Quick a rundown of the picks…then some comments:
- T Bryan Bulaga
- DE Mike Neal
- S Morgan Burnett
- TE Andrew Quarless
- T/G Marshall Newhouse
- RB James Starks
- DE CJ Wilson
I was pleased with the Bulaga pick. I think he could help soon if needed and he looks to have serious long-term upside. I liked the Morgan Burnett pick too. We need safety help. In fact, a glance at the roster indicates that right now, safety is one position by total number where we lack. I depart from many by liking the Quarless pick. I saw this guy play and I think he could be an added weapon. We are not necessarily settled at TE. Sure Donald Lee hasn’t been used recently like he once was, but I also don’t know if he’s as adept at getting himself open as he once was. Havner could be decent yet, but I’m not sure. And as great as Finley appears to be, we’re an injury away from needing help. I think bringing in a young TE makes a lot of sense here. I like bringing in a guy like Newhouse too who may have some versatility to play both T or G (though whatever he plays in the NFL, I hope MM and staff start him at that position and keep him there – and my hope is that they’re bringing him in to play guard because that’s one area I think we’re weak at the moment.) Starks in intriguing simply because of some of his numbers, but he also seems to be a carbon copy of Ryan Grant. Tallish, strong, downhill runner. Wouldn’t give us much it seems in the way of a different style, but I suppose having two Ryan Grants running at you all game would get annoying after a while for defenses. (Yet another TT snapped up who has just recovered from a season-canceling injury.)
But I find TTs two picks of DEs very interesting. Much has been written about Jenkins and Jolly being free agents in 2011 etc. BUt one thing I’ve begun to wonder about a bit is this: are the staff and TT truly pleased with the play of the 2 starting DEs? I didn’t think they were that bad last year, especially in the first year of a new scheme. But I also didn’t think they tore it up. I wonder a little bit if TT picked these guys because he simply had them rated highly or if he thinks we need some depth on the line.
Overall, I’d have to say I’m neither disappointed nor pumped about this draft. It got off to a great start I thought with the Bulaga pick Thurs night, but thereafter it sort of faded into non-ness if you will. Perhaps it’s because I’m just not too familiar with the players picked. Perhaps it’s because I’m not convinced some positions of needs were addressed. I should admit that I’m pleased we’ve added 5 O-Linemen through the draft and free agency already. This is an area we need some serious improvement and some serious added depth. I do wish we’d taken a CB or two and maybe another LB (though the lack of attention paid to LB in the draft boosts my hopes for Desmond Bishop playing more). I also am not sure if there just weren’t any good punters available, but we could add another guy or two there.
For those disappointed in the draft, do take a look here – because some of those positions of need were addressed apparently in the free agency chaos. Among others, 3 more O-lineman were signed, 3 LBs, another RB, a CB and a S.