My prediction for the rest of the FA is important as it will dictate where we truly do go in the draft but I feel we resign Jason Taylor and add Antonio Bryant, who isn't getting much love in the FA market, which should definitely lower his asking price. However, we fail to sign a veteran safety to lead and protect the back end of our aggressive-style defense that Mike Nolan likes to run.
I looked at all possibilities, thought of the drafting patterns of Parcells and company and this is what I've come up with...
I would love to trade down in this draft but obviously that's highly unlikely as I feel we can get a lot of value with a late 1st round pick and an additional 2nd or 3rd.
Brandon Graham- DE/OLB Michigan
There seem to be a lot of excellent pass rushing OLBs in this draft but we desperately need one who also can hold the edge and contain the run. To me, out of all the D-ends conversion guys/OLBs only Derrick Morgan seems to have more strength than Graham to hold the edge but he's too slow for my taste. The only thing Graham lacks is prototypical height but that shouldn't be a concern. He was the one bright spot on a terrible Michigan Wolverine team.
Ricky Sapp- DE/OLB Clemson
This regime seems to like to draft in pairs. My first choice would be Jerry Hughes but he's long gone. Sapp is an athletic OLB prospect who rushes the passer with the best of them. He will be two years removed from an ACL tear and should only get better and stronger. He has a quick first step and has a knack (sp?) for pressuring the QB. His run defense could definitely use some work but I see him backing up JT being the nickel rusher, to start his career.
Aaron Hernandez- TE Florida
I tried getting this guys scouting grade as to where most see him falling the draft. I see him all over the place from the 2nd to the 4th. With many teams spreading it out more, I see Hernandez falling behind some of the other TE prospects like Dickerson, who ran an insane 40 for a TE, and the consistent Dennis Pitta. Hernandez will help the offense stretch the field and we will finally see an athletic TE out there! His blocking is something to be desired but its definitely better than some of the other athletic TEs in this draft. Plus we still have Fasano and Haynos, who IMO, are superb blocking TEs.
Torrel Troup- DT UCF
The trifecta has definitely found some interior linemen help (both Olinemen and D-linemen) later in the draft. I dont see it being any different here. Supposedly, they still feel good about Soliai and Starks is continuing to improve as a pass rushing NT but Troup should come in and give Soliai some competition as that clog in the middle, eating up all the blockers. Its hard to find true NTs but Troup fits the billing with his frame/size. He has good value being able to be scooped up in the 4th round.Many on this site like Linval Joseph as a later round NT but I see him as more of a 3-4 DE/4-3 DT. At 6'5, I feel he plays too high to be a true NT. He also has struggled with stamina issues.
It looks like after unsuccessfully trying to reel in a veteran safety, the trifecta might have no choice but to take their chances with Chris Clemons and hope for the best. Our LBers should be hugely bolstered by the signing of Dansby, moving Crowder over, and the drafting of an underrated stud in Brandon Graham. With the signing and drafting of Bryant and Hernandez, the offense will finally be able to get those "chunk yards" we've so desperately needed. We will be a very balanced offense and a very aggressive defense on Mike Nolan and aside from the questions at Free Safety, this team looks ready to take the next step.
Quick side note:
(After coaching the Ravens, its obvious Mike Nolan wants "his" Ed Reed. After seeing us try and grab a top safety (Rolle and Clark), there's a small part of me that sees us trying to trade up for Eric Berry)