After breaking down those areas we consider "need" areas, I would like to go into more of a breakdown coming into the draft in the positions we are "set." Mike Shanahan has never been known to leave any area alone if he feels a good player or a need is there. The last part of the Extra Credit Series will look at areas on our roster we could improve and the guys we can possibly bring in to help that. Onto the piece.
For the moment this position looks set. We have some veteran guys who are good and a couple of up and coming kids who could be good in the next few years. With Hamilton, Holland and Alexander there, we have leadership and guys who can break down the Zone Blocking Scheme to Kuper and Snell. At first you look and see 5 guys who provide depth and experience, I notice these slight problems:
~Hamilton while a quality player is very injury prone.
~Holland worked out decently for last season but doesn't seem to look long term
~Kuper could end up playing some time at tackle
~Alexander is a career backup
~Snell probably wouldn't have made the team in Nalen and Hamilton weren't injured.
Hamilton can ease my fear by just plain blocking in every game next year not too much of a concern however an injury of any type will raise my blood pressure a bit. Holland may well have found his niche in Denver but with Kuper coming up and the future additions, he could very well become a back up and mentor in the next two or three years. Kuper is said to have superior talent. He looked good in limited game time last year but if Mike's comments are taken for what they are, he could see a lot of time at tackle which would hurt his development as a guard. The thing that I do not like about Alexander is he has made a name for himself as a back up. In his 5 years in the league he has notched 15 games with 11 of them coming because of injuries to our line last year. Isaac Snell could very well have talent but he hasn't been on a game roster other than this year with injuries and playing a back up role. Overall I almost feel as worried about our Guards as I do out Tackles. However, with 5 guys on the list and two young guys I am not as worried. That being said here are the draft prospects for you guys to look at:
Brandon is a player who is just a great athlete as well as a smart kid. He did a good job at Virginia reading top tier defenses and allowing very little penetration into the backfield. Fairly fast and agile, he could excel in a zone blocking scheme. Rumors, including Guru's interview have the Chiefs taking him in the first round. He could be looked at in the first by us as well.
Chilo has the advantage of playing for a pro style college team. While not as fast as Albert he is extremely strong and has been known to help defensive lineman leave their feet on a play. While people rate him as a second round talent he could go as high as 25 come the draft. He is another agile and coachable player.
Another USC guy who is fast, strong and agile whos durability cannot come into question as he was a four year starter at USC and never missed a game. Once again he is coachable and bright. Drew does well playing at the second level.
For a big guy he is very very fast. Although he is a workout guy he did well at UCONN. Look for this young gentleman in the fourth or fifth round. Could very well be a starter in one year without question.
Once again Walter and his guys do their part.