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Friday, April 19, 2013

Six Days And Counting

We're within a week of the draft at this point. And right now, I'm
clueless as to what to do.

I've got two points of data to change my outlook - a feeling that
Sheldon Richardson might not be right for us, and a feeling that NT
might work better in round 2 that pushes the feeling more toward CB and
OL in 1, if it's a need-based pairing of expectation.

Which it won't be. It'll be best player available for need. And Dave
Gettleman's presser yesterday kinda pushes that. But he discourages me
on a high CB pick - not that he wasn't dancing around need, or that he
was going to telegraph his intentions.

My thought process on CB, specifically, was that one of the things Ron
Rivera loves in a CB - height, arm length - is somewhat missing with DJ
Moore coming in and Captain Munnerlyn returning. Both will be heavily
involved - it appears the team wants those two and Drayton Florence as
their top 3 guys coming in. A Xavier Rhodes pick at 14 would provide a
starter.

At DT, it does appear Sharrif Floyd and Star Lotuleilei will be gone.
I'm much more interested in Lotuleilei; he could do time at NT for the
short term and still provide impact. Floyd, compared to Richardson, is
shorter but doesn't get better leverage, and his arm length means that
pro Gs will get into his body a lot more often (where he struggles
more).

Richardson feels like a good pick in a lot of ways, and should be
there. Most mocks have him in contention for us, if not outright picked
by us. He's tall, good arm length, ridiculously athletic and fairly
strong. But, pad level is an issue; he's got a fantastic motor, but
specifically against Alabama he had struggles with leverage. Being
great at running around with the ball in flow is great, but I would want
a stouter player right now. He has a lot of ability against the run
and fits the one-gap (he's great with a first step getting on a guard's
shoulder), but honestly, I almost feel like he's a better option as a
5-technique DE or a 7-tech (4-3 end, though obviously left end; his 4.7
40 at a bigger size, first step, and pursuit ability really make him a
great situational player who feels as good on the edge as anyone), but
he could get run on head-up in the wrong situations.

Past that, I have worries about any 3-technique guy at 14. I feel it's
a need - Dwan Edwards is all the team has anywhere at DT far as I'm
concerned - but there's also a legitimate need at NT that has to be
filled right now, and run D is worse than pass D right now, too.
Shoring up the run is a good way to get to the 3rd and 8s you need to
generate sacks and turnovers.

Then there's WR. I don't want anyone there. Keenan Allen's terrible
40 time means he's a 2nd at best (I'm not against him at 44 actually,
and feel like he'll regain his 4.55 time). Cordarrelle Patterson may as
well be called Cottonelle Patterson he's so soft - that's just not a
good fit. Dave Gettleman and Ron Rivera might do the next group a solid
by picking him, but they won't see him through to stardom themselves if
they pick him. And Tavon Austin, I guess there's a role there for him.
Slot guys are feature guys now, and add that to the roles that Percy
Harvin and others have played in hybrid roles. But do you draft a 5'8
guy from a very friendly system at this point? Not me. Actually I like
Stedman Bailey about as much as Austin, and he should be there at 44,
too.

But, I don't really want a WR either way. I'm OK with what's there for
now. Steve Smith is older - Brandon LaFell is a free agent in eight
months. Those are true. But if you can get good, inexpensive receivers
in free agency and you're going to use a bunch of them, why not just do
that to fill the veteran need, and as needed, bring in youth behind
that? The idea of creating a pick like Patterson for instance for
future need is to neglect current needs.

So, were it me, I'd pick a good place in 2 or 4 to pick up another
piece for the defensive secondary. Corner or safety, doesn't matter.
Just work to improve there. And were it me, outside of extraordinary
events otherwise at those picks, I'd follow these simple rules:
*don't trade
*pick big guys
*rinse, repeat

It really wouldn't bother me at all to pick DT, OL, DT, CB/S, then OL.
I could see TE in there. And the problem is, I've wanted that draft for
a couple of years now. It's time to stop drafting middle-rounds WRs
that can't help you. It's time to get tough, pick big, and just keep
making it happen there. And you keep hammering that until you get that
right, and then worry of the rest afterward.
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