What up BBV. We're about about the quarter mark of the season, and already we are starting to see how the team is starting to shape. It looks like we got our franchise QB to this point, but we'll get back to that later in the season with more games, we have a fantastic set of weapons, an ascending LT, and some real nice pieces in place. With that said, we have some holes. Our ability off the EDGE is lacking. While our OL is playing better then most expected or hoped, it's still over performing IMO. Not to mention, I think this team misses Blake Martinez, and while I was very satisfied with him as our long term ILB, blowing out his knee is a hurtful shot. Those are the big hits for us. Other things I'm keeping an eye on are our depth at WR, mainly our speed guys. Ross is on a one year deal, and if he shows himself to be a real improved player, we may not be able to keep him. Not to mention Slayton will be up for contract and Shepard for all his ability always seems to miss games. WR isn't a priority, but I'm definitely looking for one with speed, in the 4.5 and lower range. I'm also looking for another TE, as far as I'm concerned, Engram should not earn another contract with us. But this is a low priority for me also, end of day 2 start of day 3 thing, for both of these. Those are my priority day 3 targets, but I'm also gonna keep an eye out for RBs, safeties, CBs, and any other value gets. Now let's go over the mini mock. It's just 3 rounds of drafting given where we are in the season. I used the Draft Network simulator for this mock.
1) Evan Neal, OT, Alabama- 5th pick in the draft, and Evan Neal was a slam dunk here. I was hoping for Aiden Hutchinson honestly, but he went right ahead of me, and somehow, I will try to live with a phenomenal OT talent like Neal. How's that for a potentially elite pair of starting OTs with Neal at RT and Thomas at LT?
1) George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue- I was real tempted by DeMarvin Leal, and even thought about Drake Jackson. But I've enjoyed watching some of Karlaftis to this point. High Ceiling and high motor player. Karlaftis has a lot of hype to him, and pairing him with Ojulari would make for a nice improvement for our pass rush.
2) Christian Harris, ILB, Alabama- Can't sleep on the linebacker spot. Not sure how Martinez will look on his return, and this makes us insulated in the middle of the defense when Martinez's contract is up so we don't have to worry about dealing with the cap there.
3) Ikem Ekwonu, IOL, NC State- Very athletic and versatile interior defender. Experience at LT and LG, and that is a big plus. With Neal earlier, joining Thomas on the OL, this should really put us over the top on the OL.
3) Cade Otton, TE, Washington- The Engram replacement. He has excellent receiving ability and is a dog blocking. Not overly athletic, but that's ok, he can make plays, and still has some room for improvement. Otton can provide us with a quality TE, that while maybe not a star, is a reliable long term security blanket and weapon.
So that concludes my mini mock draft. Big emphasis on the OL and defensive front seven. I think as the team stands, going this route will benefit us truly, especially if Daniel Jones play confirms he is a franchise caliber QB. A franchise QB, solid OL, and solid defense are the minimums to long term contention. We appear to have the 1st to this point, and are close to having the last two. This next draft can put us over the hump.