Now, that the major free agency moves have been made the draft picture is starting to become clearer. Randy Mueller has done an excellent job freeing up cap space and releasing overpaid underachievers as well as compiling more draft picks. We have four picks on the first day as of now and all are very important picks because they could all provide rookie starters.
Lets take a look at both sides of the ball and see where these picks might be used.
Offense: We lost a lot of starters on offense this offseason. There are a number of holes we need to fill and whether or not we sign dante stallworth will be a major factor in how early we draft a wide receiver. Lets start by saying what positions we will NOT draft on day 1 of the draft. We will NOT draft a running back. Ronnie Brown is very solid and ricky could be returning. We will NOT draft a RT or RG. Vernon Carey and LJ Shelton man the right side of our line very well. So what positions may we adress on day 1? Obviously the quarterback situation hasnt been settled. Options here are Brady Quinn with our first round pick or Drew Stanton with our 3rd rounder. We also need to adress our wide receivers. Trading down and selecting Greg Olsen in the first round is a possibility as is drafting Sidney Rice, Anthony Gonzalez, or Zach Miller te 2nd round. However, the BIGGEST need on offense is to add talent to the left side of our line. It is a MUST. There are many ways we can adress this. We can mix and max a number of these but i think we are going to need two olineman on day one. Levi Brown is clearly the 2nd best LT in this draft but does not warrant the 9th overall pick. If we are picking based on need we take him. If we are drafting BPA we gracefully pass. Ryan Kalil and/or Joe Staley will be there for the 40th overall selection. Here i think we can defintely choose between one of these olineman or a wr who fell from round one. Grubbs or Ugoh may be there for our 60th overall selection so you could see one of these names added as well.
Bottom LINE: As much as it would be nice to add some wrs or draft a stud quarterback, i think our first day offensive selections will be on offense. I expect one of our 2nd rounders to definitely be spent on a LT or LG. If we draft levi brown first round, that will dictate how the rest of our first day will go. Either way, we should have some young starters manning the left side of our oline next season.
Defense: Damn this defense is looking good. We now have three probowlers and one should have been probowler (holliday) in our front 7. Besides linebacker, we could spend first day picks adding young talent anywhere else on defense. Our dline is going to be great but vonnie holiday and traylor are very old. If we are going to add young talent to our dline it will be in the first round. At 9th overall, Gaines Adams, Jamaal Anderson, Alan Branch, and Okoye are possible selections. However, we just resigned keith traylor and he should alternate time with fred evans at the NT position so i do not think it is likely we take branch now. Our secondary has mediocre players. We could use upgrades at cb and safety. Drafting Laron Landry would be a huge move that im starting to really warm up to. IF you've seen any of the videos on youtube this guy has it all. He's a hardhitting playmaking freak of nature who strikes fear in the eyes of opponents. Putting him in our backfield will create more game changing plays back there and really move our D to the top. We can also adress cornerback in this draft. I don't want to draft leon hall 9th overall because he reminds me of jamar fletcher. I would rather select marcus mccauly 2nd round or aaron ross.
Overall Assesment: The only real "holes" that we MUST fill through the draft is LT and LG. If we draft players early to fill those holes, this season we are looking at a solid roster. Positions we would like to upgrade and add talent to include WR, TE, QB, NT, CB, and S. However, one draft isn't going to solidify all those needs. If martin stays healthy, we are decent at te. traylor and evans can man the NT position for the upcoming season until we invest an early draft pick or evans develops into a starter. The jury is still out on jason allen but if he develops into a solid safety our secondary could be fine. So look for one of these scenarios to play out in the draft.
ON DAY 1:
LT, lg, wr, and S
S, LT, TE, WR
DE, WR, LT, CB