes out of the backfield. Could he sustain these numbers for long? Doubt it. However two years of +1,000 yards will suffice.WR: Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings, Wes WelkerComplete no-brainer here. Mike Wallace is one of the top-5 wide receivers in the league right now and can explode down the sideline at will. Greg Jennings is a disciplined route runner who could easily have a bounce-back year if he's paired with Wallace. Lastly is Welker, who would play his same slot role that made him a success in New England. This trio could make Chad Henne look great, let alone Matt Moore.TE: Dustin KellerForget Tony Gonzalez, he's too old. Forget Fred Davis, he's too frequently injured. My pick-up at tight end is Dustin Keller. Injuries headlines a 2012 regression, however from 2008 to 2011, Keller has caught at least 45 catches for over 500 yards each year. Add him to my receiving corps and he'd have the seam all to himself.C: Dan KoppenTeams in need of a center will face slim pickings this offseason. Dan Koppen, who was an anchor for the many championship teams in New England, is the only real possibility. He's faced the injury bug the past few seasons, however if healthy, he could be a decent starter.OG: Stephen Peterman, Brandon MooreLast year, the Eagles spent a few games missing four of it's five starting lineman. Without those pieces, the team crumbled. Keeping that in mind, my guards will be the face of versatility. Stephen Peterman started each game for three straight years while a Detroit Lion. Even better, Brandon Moore hasn't missed a start as a Jet for the past eight years. Wildly impressive.OT: Andre Smith, Sebastian VollmerFor offensive tackles, I'm looking for young studs to hold down the offensive line for years to come. Since I see Jake Long asking for the largest contract, he's out. (I have to save money somewhere.) That leaves me with Andre Smith, formerly of the Bengals, and Sebastian Vollmer, formerly of the Patriots. Last year, the combined for one missed start and are both at least two years from their 30s. I'd lock them both to five-year deals.DT: Desmond Bryant, Aubrayo FranklinMost of the defensive tackles in free agency are aged and losing talents. Since I'm planning to run a 4-3, my DTs will have to stop the run: if nothing else. Aubrayo Franklin can stop the run. Next to him, I'd put Desmond Bryant. Sure, Bryant has some off-the-field issues; however in just eight starts, he accumulated 36 tackles and four sacks. Considering he's just 27, there's tremendous upside for him.DE: Cliff Avril, Michael BennettIn the past two seasons, Cliff Avril amassed 70 tackles, 20.5 sacks, and nine turnovers while missing zero games.Plus, he's only 26. I doubt you can find more value defensively than Avril.Michael Bennett is also full of value. The 27 year-old had a breakout season last year with nine sacks and three turnovers.Looking at just the front four, they're predicted to have at least 25 sacks next year. I'll take it.MLB: Rey MaualugaIn four seasons, Maualuga has watched his skills progress each year. At 26, he's only going to get better. With over 120 tackles last year, it's clear Maualuga can stop the run. He'd be the perfect fit for my 4-3.OLB: Dannell Ellerbe, Phillip WheelerOvershadowed by the likes of Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, Dannell Ellerbe flew under the radar last year. After three years as a rotation guy, Ellerbe appeared in 13 games this season (seven starts) and compiled over 90 tackles with 4.5 sacks.He's deserving of a starting spot. As for Wheeler, he spent four years in Indianapolis before getting offered the Raiders' starting spot in 2012. He started every game coming up with over 100 tackles and three sacks. Wheeler can also play well in coverage, he batted down six passes last year. CB: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Antoine CasonYou can't really go wrong with any of the top choices at cornerback. Sean Smith has played four solid seasons in Miami. Charles Woodson is a veteran. Darius Butler has shown signs of greatness last year in Indy. All of the aforementioned work as a starting CB.Yet, Rodgers-Cromartie and Cason straddle the line between veteran and youth. Other than that weird year as third-best in Philly, DRC has become a shutdown corner.Excluding the outlying 2011 season, Rodgers-Cromartie is averaging over 20 pass break-ups and four interceptions a year without missing a game. He's versatile and only 26. Cason is as versatile; he hasn't missed a game in his five-year career. After taking the starting reigns in 2010, Cason has played solid. Like DRC, Cason is also 26.FS: Dashon GoldsonEd Reed has passed the torch to Dashon Goldson. After taking the starting spot in 2009, Goldson has played like a top-3 safety ever since. He can play both safety positions and fill the run like a linebacker. If you have Goldson, your secondary instantly becomes top-tier. He's that good.SS: Glover QuinQuin has held down the Texans' safety spot for four years. He does everything well from tackling to coverage; he's averaging almost 80 tackles and 12 pass break-ups per year. One could argue his success could be due to playing with a talented defense in Houston, only time will tell.K: PushPhil Dawson? Lawrence Tynes? Josh Brown? Mike Nugent? Steven Hauschka? They're many talented kickers found in this year's free agency.P: Donnie JonesYou could also go with Shane Lechler, but Jones is younger and coming off a better year. That team could easily contend for a playoff spot. Easily. I need a GM gig.(All stats are from NFL.com)   
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