Football Games Are Won In the Trenches
(My first post – I hope everyone enjoys it)
Teams that win the line of scrimmage, generally, win games. The problem is this - the last several years or so - we have been getting pushed around on our LINES (Defense especially). We seem to have addressed the defensive issue thus far. That’s the primary reason why I believe it is well worth it to draft OL in ROUND 1. Even if that means we reach at #11. With that said, "chew" on this.
If you look at last year’s draft, you will see that we drafted the BPA that filled a position of need – RB, LB/DE, CB, S, TE (blocking), ST, OG, WR, QB and C. Additionally, because 3-4 NT was not deep at all in last year’s draft, we passed on players like Ron Brace (who hasn’t made much of an impact quite yet); however we may have found someone with equal potential (who didn’t get drafted mainly because of character issues and the school transfer – Penn State - to a smaller program) – Chris Baker DT 6’3’’ 329 Hampton
So, the question is – what are our positions of need this year? Some may disagree, but a say (starting with the most pressing) G, C, ILB, WR, DE, RB, T and CB. My choice of G over C is basis on the fact that if either one of our Guards moves to the Center position we will have no dept at the Guard position.
Looking at the entire O-line scenario, it seems kind of odd that we have not picked up any interior linemen in free agency, that’s excluding Dustin Fry – C and D'Anthony Batiste – OT who signed future contacts. Therefore, my perspective on the draft is this:
Barring we can’t find a trade partner to move down in the 1st round, we select Mike Iupati G 6’5’’ 331 Idaho with the 11th overall pick. I know!!! People feel like this is too high to draft a G but, nonetheless, it should be worth every penny in the long run. You have a guy that is a perfect fit at LG who can move to RG if needed.
If we do find a trade partner, I say we stick to the script and draft Iupati anyway and accumulate an extra pick this year (4th round) and next year (7th round). A trade with the NY Giants at 15 is a good possibility and perfect position to select an impact G, they may be intrigued to make the jump to acquire – let’s say – R. McClain, D. Williams, J. Haden or D. Bryant, all positions of need for them.
After drafting Donald Butler ILB 6’1’’ 245 Washington in the 2nd we can again focus on getting more beef.
We may have to make a move (surrender our 3rd, Tony Scheffler and next year’s 7th) to jump up to the late 2nd / early 3rd round to select John Jerry T/G 6’6’’ 328 Ole Miss. He can compete with Kuper for the RG position. If he fails to win the job, he can back up RG and RT (in case Harris goes down or isn’t quite ready). This pick will indeed carry great value. If we are going to go with a power blocking scheme, well – let’s get some power hogs in here to move the house.
(1617 lbs; avg. wt. of 323 lbs) NOW THAT’S POWER to build upon for years to come. What’s 3rd and 1?! Hell – these boys could move a mountain!!!! From here we are set @ O-line until future notice. Football is won in the trenches.
Iupati and Jerry are my choices because they're not only BIG, but they're very athletic, versatile players who could eventually play four position along the line - all except maybe C; possibly, Iupati can play C with those shorter arms and raw talent. He can be molded at any line position - I strongly believe.
Now, I do realize that many people are not comfortable with our current Center situation - Fry, Olsen, nor Hochstein. Many prefer M. Pouncey. Yet, my belief is that we don’t need the best center, just a good one. In this system, he simple needs to be a smart, hard-nose type who can push the pile and not have it pushed every other play (i.e. Wiegman, no disrespect intended). Considering the possibility of a trade down, we would have two 4s, one 6 and one 7th round pick remaining to address the need. There will likely be candidates available in the ensuing rounds, such as J.D. Walton 6’3’’ 300 Baylor (possibly), Eric Olsen 6’4’’ 306 Notre Dame, Ted Larsen 6’3’’ 304 NC State and Jeff Byers 6’4’’ 301 Southern Cal.
HOW WOULD YOU GO ABOUT FINISHING THIS DRAFT?
I’m more than curious to find out
THIS IS HOW I WOULD FINISH IT:
We still have #15, so with the first 4th we select Eric Decker WR 6’3’’ 217 Minnesota. Good possession WR who excels at run blocking. Ideal fit for the #2 wideout position, maybe not immediately but sometime in the near future.
With the second 4th we select Jeff Owens DT/DE 6’1’’ 304 Georgia. Bottom line, this is our steal of the draft: A sleeper pick that can come in and immediately challenge for the starting DE position. I did my scouting on this guy, and if he stays healthy he is a beast. He had a great Senior Bowl and his combine #’s are ridiculous - 4.97 40; 44 reps @225 – Ridiculous!
Football is won in the trenches.
Position of need is still necessary at this point, so with the 6th we select Charles Scott RB 6’0’’ 238 LSU. Because we are not sure that J.J. Arrington will ever return to his previous form, we need an extra RB who can tote the rock. Plus, Scott’s size and speed will replace that of Hillis and Jordan.
With the final pick I look to pick up a special teamer who can compete for a roster spot. With the 7th we select Nolan Carroll CB 6’0’’ 204 Maryland.
After it’s all said and done, I failed to draft the second most needed position – Center. Things that make you go hmmm!!!!