Morning Nation - bright and sunny here in Mexico entering our hot season.
We have been enjoying the last few days watch master Mckenzie work his plan -- his, not ours - to near perfection (only those not signing we were seeking has held this back).
I have been reflecting about our remaining needs as a team. Remember I said NEEDS not desires.
Defense: it seems we are thin at DL with only Smith and McGee and if you count Crawford as a 5 technique or 3-4 DE do we have even three. Tuck, has been know to play in 3 and 5 technique fronts and penterate well from there on passing downs. Still, perhaps a Need area #1
Defensive backfield could use two more starting caliber players, for any backfield which includes a Checkwa and Jones as back DB's is a poor one. These guys are perpetually developmental. The addition of Usama Young as a depth/starter is a good one, but I am quickly reminded we have Brandian Ross also signed. Ouch!
The addition of Tarrell Brown and the good possibility of CWood's return and a healthy Branch and Hayden gives hope, but all is contingent on complete season long health with our current depth players.
I like our LB corps - just do not love them. Raoah was a Godsend, and Sio is a monster, but the play of Burnett, Burriss and Maiva is underwhelmingly average - at best. Maybe Khalil Mack, Ryan Shazier, Trent Murphy or Kyle Van Noy will be added here.
Offense: There is a lot to like here if things stayed status quo. There was good rhythm with MM and his wideouts and TE's (though this is the weak spot of the offense IMO). Where I would love to see a #1 WR, and true 3 down TE added - I am not sure of its' likelihood this year. Adding Schaub, Freeman or Sanchez would upgrade the level of talent and experience to this unit.
The offensive line has gone through major changes - good changes with the addition of Howard and the pursuit of Penn and others to bolster loose points and depth issues. I see that Watson has regarded well his inexperience in preparations and I expect he will compete for the open LT spot. Would not be sorry to see Matthews, Robinson, Martin, Moses, Richardson or Lewan added to this group. Many have been calling for Alex Mack - but at the price, I do not see this as a NEED.
I love the current make up of our RB corps - though I expect at least one more addition. DMAC, Reece and Murray - Big O give us a formidable group with the possibility of greatness if our OL performs as I expect it will.
I like our special teams as is! Especially now Ford is gone. Seabass needs to perform better - I foresee this in 2014.
Draft picks likely base on current needs suggested: OL DT (2), LB, S, CB, WR, TE
My ultimate NEED draft: I describe need as playmakers - plug and play 3 down players
1 - Watkins WR (out - Ford)
2.. Sefaerian Jenkins - TE (out Mastrud)
3. Jackson OG (out Breisel)
4. Reynolds S (out Ross)
6. Hart - DT
7. Allen - CB (out Cehckwa)
7. Saunders - WR/PR (Out Jenkins)
Things can change with new additions as I expect daily. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Talent and depth!