At the start of the season, I had a good feeling about this year. I felt that it would finally be the season where the mighty Silver and Black became respectable again and made the playoffs after the past seven years of hell.
While the boys failed at the second part (making the playoffs), we definitely regained respectability around the NFL. No more are teams considering us easybeats and an automatic win in their column.
So for that, I'd just like to thank the entire team, Coaches Tom Cable, Hue Jackson (despite his playcalling in this game), John Marshall and, yes, big Al.
In the words of one of my favourite bands of all time, "tomorrow belongs to us."
Now that that's over, it's time for me to get back to work. And by "work", I mean "pissing time away trying to figure out who we should draft."
IMO, our areas of greatest need in order are:
O-Line (specifically at C, RG and RT)
Secondary (a cover corner to back up Nnamdi, and a FS who can tackle and cover)
A solid possession wide receiver
OLBs who can cover.
With that in mind and knowing how Al likes to draft, I present to you my mock draft for 2011. NB - I'll probably do about 20 more of these before the draft itself all which will be different - but this is it for now.
Round 2: Rahim Moore (S, UCLA)
Moore is a big, strong, athletic safety who can also play CB - while he may not have the extreme blazing speed Al usually covets from his DBs, he's still plenty quick. He's probably the best coverage safety in this draft, and his tackling technique is solid (unlike our current free safety) as he gets low and wraps his arms around his man before bringing him down instead of looking for the SportsCenter hit every time.
There's a chance he may shoot up some draft boards, but for now he's mocked as a mid 2nd rounder so should be available to us. If we took him we could then trial Michael Huff at CB.
Round 3: DeMarcus Love (OT, Arkansas)
Love has played both right and left tackle in college, but is probably an RT at NFL level cause he sometimes struggles with pass protection although he can maul in the run game. Ideally, I'd like Gabe Carimi - but he'll be taken either in the late 1st/early 2nd, so Love is IMO the next best RT prospect. As I mentioned earlier, he's a big, powerful run blocker which is exactly what we need with our running backs. His pass protection abilities will come with time as well.
Round 4: Dontay Moch (OLB, Nevada)
Gentlemen and ladyboys, I present your workout warrior of the 2011 draft. Moch is an insane athlete (at 6'1" and 245, he can run a 4.4 40) who I'll bet anything will catch Al's eye. Luckily, he'll fill an area of need for us at OLB who can also line up for stints at DE in our 4-3 defense. Moch right now is a better pass rusher than coverage LB, but he's also very raw which will scare a lot of teams away. With good coaching, we should be able to mould him into a better coverage OLB who can also rush the passer. Think of him as 2011's Bruce Campbell.
Round 5: Kris O'Dowd (C, USC)
O'Dowd is a second round talent who will fall because of injury concerns. While it's always a risk going after a guy with that kind of history, I would do it because we desperately need a bigger, stronger center than Satele - someone who can handle the Haynesworth types and create holes up the middle for DMC and Bush.
Round 6: Greg Salas (WR, Hawaii)
Salas' stock will suffer after the shellacking Hawaii got in the Hawai'i bowl, but he's a solid wide receiver. He won't wow anyone with his speed or athleticism, but his hands are secure and he makes plays. Given that we have plenty of speed in our receiver corps but lack a true possession receiver who can stay fit, I'd take him with a late pick.
Round 7: Tyrod Taylor (QB, Virginia Tech)
A Virginia Tech QB who's as effective running the ball as passing it - remind you of anyone? While Taylor isn't anywhere near the level that Michael Vick was coming out, he's a guy with real potential. He'll fall down the draft because of his height and because he isn't that great a pocket passer, but his arm and passing mechanics are good. Give him a few years to develop and he could become something special.
Now that I've finished that, I'd just like to remind everyone to, in the words of Tupac, keep ya head up.
Yeah, it sucks to have fallen now after getting so close to the playoffs. But in my opinion, there's far more positives to be derived from this season.
And we haven't even crushed the Chief's souls at Arrowhead yet.