I was a member on these boards 5-6 years ago, but got busy with school and lost my account information - although I do still frequent the message boards.
I felt like sharing my opinion on my favorite part of the off season, the draft! Anyways, I'll get down to business:
Assuming we sign Beason, TT, Tuck to a small contract and a few other key FA's our biggest need on this team is obviously in the trenches, OL and DL. Adding beef on the line is essential. What I feel is another area of concern is a safety blanket for Eli, whose terrible season has been well documented on ESPN as well as these forums. We have seen that not having a legitimate threat to take coverage away from Cruz can do to our offense, and I fully expect Nicks to sign elsewhere this off season. With questions about whether or not RR is ready to step up in a full-time roll, I believe having a safety for Eli to look to is essential.
My guess is we win 2/3 in these final weeks and end up picking somewhere between 15-20.
Round 1: Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE University of Washington
I haven't seen many people talking about Austin Seferian-Jenkins, tight end from the University of Washington. I believe this kid is going to be an absolute stud, 6-6 270 with better speed than you'd expect from a guy that big. He set the tight end records for receiving yards as well as receptions in his first two seasons at the school and has only added on it this year. With Pope, whom I believe to be a terrific tight ends coach who works with what he's got, (ex. Boss, Ballard, Bennett, even Myers to an extent) I believe this kid would flourish in our system. (Yes even with KG, hopefully not)
REC YARDS AVG LONG TD
2013 33 413 12.5 34 7
2012 69 852 12.3 43 7
2011 41 538 13.1 47 6
Does well: Basketball background (two sport athlete at UW), helps him with boxing out defenders and can go up and get the contested ball. Catches really well with the hands away from the body. Not afraid to stick his nose in and block a defensive end. Giant of a man who provides a great catch radius for the unpredictable Eli. He is just a smooth runner even though he is so big - it's very fluid. I believe him to be a very good run blocker - from what I have seen of him when able to watch his games.
Needs work: Obviously needs to add strength to help him in pass protection/run blocking (but what college player doesn't need that?). I do think with proper coaching, he can get a better feel for the game (finding the hole in coverage and sitting down, coming back to his quarterback). DUI arrest was a big red flag but he has taken ownership and was admittedly humiliated and embarrassed from it and has been on the right track ever since. With proper guidance from Coughlin and leadership from the those in the locker room, I don't see this as being a habitual problem.
Round 2: Zach Martin OT/OG Notre Dame
I think this kid is the real deal. Real smart, big guy. Played Left Tackle for the Irish but projects as a Guard in the pros. I think he can be had early-mid second round depending on how he tests at the combine, this is certainly with my fingers crossed. I have gotten to see a ton of Irish games, my friend is an absolute ND nut, and I see this kid playing so well all the time.
Does well: Very smart kid, I believe he's a graduate student at ND. Very quick for his size. Big nasty guy who will finish the block and put a guy on his butt. I feel as if Martin is very similar to Snee in a lot of ways.
Needs work: Not much experience at the OG position, almost all of his starts were at LT, but versatility is huge for us. Could improve on his strength in run blocking and pass protection. Doesn't bend all that great but when moving it improves, if that makes sense. Overall needs work to his technique, but with coaching and strength training, I think this guy could do really well in the league.
Again, I apologize for the length but these are two players I am pretty excited about and certainly add beef along the offensive line which this year has just been, well, offensive on occasion. TE to help out Beatty and Pugh when needed, and new blood along the interior. I have a feeling we will be stuck with Baas for another year, although I am certainly wishing for a new C in FA. Hoping for Alex Mack from CLE if he does decide to leave, but that is a big if.
Anyway, let me know what you all think! Thanks.