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Catalyst

The Way Things are Looking...

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hmmmm

replace one pro OT with injury history with a college OT with injury history

Agreed. Another thing to keep in mind is that Otah is set to make $1MM in the final year of his contract in 2012. That's a bargain for a RT of his caliber. I don't see Otah going anywhere until then. Most likely the team will give him one last opportunity to prove himself healthy and ready to regain his form from a few years back and evaluate whether it would be wise to offer him an extension. However, it wouldn't suprise me if we draft an OL as a backup plan and for depth.

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hmmmm

replace one pro OT with injury history with a college OT with injury history

Well replacing Jarrett with Armanti was pretty good, wasn't it?

Anyways I'd say we're a top 14 pick. Assuming we don't trade down:

Morris Claiborne, CB

Zach Brown, OLB

Brando Thompson, DT

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Zach Brown isn't top 14 material, in my opinion. Very few 4-3 OLBs are, they'd have to be amazingly talented prospects to be a top 14 value 4-3 OLB.

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I've watched some highlights/lowlights of both Zach Brown and Vontaze Burfict and, TBH, I'm not impressed. They look solid, but nothing worth spending a top-15 pick on, IMO. If we trade down, sure, but not in the top 10-15.

CB is the wild card here; how does Butler continue to play? What does Hogan look like? Do we plan on re-signing Captain Munnerlyn when his deal is up? In any event, I wouldn't be opposed to taking Claiborn, but he strikes me as more of a big-play DeAngelo Hall type corner and I'd much rather have a true cover corner. On top of that, I'm just not convinced CB is a big enough need in the 1st.

Our best bet would be if Riley Reiff somehow slips to our pick. He'd be a great pick in the 9-15 range, but there's no guarantee he'll be available. The good news is he's the 3rd rated OT right now behind Matt Kalil & Jonathan Martin, so unless 3 OT's go before we pick we could have a legit shot at him.

Of course, the wild card there is Jeff Otah - and Byron Bell. They could be reluctant to take a RT in the top-15 with a former 1st rounder still on the roster in Otah and a guy the coaching staff is clearly very high on in Bell.

Ugh. Why can't there be a can't-miss LB/DT projected to go 10-15?

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I'm basically of the same mind as you. I think of CB as a similar situation as WR. Sure, it's not as pressing of a need right now but if the talent and value is there, it's best to plan for the near future. Would be nice to get a replacement for Smitty or Gamble while they still have a few years left in the tank than try to patch it last minute the draft after they retire.

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I suppose nailing down the defensive scheme for our future would be good to know. If a 3-4 is coming, then ILB is important along with someone like Poe at DT.

Until we know that, it is hard to say. Also, Beason could kick out to OLB if the best value is a stud ILB

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I'm just not a fan of moving Beason to the outside. I'd much rather see what Burfict can do on the outside if we take him, TBH.

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If there were defensive playmakers at the level that Blackmon & Floyd are on the offensive side of things, I wouldn't be so undecided on where to go.

One guy I do like on defense is Luke Kuechly (LB). He's not a highlight reel type hitter but his positioning and awareness to misdirection plays is very legit

and for CBs: I would consider trading down in the first to get a Hosley (VT) if all the top receivers are gone by our pick. That kid is unreal

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I'm beginning to like the idea of taking Claiborne in the 1st if he's there. Even if CB isn't looking like a need this season, it could turn out to be. Both Butler & Munnerlyn are FA's after next year, IIRC, based on their rookie deals, and I don't know that either one is as good as Claiborne has the potential to be.

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I'm hoping we trade down and get two elite players--see Beason, Jon

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