With the lack of offseason in-person position battles, what positions do you see the team going long or short on? For example, I don't see a third QB, with only Dak and Dalton on final 53. D-Line, CB, O-Line best bets? — CHIP NELSON / SPRINGDALE, AR
David: It's important to keep in mind that there are two extra spots on the roster this year, so that's bound to play a part in some of those decisions. To answer your question more directly, I'm guessing they go long on offensive linemen – think about all the talent they have stockpiled in that group. And if I had to pick a position they go short on, running back stands out. Obviously, they're going to keep Zeke, Pollard and a fullback – most likely Olawale. It wouldn't surprise me if that's all they kept on the active roster, though.
Nick: Ok, well for starters, it's supposed to be 55 players on the roster now – that was something they agreed on back in March. And who knows if they don't make them a little more expanded once again. But to play along with the question, I think they will keep three QBs. They like DiNucci a lot and I would imagine he gets to stay on the roster. I see them going very long at CB. Lots of guys in the mix there. Maybe you go shorter at WR. Do you really need six if the top three should stay on the field most of the time?
I feel like preseason games are important to see how a team is built with its players and how those players can execute on the field. Can you break down, percentage wise, how the preseason games influence the decisions to keep a young player making the team versus just seeing him in the classroom and practice? — DAN JONAS / SOUTH ELGIN, IL
David: I think it's a very good question, but I don't think it's something you can break down into one, uniform percentage. Firstly, it depends on how well the player performs and impresses the coaching staff in practice. From there, it's important how he handles his business in the the meeting room. On top of that, a guy's performance in preseason games can make or break his roster chances. Which brings us back to your point: the coaches won't be able to evaluate players the same way this year. It's unfortunate, and it works against the younger players on the roster. There's not a lot we can do about it, so hopefully the young guys can find a way to work around it.
Nick: Well, I would agree with the second part of your question – maybe not so much the first part. I don't think preseason games anymore are used to see how the team works together. You rarely see the starters in there much and when they are, it's so vanilla. It's really just to break a sweat and get them a few reps and get out. Now, I do think evaluating younger players is a huge part of the preseason. I wrote about this very topic on Wednesday and I feel like the younger players are going to have an uphill fight to get a roster spot. Preseason games are when guys shine. We saw it with Luke Gifford last year. I've seen it with Philip Tanner and Jesse Holley and I've even seen it go the other way as well. At the end of the day, it'll be easier for coaches to pick a veteran on the team than a rookie who hasn't played an organized game since 2019.