One thing a lot of us probably forget when it comes to thoughts on the draft is how much the prospects that may be in NEXT YEARS draft impact this one. Now I don't exactly mean that teams start hanging their hopes on certain individuals, but what that draft is strong in. For example, this draft is weak in early round DTs, Cs, and Safeties (as compared to the last 2 years for example), but strong in CBs and WRs. Last years draft was weak in early round WRs and LBs, but strong in Dline and OT prospects. By that I'm not calling AJ Green and Julio Jones weak, but that there was a big drop off in prospects at that position that would be considered immediate impact players. This is one reason the Falcons felt they had to jump so far forward to grab Julio.
For example, say you were a team who had a need at CB because some of your players were going to be FA's/retiring/or possibly going to jail 2 seasons from now (cough, cough...tampa bay..cough), but the current draft wasn't particularly deep in CB depth and most players on your board may be reaches or talent that would need developing and not likely to provide immediate impact. Next years draft, though, projects to being VERY strong at CB depth in the early rounds. You know that the current draft could fill more immediate/other needs such as D-LINE. So instead of reaching, you put your CB need on the backburner, maybe sign a stop-gap FA or UFA and fill your D-LINE need now. Next year rolls around and you still REALLY need CB depth and are now in prime position to possibly grab a couple of immediate impact guys at that position.
We know that Hurney and Rivera will sit down (and probably are doing so right now) and draw up a roster board. They see all the guys we have and start figuring out needs and future needs and differentiating between importance of these needs. Obviously they'll be better at this than us. Then they look at the draft and start checking out individuals and building their draft board. As such, going off the quote from DB coach Wilks, I now think there is practically 0% chance we don't come out of this thing with at least 1 new CB. The draft is just too talent heavy at this position early on, so a lot of our board will likely have CBs. Now here's where the next years stuff comes into mind. We know we'll need depth at S since Martin will be a FA next year, as well as Otah at RT, and Gettis and Lafell will be entering the final years of their contracts. If TD goes down again we'll also have a HUGE need for an OLB then (though it's only a Medium need now). This years draft, as mentioned earlier, is weak in high round Safeties, especially where we draft. This is a reason why many of us think we'll only take a flier on a late round one.
Before I get to the whole point of this I have to mention one more thing: One of the coolest things on Walterfootball is that they do mock drafts for the 2013 draft based off of the mocked prospects for this year. http://walterfootball.com/draft2013charlie.php is the link to the most recent one for 2/7/12. Obviously things change, unknown prospect rise, guaranteed 1st rounders fall and blah, blah. But just looking at the projections in this I see lots of CBs, LBs, WRs, and, a position that will make several people perk up, SAFETY. I don't see as many D-Line prospects, so it appears that once again we may have a draft weak in DT.
When it comes to our draft position we have a chance to take a CB (HIGH NEED), O-LINEMEN (MEDIUM NEED), or take the first of the top 2 DT's (HIGH NEED). Looking at next year's projection (at this current time) we'll likely be in prime position for a WR, OLB, or S all which will be probably bigger needs come next year than this one. So what this does for me is make me rank grabbing CB's and DT's higher priorities than either of the other positions. Luckily for us CB is deep this year. So if I'm Hurney and Rivera I may put a bigger emphasis on the evaluation of the DT's for early consideration since I can grab an immediate impact CB in the 2nd just as well.
So all those words were basically my way of saying that I think we'll go for DTs Devon Still or Michael Brockers in the 1st and a CB like Stephon Gilmore, Chase Minnifield, or Jayron Hosley in the 2nd. Otherwise, it's possible that if we seriously stick completely with our BPA strategy and Kirkpatrick is on our board a spot higher than say Still/Brockers we could end up doubling up on CB simply because this draft is so deep at that position. I don't think we'll do this which is why I'm picking the former. We probably wind up taking a S or WR next year and instead fill our final round with O-Line, LB, and Special Teamers. I'm thinking a OT/G, a LB, a P, a HB return specialist since any of them will be better than Josh Vaughn as a #3 guy too, or a DE.
I know that was wordy so I hope it all makes sense; it's just something I've been thinking about for a while.