Some of you do not want to see a Draft post midway this season, but I have been in such a funk after our last loss (even though my other team won), that I felt I wanted to just take a break from talking about it, and look to the future. I hope this is understandable.
So my first part of looking to the draft, is to look at positions of need, and we seem to have a lot of them. On offense, it's moreso the OL, which has been nothing short of below average nearly the entire season. On defense it ranges from lack of pass rush, to general in the middle, to a playmaking CB and Safety. Essentially across the board.
To list the needs: OT, OG, DE, DT, MLB, CB, FS
That's a lot of needs, and it's clear our defense is suffering the most here. So when it comes to selecting with our 1st round pick, or 1st and 3rd rounder, it would have to be on the defensive side.
So we narrowed it down to one side of the ball. Now do we go for BPA? It might have to be the case, but lets decide which position is MORE needed for us. Will it be DL? LB? Secondary?
I'm always a big fan of building teams from the inside, out. What is our most annoying problem? It;s the pass rush. We have an aging DL, and right now our biggest playmaker is Houston, who has, to be fair, come onto his own this season and is our unsung hero on the DL. Seymour is clearly showing his age, and Kelly is nothing short of inconsistent. Shaugnessy is inconsistent. So what is to happen here?
We need a playmaking DL, who can not only rush the passer, but contain the run. We have Bryant, who is also on the rise, but we need an intimidating force on the inside to take on double teams, pass rush, stuff the run, and get Houston and Shaugnessy favorable matchups. He will help contain gaps, and we would be able to switch to the 3-4 and have him as the NT of the defense (in other words, help us be more versatile). There are a couple playmaking DTs that should be available for us in the top 15.
On the negative side, DL is hard to judge. Who remembers Michael brockers and Fletcher Cox from last year? Yeah where are they? Posting up low statistics that's what. DL normally are hard to judge, and take a couple seasons to get into the NFL (hard to make an immediate impact).
We better PAY Phillip Wheeler. He is so far our best player on defense. Our BEST. I had my skepticism, but he has proved me to be a very impactful player. And Burris is a god (in all seriousness, he has been awesome for us as well). So what is missing here? A MLB. We all know who I love. We all know whose name is talked about in multiple SB Nation blogs. The beast, Manti Te'O. A MLB is the general of the front seven. He'll make adjustments, plug around the running lanes (and if he is great, not get blocked out). To put in perspective, he has the ferocity of Vontaze Burfict (minus the penalties), and the tackling ability of Luke Kuechly.
We could also put Wheeler at MLB, and draft an OLB who can be our pass rusher like a Von Miller, and contain the edge there. But we also would need him to cover. It's also easier to draft a playmaker at the LB position than at the DL position.
LB is one of the positions where it doesn't bring that much negatives. They can make an immediate impact, and is important to have for any defense. But how MUCH of an impact is the question. We could have a multiple pro bowler, or just a good LB.
This can go for CB, and FS. Now this position may seem less important because we can always bring Huff at SS, and Branch at FS. But we DEFINITELY need a CB.
But the negatives here is that it's probably THE hardest position to draft. There are many 1st round CBs who have not turned out. MANY first round CBs, more than QBs I would say. But, when you hit on a really good CB, the impact is definitely felt in your passing defense. I would say the reward for getting a high caliber CB is one of the highest in draft positions, especially in this passing league.
Defense is our biggest need, but I decided to throw this one in. There is no secret that our OL should be no less than LAST in the NFL in many categories. They get penalties, they can't block for the runner, and they cannot protect the passer. I give a pass for Veldheer and Wiz, because at least they have showed that they can be solid, but the RT, RG, and LG (Wiz should play Center) is in dire need of help, and if we are to build an OL for our future QB, we need to start doing it now.
Not much downside here. OL are in abundance, and with the amount of needs we have there, we can select any player who is talented enough. It's pretty hard to draft a bust, but it happens. Though, as I said, I highly believe in building through the trenches, and a better OL= a better offense. And we know this is an offense driven league.
I'm going to leave it up to you guys to decide which position is more important. I'm glad I wrote this post, as I feel a little better than when I was before. I'll start writing Part 2, when I have time, for school is being hard on me now, and I would also like to give some time for the poll results.