The 34 simply doesnt work with an old Mike Vrabel and Adalius Thomas. Neither can generate any sort of pass rush this year at all. It's still a mystery where we will end up drafting but I will assume its in the 15-24 range. But we have two 2nd rounders and possibly two 3rd rounders. Moving up to take a high impact player could be in our best interests.
1. George Selvie - Best pass rusher in college. Potentially a Top 5 pick. Could slip due to lack of size. Would be a perfect 34 OLB... 6'4 245lbs... quick off the edge and a great motor. Linebacker speed.
2. Brian Orakpo - Top 8-15 pick... could fit the 34 OLB as well. Might be a bit of a project. Will definitely impress at the Combine and raise his draft stock a la Vernon Gholston.
3. Rey Maualuga - Top 8-18 pick... ILB with great size and blitzing ability. Would be a perfect fit next to Mayo. Downhill type guy that would fit the SILB role perfectly and allow our sideline to sideline LB Mayo make his plays. Shows good instincts and hands in coverage even though he's a bit raw in that area.
4. Brandon Spikes - 20-30 pick at this point. ILB that makes tackles and can drop back in coverage and get INTs. Seems like a "safe" pick. More of a sure thing than #2 and 3. Vocal/Emotional leader of the Gators D.
I'm looking at our LB corps right now and comparing it to the Superbowl years when we had one of the deepest LB corps in history. We are a couple years late in rebuilding the LB's. We should already have back ups that are ready to step in and take over for Bruschi and Vrabel. Yet we used a Top 10 pick on an ILB last year and still have two major holes to fill. I'm not alone when I say we MUST get another impact LB next year. Dansby and Suggs will be too expensive in free agency. One of the 4 LB's above will slip to the 15-20 range. We might have to trade up.
Our defense simply has too many holes to draft another TE in the 1st rd or take a WR and wait a few years for them to develop.
I know there are needs on Offensive Line as well but you can get a quality RG or RT in the 2nd round. Same with CB, as it's a really deep class for corners and we already have a future starter in Wheatley. The 34 simply does NOT work without quality linebackers
and our Defense will look old and slow as long as we have Bruschi and Vrabel in there.