(Note-The compensatory pick section has been removed. Thanks to Mooseram13's lesson, I now realize that compensatory picks apply to the following year.)
As a basis for player placement, I have used the most recent version (2/28) of WalterFootball.
Any player selected ahead of our selection is considered to be off the board.
Retaining Our Own
1) Some of our best depth players last season such as Fletcher, Hayes, and Turner will likely find starting gigs elsewhere. I would love to bring both Hayes and Turner back at salaries of less than 2 mil/yr, but I expect other teams will up that number. As such, and for the purposes of this Armchair, I do not re-sign any of those three.
2) Steven Jackson has been the heart and soul of this team for years. It is more than understandable why fans want him back. With that said, it is time to move on. I do not re-sign SJ39.
4) I cut Hunter to free up 4 mil with no cap penalty.
5) I cut H Dahl to free up 4 mil with no cap penalty. Despite Dahl being potentially our best offensive lineman in 2011, his play slipped in 2012. He turns 33 this year and is coming off a season ending injury.
6) Despite speculation as to what should be done with Mikell, I leave the situation alone. If he is willing to take a pay cut, great! If not, I let him play. He is a solid performer. Additionally, we will receive 6 mil (can be split over two years) in dead money against the cap if we release him now.
Free Agent Acquisition
I bring in no high priced / big name free agents. We have several big contracts on the books. We do not need to handcuff or handicap ourselves by adding more. Rather, at the end of the draft I look to add bargain veterans to fill out the roster. Cap casualties are a part of the game. Value buys will always be available.
Trades have always played a role in the NFL draft. Trading is a bigger factor than ever with the new CBA.
1) I trade pick 16 to the Denver Broncos for pick 28 and their second round choice (58).
2) I trade pick 28 to the Tennessee Titans for their second (40) and third pick (70).
In both scenarios, I have dropped 12 spots. Denver gave up a second to move up. Tennessee gave up a third to move up. I consider this to be fair value.
1-22) Alec Ogletree LB Georgia
Ogletree played both inside as well as outside in college. He played around 235 lbs in college. He showed up at the combine over 240. Perhaps this contributed to his slower than expected 40 time. Regardless, Alec is a tremendous athlete. For years we have suffered through an incomplete linebacking group. 2013 is the final year of Dunbar's contract. If we do not add a starting linebacker this year, we will again be looking at two holes in 2014. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7ZOXZcRZNM
2-40) Matt Elam S Florida
Many people view Vaccaro as the top rated safety in this class. I don't see it. Elam is not as physically large as some of the other safeties at 5'10" 208. However, he is a tremendous player. He plays the run as well as the pass. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rREjDTpTedE
2-46) Zach Ertz TE Stanford
Granted Ertz is a consolation prize to Eifert, but it's a damn fine consolation prize. He will challenge Kendricks for the starting spot as a rookie. Remember back to our week 17 game against Seattle? Bradford threw to 3 different TEs. Adding Ertz as, at worst, a number two TE allows for an expansion of the playbook. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OPC5Iy-NJo
2-58) Robert Woods WR USC
Woods went from being potentially the first receiver off the board to a second round pick due to injury in 2012. He appears to be healthy as he wowed at the combine. In addition to running a 4.51 40, he displayed nice hands and route running ability. I expect him to be a day one starter. He has a chance to develop into our number one wideout for years to come. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HntP81YXPxY
3-70) Barrett Jones G/C/T Alabama
Jones has successfully started at all three positions during the course of his college career. He will bring valuable depth to the entire line. I expect him to start as a rookie at right guard. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDS6WfFNMGE
3-78) Knile Davis RB Arkansas
Davis has had some injury concerns over his college career including two injuries to the same ankle. He did not show the same burst in 2012 that he displayed the year prior. Despite this fact, he was nothing short of incredible at the combine. At 227 lbs, he ran a 4.37 40 and put up 31 reps. With Pead and Richardson in the backfield, our running game should be adequate. However, adding a larger back with Knile's ability is an opportunity we shouldn't let pass. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV6hW2ggiO4
4-110) Chris Faulk OT LSU
Faulk is another player who saw his stock sharply decline from 2011. It was suggested he could challenge for a first round pick, but that is no longer the case. He played guard in 2011 but moved to LT in 2012. He played the position well in a tough SEC. At 6'5" 331 lbs, he is a beast. I speculate that he will be better served as a RT in the NFL. I expect him to compete for a starting spot as a rookie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS3i80dASgM
5-142) Akeem Spence DT Illinois
Spence will need to work on his strength as a pro. He has potential and will be a nice depth player. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGE75uXRPqk
On defense, this draft fills both our holes at safety and linebacker with our first two selections. In a division with two mobile quarterbacks, speedy defensive players will be a necessity. It would be disappointing to see anything less than a top ten finish by the unit.
We need an infusion of playmakers on offense. This draft provides a laundry list of them. With additions at TE, WR, and RB, we have the opportunity to become explosive on the offensive side of the ball. Despite holding off on early line help, an addition of a 3rd and 4th rounder is significant. The line can also be improved by adding a lesser priced veteran after cuts are made.
So that's it. Take a look at WalterFootball and see what players you might take with the above selections. What say you?