Good Afternoon ladies and gents! Well, once again we are on the brink of another season starting and Ted Thompson has pulled off another exception, deep, and versatile draft class. As exciting as these young players are and I am sure will make an impact, what about safety and offensive line? At safety, it seems to be an open competition between Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings, throw in Sean Richardson and we still don't know too much about these guys. As far as offensive line I know we took two offensive linemen in the 4th round, but I am talking about with Derrick Sherrod, Bryan Bulaga, Don Barclay, and Marshal Newhouse. These are interesting questions and thoughts I am going share and I am open to your opinions and thoughts as well.
Safety : To me is a position in huge transition and not one to be taken lightly. We all saw what the 49ers did to us and Safety is a position that in the middle of the field is an area of uncertainty. Jerron McMillian is a guy that I find intruiging to some extent and has shown some flashes of play making ability that I find exciting. However, he is still raw, I would really like to see him come into camp and take the position outright. Time will tell if that happens. M.D. Jennings is a guy that I really am not too much of a fan of. To be completely honest the only things I remember about Jennings was his long interception return for a touchdown against the Colts I believe (not sure) which was encouraging, and obviously the interception fiasco in Seattle. Other than that, the guy has never really jumped off the screen at me. It seems like every time I saw a big play on the defense I saw 43 jogging behind looking confused (along with other players in the secondary too). I am not going to count him out, but I really hope he can continue to develop a good player. The coaching staff sees something in him, so I will trust in them on this one. Sean Richardson is a guy that I was rooting for in camp to make the team. To be honest I don't know anything about him, I hoped he could bring some continuity with Casey Hayward, having gone to Vandy also, but that was all hypothetical really. So in conclusion I am concerned about the safety position, Morgan Burnett is a good player but I get the feeling that he is a better complimentary safety instead of a feature guy considering we still don't have anyone etched in stone opposite of him. Maybe if the price is right we bring Woodson back for one more year to let these guys develop? Do we wait to see them in camp? I just feel like that is by far now the only position on the defense that is in need of a play maker or someone to step in and take command. Like I said, this is just my opinion but chime in on this please.
Offensive line: Now this one is the tricky one. Honestly I would have liked to seen us draft a center (Barret Jones in the 4th would have been nice) but apparently the organization is going to go with EDS for this year and I dont think the guy is bad by any stretch but is he the long term answer? Now at left tacke.... I think we could all agree that Marshal Newhouse HAS improved over the past couple seasons. I think we can all also agree that he is the weakest link on the offensive line at a position of rather high importance. Now with two years removed first round pick Derrick Sherrod soon to be returning, this should either be Sherrods job to win OR Newhouses job to retain...The competition is only a good thing. Here is where the twist comes in, Don Barclay...No I am not suggesting that we move Don Barclay to left tackle, I am however, making notice of his play at right tackle last season. The guy played well given the circumstances. So with Bryan Bulaga coming back from injury and our best Tackle by far, where does that leave everyone? For me I would really like to see one of two things.
- Bryan Bulaga moved to left tackle outright and create an open competition for right tackle between Sherrod, Newhouse, Barclay, Datko, Bakhitiari, Tretter, and who ever else wants to join into the fray allowing the best to emerge. Or...
- Keeping Bulaga on the right and doing the same with the left side... I do think of Barclay as more of a right tackle so maybe excluding him too but if he performs why not right?
All in all, A-rod has been sacked waaaaayyyy too many times. Marshal Newhouse is improving but so far he is just not cutting it. It is what it it is, and he needs to continue to elevate his play to where we would expect anyone to be at after starting for 2 years. Sherrod hasn't played in over a year so I hope he going to come in behind or rusty or still recovering. I feel like now we are paying A-rod too much money to have little experiments at his blind side. This competition at left tackle should be the most fierce we have seen in years, its just time to finally sure things up, upfront. I am tired of seeing Rodgers getting thrown around like Jay Cutler, the shit has gone on enough to be honest...Either these guys come in and someone win the competition at left tackle being able to play at the level of a NFL left tackle should, or move Bulaga over and let those guys duke it out for the right side.
What do you think?