By: Joe Siniscalchi
With the draft less than a week away, teams across the NFL are finalizing their draft boards and preparing what-if scenarios. This is usually when the action cools off a bit. I figured I can use this otherwise dull period to post my NFL dream team based on personnel and scheme. I’ll break this up into two segments; one focusing on offense and the other on defense. Let’s start with the offense.
Before I list my offense, you’ll have to understand my reasoning behind my choices. I prefer a zone-blocking scheme for my running attack, much like the Redskins and Texans. It helps make any running back look great (just ask Mike Shanahan). It causes movement on the defensive line, and running backs with good vision can make one cut and pick up some good yardage. I like a passing attack that has 3 capable wide receivers and two good tight ends. The slot receiver and second tight end would switch based on the formation, and a versatile player can play both positions. I like to use all parts of the field to keep defenses guessing and honest, but having guys who can make plays to get to the ball is what I value most. Speed and freak athleticism are key as well so there can always be a mismatch and the threat to score on every play.
With that, here’s the list:
QB – RG3 – I really wanted to put Aaron Rodgers here, but RG3’s talents as a runner, and more importantly, a passer, give him the nod. He may be short for a QB when throwing in the pocket, but he can make ANY throw. The thing that separates him from Rodgers in my eyes is also his clutch gene. Rodgers doesn’t choke, but I don’t think he’s clutch. RG3 would keep any defense honest, and with a good offensive line, he can be even scarier. He knows when to hand it off on option plays, is phenomenal with play action, can tuck it and run, or can stand in the pocket and get the ball downfield. He’s the complete package, and really can revolutionize the NFL as the league’s first complete mobile quarterback.
RB – Adrian Peterson – Was there any doubt to this? He can do it all. His abilities translate well into any scheme and he is an absolute freak. He is another guy who would keep defenses honest and can take it to the house every time the ball is in his hands.
WR1: Calvin Johnson – Megatron is physically the most impressive WR I’ve seen. His blazing speed, height, and ability to jump and get the ball makes him the perfect target to throw to. His range is absolutely amazing and can make up for any poor throw. He’s also the perfect red-zone target.
WR2: Larry Fitzgerald –He’s a bit slower than Megatron, but he possesses many of the same skills. You can’t leave either of these guys in single coverage or they will destroy you. Both wideouts have great hands and can stretch the field vertically for a very potent deep passing attack.
WR3: Wes Welker– The greatest slot wide receiver in the game. He’s durable and highly dependable. Welker would be a perfect compliment to Megatron and Fitzgerald by opening up the field underneath and across the middle. With the other two drawing attention downfield, he can carve defenses up and provide a nice safety blanket.
TE1: Tony Gonzalez – Gronk was tempting due to his freak size and athleticism, but Gonzo is more complete. He is a phenomenal blocker, and can catch anything thrown his way. Another great red-zone option (every skill player on this list will be) and possession guy will help move the chains down the field and bring in the touchdowns. Gonzo is the Mariano Rivera of the NFL. He is as consistent and reliable as it gets, regardless of age.
TE2: Aaron Hernandez – Another physical freak who would be the joker of this offense. He can play tight end and the slot, and take coverage away from all over the field, or exploit any matchup.
LT: Ryan Clady – As consistent as they come on the line and is strong in both run blocking and pass protection.
LG: Carl Nicks – The best guard in the NFL works perfectly with centers to neutralize defensive lineman and can pass block as well.
C: Nick Mangold – Another lineman that has great chemistry and helps anchor the line. He can do it all as he is agile and a mauler.
RG: Mike Iupati – The most athletic guard in the NFL can fit in both man and zone blocking schemes.
RT: Eric Winston – The man is perfect for zone blocking schemes. He has the size, agility, and strength to be a lead blocker and knows how to help create holes on the line. He excelled in the Texans’ zone scheme and really is underrated as far as offensive lineman go.