1.) ADDRESS HEAD COACH-the first thing I would do is hire Rob Chudzinski as head coach. I would like to keep Daboll as OC and Mike Nolan as DC, but if he likes someone else better, I would be ok with that. I like what he has done with the Panthers and Cam Newton this year. Maybe he can convince Ireland to actually pick some players from the U, instead of watching players go from right under our noses to make an impact on the rest of the NFL while we draft guys from Montana, Penn State, etc. I also think it would be good to bring some of that UM swagger.
2.) ADDRESS QB-trade the farm for the #1 pick. Whatever it takes, go get Andrew Luck. 4 first round picks is too much you say? From what I have heard about this guy he is the best QB to come out since Peyton Manning. I saw that when I watched him play. He runs the offense. I don't see any other college QB doing what he does on the field. Go back to the 1998 draft and decide if you would trade our full 1998-2003 draft for Manning, even though at the time we already had Marino. Believe me, we wouldn't have missed out on much.
1998 Draft-John Avery, Patrick Surtain(that really hurts but for Manning... done), Kenny Mixon(a roleplayer but he was never really an impact player on defense), Brad Jackson, Larry Shannon, Lorenzo Bromell, Scott Shaw, Nate Strikwerda, John Dutton and Jim Bundren.
1999 Draft-James Johnson, Rob Konrad(again another solid roleplayer.. but it is Manning we would get), Grey Ruegamer, Cecil Collins, Bryan Jones, Brent Bartholomew, Jermaine Haley, and Joe Wong.
2000 Draft-Todd Wade, Ben Kelly, Deon Dyer, Arturo Freeman, Ernest Grant, and Jeff Harris.
2001 Draft-Jamar Fletcher, Chris Chambers(way overrated in my book, dropped the ball whenever it counted), Travis Minor, Morlon Greenwood, Shawn Draper, Brandon Winey, Josh Heupel, Otis Leverette, and Rick Crowell,
2002 Draft-Seth McKinney, Randy McMichael, Omare Lowe, Sam Simmons, and Leonard Henry.
2003 Draft-Eddie Moore, Wade Smith, Taylor Whitley, Donald Lee, J. R. Tolver, Corey Jenkins, Tim Provost, Yeremiah Bell, and Davern Williams.
Saying I would trade five ENTIRE drafts is a little bit extreme I will admit it.But lets see if you can point out more than two players that were actually playmakers on this team? Y Bell has turned into a great player, but we had to suffer through years of injuries and mediocrity before he was actually useful to us. There are a few offensive and defensive linemen in that group, but they were either not starters, or not impact players. They were essentially warm bodies that stood in the way of the other team.
Most of the people on that list are forgetable, although some are unforgettably bad.That is a lot to give up, but consider the draft picks we would have saved for ourselves. If we have a franchise QB do we trade the farm for Ricky Williams only to watch the Wandstache run him into the ground and make him retire early? I say we don't. That would give us back our 1st round picks in 2002 and 2003(along with a lower 4th round pick).
We wouldn't have traded for:Sage Rosenfels(2003 7th round pick), A.J. Feely(2005 2nd round pick), Daunte Culpepper(2006 2nd round pick), Cleo Lemon(2006 5th round pick and AJ Feely), Joey Harrington(2007 5th round pick), Trent Green(2008 5th round pick), and Tyler Thigpen(2010 5th round pick).
We would not have wasted draft picks on:John Beck(2007 2nd round), Chad Henne(2008 2nd round), Pat White(2009 2nd round).
All wasted picks, resulting in more wasted years.
How many more seasons are you willing to trade away to keep your precious picks?10 seasons? We already did that didn't we? Do we want to hope that this time we will finally find that guy, that diamond in the rough only to be disapointed? You get what you pay for in the end. What we have gotten for ourselves is years of mediocrity and disapointment. Haven't we been down this path before? What are we going to lose? If we are willing to trade 2 1st round picks for a guy like Ricky Williams and then put the entire offense on his shoulders, we should be ok with giving up 4 st round picks for a QB that could actually make the players around him better. This is not to knock Ricky Williams, but that was really really unfair to him, to expect that he would be our entire offense.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, would we have lost a guy like Wes Welker if he had Peyton Manning throwing him the ball? I would argue... no .. we would still have him.
