Also I've compiled a list, not in order of importance but which ones come to mind
I think it's imperative to add at least one DT to the roster this offseason, if we want to see acceptable play there. McClain and Fua both struggled mightily at the point of attack last season to the point where I don't think it's in the best interest of the team we have a competition with Shirley, Edwards, and Neblett over who starts. Antonio Garay is an intriguing option in FA, he could come in and play the nose, stop the run well, and he's also not useless on passing downs like Kemo was, he is, in fact, a very good pass rusher for someone who plays NT in a 3-4, and he won't even have to play 2 gaps nearly as much in this defense.
As far as the draft is concerned, I'm also interested in spending one of our first two picks in the interior. Obviously Brockers is one of the top DTs in this class and he has tremendous potential. If he stayed for his Junior year he'd have a chance to be a top 3 pick in 2013. There are parts of his skill set that remind me of Calais Campbell and Richard Seymour. Devon Still is a "safer" pick I guess but his ceiling of potential is much lower. Basically, I'm pretty certain that Poe, Still, Brockers, Cox, Worthy, and Ta'amu are prospects that could develop into something better than what we have now within one season. From the 4th round on, there's just more of what we already have in terms of talent level at DT.
This time lets get a guy who's already good at it. Armanti Edwards is not a punt returner. He's not elusive, he won't make you miss, and he posted a pathetic 5.5 average per punt return last season. Draft either Joe Adams or LaMichael James (who would be a steal) in the 4th round and cut Edwards. We don't have time for a 3 year project return specialist.
A Pass Rusher
This is kind of complicated because there are a lot of tweeners in this draft and FA leaves a lot to be desired in this dept. Frankly, Upshaw is the only LBer I'd draft in the first round because of his dominant pass rushing capabilities and I'd play him at both Sam and off the LOS with his hand down, both at DE and as the 5th guy in a 5-2 formation. In the 2nd round there's also Vinny Curry and Bruce Irvin to look at, but they'll need a little more time to develop. I'm not high on Zach Brown because we've already got at least 2 tampa 2, 230ish lb linebackers on this team,and he just offers more of the same skill set in that regard. Our best pass rushing linebacker (Davis) is likely to never recover from 3 ACL tears.
Making sure Sherrod Martin doesn't start
He was pretty abominable regardless of who started on the line. Look at Markelle Martin or George Iloka in the draft. In FA, I'd love to pick up LaRon Landry on a 1 year trial if he's more willing to have surgery in the near future, either put him at SS and move Godfrey to FS or put him at FS, watch him exceed expectations, and give him a nice extension in 2013.
Making sure Captain Munnerlyn doesn't start
He's way too fuging short to play no.2 corner and as good as Gamble was on the other side, his abysmal performance pretty much canceled it out. If Claiborne slides to our selection he should be the pick, but I don't expect him to make it out of the top 5. Kirkpatrick's stock is slipping. If we wait until the 2nd, Chase Minnifield could be there, and although I think it's unlikely, if Janoris Jenkins fell that far there's no doubt we should take him if we didn't spend our first on a corner.
The middle rounds are great for finding affordable future blockers. The only guy whose talent I think would justify drafting another tackle in the first is Matt Kalil, because he can immediately walk in and start at LT. But just because Byron Bell struggled protecting Cam on the right side last season doesn't necessarily mean we need a day-1 all pro franchise RT.
A new punter
Baker is terrible. Draft Drew Butler.
Things we don't really need
1. First round WR - Three reasons: a. we already spent a draft pick on a pass catcher, b. LaFell progressed a lot in 2011, and c. we're getting Gettis back.
2. Any kind of RB other than a mid-late round scat back (preferably one that can also do returns)- We've already got two starters who need more touches. A Scat back is the only thing that will improve this unit by offering another dimension in the backfield which is the only thing we're missing there.
3. David DeCastro - Good OGs are a dime a dozen in this league. ...as a matter of fact, you could expand that to include all interior linemen. I mean all it really took to acquire Kalil was a late 2nd round pick, and he's one of the best in the league.
4. Drafting a backup QB - it may be a decent insurance policy effort, but is it really a need? None of the prospects have a skill set similar to Cam (except for RGIII, and there's no way we're drafting him). There really isn't much sense in drafting a 5'10 guy to play like he's 6'6'' and 250 lbs.
5. TE - not this year at least
Here are some drafting scenarios that would help this team
7. Best DB available
7. Best OG/OT available
4. Best DE/OLB
6 and 7. Best OT/OG and Best punter
4. Best DE/OLB
6 and 7. Best OT/OG and Best punter
About Trading Down
It isn't necessarily that I hate trading down, but people who don't understand how it works, want to do it every single year, and think that Hurney can just do it at will. The draft is very fluid from basically when it's time to start talking about it to its conclusion. For instance, a team with a 20s pick might be on the phone with 3 teams to try to strike a deal, and there aren't many teams in any draft that are willing to do this. Moreover, it's highly unlikely the much anticipated trade scenario where Cincinnati moves up to our 8/9 pick and trades their two first rounders to us actually happens. If it in fact does happen, the only 2nd first rounder we have a chance of getting in return (the 1st being either their 17th or 22nd pick (is it 21st? I'm not sure) is one of their 2013 picks.
Say Trent Richardson was slipping and they did want to trade, and we ended up with their 2nd 1st rounder, their 2nd rounder, a mid round pick, and one of their 2013 firsts. That is a much more feasible trade. Still, don't forget in the process of this, they're probably calling Miami and Buffalo trying to make a deal with them. If you recall in 2007 before Cleveland traded back into the first with some team in the 20s they wanted to give us their 2008 first (and i think their 2nd round pick that year, along with some other minor picks) for our 14th selection. Hypothetically if this trade did happen we might not have been able to get Beason, so also keep in mind that trading down isn't always the best option.
Edited by Raging Bull, 29 January 2012 - 10:00 PM.