In looking at many mock drafts, it is clear who most people think we should draft Xavier Rhodes. For those of you who believe that OT is the most critical then you are going to be disappointed because none of the 3 LT's will be available. In addition, I do not think that we will move up to 6th in order to acquire one because we would have to give up a 2nd round pick. This also means that we will not draft Milliner unless he falls for some reason.
For those of you who want us to draft a CB first then we better do it at 12, because Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Pittsburgh could all be interested in drafting a CB. Thus both Rhodes and Trufant could be gone in the first 17 picks. The good news is that there are a lot of options for DB's and OL in rounds two and three.
Another popular option at 12 has been Tavon Austin. I agree that he would be a good pick for us, especially if we were one player away from a championship. He reminds me of a player from the 1980's by the name of Anthony Carter who was a terrific player at Michigan. However in my mind, the best option is to draft a TE with our first pick.
I am not referring to our pick at 12, but to move down and there are plenty of options with such teams as St.Louis, Dallas, Minnesota,etc. In most mock drafts, TE is not considered until 19th or 20th at the earliest. As long as we make this pick by 23, then I believe that we can select either Tyler Eifert or Zach Ertz.
This will help our team in several ways. One it would give us more picks in either the 2nd and/or 3rd round. Secondly,one of the biggest problems that we have had over the last several years has been our RZ offense. We have not been very good and an offense's best friend in the RZ is the TE.
Finally, if we are serious about playing Martin at LT, then either one of these guys will be able to help him. Both guys can block and with excellent coaching should improve over the years. Finally, Ireland mentioned that he has a very good idea of what he wants to do in this draft in regard to core positions along with looking at the draft board horizontally. This means that players that he did not target originally are still on the board for whatever reason and rather than drafting for need he ends up selecting a player that is too valuable to pass up. In last year draft that was Lamar Miller. In this year's draft the players that meet that criteria include Marcus Lattimore, Tyran Matthieu, etc. This is the strategy that I hope happens in this year's draft.