There is no bigger need on this team than help on the offensive line. I'm going to dive in a little bit and get a feel for the players that may be available at pick #22. I think we may have issues at the WR position. We also have a glaring need for a true return specialist. And yes, there is a WR out there who can step right in and return kicks. I'll tell you what we MUST do in the second round to acquire the guy after this jump.....
So our run game was well below the league average this season. Time after time we gouged our eyes out at the sight of one of our RBs having to elude a defender in the backfield. So many negative plays on first down can be attributed to poor run blocking by the offensive line. It's simple, right? We have the higher first round pick than we've grown accustomed to in recent years. So we should spend that pick on an offensive lineman that can immediatley contribute. Lets face it. Ryan Diem is nearing the end of his career. He's truly become a turnstile at RT. It's hard for a rookie to step in and play LT in the NFL. Oftentimes, highly drafted OT's come in and play RT and eventually get moved to LT when they've adjusted to the speed of the NFL. I am firm in believing that we should not move up or down in the first round. With the 22nd pick we should be able to get that elusive offensive lineman we've been missing since Tarik Glenn hung it up after Superbowl XLI. Derrek Sherrod fits that bill quite sufficiently. He is a lighter OT that is very good in pass protection and is also good in run blocking. If we can get him, it would be huge for this offense. We could immediately replace Diem at RT. Or, we could re-sign CJ and move him to guard and have Sherrod play LT day one. He is the only OL prospect I believe would be ready to step in and play LT in the rookie season. If for some reason Sherrod comes off the board, the next guy that should be targeted in Nate Solder. He is truly all around athletic. He's a former tight end that bulked up and moved to OT. He can play RT or LT. I would suspect that he would start at RT in his rookie season. Either way, I believe we will end up with one of these two guys at pick #22.
Our future at WR is becoming uncertain. Unfortunately, Reggie Wayne is no spring chicken. That's not to say that he doesn't have many years left in him. He has been having issues with knee problems as of late and that is a scary thing at the WR position. One day, those knees are gonna go and are gonna go fast. As for our "#2" guy, Pierre Garcon, he has been inconsistent. He is feast or famine. Lives off the big play. He was dropping a ton of passes early on. Although I still have faith in him and do think he has some more upside, it is unclear if he will meet his full potential and its basically a wait and see game in the back half of Mannings career. Manning is going to need a guy he can count on. A guy who has the hands and speed to make the play. Which brings me to Austin Collie. He has been a key player in this offense. We struggled without him. His health has become a concern. If he suffers any more concussions, it could be a career ending scenario. Love the guy and wish the best for him. He is exactly what we look for in a slot reciever. The beauty is we can move him inside or out and he will always manage to get open and catch the ball. Then we get to our #4 spot. Blair White/Anthony Gonzalez. Something tells me that one of these guys will not be on the team next year. I have a feeling that it may be Gonzo who's getting the bus ticket home. His health has been, well, it hasnt been. Thats the problem. He cant stay on the field. Which means he is not practicing or gaining any sort of timing with Peyton. He is still under contract and we may be able to use him as trade bait for any team that is WR needy. Our return specialist, oh wait. Nevermind. WE NEED TO FIND A RETURN SPECIALIST. With these issues at WR and a glaring need for an explosive returner, I've got a plan to move up in the second round. We trade our second round pick along with Gonzo to move up near the top of the second round and draft WR Austin Pettis. The guys is exactly the type of reciever Indy loves to draft. An incredible route runner with top end hands. He isnt the fastest guy in the world but he uses his great ability to cut and break free from defenders. He catches EVERYTHING. He is an amazing reciever in traffic. He is also very smart. Just the kind of guy Peyton needs for the back half of his career. The guys has return skills and could immediately step in to return kicks day one. Eventually he would be able to work himself into the lineup and take the #2 WR spot. I want this guy to be the future of this team. He is a long term answer at the WR position for this team. Unless of course Bill Polian gets some of the stuff im on and gets the wild idea to give Arizona whatever they want for Larry Fitzgerald.
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.