All indicators are pointing in the direction of Mark Barron as our first selection which is hardly surprising given our perennial need at the position and inability to find a longterm solution. I am fine with this pick and think that it provides an immediate boost to a defense which has struggled in the past few years with big pass plays. In this draft, my priority is to shore up our secondary, the interior OL, and bring in some bodies in an effort to improve our lackluster DL play.
Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Steady, heady, and ready to man a position that has been in flux since the departure of Woody. Puts a definitive end to those end of the game breakdowns when the opposing team drives the length of the field and leaves our DBs pointing fingers at each other because they’re not on the same page.
Kevin Zeitner, OG, Wisconsin
. Our coaching clearly has an eye on one of the WI OL prospects and Zeitner is the one most likely to be there when we pick in the second round. His technical perfectionism, workmanlike attitude, and mean streak fits the mold of a “Garrett player.” Might offer some versatility if he can pay center.
Alonzo Dennard, DB, Nebraska
. Injury, speed, and size concerns have dropped him considerably since the end of the season but his bread and butter of winning at the line of scrimmage fits well with what Ryan wants to do on defense. Offers some security given Jenkin’s injuries and contract status and Oscan’s inconsistency.
Kheeston Randall, DE/DT, Texas
. Has the athleticism, strength, and work habits to develop into a versatile lineman whether inside or outside. May not make a ton of plays in the backfield but can hold the line and push back the pocket.
Malik Jackson, DE, Tennessee
. Jackson has good size and agility but is somewhat raw and still growing as a player. Most likely a rotational player early on in his career but has the skills and natural ability to develop into a solid starter if he could put it all together.
Audie Cole, ILB, NC
St. With the departure of James and uncertain status of Brookings, we need to bring some fresh blood to the ILB corps. Cole is athletic and an all-around solid ILB prospect who can provide depth at a thin position and contribute on special teams.
James Hanna, TE, OK
I know the team appears eager to find a TE early in the draft, but after our experiences with Fasano and Bennett, I’m a bit skeptical of taking a TE before the fourth round as we are not a two pass-catching TE team like New England. Hannah is a good blocker who has excellent speed and potential despite not having elite production at Oklahoma.
Grant Garner, C, OK St
. All Big-12 First team center who has the size, the mental disposition, and experience against topflight competition to potentially compete with the likes of Costa and Killa for what is admittedly the weakest link on the OL.