Honestly, the more I think about this, the more I know we need to draft a safety in the first round. If Earl Thomas, or fingers crossed Berry is still available, we need to draft either one. Here are my reasons:
So, going into this season, we originally had five major need positions.
5.#1 Wide receiver
OK, so 2 and 5 were remedied by the signings of Dansby and Marshall. Before I go on, I wanted to mention how impressed we should be that the FO was not interested in signing guys who are "quick fixes." Meaning that we have learned from signing other teams' trash like Wilford and G. Wilson etc. We went out and spent money on two young (Marshall is extremely young) but extremely talented at their positions, easily top 5 at the position in Marshall's case and it's debatable in the case of Dansby.
So where do we go from here?
We are most likely going to pick up one of the remaining three with our first rounder assuming we don't trade down. While all are needs, Wilson was absolutely a massive part of our failures last year. From his zero playmaking ability, inability to cover, and inability to tackle as seen by the highlights of Jeremy Shockey and Dallas Clark stiff arming him into the ground. We gave up alot of big plays last year. We are very young in the secondary with Davis and Smith, and they need someone who can have their back when they are still learning. Bell is a great in the box strong safety, but he does not have the range of a centerfielder like Thomas or Berry. I have heard suggestions about converting smith to FS, but that's not what he is. I like our trio of allen, smith, and davis. They need someone to team up with bell because we were ABSOLUTELY BURNED on the back end on numerous occasions. We were even burned by tampa and almost lost to them. Wilson was BY FAR the weak link on our defense, and with the NFL being a passing league, we need to get with the times. We are going to be seeing welker and moss...holmes and edwards both twice this year. We are also playing against rice, jennings, c. johnson, ochocinco, boldin...you get the picture. If I were any other team, I wouldnt think twice about attacking our weakness which was our pass defense.
Our team tied the league lead for most 40+ yard receptions allowed, and I know you all remember these. I shook my head in disgust. Don't you all think if Clemons or Culver had any talent whatsoever, they would have replaced Gibril within the first 5 weeks? We obviously have no depth whatsoever at the cover safety position. We need elite talent to keep up with this league that is a definite passing league (as witnessed by last years SB).
So now to Nose Tackle...Yes, we do have a need for a nose tackle obviously with Ferg's suspension and his age. We eventually have to draft one high, but I actually think Solai filled in quite decently, definitely exceeded my expectations of him. Ferg will be back after 8 games, fresh and ready for a playoff run. Also, drafting a D tackle in the first round has been a shaky proposition at best. This draft is deep with D tackles, and I think Solai can step it up especially if he splits time with a 3rd or 4th rounder that we draft.
Finally, OLB am I the only one who was impressed with the play of Anderson and Wake? I know people say Wake is a one trick pony, but he looked every bit the part of the CFL player of the year. I think he is ready to take on some real responsibility, and I obviously want JT resigned for his experience, and obviously my love for him. Porter is gone, but I think he was outplayed by his backups honestly. Let the kids play and give them experience. Wake will never become the player we hope he will become if he is merely a situational pass rusher.
Outside of the first round, there won't be ball hawking free-safety types available. I think we can pick up a stud NT later in the draft, but Thomas or Berry will hopefully be a Miami Dolphin come next Thursday. Unless we sign Atogwe which I really doubt we will, we should pick up Thomas or Berry in the 1st round.