Every year we have many draft picks that don't even make the cut on the team. The ones that do however, don't always stay there for very long. Some get lost mid-season, others don't perform enough and are gone in a couple of years, and then some manage to stay on the game-day roster and sometimes make a play.
Where do I see our 2011 draft picks going? Take a look. I've given the picks a grade to show their chance of staying on the team for a while.
#1: Cameron Heyward: A
I think Heyward will definitely make the team and likely replace Nick Eason for the year. Eason is one of the oldest members on the team and his days are numbered. Heyward will probably rotate more and I think will play downs with ziggy to have a young pass rush on 3rd downs. We have the makings of a starter in 3 years if he learns and studies two of the masters of the position.
#2: Marcus Gilbert: B-
While I like Gilbert, and would like to see him take over the role at RT, his path is not so clear cut. If Willie Colon resigns he would have some competition as Colon handled it fairly well a couple years ago. Add that to the fact that Flozell would like to start, and frankly he did great last year. I also believe Gilbert will see the fièld this year. At some point somebody will get injured. So this year he will see an immediate opportunity. If he blows that opportunity it might not come for a while. We could very well see this pick's career spelled out: Backup or Starter.
#3: Curtis Brown:C+
At CB, quite literally, one of the two drafted corners may not even make the team this year. At a disadvantage from the lockout. This all depends on factors. If they resign Ike or Gay, then their chances drop. If they resign neither than almost a guarantee that both will be on the roster. But I think Allen has the edge between these two.
#4: Cortez Allen: B+
I think Allen has the bigger body which contributes better to the team. So I think if a cut comes down to Brown or Allen, I think Allen can win it. Hence the higher grade. I think our CB lineup will be: Ike, B-Mac, Butler, Brown and Allen^. I dont think either WILL get cut, but it could happen.
#5: Chris Carter LB: A
Another project DE to OLB. It has worked before and I like them looking for more talent. Clearly he is brought in as a potential partner with Worilds, or at the very least Woodley insurance if Woodley is gone next year. Depending on the CBA he may not be resignable. I think its pretty likely he stays onboard. He might actually replace Keyaron Fox in the short term. He also replaces the loss of Thaddeus Gibson.
#6: Keith Williams: C
Sometimes I wonder if the FO's mentality toward the O-line is just to throw a lot of picks at it. Every year we have another one of these late round lineman. But Keith seems pretty decent. At the same time though we have Kemo, and Ramon Foster, And Legursky is hangin around. Even Colon could be in the mix. I'd love a surpise from this pick but I just feel like he'll be another body in the rotation at best.
#7: Baron Batch: B
I love this guys name. I picture some baron of the skies shootin down Nazi's in WW2. Its so badass. And the batch part makes me think of a batch of cookie dough which is delicious. And in football news he could possibly take over a Memo role as 3DRB.