Thursday, April 24, 2008

Draft Specuation

So we only get one pick in the first 116 selections this weekend. But as we are wont to do here, instead of focusing on our lack of selections (which were mortgaged for Jared Allen), we will choose to focus on that one pick.

Heading into the offseason here was our list of needs...

  1. Pass Rushing DE - we brought home the league's leader in sacks from 2008.
  2. Wide Receiver help - although Bernard Berrian isn't in that upper echelon of WRs around the league he is a significant upgrade and was the best available.
  3. Offensive Tackle - undone - Ryan Cook was not ideal at RT last year and there is a chance Bryant McKinnie will miss some games this year due to being an idiot. This needs to be addressed in the draft.
  4. Safety - Sharper is aging and Dwight Smith is now available to have sex wherever he wants. So we made two moves to give us depth at S. Madieu Williams should improve our pass coverage and is a nice upgrade. Michael Boulware was also added for depth.
  5. Tight End - undone - to date Shiancoe has been a bust. One would think that with a rookie QB in a west coast offense the TE would end up with more than 27 catches and 1 TD. Maybe in a Kick Ass Offense the TE isn't as productive as a true WC Off. This should be addressed in the draft.
  6. QB Depth - there is no question that Jackson will be the starter (for better or worse). Gus Ferrote was signed to back him up but that doesn't exactly help me sleep at night. I'd like to see another QB drafted.
This team isn't perfect by any stretch and there are other minor holes to fill but those are the top 6 my my count. I love that the organization actually proactively tried to answer their most glaring needs. Allen, Berrian and Williams may not be the answers but they are good faith efforts to fill their needs as best as they could.

How do we handle the rest? To start with I think we can make a good run at covering these hole with our second round pick. Of course every round gives you diminishing chance of return on your pick. But positions such as OL, TE and WR often still have valuable players left in the second round.

Here is my top 5 desired picks for Saturday...
  1. TE - Fred Davis - USC kid who is the second best TE in the draft. Davis is capable of playing right away and being a threat in the passing game.
  2. OT - Duane Brown - Virginia Tech underclassman who ESPN actually projects the Vikings will take. If McKinnie plays and Cook is capable, this would be a great pick as a future OT given a year or two to develop. He began his collegiate career as a TE and then grew to 315 lb. tackle.
  3. QB - Chad Henne, Joe Flacco or Brian Brohm - all three are projected to go in the second round but before Minnesota picks. If any of them fall I have no problem drafting any of them.
  4. WR - James Hardy, Early Doucet, Jordy Nelson or Andre Caldwell - if we take a second round WR these would be my top targets. I am not on the Mario Manningham bandwagon so I do not want him if he falls to us. All four guys above have their own issues but I'd take my chances here.
  5. TE - John Carlson - third best TE available. The kid from Litchfield who left us for Notre Dame had a good career capped with a disappointing senior season. Carlson is big and athletic. ESPN projects him to go to Green Bay with the 56th overall selection. It might be a reach at 47, but if all above players are gone I'd be comfortable with this one
There you have it folks. Our first round pick has been decided and now the only intrigue for this weekend is what we will do with pick #47.

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