I've read just about every mock draft that I've come across, I do it all the time, I'm a mock draft geek I guess. This isn't a mock per say, but its more of a thought process I had after reading a mock draft. I'm among those that think we need to go defense early and often in the draft, we need to get some more youth in our stop unit. However, I'm also of the opinion that since we are drafting unusually high for us (yes, I consider 15 unusually high for us), that we need to do everything necessary to grab an impact player. This player doesn't necessarily have to dominate with his play on the field, but he should be able to have a pretty significant effect on the defense. That being said, here is my thought:
I read in one of the many mock drafts out there the explanation that the author gave after he mocked C.J. Mosley to us. He wrote that having Mosley on the field next to Timmons would allow Troy to play farther off the line, and be able to improvise more like the Troy of years past. That got me thinking about the trickle down effect that drafting Mosley would have on the defense. Most of us are of the opinion that Shark Thomas is more of a traditional strong safety more than a center field free safety type. So, if drafting Mosley allows Troy to play further off the line, then move him to free safety and let Shark play the strong safety role that he is apparently better suited for. That would allow us to push drafting a starting caliber free safety back at least a year. I personally think that moving Troy over to free safety would add some years on to this career. I also personally think that moving Ike to safety is all talk, we have no one to replace him at corner, and I doubt seriously that a rookie would come in and be able to step in for Ike.
With Troy reinforcing the secondary by playing the deep cover role, that should, in theory, help strengthen the pass rush by forcing opposing quarterbacks to hold on to the ball a little longer. With Troy also doing his Superman impersonation, it would also force quarterbacks to hesitate for an extra second trying to figure out what Troy is going to do.
I know that everyone has different opinions on what would make the defense better, and this is mine. I know that our defense is predicated on stopping the run, but I really don't think that a nose tackle at 15 is a smart decision. And taking someone like Hageman to play DE could be ill-advised as well. We all saw how long it took for Heyward to develop into an impact player on the defensive line, and we just can't wait that long for whoever we take at 15 to impact the defense. As far as defensive backs go, I'm just not sold yet on any DBs other than HaHa Clinton-Dix and Justin Gilbert, who I both think will be gone by 15.
As far as offense goes, I think that there is plenty of depth at wide receiver. Unless Sammy Watkins falls to 15, which I highly doubt, we can hold off on grabbing a receiver. The same goes with offensive line. Unless Matthews falls to 15, I doubt we take a lineman in the first round. I was pretty impressed with the line play the second half of the season after the line somewhat stabilized, and they should only improve with Munchak on the job. As far as tight end goes, I just don't think the need is great enough to justify the 15th pick on a tight end. I think we'll grab a tight end, but not that high. I think we all can agree that there's absolutely no reason at all to even think about a quarterback or a running back at 15.
Sorry for the long winded speech, but I wanted to share my thoughts.