Dreaming out loud.
I like looking ahead to spring, free agency, the draft.
The one thing Childress initially got right was his "you build a team from trenches" speech. Initially we did just that.
On defense Pat and Kevin Williams anchored the middle of our defensive line. We traded, a lot, and brought in a DE liked Jared Allen.
At the time we signed Steve Hutchinson to a contract. A lot of people thought we were crazy to pay a guard that much money. Still adding Hutchinson was huge and the left side of our offensive line was feared (ok so the right side sucked).
Looking back, even though we had no sign of a passing game, we still moved the ball on the ground. I feel that it showed that with a capable offensive line we could still play .500 ball.
So I look at next year as the first thing we have to do is fix both sides of the line.
In Free Agency one of my targets would be to go after Carl Nicks. He won't be cheap but the Saints will probably be hesitant to give both guards a big contract.
Of course Dawyne Bowe is another that will be costly but would give us a lot of flexibility in the draft. As well as giving us a stud #1 receiver.
DT Pat Sims is another guy lost in the shuffle in Cincinnati.
LB Dan Conner really doesn't fit in Carolina with them switching over to a 3-4 scheme.
When I look at our record and schedule I cannot see us picking any higher than 4th and I do not see any of the other teams, except for Washington, passing us.
1. Indy drafts Andrew Luck. Trade him or keep him - either way he goes 1st.
2. St. Louis drafts Justin Blackmon. I have read a lot of opinions about them taking Kalil but you just drafted a LT that had a terrific rookie season. He looked to have regressed his sophomore season before his injury but this is a team with horrible receivers even with Brandon Lloyd and a weak interior line that gives Bradford no pocket to step up into.
3. Washington drafts Matt Barkley. This team is desperate for a quarterback. The only question is which one do they take.
4. Minnesota drafts Matt Kalil. With Blackmon off the board this is an easy selection. Alshon Jeffery tests out slow at the combine and Floyd's DUI history scares them away.
I expect a run on CB's at the end of the 1st round. While the team has certain needs they cannot pass on potential talent and that happens when they draft Alameda Ta'amu in the second round. If not him take the top DB or WR.
Same thing happens in the 3rd round when Mike Brewster is taken.
[ I won't bother bullshitting my way through rounds 4-7 though a guy like Dakto could drop due to his shoulder injuries]
I know, I know.. we cannot afford x, y, z but if you had Nicks and Kalil then you don't need Hutchinson or Herrera. Dumping Griffin, losing McNabb....we can clear some cap space.
Anyway you could be looking at Kalil, Nicks, Brewster, (Johnson/Fusco/Love), Loadholt as your new front 5. The only guy that would concern me is Loadholt with his inconsistency. Both Ponder and Adrian would tear up if they saw that line every Sunday.
Defensively adding Ta'amu and Sims inside is a big upgrade over Adoyele and Evans plus those two will require consistent doubles which only helps Kevin and JA.
Anyway I know we need DB help but we are not going to magically fix everything in one summer. The talent in free agency at CB is going to be overpaid because the top guys are mostly tier 2 guys.
I do expect Chris Cook to be back which will help.