3.) Get Free Agents to fill the rest of the holes.If we have a franchise QB, it will be much easier to bring in free agents.
QB-Andrew Luck, Matt Moore backup(the best backup QB in the league). Do we need a 3rd string QB? I don't think so. If it ever gets that far your season is over anyway. You will probably be looking for another QB once your starting QB goes down anyway, and I am not sure if holding a #3 QB is worth the roster spot unless you have someone to develop. We don't.
RB-I like either Ronnie Brown or Peyton Hillis to compliment Reggie Bush. Both are free agents and I bet we could get a good price for both. If we keep Daboll, we might get Hillis to come here for a good price. I also wonder if Ronnie Brown might be willing to come back to the team that drafted him for a discount, now that things did not work out in Philly. Andrew Luck might tip the scales for him. If not, it is not that big of a deal. Roll with Daniel Thomas as a backup. It is still too early to call the guy a bust. He didn't have a full offseason workout program and maybe they can work on the guy's strength so he doesn't run like a little girl. He has the size to run with power, which is why I would like to see us bring someone in to show him how it is done. I would also not be against bringing back Larry Johnson to do that. I don't think we gave him enough of a chance here. The guy ran hard before we cut him.
WR-I think if we can get someone for a good price, we pull the trigger, but I wouldn't overpay for anyone. Our WRs are plenty good enough to make plays if we have someone that can get them the ball.
TE-I would like to see us get a blocking/pass catching TE to go along with Fasano, but if we can't find someone that can either go for when we do have draft picks, or we can find an undrafted FA. To be honest though, when have we even thrown the ball at Mastrud? Do we know what we have in him? Clay is going to be that pass catching TE we have been wanting... I can see it. We just need to get him the ball more.
O-line-This is where it gets interesting. Our starting line next season should be Jake Long(LT), Carl Nicks(LG), Mike Pouncey(C), Richie Incognito(RG), and John Jerry(RT). Carl Nicks can pull and Incognito can't. If we get him we move Incognito over to RG--his natural position. I think Jerry has done good enough at LT this year to be given a shot to start at RT. I think he is better suited at RT then RG, which is something I have been saying since last year(1st or 2nd game). It will be easier to draw Carl Nicks if we have a franchise QB, and I don't think the Saints will be willing to pay him this year since they shelled out for Jahri Evans last year. It would not be awful if we didn't get him, we wouldn't be too bad off with Incognito at LG and Carey at RG again.
D-line-another strength of this team. We have to let Paul Soliai go though. If we are going to pay Soliai big money anyway... I would much rather have this guy:
See how good he is at shedding the blocker and making the play in the backfield, instead of getting pushed back 2-3 yards and then making the play? We are talking about a difference of 3rd and 4 and 3rd and 10. That is a big deal.
ILB-do nothing. I would say resign Crowder, but I am pretty sure we are keeping Ireland and Crowder won't play for Ireland.
OLB-resign Ikaika Alama-Francis. I think him and Koa Misi can hold it down at the other OLB position opposite Cam Wake.
CB-I actually like where we are at CB also. Vontae and Sean Smith are going to get better as they mature. I like Jimmy Wilson and I think that Nolan Carroll is even getting better. Will Allen is getting up there, but he is still being productive and is a smart leader back there. When gets too old for CB, we could always move him back to FS. Yes, it is a different position. But he is an old vet and he knows what he is doing-- he can make that transition. I think the key to our coverage improving is realizing what type of players we have. We don't have zone coverage guys. All of our DBs are man coverage guys aside from Yeremiah Bell and Reshad Jones(possibly). Even our coverage LBs are better suited for man coverage than zone coverage schemes. The sooner we realize that and stop playing zone the sooner we get better in coverage.
FS & SS-I like Chris Clemons at FS over Reshad Jones. Jones makes some plays, but he blows some coverages. I do see Reshad Jones or Jimmy Wilson competing to take over for Y Bell when he leaves us.
K, P, LS-Do nothing. no reason to mess with any of those positions.