So, the season is over. Now what? Time to look ahead of course.
The East-West game is 1 week away, the Senior Bowl is 2 weeks away, a good time to look at how the top prospects in the country compete against each other. Its that time of year where every fan starts scrutinizing the roster, looking at their performance from the past year, their future contract status, and the potential of whether they stay or go.
Most can agree, its the defense that needs the infusion of talent via the draft. The offense is pretty much set at WR with Djax, Maclin, Avant and Brown. Curtis will be gone. and at TE with Celek, Ingram and Rucker (the team loves him) Alex Smith will be gone. At RB with Shady, Buckley and Weaver. Bwest will be gone. and at QB, with McNabb, Vick and Kolb. At least 1 of those guys will be gone and QB isn't a major need. If 2 are dealt, well another QB will be needed, but it won't be a high pick. AJ would like be signed to be the backup in that scenario.
That leaves the O-line, and with the tackles set with Peters and Justice, 27 and 25 respectively, Herremans at the LG spot, that leaves the Center spot and Right Guard spot open to competition. Jamal Jackson is gone til at least the start of next season, and even that is up in the air. Cole looked below average in relief, and really regressed from the season before. MJG is awful and will likely go. Mike McGlynn had few sightings in 2010, which is strange considering he was a highly touted lineman coming out. Perhaps the team wanted experience in their with Cole, over the unknown potential of McGlynn. The Andrews bros. are the biggest wild card in all this, but Stacey would have to resign (after we decline his option) at a lower cost. Shawn's contract is reasonable to protect an asset. We do have Fenuki Tuopo on injured reserve (our patented technique of keeping a young player we like, without having him on the roster), and he was a high regarded lineman out of Oregon. So it can be assumed as a given that we need an interior lineman that can play Center and Guard.
That guy, imo, is Maurkice Pouncey from the Florida Gators. Free agency doesn't offer much in terms of an upgrade, and prior to Pouncey declaring, the draft looked weak at that C/G spot as well. At 6'5 320lbs, Pouncey has the size to handle good DT's that give us trouble (see Jason Ferguson), and the experience of playing on championship teams. He is the starting Center on a great Florida O-line, but can play both guard spots, and even right tackle. He'd be a stretch to go in the 1st round, but you never know how a good combine showing will boost a players value. He should be there in rd 2 and if we have the chance, we should draft him. Talent on the field and off the field, Pouncey is the exact type of interior lineman we need to add. Another piece for the 2nd youngest roster in the league.