dgan wrote:You know, I think you're right. It is hard to think of who we could draft (putting aside the QB questions for now) who is going to be a better younger player than the players we have. WR depth is an issue, and certainly safety. But this O-line is looking better every week in all phases of the game. Both Morency and Herron look pretty good.
Linebacker and D-line are serviceable, but I think defense should be the entire focus next offseason. And, if that is the case, we don't really need a top 5 pick. Which means we can have a respectable season and still get who we need.
Are they just messing with our heads, or is 8-8 a possibility this year? If we're going to play well enough to miss out on AP, we might as well have a decent season.
I would have to say that our starters at LB are quite strong. AJ Hawk is good. He's good compared to any player at LB, not just rookies. Barnett is a tackling machine even if he doesn't make the big play and Poppinga looks like a real solid run-stopper. Hopefully by next season either he or Abdul Hodge can develop into a real nice complete player since both struggle a bit in pass coverage (Hodge more than Poppinga, but he hasn't been playing...)
As for the Rest of the Defense... I think it's about time we get rid of Al Harris. He's always complaining about his contract, and if we could get a 2nd rounder or even a 3rd for him I'd make the deal. Woodson is locked up for a few years at least and he actually looks better than Harris this year. We need a decent safety opposite Nick Collins and that should be addressed in the draft (probably 2nd round, unless we have a low 1st somehow). The D-line rotation is solid and improving.
The offense: The O-line looks great!! Much better in pass protection than run-blocking, but we didn't even get sacked against the vikings. WRs should be good with Driver and Jennings both looking solid; QB who can complain; RB will be an issue. We can go with Ahman and Morency, but we need a Draft pick to compete. We could let Ahman go and draft a rookie higher to compete with Morency/Herron. To be honest we could really use a FB that can catch passes and not just fall down, someone who could break a tackle and pick up a first now and then. Henderson is all but done, and our other options aren't the best pass-catchers.