Who is going to be the guy? Who will Idzik actually pick? Not the guy that you want. Not the guy that you think makes the most sense. Not your personal man-crush. But lets try to get into the mind of Idzik. Lets take a step back and look at the whole picture as best we can. Look at the cap, look at the roster, look at upcoming free agent, anticipated decline in play and departures, look at the coaching and player development... Who will the real pick be?
[**Lets leave trades (up/down) out of the scenario because they're impossible to predict**]
I think Idzik is going to take Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Bama. 6-7, 322, 16% body fat, basically 36' arms. He displays really nice athleticism but is a bit raw. He's only 20 years old (21 in July) and has some room to improve. Some concern was raised about his having a degenerative knee when some teams checked him out at the combine, but Dr. James Andrews said the knee is fine. Charlie Casserly made a pretty good point on NFLN the other day when he said that if the knee thing does become an issue it'll probably be right around the end of his rookie deal, so you can just let him walk at that point.
I think that when you look at our team and look into the future, it becomes alarming clear that we need to replenish the talent at OL. Brick and Nick are at the end of their careers and are declining. We need to start replenishing the the OL talent core right now, so that the transition from Nick and Brick can be smooth. We also need to be mindful that we're going to have a young QB (be that Geno or some rookie coming soon) whom we'll need to protect adequately so that he can develop.
Kouandjio fits the bill perfectly to me because he can play RT immediately, and the consensus seems to be that he'd perform there at least as adequately as his former linemate DJ Fluker. We can park him there for a year or two and develop him to take over for Brick at LT. If he doesn't develop enough to make the move, the worst case scenario is that we have a solid RT for the foreseeable future. The knee is a bit of a question mark, but if Dr. Andrews is good then I'm good. I'm not really concerned all that much about his technique because he's so young and has time to develop.
Another option is Zach Martin who I also think has some positional flexibility. He can play some RT or be kicked inside and be a top knotch OG. I went with Kouandjio because I think he has enough talent and upside to man the LT spot in a year or two.