As Bruce Buffer would say to get your blood pumping before a championship fight... "It's Time!" The draft starts in less than a week and after countless hours of procrastinating by watching and reading about draft prospects it's time to post up or shut up so that draft opinions can be documented and flaunted in my face when they turn out to be busts or probowlers. Enjoy the debate.
Round 1: Bobby Wagner, OLB, Utah State: Whaaaaaaa? No Fleener or Hill/Randle... I wanted it to be Fleener just because of how much he would force defenses to adjust, but I don't see us trading as high as we need to go to get Fleener in the late teens/early 20's. I also dont see us grabbing a receiver this early to sit on the bench behind Moss and Manningham, and the guardspot has enough competition already to ignore that position this early. Now onto Wagner, lets face it... if we want to keep an elite passrush we need 3 OLBs, not just two. On top of that he is athletic enough to be a beast both inside and outside and keeps lineman from getting hands on him(see his game against auburn). Baalke will also have a gold helmet by his name for being a four-year starter, two-year captain and three-time All-WAC honoree. A LB Core of Smith, Willis, Bowman, Brooks with Wagner in rotation... good luck! A poor man's Von Miller, who may be a questionable pick at first but once he steps on the field will silence any doubters.
Round 2: Brian Quick WR, Appalachian State: At 6'4 220 with 4.5 speed and great hands, he will be the big man we've been looking for on the outside with quickness to be a threat underneath. He will be one of the steals of the draft and is very underated. Additional bonus...pleases Niner fans by knocking KW off the roster in camp competition while given a year to learn as a backup and add to our red zone package.
Round 3: Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State: Lets face it, Gore isnt getting any younger and Jacobs can be kind of a b*tch sometimes...enter Turbin, who wont be practicing his dance moves on his way to hitting the hole. 1st 3 round recap: possible perennial allstar and OLB depth, check, Big receiver for redzone help, check, Thick RB third down help, check... if only it were this easy in reality!
Round 4: Derek Wolfe, DE, Cincinatti: Big East defensive player of the year, who is a workaholic and will provide explosive depth... led his conference in TFL's and is just now coming into his own.
Round 5: Ryan Miller, OG, Colorado: At 6'7 and 321 pnds, he has tackle size but nimble feet. The scary thing about Miller is that he is still getting used to his size as he came out of highschool around 6'4 287. Average pass protector but its the run game where this man excels, and he... will... hurt... people. Put up 32 reps at the combine and his strength translates to the field. I saw every single CU home game this past season, and our line was terrible with the exception of Miller. Who I spotted routinely dominating tackles like Ta'amu among others. Hidden Gem who can be another swing G/T depth while developing.
Round 6: Justin Bethel, S, Presbyterian: Two-time Big South Special Teams and Defensive Player of the Week as a Buck Buchanan Award finalist and a FCS College Football Performance Award DB, National DB and National Defensive Performance Award winner....Baalke's standard late round DB from a no name school, one of the top defensive playmakers at the FCS level and special teams standout after becoming the all time blocked kicks leader of his school.
Round 7: William Vlachos, C, Alabama: Smart, heady player who is limited to the center position in the NFL, but is scrappy and tough. Played against top competition in the SEC and uses his leverage advantage (he's short) well. Won't dress his rookie year as long as Goodwin is active, but perfect spot to start bringing possible replacements up to the NFL level to see if we need to spend a high pick on a starter-ready center next year.