The areas of need on the offensive side of the ball are right tackle, left guard, wide receiver and tight end. On the defense, we could use an outside linebacker to team up with Laurinaitus and Jo Lonn Dunbar. We could also use a safety to replace Craig Dahl.
Some players who will make things interesting just by coming back from injuries are Rokevious Watkins who was slated to be the starting left guard before he got hurt. Scott Wells was out as our starting center for quite a few games and his prescence was felt as soon as he joined the starting lineup. Brian Quick was drafted in the second round but never gave us the impact plays that we expected from him. Hopefully him, Chris Givens, Austin Pettis and Sam Bradford can spend some time during the offseason working on their routes.
On the defensive side of the ball, we brought in Trevor Laws to add to the DT rotation but he was on IR the entire season. That's another stud we can add to the mix for next year. I honestly feel that our front four is set and doesn't really need to be addressed through the draft. At least this year. In the secondary, Matt Daniels the safety from Duke was touted as one of the better safeties coming out but he was injured all year also. With Quintin Mikell, Darian Stewart and Matt Daniels we're one stud away from having a solid set of safeties.
Here is my mock: (click on the links for YouTube footage)
1A - Chance Warmack OG Alabama. Having Warmack, Wells and Dahl on the inside will give us one of the best interior units in the game. Steven Jackson will find more holes to run through and Bradford will have more time to find an open man.
1B - Terrance Williams WR Baylor. I'm not giving up on Quick but I think we are in a position to finally finish off our receiver corps this season. Having Terrance Williams, Chris Givens, Danny Amendola, Austing Pettis, Brian Quick and maybe Brandon Gibson will give Sam Bradford a bevy of targets to throw to. This could also open up holes for Lance Kendricks to roam the middle of the field and our running backs to come out of the backfield.
2nd - Oday Aboushi OT Virginia. It is my belief that the quality outside of Luke Joeckel as far as tackles is concerned is not that far off between the likes of Eric Fisher and either Lane Johnson of Oklahoma and Aboushi. I like the fact that Aboushi is from the ACC and has faced bigger named talent.
3rd - Phillip Thomas S Fresno State - I am not sold on the SEC safeties that are coming out this year. Phillip Thomas and even Duke Williams from Nevada are two solid players who are constantly flying all over the field making plays. Definite upgrade over Craig Dahl.
4th - Gerald Hodges OLB Penn State - Hodges from Linebacker U. is another all over the field type of player who will complement Laurinaitus and Dunbar.
5th - Chris Gragg TE Arkansas - at 6-3/236 Gragg is adept at in line blocking and also provides a large target who knows how to run routes.
6th - Dennis Johnson RB Arkansas - Johnson took the majority of the snaps away from Knile Davis at Arkansas and would be an interesting addition to the running back stable. He is adept at pass blocking, kick returning, catching passes out of the backfield and once he gets to the second level, he has been known to truck a defender or two. Very hard nosed runner.
7th - Jahleel Addae S Central Michigan - at 5-9/200, this kid is a head hunter who flies all over the field and makes some bone jarring hits. He could be brought in to compete for one of the saftey spots if Darian Stewart, Matt Daniels or Rodney Macleod falter during OTA's. Of course, the priority of these picks could change drastically according to what we can accomplish in free agency.