The thing that makes the draft so enticing and so addictive, is that there comes a point in the season (way too early for us this year) where there isn't much else to discuss. Henceforth, we look towards next season, the future, our first chance at redemption and retribution.
The coaching search is a part of that future, no doubt, as is free agency. We know which coaches the team is interested in and who they interview, it's pretty subjective although we all have our opinions, its subjectivity makes it a little less discussed. Free agency is always a matter of who is/will be available, who can we afford to sign or retain and who should we cut. While free agency is very diverse it doesn't come with the same excitement as the draft. Why? My educated guess would be that of the unknown, in that free agency isn't as much a risk as the draft is. Whether or not we sign Logan Mankins, Champ Bailey or Nnamdi Asomugha we know pretty much precisely what we'll be getting or missing out on, as much a sure shot as any.
The draft though, my oh my, the draft is a whole different beast. The draft gives us a chance to really play GM as it offers so many more possibilities, it is not only objective unlike the coaching search, but it is much more of a risk vs reward due to the unknown, unlike free agency, thus adding intrigue. After week 16 a few post were made and comments as well, under the assumption we'd lose in Philly and pick anywhere from 4-6. We all had our different scenarios and hopes for player A (Peterson or Fairley) to slide or player B (Prince or Bowers) to be available.
One week, one late game drive and a sure handed Jason WittenTD later, we found ourselves the victor in Philly, and slotted (as would be cemented later that night after the Seahawks game) in the #9 spot in the 2011 draft. This is where the draft talk really started to take shape and the options have broadened exponentially, from just players A and B to players X, Y and Z and trades just the same, some up, mostly down and a few not at all.
The one name that is still discussed and really the only one of the 3 or 4 discussed after week 16 that is likely to be available, is Prince Amukamara; barring a trade up (which I am against because of our multiple needs) we can forget about Peterson, Fairley and Bowers altogether...let it go. I would strongly consider Amukamara at 9 (very strongly indeed). I believe, despite his lack of top speed, that this kid has IT and he can be a shutdown corner in the league. Another dominant player likely to be available is Marcell Dareus, while I'm not as high on him as most, I wouldn't be opposed. Many have made their cases for edge rushers Von Miller and Robert Quinn, this I'd be on board for before Dareus, but still not my first choice.
The more I look at this draft the more I feel a trade down would be the best move for the organization (even if Amukamara is there at 9). When the initial trade down thoughts danced in my head, I envisioned trading into the mid-late teens, picking up Carimi or Sherrod and an extra 2nd. Ideally, I would've used the two second round picks on the best available FS and O-lineman. Assuming FS Rahim Moore goes end of first-early second, we miss out on him and grab Kenny Tate and get G Benjamin Ijalana with the final 2nd round pick and go BPA DL, SS, ILB in the 3rd and 4th. However, upon further investigation and stronger and more in depth analysis, I've come to an alternate trade down scenario that, as I type this fanpost is my preference, but it can - and most likely will - change (this is what makes the draft so fun).
So here it is... trade down into the mid-late teens , because FS and Oline are bigger needs than CB and Dline and FS and Oline are going off the board 12-20 (as of now). We could get a good trade partner I believe, because although the only obvious teams behind us looking for QBs are Miami and Minny I wouldn't discount Seattle (do they rely on Matt n Charlie again...shoulder shrug) at least raising the price to jump Washington. However I'm thinking now to go FS in the first because I believe that after the combine Rahim Moore will rise into the first half of the first round. I now take the best Olineman available with my first 2nd round pick, likely Demarcus Love or Stefen Wisniewski. With the next 2nd round pick I'd target SS DeAndre McDaniel, if he's still available. Then I'd go BPA OL, DL, ILB with the 3rd and 4th (making whatever provisions necessary to target oline with the 3rd). What do you think? How have your draft wishes changed?