There is nothing like a horrible game to get my draft juices flowing. There is nothing that says "you better improve" than looking at players to replace them. This is a tough game, but there is no shortage of guys willing to take your place if you can't cut it. Here are the guys I am looking at to improve our team next year.
Even if Mangold comes back this week, we will still have problems on the right side of the line. We are hurting real bad right now with this O-line. It's going to need an infusion of talent and youth at right tackle. If Reiff comes out this year, he will be highly sought after. He is dominant at both run blocking and pass protecting; Both are qualities we need on the right side. The pickings will be slim for a quality tackle in free agency. If we let Hunter go, we will also be saving over $2 Million against the cap.
Round 2: Chase Thomas, OLB/DE, Stanford Height: 6-4. Weight: 239
Our pass rush received a small boost when we resigned Aaron Maybin. In his 1st game for us, he did something Gholston never did. We still need help at DE/OLBer. We will probably be losing Bryan Thomas and Westerman next year, to free agency. Pace is also getting up there in age. Chase Thomas has a great motor, and ability to get after the QB. He had a decent 2010 season, and seems to be continuing where he left off, this year. He should be the 1st OLBer we take if Curry or Bruce Irvin, are off the board already.
Round 3: Michael Buchanan, OLB/DE, Illinois (Junior) Height: 6-6. Weight 240.
Yes, I want to go OLBer two rounds in a row. As I stated above, we will be in dire need for bodies at this position. Buchanan is a little unknown at this time. He has a teammate that is just as good, and a better name (Whitney Mercilus). I am sure as the draft draws closer, his name will start to hear a lot more. He reminds me of what we thought Bryan Thomas was going to be. He has a motor that never dies, and the strength and speed to give any type of tackle fits. He is also really good against the run. If he declares, and is still available in the 2nd or 3rd, we should jump on him.
Round 4: Rhett Ellison, TE, USC Height: 6-5. Weight: 245.
We have all seen the benefits to a 2 TE offense. The problem is finding the right guys for the job. Keller is a great receiving threat as a TE, but lacks the blocking skills to be a complete TE. Ellison is even more of a mismatch as a receiver, but is also a decent blocker. With both skill sets on his utility belt, we can be a more potent offense down the line.
Round 5: Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin Height: 6-3. Weight: 217.
Next year, we will in all likelihood, be losing both Mason and Plax. I wouldn't mind keeping Mason one more year, since he seems to be an ageless wonder. Receivers will be in demand. It's a shame that Sanchez can never have the same receiving group going from year to year. Nick Toon might sound a little familiar to you guys. He is the son of Jets great, Al Toon. Nick Toon doesn't put up amazing numbers, but this is mostly due to the fact that Wisconsin is a run heavy team. He has decent height/speed, and his father's hands.
Round 6: Grant Garner, C, Oklahoma State Height: 6-3. Weight: 292.
I know we have Nick Mangold, but if anything has been made obvious, it's that we don't have any depth behind him. I would like to go into next year knowing that we provided our O-line enough depth at the most important position on the line, besides LT. Garner is the starting center for one of the most potent offenses in college football. He has been a big factor in their success.
Round 7: Sean Baker, S, Ball State Height: 6-1. Weight: 200.
We can always use a ball hawking safety. Jim Leonhard will be a free agent next year. If for some reason we don't bring him back, some depth will be needed at safety. His size is also a plus.
Pick for Lowery: Derek Moye, WR, Penn State Height: 6-5. Weight: 198.
I'm not exactly sure what the terms were of the Lowery trade to the Jaguars, but I'm going to assume it's a late round pick. Another WR with height, wouldn't be a horrible pickup.