2009 NFL draft (pt. 3)
11)Buffalo Bills – After their blistering 5-1 start, the Bills looked like the surprise team of the AFC. After QB Trent Edwards went down temporarily with a concussion, the Bills were never able to recover, dropping 8 out of their last 10 games.
What They Should Do: Buffalo’s defense was ranked a respectable 14th overall, but they were only able to collect a paltry 24 sacks as a team, giving far too many opposing quarterbacks enough time to pick apart a talented, but young secondary. Orokpo and Brown are already off the board, so Buffalo should go with the next best DE on the board, LSU’s Tyson Jackson.
What They’ll Actually Do: Edwards’ concussion was due to the lack of strength on the line, so the Bills will probably go for California C Alex Mack, deciding that the 11th overall pick is too high for Jackson.
12)Denver Broncos – Another team that was an early favorite before succumbing to a late-season collapse, Denver’s fall from grace was so shocking (with only 3 games left in the season), that venerated head coach Mike Shanahan was summarily deposed as a consequence.
What They Should Do: Let’s look at the stats. 29th defense overall, 27th rushing defense, 26th passing defense. Right now I could go into Ralph Wilson Stadium with a squad of midgets and blind people and still put up at least 10 points. Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy would be a great grab here, but really any defensive player would be a boon for Denver’s nightmare D.
What They’ll Actually Do: They will actually grab a defensive player; it just might be someone different, like Boston College DT B.J. Raji or Ohio State ILB James Laurenitis. But defense is the obvious move.
13)Washington Redskins – Washington was the last team in the NFC East, and as such needs more help than anyone in that division. The best word to describe this team would be “average”: decent offense, decent defense.
What They Should Do: If this team has any dark spots, it’s the tackle position, where they’ve been getting consistently burned by pass-rushers coming off of the edge. A good team addition would be Arizona OT Ebon Britton, a monster right tackle who could be a consistent lineman for years to come.
What They’ll Actually Do: We’re talking about Dan Snyder here, so think flashy playmaker. Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin is still developing, but he was probably neck-and-neck with Florida WR Percy Harvin for the title of “most electric player”, and he’ll probably have a great combine, so Snyder will probably fall hard for him.
14)New Orleans Saints – The southern version of Denver; prolific offense, terrible defense. QB Drew Brees, the NFL’s first 5,000-yard passer since Dan Marino, heads an offense loaded for bear, with heavyweights like RB Reggie Bush and WR Marques Colston. But in a division like the NFC South, noted for defensive monsters Tampa Bay and Carolina, the other side of the ball needs a serious upgrade if the Saints are going to compete on a consistent basis.
What They Should Do: One of New Orleans’ few defensive bright spots is LB Jonathan Vilma, but he’s going to be near impossible for the Saints to resign. If he’s still on the board, and it’s very likely he will be, Laurinitis is the logical choice for New Orleans, as the big, physical linebacker will be able to come in and play immediately.
What They’ll Actually Do: See above (so I’m lazy, sue me).
15)Houston Texans – Believe it or not, this team looks like it might actually be coming together. I know, I know, it seems like almost every season people say that the Texans are getting ready to turn the corner. But with 1,200-yard rusher Steve Slaton in the backfield, and QB Matt Schaub firing off at stud WR Andre Johnson, the Texans have the offensive pieces in place to at least compete deep into the season.
What They Should Do: The Texans secondary has been a complete embarrassment for years, with no visible leader to speak of. Missouri S William Moore isn’t a national name, and he’s not quite there yet, but at 6’1 and 215 lbs., he’s got the physical gifts, and could easily blossom into the ball-hawking DB this team has desperately needed.
What They’ll Actually Do: See above.