With the 31st pick, John Elway selects.....Everyone has great fun playing GM and speculating what players fall where and what would be the best position selected, where are the holes or weaknesses and so forth. Mock drafts seem more player centric than roster centric. That said, I've never seen a post that asks you to own the draft if you can try to think like Elway and build a roster to win "from now on." How does he look at the team this year and next. Next year you say? Did you know there will be 22 free agents in 2015 of one kind or another? So, in addition to strengthening the team in 2014, he must also consider next year as well...why? Money and potential openings. He must give draft picks a year to get up to speed and develop and he must resign our best guys. He must also consider the 100% injury rate, who will come back and who will step in...
So what can we tell from Elway's statements and actions to give insight to how he thinks? Elway seems to value production, play makers, physicality and character. So by position, let's look at the moves, absent releases/futures, and 2015 FAs [Rotoworld] as of this post:
LB: Elway says he doesn't look at the MLB role as others do - so an early pick needs to be a good 3 down guy - IF one is there. If not? Miller returning from injury. 2015: Yet Irving and Johnson will be FAs -and technically Miller. Brewer RFA and Marshal ERFA.
S: Signed Ward and Moore and Q Carter are coming off injury. 2015: Moore and Q Carter are FAs, Duke RFA
CB: Signed Alib and Harris is coming off injury. 2015: Harris and Carter are FAs.
DL: Sign Ware -returning from injury. Wolfe returning off injury. 2015: Vickerson, Unrein, Fua, Knighton FAs.
OL: Clady back from injury. They are now trying Franklin at LG, Clark at RT and signed a Center and Tackle. 2015: Montgomery, Franklin and Justice will be FAs.
TE: Set right? 2015: Yet all 4 TEs are FA's! Dreesen injured.
WR: Signed Saunders and Caldwell but WR 5 is open. 2015: Thomas and Welker FAs.
RB: Let Moreno go without replacement. 4th RB open. 2015: zero.
QB: All set. 4th QB for camp open.
So now you are John Elway...what are your priorities for the top of the Draft? Where do we need impact play makers? Who could start? Will all the injured guys return to form? How do we think about 2015 FAs and plan ahead? We might have plenty of guys at one position now, but next year? Should we get a play maker at open roster spots early if possible? How do all these issues intersect?
So instead of Mocking players, lets see what you would select for Elway's top three positions for the first 3 rounds in NO order. He just picks the best play maker from the board. For me, it would be DL, DB and WR, Why? I think you can get other positions mid-late draft for development and I am influenced by next years openings and backing up injured returning players as well. These guys need to be good enough to compete to start. Where will be the greatest impact? Pass rush -always, DB - we gave up too many points and big plays, WR - the best 10 will all be gone in first two rounds...we should grab a big DT like guy to replace Welker if he leaves next year and Saunders plays slot. Helpful if the guy can return punts too.
So be nice - first ever post. Couldn"t name all the combinations, so put your Elway hat on and give it a spin - make your own if not listed: