1. I'm not at all saying that people who disagree with me are wrong, but in this draft, with our first round pick, I am all about drafting a player with the higher ceiling and not the higher floor. Call me a gambler, call me an idiot, call me a risk taker, but I would rather be risky than play it safe. When I play golf and am putting, I am always upset if I leave a putt short because I never gave myself a chance. This is why, among other reasons, I have justified in my mind picking Nick Fairley over Marcell Dareus.
2. Listening to Xanders and Elway on Wednesday was great. It was validating in a lot of ways and hammered home a point I have been saying for a long time. Elway said he didn't want to be in a position where he "drafts for need." He said he wanted to pick the best players and fills some of the needs through free agency. Thank God. So, when you hear people say we need to use our first four picks on defense only, I would disregard it. When you read a draft like a laundry list that says "Our first four picks have to be a combination of DT, DE, and LB" then please disregard it. This outlook is short-sighted and according to Elway and Xanders, they won't be employing it.
3. Like it or not, a new coach almost always makes his imprint his first year with defense, offense, and special teams. It is highly likely that John Fox equally eager to shape our offense and defense. There will be fundamental changes to both sides of the ball. EFX is probably not looking at their new jobs as if they are taking the baton from McD and running with it.
4. As I have said before, an all defensive or all offensive draft almost never happens. If you have unbalanced drafts, you almost always dig a whole where it creates major needs on the other side of the ball. I think the proper perspective in this draft, as long as the value dictates it, is about 60% defense and 40% offense, in terms of balance.
5. Obviously need is never thrown out of the window, as teams say they are picking the best player available but magically address a need at the same time. I go back and forth but I think we should look at this draft as roughly 75% best player available and 25% need.
6. I wish someone would have asked EFX about Ryan Harris. For the life of me, I have no idea what their intention is with him, or with the offensive line in general. There are days where I think he is definitely gone and other days where I think we will retain him.
7. Writing Patrick Peterson off immediately because of his position is short-sighted. I want a big fatty up front as much as anyone but five years from now I don't really care. Five years from now I will have wanted us to draft the best players with our picks and not the best positions. If EFX have Peterson ranked the best overall player in the draft, they would be foolish not to take him.
Without further, here is my final mock draft for the 2011:
1. Our #2 overall to Arizona for their #5, their 2nd, and their 4th. I realize that we are not obtaining as much here as the draft value chart demands, but I just don't see the Cardinals, or many other teams, leveraging their whole draft for Blaine Gabbert. Maybe I am wrong.
2. When the CBA is resolved, Kyle Orton to Tennessee for their 2012 2nd rounder.
1st Round: Nick Fairley DT
Listening to EFX talk about Fairley on Wednesday was very illuminating. They view him as a player that has tons of upside. According to them, physically, he has tons of room to grow and get better. They appear to like his competitiveness and nastiness. I do too. He was the consensus #1 overall pick just months ago and he has slipped since because he missed a flight and didn't look good in underwear?
2nd Round: Marvin Austin DT
I'm not sure if he falls this far. We have the luxury in this draft of having our biggest need in the draft, defensive line, being the strongest and deepest position available in the draft. Austin in particular reminds me a lot of Dareus because of his athleticism and ability to play all over the line.
2nd Round: Kyle Rudolph TE
Tim Tebow's new best friend. An immediate red zone threat. Rudolph, from what I have read, is a very underrated blocker as well.
2nd Round: Marcus Cannon OT
Cannon has the requisite quickness and athleticism to play right tackle. This guy will become a fan favorite with his size, nastiness, and strength.
3rd Round: Dontay Moch SLB
This pick is about the future. Very controversial I know. With proper coaching, I believe Moch can be an amazing player. It wouldn't be shocking to see him as our starting SAM by the end of the season or by his second season.
4th Round: Kendall Hunter RB
Very solid all-around running back. I'm usually not a fan of running backs in the first two rounds. Kendall Hunter is aggressive, elusive, tough, and would be a very good value here in the fourth.
6th Round: Ricky Elmore DE
Very necessary depth who may one day grow into a starter quality DE
6th Round: Chas Henry P
Best punter in the draft. John Fox gets a chance to make his imprint on special teams. A punt is not a bad play.
7th Round: Da'Norris Searcy S
Again, very necessary depth in the secondary.
1. Marcus Thomas DT
2. Justin Bannan DT
3. Roman Harper SS
4. James Anderson OLB
5. Mike Karney FB
6. Matt Prater K
QB: Tim Tebow
RB: Knowshon Moreno
FB: Mike Karney
TE: Kyle Rudolph
S: Roman Harper, Darcel McBath