After a disappointing season and a team left in shambles, I think it's time to take a look at what we'll need to bounce back into respectability. We can start with the overall stats and where we ranked.
14.1 points per game (31st overall)
276.8 yards per game (31st overall)
198.8 pass yards per game (20th overall)
78.0 rush yards per game (31st overall)
20.9 points per game (14th overall)
319.4 yards per game (13th overall)
188.9 pass yards per game (5th overall)
130.6 rush yards per game (28th overall)
Looking at the stats, what does that tell us about this team? We can't stop the run, teams don't need to throw the ball to win, we can't score, and we can't run the ball. We need help up front in a big way on both sides of the ball. This may be the most unsexy draft in history, but I really think we should go OT, OT, DT, OG, CB, MLB, WR, DT, FB, K.
No matter how you feel about it, Brodie is going to get his shot at QB next year full time. We have aging corners but some youth in Brackenridge, Sapp, and Patterson. We're also young at the Safety position with Pollard and Page. I'm not sold on Pollard being a starting SS in this league, but he's invaluable on special teams and can lay the wood to any WR out there. Page has good instincts and good hands.
Our linebackers are supposed to be the strength of this team, all too often they disappeared in coverage this year. While it was a great story of Donnie Edwards coming home to KC, I'm not sure we get much more out of him next year than we got this year, though he did lead the team in tackles. Harris I'm not sure fits in this scheme the way we originally thought he would - though he's less of a libality than Bell in coverage. It's also time for DJ to step up, but I've been saying that the last two seasons. It may come to pass that he's just an average starting linebacker in the NFL - which I'm ok with if the talent around him elevates.
I'm solid on our DE's - even if Allen is tagged. He'll be playing again next season for a contract and I think Tamba will be forced to take a few plays off so he can stay fresh. High motor guys, whether they want it or not, need to rotate out a few series a game. We've got Turk McBride and I'm hoping he's learned a lot his rookie year and is ready to fill in next year in case we end up losing Allen to trade / holdout.
Who are our D-Tackles? Can you name them without using Google? Ron Edwards, Alphanso Boone, Tank Tyler, James Reed.... I'd say we need some interior help. I'm not going to bust too hard on Tank, he was a rookie and now has a full season under his belt - if the coaching staff can keep him motivated and his weight in check, we may have the run stuffer we're looking for.
We've got 10 picks this year and we're going to be picking in the top 5. This gives us a legit shot at Jake Long, the OT from Michegan. If St. Louis grabs him up above us we can go after Sedric Ellis (DT from USC) or Ryan Clady (OT from Boise State). With the quality of linemen in the first round, we may be able to trade out of our spot and garner a few additional picks, especially if McFadden falls in our laps and a team under us - the Jets, Carolina, or Chicago really want a shot at the next Adrian Peterson.
If I had to draft and they fell in my lap, this is who I'd choose and where:
Round 1 - (OT) Jake Long
Round 2 - (OG) Eric Young
Round 3 - (OC) Steve Justice
Round 4 - (WR) D.J. Hall
Round 5 - (PK) Sam Swank
Round 5 - (CB) Simeon Castille
Round 6 - (FB) Owen Schmitt
Round 7 - (LB) Ben Moffitt
Round 7 - (QB) Matt Flynn
Round 7 - (TE) Darrell Strong
I think that would give us some help in the areas that we need, target a few free agents, and we may get back to 8-8 next year.