First off, let me prelude this post with the statement that I know how ridiculously early it is to be looking towards the draft. That said, I love me some NFL Draft, and I'm simply going to look at the prospects I like most.
Okay, so a bit of background on what I'm hoping for going into draft day. For this draft I'm presuming Tebow has played well enough to keep him around a year longer, but not so well that we have a good record. I'm assuming we'll pick between 4 and 8, due to a fairly difficult schedule and an improving but still not great defense.
1. Andrew Luck:Obviously if we have the 1st overall pick, we need to take this once in a generation prospect. I really want Tebow to be incredibly successful as a Denver Bronco. That said, you simply don't pass on a prospect that is considered by literally EVERYONE to be the best prospect since Peyton Manning and John Elway before that. I don't think Luck will make it to the second pick, so I think as long as we're not drafting 1st overall we can avoid having to think about this one.
2. Quinton Coples: The more I watch of the Detroit defense, the more I'm convinced that pass rush wins football games. Watching them completely dismantle the Chicago Offense by repeatedly hitting Cutler was a thing of beauty. The best thing about the Detroit line is the fact that they have 9 linemen they cycle through, not allowing any of the individuals to get exhausted, causing a constant pressure on the opposing O-Line, rather than waves of pressure only on passing downs. Coples rotating through with Ayers, Doom, (and Miller in Nickel packages) would make our pass rush deadly.
3. Vontaze Burfict: I'm not sure if Burfict is necessarily the next Ray Lewis, but I think he's definitely the next great mike backer. He's a fiery defensive leader, something that I think we definitely need. Mays has been a very good middle linebacker so far this year. Burfict has the potential to be a great middle linebacker, if he can get past some character issues, and with the hiring of Jerry Butler, as well as the influence of Tebow in the Locker Room, I think character issues are going to be far less of a problem than they were in the past.
4. Trent Richardson: I don't like selecting runningbacks in the first round. I think that they can be found later on in the draft and have great careers. I wouldn't mind Trent Richardson being selected. He's a monster on the field. The way I would describe him is that he's like a combination of all the great runningbacks in recent memory, but to a lesser extent in each area. He's got vision only slightly less good than Reggie Bush coming out, combined with slightly less power than Adrian Peterson and slighlty less breakaway speed than McFadden.
5. Janoris Jenkins: We need a cornerback. Champ is playing really well when he's healthy, Goodman has been fairly solid, but is also growing a bit long in the tooth. Vaughn has flashes of brilliance between stretches of being picked on by opposing quarterbacks. Jenkins would be a top 10 pick in all mocks if not for the fact that he was kicked out of Florida for being busted with marijuana twice in 3 months. With the hire of Jerry Butler and the knowledge that Marijuana isn't an addictive substance so it should be easier to get him to limit the usage of, I'd be fine with picking Jenkins, as he seems to be the most talented corner in the draft to me.