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Dreaming out loud.

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I like looking ahead to spring, free agency, the draft.

The one thing Childress initially got right was his "you build a team from trenches" speech. Initially we did just that.

On defense Pat and Kevin Williams anchored the middle of our defensive line. We traded, a lot, and brought in a DE liked Jared Allen.

At the time we signed Steve Hutchinson to a contract. A lot of people thought we were crazy to pay a guard that much money. Still adding Hutchinson was huge and the left side of our offensive line was feared (ok so the right side sucked).

Looking back, even though we had no sign of a passing game, we still moved the ball on the ground. I feel that it showed that with a capable offensive line we could still play .500 ball.

So I look at next year as the first thing we have to do is fix both sides of the line.

In Free Agency one of my targets would be to go after Carl Nicks. He won't be cheap but the Saints will probably be hesitant to give both guards a big contract.

Of course Dawyne Bowe is another that will be costly but would give us a lot of flexibility in the draft. As well as giving us a stud #1 receiver.

DT Pat Sims is another guy lost in the shuffle in Cincinnati.

LB Dan Conner really doesn't fit in Carolina with them switching over to a 3-4 scheme.

When I look at our record and schedule I cannot see us picking any higher than 4th and I do not see any of the other teams, except for Washington, passing us.

1. Indy drafts Andrew Luck. Trade him or keep him - either way he goes 1st.

2. St. Louis drafts Justin Blackmon. I have read a lot of opinions about them taking Kalil but you just drafted a LT that had a terrific rookie season. He looked to have regressed his sophomore season before his injury but this is a team with horrible receivers even with Brandon Lloyd and a weak interior line that gives Bradford no pocket to step up into.

3. Washington drafts Matt Barkley. This team is desperate for a quarterback. The only question is which one do they take.

4. Minnesota drafts Matt Kalil. With Blackmon off the board this is an easy selection. Alshon Jeffery tests out slow at the combine and Floyd's DUI history scares them away.

I expect a run on CB's at the end of the 1st round. While the team has certain needs they cannot pass on potential talent and that happens when they draft Alameda Ta'amu in the second round. If not him take the top DB or WR.

Same thing happens in the 3rd round when Mike Brewster is taken.

[ I won't bother bullshitting my way through rounds 4-7 though a guy like Dakto could drop due to his shoulder injuries]

I know, I know.. we cannot afford x, y, z but if you had Nicks and Kalil then you don't need Hutchinson or Herrera. Dumping Griffin, losing McNabb....we can clear some cap space.

Anyway you could be looking at Kalil, Nicks, Brewster, (Johnson/Fusco/Love), Loadholt as your new front 5. The only guy that would concern me is Loadholt with his inconsistency. Both Ponder and Adrian would tear up if they saw that line every Sunday.

Defensively adding Ta'amu and Sims inside is a big upgrade over Adoyele and Evans plus those two will require consistent doubles which only helps Kevin and JA.

Anyway I know we need DB help but we are not going to magically fix everything in one summer. The talent in free agency at CB is going to be overpaid because the top guys are mostly tier 2 guys.

I do expect Chris Cook to be back which will help.

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  1. Marrdro's Avatar
    Good stuff my friend. Haven't had a chance to look at the FA market yet so I will have to just give you my thoughts on the draft.

    Totally agree. Fix your OL by adding a Vet LT. Move Johnson to RG (I like Herrera but he can't stay healthy) were he is better suited, keep Sully at C and hope that a new LT will allow Hutch to get one more year. Draft a RG (or hope one of your bench guys will step up) just in case Hutch has issues.

    It will be a feeding frenzy for Luck and/or Barkley with both being gone in the top 5. That means we can move down a bit and still target a WR (Blackmon/Floyd/Criner) that would provide that big possesion kindof guy who can work the intermediate to long 5, 6 and 7 routes as well as to give Ponder a nice target in the red zone.

    If you don't like what you see at WR (and if Cook is let go) then you can go ahead and still target a Clairborn or Kirkpatrick in the first or get a Floyd or Criner in the second/late first.

    On a side note, I'm still on my DT soap box. Probably still in the minority, but we need a guy who can fill in at the 0 tech like Phat Pat used to. Really like the kid you mention Ta'amu but I think he will go to early. Geathers is a nice option, but will probably go late first, early second. A kid I've been looking at (3rd/4th round) is Dontari Poe. Mix him in the rotation with RDE JA, DT K-Dubb and LDE Griff and I think we will have something.

    Move Rob back to a situational rusher/backup, rotate Guion and Ballard with K-dubb and the DL might be able to not only collapse the pocket, but stop the run.

    Again, good stuff. Like what your thinking.
  2. Freakout's Avatar
    That is my old thinking. I haven't changed much though.

    I am praying we finish with the 2nd pick so that we can trade out of it. There will be several teams salivating over Barkley and RG3. The potential is there to really come away with another high 2nd and 3rd rounder while still walking away with a LT like Jonathan Martin.

    I like Brandon Thompson out of the DT's that may be available. He is so compact and explosive off the snap. De'quan Bowers has given credit to Thompson for the production he had at Clemson due to the doubles Thompson always draws. He fits the 43 DT more so than Ta'amu.

    I do like Ta'amu. I think he is a little bit more fit for being a 34 NT but he definitely could play in the 43. He isn't as quick off the snap as Thompson but for his size he is very athletic.

    Dontari Poe in my opinion is strictly a 34 NT. He gets no push up the middle. The guy is just incredibly strong and you can't budge him.

    I differ though on the Oline. I strongly believe Hutchinson is done, I don't want Charlie Johnson starting though I think he is perfect in a Artis Hicks role, and Herrera is always injured. Long story short you don't spend 100 million on a running back without investing in your offensive line. You don't draft a rookie QB if you cannot give him time in the pocket.

    As for receivers, Criner is way down the list. Dwight Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Marvin McNutt would all be guys I would take over him. Probably even Reuben Randle.

    The bad thing is I fully expect there to be a run on CB's at the end of the 1st round. We may have a shot at guys like Hosley and Gilmore but I would rather go BPA at another position of need rather than reach on those two. Couple of good safety's available though in TJ McDonald and Markelle Martin in round 2. Mark Barron as well though he is more of a SS.

    I have really been into the draft this year. Lack of any NBA games gave me too much free time.
  3. Marrdro's Avatar
    Check out this site. Its the one I'm gonna use as my base reference point for my mock, mostly cause it has a cool mock generator that will auto pick based on what you put in for team needs priorities.

    2012 NFL Draft Team Needs