We all have our own guys that we like in the upcoming draft. Our positions are probably pretty well hardened at this point. If you're anything like me, you've grown to love who you like and have grown to hate who you don't. But if you were the one charged with trying to build this thing for the future, how would you do it? I mean for real. What would be your blue-print? Show me your specs.
Me... I would take stock in what we have and have a long talk with Rex about the vision he had for some of the defensive players we've spent high draft picks on in the past. Tell me about Kyle Wilson; what was the vision, where is he in relation to that vision; can we get him there? Tell me about Demario Davis; how far away is he and can we get him there within the next 2 years? Kenrick Ellis; where is he at? Quinton Coples; how high is the ceiling, how close is he, is LB really where he belongs? Mo Wilkerson; was last year his peak or is he still climbing? I'd let Rex gush over his guys, let the dust settle, and then lock him in. It would be made very clear that he will be accountable for getting them to play at the high level that was envisioned for them. Especially Coples. If Coples can't be impactful at LB, then stop eff'ing around. Then, I'd turn to the upcoming draft and lean heavily towards the offense.
Irregardless [middle finger, its a word] of who sorts out at QB, I'm all but hell bent on taking the best tackle available. I need my line stabilized right now and into the future. I want a guy I can plug in a RT today that I can develop into my left tackle tomorrow. I need a guy that can be the fulcrum of my run-game-lever. Irregardless of who the QB is, I'm rooting my offense into the running game to protect him. If it's young Geno, he needs to be supported by a strong running game. If it's Michael Vick, I want defenses sucked up and sucked into the middle as much as possible. The guy I'm taking at 18 is the Hill of Kill-a-man-jaro, i.e. Cyrus Kouandjio. Kouandjio is a big man and he's extremely athletic. You can plug him in at RT immediately and he can anchor the run game, and he's athletic enough to transition to LT in a year or two when Brick is used up. Taylor Lewan is also a possibility here if he drops. Replenishing the core of the team is more important than adding on a shiny new skill position piece.
In the second round, I'm taking the best WR or pass rusher available. Rex has no input here as he'll be too busy worrying about how to get his guys to play at their full potential. WR in particular is a good place to find talent that would be in the first round in most other years. I'm looking for size. I want big targets in the middle and deep down the field. Guys with size and precision in their routes are more preferable. Guys like Robinson and Coleman. But if there's run on receivers, then I'm looking for an explosive athlete to rush the passer and help out my secondary. If no pass rusher gets me excited, I'm looking at Carlos Hyde if he's still around.
In the 3rd round, I'm taking the best RB on the board (assuming we didn't take one in round 2). I want a guy that can bang between the tackles and suck the defense up and in to help out my QB. I'm thinking Andre Williams or Terrance West. Either guy can take over for Ivory without missing a beat. Williams is more physically imposing, West can contribute to the passing game.
With the first pick of the 4th round, I'm taking JC Copeland. In a league that's ever more leaning towards spread offenses, the fullback is becoming less and less of a commodity. And thats why the 270+ lbs Copeland will probably be available. He will help solidify the running game because he clears whatever is in his path. Copeland leading the way for Ivory/Williams is sure to suck defenses up and in; and its sure to help grind them out in 4th quarters.
With the second pick of the 4th round, I'm hoping against hope that Aaron Murray is still available. He's the perfect guy to draft and stash in the middle rounds at the QB position. He's an outstanding fit for the West Coast offense. He's gutty and he's heady, and he hales from a pro style offense. But he's small and he's coming off an ACL so teams aren't likely to chase him this early.
This is how I'd build it. I'd focus on the offense, build inside-out. I'm not going to chase shiny lures and get hooked away from my long term plans. I need to protect my QB first and foremost. Whether that's my current young guy, my future young guy or my current mobile guy. The best way to protect your QB is with a strong OL and running game. When the QB shows that he can handle spreading out, I'll place more of a premium on quickness and speed and precision. But for right now, size matters. I want size and possession and red zone prowess. BPA is always a trump card. If you happen across a large and freshly killed carcass, you sit down and eat. Things don't always fall the way you'd like, but you gotta have a plan. And sometimes things not going the way you thought sometimes leads to a fresh kill that falls into your lap.
My Specs: strong OL, strong running game, size at WR.
What are your specs?