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RSP Writers Project: My NFL Roster

The key to my RSP Writers Project team.

Matt Waldman is best known for his annual publication, The Rookie Scouting Portfolio, the most comprehensive evaluation of draft prospects at the skill positions I’ve ever seen. If you’re unfamiliar, you can view all of Matt’s work at his website, MattWaldmanRSP.com. In addition to being a good friend, Waldman and I also work together at Footballguys.com. So when he told me about his new idea — The RSP Writers Project — I instantly signed up. And in addition to getting some of the best football writers in the internet community to compete, Waldman has also opened his project to anyone who wants to participate.

How does it work? We were asked to build a 53-man roster as if we were constructing our own NFL team. Each player has been assigned a salary and each owner is given a salary cap of $150 million. In addition to picking our players, we were asked to explain the logic behind makeup of our team, along with the schemes and the plays that we would use. You can download the instructions and the Q&A and submit your own team.

I went extremely heavy on offense (more on that tomorrow), spending $93.5 million of my salary on that side of the ball. You can view my full roster here, which lists the salary values and my short explanations for why I chose each player. But here’s a quick look at who I selected:

QB1	Peyton Manning		LDE1	Shea McClellin
QB2	Colt McCoy		LDE2	Cameron Heyward
QB3	Nate Davis		DT1	Phil Taylor
RB1	Kendall Hunter		DT2	Jared Crick
RB2	Pierre Thomas		DT3	Terrence Cody
RB3	LaMichael James		DT4	Martin Tevaseu
RB4	John Clay		RDE1	Vinny Curry
WR2	Victor Cruz		RDE2	Adam Carriker
WR1	Torrey Smith		SLB1	Leroy Hill
WR3	Anquan Boldin		SLB2	Aaron Maybin
WR4	T.Y. Hilton		MLB1	A.J. Hawk
WR5	Ted Ginn Jr.		MLB2	Nick Roach
WR6	Wallace Wright		MLB3	Greg Jones
TE1	Jimmy Graham		WLB1	Jameel McClain
TE2	Delanie Walker		WLB2	Clark Haggans
TE3	Matthew Mulligan	LCB1	Morris Claiborne
FB1	Charles Clay		LCB2	Kyle Wilson
LT1	Jonathan Martin		SS1	Eric Berry
RT1	Todd Herremans		SS2	James Butler
LT2	Levy Adcock		SS3	James Ihedigbo
RT2	Vlad Ducasse		FS1	Ryan Clark
LG1	Charlie Johnson		FS2	Dwight Lowery
RG1	Chad Rinehart		RCB1	Ike Taylor
LG2	Robert T Griffin	RCB2	Will D. Allen
RG2	Robert Turner			
C1	Max Unger		K1	Ryan Longwell
C2	Kris O'Dowd		P1	Kevin Huber

Let me know what you think, and consider submitting your own team or view other rosters here. Tomorrow, I’ll add my comments on why I chose the players I did.

  • Shattenjager

    I commented over at Matt Waldman’s blog, but I’ll go ahead and say sort of the same thing here: I think it’s interesting how different your roster is from what I did, considering that we are both following essentially the same philosophy and chose the same central player (Peyton Manning). The only players we had in common were Manning, T.Y. Hilton (whom I forgot earlier), Nick Roach, Kyle Wilson, and Dwight Lowery.

    Looking at it again, I’m surprised you spent so much on running backs. I had sort of wondered how it was that you spent $12 million more on your offense than I did, and I just realized that’s where most if it is. It will be interesting to hear your explanation/comments tomorrow.

    I absolutely love the Cruz-Smith-Boldin group at WR. Explosive and versatile.

  • Matt

    Kyle Wilson… ugh.

  • Andrew

    I think the one thing you’re clearly missing is a really big, yough wide reciever. Presumptively, you would use Jimmy Graham in that role, but i don’t know how well that strategy for the WRs would work out in reality. As for the HBs, running by committee seems to be the big thing right now, and I don’t know that I can disagree with that. I’m not hugely fond of the defense, but it still looks fairly solid. Overall, I like this team. I’m eager to try my hand at this now.

  • samuel

    I posted some comments over on the website I thought I’d chime in and add the team I made below All comments welcome

    QB: Aaron Rodgers, Stephen McGee, Nate Davis
    RB: Trent Richardson, Javon Ringer, Jason Snelling, Montell Owens
    WR: Calvin Johnson, Matt Slater, AJ Green, Golden Tate, Austin Pettis
    TE: Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernanez, Tony Moeaki
    T: Todd Herremans, J’Marcus Webb, Ryan Cook
    G: Harvey Dahl, Kevin Boothe, 3rd guard at .5 I cant remember off top of my head
    C: Jason Kelce, Doug Legursky
    3-4 Defense
    DE: Stephen Bowen, Terrance Knighton, Corey Peters, Cameron Heyward, Corey Liguet
    DT: Paul Siolai, Terrence Cody, Earl Mitchell
    OLB: Von Miller, Clay Matthews, Cris Carter, Bryan Thomas
    MLB: Brendon Ayanbadejao, Heath Farrell, Larry Grant, Chase Blackburn, Darryl Sharpton, Patrick Willis
    CB: Darrell Revis, Keenan Lewis, Cortez Allen, Ras I Dowling, Kyle Wilson, Brice McCain(I counted Matt Slater as a DB to save .5)
    S: Earl Thomas, Glover Quin, Craig Steltz, James Ihedigbo
    K: Ryan Longwell
    P: Kevin Huber

    My approach is pretty blatant here; create the best core of receiving talent for the passing game possible and go with a star heavy type roster. I don’t think its a stars-scrubs model because hte guys that came cheap arent scrubs in my opinion, they can develop into decent players or they are already. NFL teams don’t have that luxury of just hand picking cheap guys at the back end of a roster who can actually be legitimate contributors. I did took advantage of it and I think if NFL teams could they would load up on stars like I did. I love my passing game and I have a great RB prospect so I think the running game is a viable threat here(Im a believer the RB makes up the run game alot more than a top offensive line). On defense, I wanted to create multiple very dangerous pass rushers on the outside, get a good interior linemen cheap(Siolai) as well as some solid cheap guys who can develop into solid players. Then allow Patrick Willis to clean up a lot of whatever mess there might be and let a number of cheap young corners battle it out for the CB2 spot while letting Revis do his thing and Earl Thomas develop into a superstar. My two concerns are are the interior of the offensive line and second corner spot. I don’t mind J’Marcus Webb; a QB like Aaron Rodgers can hide him too well so hes a non factor. I’m gambling someone emerges at the corner spot and the second 3-4 end spot, I like the chances but if not it might be somewhat of an issue.

    Let me know what you all think thanks