Defense Wins Championships
I've been giving a lot of thought to what we're going to do with the # 23 pick. I've been in the majority thinking we're going O-line, but I'm starting to seriously reconsider. Think about this:
1. I'm not convinced our O-line is as bad as everyone thinks. After all, FWP was on pace to be the leading rusher in the NFL until he broke his leg. We gave up a lot of sacks last year, but it was less than the year before, and with a line that was together for the first time, with very little opportunity to gel in the preseason. With the addition of Hartwig allowing Mahan to move back to a position better suited to him, with Big Ben getting more used to more used to calling protections, and with the line having all pre-season to gel (NOTE TO TOMLIN: please avoid the musical chair front line we had last pre-season).
2. This draft is deep in O-lineman. We can probably pick up a quality player in the second if not third or fourth round.
3. We had the #2 defense last year, but our pressure came largely from our linebackers, not our defensive line. We can expect more of that this year with the emergence of Timmons and Woodley as every down players, but it would be nice to get more pressure with our front 3. A penetrating D-line would certainly help to erase the ills of our backfield.
4. Speaking of our backfield.....it was DECIMATED by injuries last year. Polomalu missed several games, Clark missed half the year etc. I'm not so sure that with them back healthy we need to panic when a quarterback drops back. Still a need to be addressed in rounds 2 or 3, but not round 1.
With all that being said, I believe we are going defensive line with our first pick, however I'm not convinced that's going to be at # 23. I could easily see us trading back to the end of the 1st with the 49ers, or even further back into the beginning of the 2nd with the Falcons.
What say you?