luckily for us this year, we have a multitude of middle/late round picks thanks to the tremendous work Dave Caldwell has done in acquiring them. I propose that we attempt to package some of these picks together to move up so that we can accumulate the best possible talent. the key here is quality over quantity.
In this scenario, I have the texans taking Teddy Bridgewater first overall.
In this scenario, we trade our first round pick (#3) to Minnesota in exchange for their first rounder (#8) and third rounder. The reasoning being Minnesota sees Derek Carr as their franchise quarterback and we don't.
1st Round (#8 from Minnesota) - Khalil Mack, LEO, Buffalo, 6'3" 248 lbs
In Mack we get our dynamic pass-rushing LEO, while he has been competing against questionable competition in the MAC, it is undeniable that he has the physical ability to dominate at the next level. In addition, he possess certain intangibles (such as the uncanny ability to force fumbles) that should translate well to the next level. Due to the recent improvement of Andre Branch, the two will be able to rotate and Mack will not have to carry an immense load early on, giving him the time he needs to develop properly.
for the second time in the first round, we pull off another deal. We send our second rounder, and a fourth rounder, to Cleveland for their second first round pick (#24 - from Indianapolis)
1st Round (#24 - from Cleveland via Indianopolis) - QB Blake Bortles, UCF, 6' 4" 229 lbs
after trading up we get our franchise QB without having to reach in the top 5. Bortles has been compared favorably to Ben Roethlisberger. He has the size, athletic ability, decsion making, and arm to succeed on Sundays. Furthermore, in the offense Bortles runs at UCF, he calls all the plays at the line. This means a number of encouraging things for us. First, it displays his high football IQ and experience reading defenses. Second, in this offense, he is forced to consistently go through his reads and often throw to his second, third, or fourth option. This patience would be refreshing after watching Henne and Gabbert automatically check down to the flats for the past few years. Thirdly, it shows that Bortles would probably have the ability to run an uptempo, no huddle offense if that was a wrinkle the jags were interested in adding. The icing on the cake is he is a local product.
3rd round - C Hroniss Grasu, Oregon, 6' 3" 298 lbs
With the First of our two 3rd round picks, we finally find Brad Meester's replacement. Center is just one of the many gaping holes on the offensive line, but we have to start somewhere. Grasu is not huge, and he will not maul in the run game, but that being said he is extremely athletic and would work well in our zone-blocking scheme. While he is not huge, Grasu is able to use his athleticism and play the angles to move DTs laterally in the run game and Pass protection.
3rd round (hypothetically from vikings) - WR Devante Parker, Louisville, 6' 3" 209 lbs.
with our second pick in the 3rd round we add the legitimate red zone threat that we have been lacking for years since big Matt Jones was high pointing balls in the corner of the endzone (haha). With a starting rookie quarterback it is essential that he have plenty of talent around him, and a bailout option to throw the ball up to. This wide receiver depth is crucial due to justin Blackmon's off the field shenanigans, Mike brown kicking the ball all over the field last week, and the need for a legitimate red zone threat.
4th round - T Morgan Moses, Virginia, 6' 6" 335 lbs.
At the beginning of the fourth round, this would be a steal. This man is simply huge. He will be able to open massive running lanes for our running backs and he is athletic enough to climb to the second level and pass protect adequately. With Moses and Joeckel we now have two very solid bookends to protect our new franchise QB and allow him to succeed.
4th round (package a 5th and a 6th to move up into late 4th) - RB Bishop Sankey, Washington, 5' 10" 200 lbs.
Jordan Todman has proven this year that he deserves a shot to be included in our future plans, that being said im not sold on him as a feature back. Add Sankey to the equation and all of the sudden we have a very exciting one-two punch in our backfield. Sankey is absolutely capable of being an every down back in the NFL as he excels between the tackles, and Todman could provide the spark for big plays.
5th round - G Blake Treadwell, Michigan State, 6' 3" 304 lbs.
Fill the Final gaping hole on the line, Treadwell is an excellent pass protector and a capable run-blocker. If we are able to sign an improvement at Guard as a free agent, treadwell could add to the line depth at the very least.
5th round - S Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt, 6' 205 lbs.
In Ladler we add a big, fast, instinctive safety that will fly around the field on special teams and provide depth in our defensive secondary. With this addition, Prosinski will FINALLY be cut. Ladler, Winston Guy, Josh Evans, and Jonathan Cyprien should be a dynamic group of safeties for years to come.
7th round - TE Colt Lyerla, 6' 5" 250 lbs.
Lylera's off the field struggles and antics have been well documented over the course of the year. At this point in the draft we are just taking a flyer on an extremely talented Tight End. While we still have Marcedes Lewis, we will have time to wait and see if the Lyerla experiment is going to work out or not. The upside here is simply too much to pass up on... if he is able to stay on the field Lyerla would give us a dynamic, athletic Tight end who could be moved around and lined up differently in different formations... a true offensive weapon. Furthermore, If Lyerla works out Marcedes Lewis would become expendable, serving as trade bait or a cap casualty.
I know I did not address many of our needs on the defensive side of the ball, but i thought it was necessary to address our porous offensive line and add a couple of key offensive contributors. Now that we know what we have on our current roster, we can address some of our needs through free agency.
let me know what you think in the comments!!