There has been a lot of talk here on CSC about what our needs are this offseason. I think the biggest thing to remember is that what we need now, most likely won't be our needs once the draft rolls around. And I can guarantee that our needs won't be in the same order of priority on May 8th as they are right now. So here are a few possibilities to notice that may take before and during the draft.
First, a look at our FA.
From right here on this site, thanks to Travis, here is our list of our Unrestricted FAs... Malcolm Jenkins, Zach Strief, Jimmy Graham, Parys Haralson, Brian De La Puente, Charles Brown, Robert Meachem, Kenyon Coleman, Will Herring, Ramon Humber, Luke McCown,
Jonathan Vilma, Keyunta Dawson, Shayne Graham.
As it stands now, here is how I see our needs.
Now, just to explain, I would prefer we go after a top OG in this draft to replace Ben Grubbs. He has been serviceable, but not for the price tag he commands. A top OG in the first couple rounds could become an immediate replacement. The problem lies in the contract, where Grubbs has $9mil in dead money this season. He would probably not become a cap casualty until 2016 when he is set to make $10.3mil, but only $3mil in dead money. If we could move Grubbs for a draft pick, I would be all for that option.
In this scenario, I would like to see us draft like this:
- David Yankey, OT/OG, Stanford - This would be my ideal pick. He started 40 games in college, both at LT and OG. He could fill a need at RT, but could also be a potential replacement at OG. Very smart, versatile, player.
- Kyle Fuller, CB, Va Tech - A solid corner with good size.
- Bryan Stork, C, FSU - Immediate replacement for DLP.
- Michael Sam, DE/OLB, Mizzou - Here is the big question mark. However, there is no question about his talent. I would be torn on this pick. As a player, I certainly want him to play the strongside OLB, filling in where Parys Haralson left off. But as a team, I don't want this to cause any issues with chemistry.
- Kenny Ladler, S, Vandy - Much like the rest of this draft, another very smart, instinctive player.
- Dri Archer, WR, Kent ST - While he won't fill the void of a #1 WR type guy, he could be extremely dangerous in our offense. At only 5'8'', 175lbs, he could play a Sproles-like role in our offense. This would be immensely important if we let go of Sproles for cap reasons.
Now let's say we make a few moves in FA. First we bring back Strief, and Brian DLP. I believe our needs change:
The same can be said for Malcolm Jenkins and Rafael Bush. Resigning those players make Safety a much lower need, if at all. But 2 of our FA have a little more to them. I would like to see us retain Joe Morgan, but I'm not sure that changes the priority of the WR. I still feel that will be our 3rd or 4th need regardless. I expect Lance Moore to be released. And last, Parys Haralson. I think this guy is exactly what we need opposite of Galette. He is solid in run support. I think we could retain him for a decent price tag. The issue is health. I don't know how he will return after his season-ending injury so late in the year.
So the key will be who we have retained/signed once the draft arrives, which is the key every year. These things will change weekly. Best thing to do is keep our eyes on some quality prospects at all the potential needs, throughout various rounds of the draft.
- CB - EARLY - Marcus Roberson, Kyle Fuller. MIDDLE - Pierre Desir, Ross Cockrell, Keith McGill, Aaron Colvin. LATE - Antone Exum (CB/S)
- S - EARLY - Calvin Pryor. MIDDLE - Ahmad Dixon, Craig Loston, Kenny Ladler, Tre Boston. LATE - Antone Exum (CB/S)
- OT - EARLY - David Yankey (OG/OT), Antonio Richardson, Morgan Moses. MIDDLE - James Hurst. LATE - Wesley Johnson
- OG - EARLY - David Yankey (OG/OT), Xavier Su'a Filo, Gabe Jackson, Cyril Richardson. MIDDLE - Anthony Steen.
- C - EARLY - Travis Swanson. MIDDLE - Bryan Stork, Marcus Martin, Gabe Ikard
- OLB - EARLY - Scott Chrichton, MIDDLE - Michael Sam, Jeremiah Attaochu, Adrian Hubbard, LATE - Devon Kennard
- WR - EARLY - Kelvin Benjamin, Jarvis Landry, Jordan Matthews. MIDDLE - Donte Moncrief, Brandon Coleman, Jared Abbrederis, Mike Davis. LATE - Dri Archer