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Top remaining NFL Free Agents

It’s always been said that while the top of your roster will help you win games, it’s the depth of your team that helps you win Super Bowls. Last year, the Baltimore Ravens signed LBs Kyle Van Noy and Jadeveon Clowney after the June 1 deadline, and it helped them get the first seed in the AFC while having the top defense in the NFL. These signings late in the offseason could largely be nothing, but for the most part they’re what separates the good teams from the great. The post-June 1 deadline was explained here, but it allows for teams to get more cap space to fill in the margins of their team, often going for more established veterans in this spot. The list of teams getting more cap space post-June 1 can be found here as well.

Here are the top five free agents at every position, starting with the signal callers:

Quarterbacks

  1. Ryan Tannehill
  2. AJ McCarron
  3. Blaine Gabbert
  4. Brian Hoyer
  5. Trevor Siemian

The QB class remaining is…not great. Tannehill is the best of the bunch, but he’s 35 years old and coming off an injury-riddled 2023 season. He can still be effective in a play action-heavy offense, but he might be better off as a high-level backup. After Tannehill, good luck.

Running Backs

  1. Jerick McKinnon
  2. Damien Harris
  3. Kareem Hunt
  4. Latavius Murray
  5. Cam Akers

I’m honestly kind of surprised that McKinnon is still available. He’s a really good pass protector and is a super effective in the passing game. He would be a super nice fit in any offense that needs a boost in the passing game. Harris and Murray are really interesting early down options, Harris being a good hammer in the under center game. Akers might have the most potential as a home run player, but he’s left a lot on the table in both consistency and availability.

Wide Receivers

  1. Russell Gage
  2. Hunter Renfrow
  3. Sterling Shepard
  4. Michael Thomas
  5. Jamal Agnew

The WR group remaining is interesting. There’s a lot of potential here for some solid WR2s and 3’s, but they all come with serious injury concerns. Gage is the best of the bunch to me, but he’s a little injury-prone. Michael Thomas is the biggest one, however. He can be a very good outside receiver, but his availability will be the question.

Tight Ends

  1. Marcedes Lewis
  2. Logan Thomas
  3. Blake Bell
  4. Shane Zylstra
  5. Jimmy Graham

Yeah…if the best tight end on this list is a tight end who’s 40 years old, you might wanna pass on this group. Bell is a relaly interesting candidate for a second blocking TE though.

Offensive Tackles

  1. DJ Humphries
  2. Charles Leno
  3. David Bakhtiari
  4. Donovan Smith
  5. Duane Brown

Lot of vets available on the tackle market, with many of them coming in as left tackles. Humphries is a solid player who can provide stability to a line, as will Leno. Bakhtiari has been the best of the bunch over his career, but with the myriad of injuries he might be on the board until a team with Super Bowl aspirations comes along.

Offensive Guards

  1. Halapoulivaati Vaitai
  2. Phil Haynes
  3. Trai Turner
  4. Mark Glowinski
  5. Matt Feiler

Lot of experience in this guard market, among multiple schemes and play styles. Vaitai is the best of the bunch, but there’s a solid group if you just need depth up front.

Centers

  1. Connor Williams
  2. Connor McGovern
  3. Mason Cole
  4. James Ferentz
  5. Scott Quessenberry

So after the Connors, it’s not a great list, however the top two could help a zone blocking team. Williams has experience at guard and center, and could be a solid option if a starting center goes down.

Defensive Tackles

  1. Al Woods
  2. Linval Joseph
  3. Lawrence Guy
  4. Chris Wormley
  5. Bryan Mone

There’s a lot of run stoppers left among the defensive tackle group. Woods is up there in age, but is still a good run-stopping 1T who can play on early downs. Joseph might have a bit more wear and tear, but he could also be an interesting guy for a defense that needs help in the run game.

EDGES

  1. Carl Lawson
  2. Emmanuel Ogbah
  3. Tyus Bowser
  4. Yannick Ngakoue
  5. Calais Campbell

If there’s anyone who I think can have a Clowney or Van Noy impact on their next team, it’s Lawson or Ogbah. Lawson dealt with injuries and an insane assortment of talent, but can be a very powerful rusher in a four down front. Ogbah was kind of miscast in a defense that made him stand up on the EDGE, but again, he would be a very good complementary rusher to an already certified star in a four down front. Ngakoue is the best pass rusher of the group, but doesn’t offer much outside of that. Campbell is super fun, but might be nearing the twilight of his career.

Linebackers

  1. Kwon Alexander
  2. Zach Cunningham
  3. Blake Martinez
  4. Shaq Leonard
  5. Anthony Barr

Whew, another one where there’s not a lot on the board. Alexander is the best off-ball LB of the bunch, but after that there’s a lot of specialists. Cunningham, Leonard and Martinez are good against the run, but are very limited in pass defense. Barr can be a good blitzer, but that might be it at this point.

Cornerbacks

  1. Stephon Gilmore
  2. Adoree Jackson
  3. Xavien Howard
  4. Steven Nelson
  5. JC Jackson

Aging vets are the name of the game for the secondary group that’s available. Gilmore is the best of the group, having still played at a relatively high level for the Cowboys last year. In a heavy man coverage scheme he should be someone that gets a call. Jackson is interesting because he’s young, has played a lot of snaps, and shows good recovery speed. Howard’s best games might be behind him, but he can still be valuable in the right spot.

Safeties

  1. Justin Simmons
  2. Quandre Diggs
  3. Micah Hyde
  4. Jamal Adams
  5. Eddie Jackson

This group is filled with a lot of guys who will be day 1 starters if brought in today. Simmons is a shock, he can play the post and be extremely versatile in a quarters-style defense. Diggs is a high energy player who always finds himself around the ball. Adams catches a lot of flack, but for a team who runs a lot of simulated pressures and blitzes Adams can be really fun.

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