Thoughts on the draft and FA

My basic premise is that elite positions are big money and therefore must come through early rounds of the draft. The other needs are best available. What we need:

Offense needs

QB - Henne is maybe good for 7-9 with our hopefully 2nd in division schedule next year (chiefs, dolphins, nfc east, afc north), even if all other problems are fixed. We need a franchise QB to be starting by London of next season. That means first or second round pick.

Pass threat tight end - even if we restructure Lewis' pay and keep him, he is not it. We need a first or second round elite tight end.

Center - with a rookie QB, experience would be great, and there are several URFA available. Makes sense to spend on one.

Left guard - can Bradfield play left guard with some Spring/Camp experience? Makes sense to use a third-day pick on a left guard.

WR - we should know if 14 is eligible by draft day. If not, legit number one WRs are big money, and that means early rounds of the draft. Otherwise we are good for now.

RB - these are no longer early round picks because they have such a short shelf-life. Probably take a third-day pick for depth, if someone slips considerably.

Defense needs

DE / Elite pass rusher - even though Branch has improved, he is at best a rotation player. We need to find a first or second round pick, and probably use a third-day pick on a project freak athlete (the defense version of Denard).

Line depth - we have Alualu and Marks playing well, but need more, and would be worthy of a second-day pick on the right player. But knowing what we need on the first two days, this would be irresponsible, and so we will take a late round guy.

LB - Poz is good at middle, but we will continue to get torched by elite tight ends until we have an elite OLB who can run in coverage. This needs to be filled in the draft in first three rounds.

Putting together the draft board

With three picks in the first three rounds we need to fill 4+ major needs QB, TE, DE, OLB (and possibly WR). That means we will have to look for a gem in later rounds to fill one or two of these. Unlikely we would use our large cap room on one of these needs in URFA.

Later rounds we need OLG, DT, RB. That leaves a pick or two for a special teams linebacker type or project / best athlete available. These are also more likely to be addressed in URFA, as in the center position.

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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