2011 GM For a Day: Team Needs

by Anthony Ciano 

1. Carolina Panthers – (WR, DT, DE, RB, CB) The Panthers have 40 of their draft picks currently playing in the NFL. Imagine how strong they’d be if they still had them. Every draft prognosticator out there says Cam Newton is their the first pick. If I were the GM I’d sign FA Billy Volek or Marc Bulger to mentor Clausen and take DT Marcel Dareus because he looks like a can’t miss prospect. WR AJ Green or CB Patrick Peterson work for me here too with no regrets!

2. Denver Broncos – (DT, DE, RT, TE) DT Marcel Dareus is the ideal fit, and I would take him here or look to trade down to try and get DT Nick Fairley or DE Robert Quinn. I can’t lose with either of these and gain great value. Just tied up a lot of money with FA Champ Bailey and traded Brandon Marshall last year for two 2nd so I will use the draft over FA’s to build depth and improve team.

3. Buffalo Bills – (NT-DE-OLB-OT-CB-ILB) Haven’t made the playoffs since 1999 and currently have 27 of their draft picks on the roster. First order of business is to re-sign Paul Posluszny as he anchors the defense. OLB Von Miller, barring someone moving up or a disturbance in the force, is my choice here, with DT Marcel Dareus as my 2nd. I would look to trade my 35th pick with bonus to get into the late 20’s and secure an impact player to fill another need. See y’all in Toronto by 2015.

4. Cincinnati Bengals – (QB!-DE-WR) The biggest problem with the Cincinnati franchise is the owner “Mike” Brown playing GM, according to Derek Allen. Just might be why they haven’t won a playoff game since 1990. Need depth everywhere and Coach Lewis doesn’t have many players willing to run through walls for him either. I would trade Carson, cut his brother, sign a veteran QB, and take AJ Green at WR and try to get QB Christian Ponder, or QB Ryan Mallet in the 2nd round. See me in 4 years and we will see if I am right!

5. Arizona Cardinals – (QB-CB-OLB) Many needs but I don’t take a QB here because if they start and we go 4-12, we  may lose him forever. I would take CB Patrick Peterson, OLB Von Miller, and even consider CB Prince Amukamara. Calling Dallas or Washington would be considered as I try and move down for value, as I believe I can still fill needs there and pick up some picks. In the later rounds I’d try for a QB. The Cardinals had one of the NFL

6. Cleveland Browns – (DE-WR-OT-OLB) OLB Von Miller would make almost every team in the top 5 better but WR Julio Jones is the guy I like to help out the offense and he might be the best in this draft. This Czar would make a big splash and solidify my four man front by signing FA Cullen Jenkins from the Packers, they have great depth and aren’t looking to re-sign him.

7. San Francisco 49ers – (QB-NT-CB-OLB) Having invested in the O-line last year, and having spent some money in FA and hitting in past drafts, this team is primed for success NOW. With new coach Harbaugh I believe QB to be his biggest need and trading for Carson Palmer, or Kevin Kolb might be the best move of all. IF he can horse whisperer Alex Smith into playing at an 85 QB rating, this team could shock people in 2011.

8. Tennessee Titans – (QB-DT-G-C) Nick Fairley makes the most sense here and even though some call him a one hit wonder, he was awesome, but might be a bit of a risk. Instead, trading down and grabbing G/C Mike Pouncey or G/C Danny Watkins to bolster the O-line would be an ideal, no risk approach to this draft. Now if Blaine Gabbert is here, all bets are off and I end the drama trade by trading Vince Young to the Raiders or the Vikings. PS-Albert Haynesworth still has value, maybe he can be pried loose for a 6th rounder, and I know he’d love to come home. Re-sign Kerry Collins as he knows the system and can be a high-class tutor for my QB investment.

9. Dallas Cowboys – (DE-OT-C) Just not fair to see a team with this much talent and bankroll picking in the top 10! Prince Amukamara, CB LSU, if still here is the pick. Depending on what’s been done, may go with OT Anthony Castonzo to plug and play RT. Of course, a shiny new DE to cry havoc for Bob Ryan’s express would take some pressure off the corners and even help out the offense. This team could record 60+ sacks.

10. Washington Redskins – (QB-WR-RB-C-NT) Shanahan is off to a bad start in hog country. I don’t like him much but do respect his results. Grossman showed he can play a little but I would take a small risk here and take Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert if they fall, getting great value for need and both will sell some jerseys. If things don’t work out, then QB and coach are gone in 4 years. WR Julio Jones would also be a nice fit. I would consider trading down into the 18 range for more draft picks and drafting value BPA. A long shot would be to give the 10 to NE for their 17 and and their 60 picks. At 17 now I could draft a QB I wanted and get the BPA to fill a need.

11. Houston Texans – (CB-OLB-DE-NT-S) This team already got better by hiring Wade Phillips to turn the defense around. My first pick is CB Jimmy Smith CB Colorado. He may have inhaled a bit more than Clinton but he did man up. Besides, Bill Clinton turned out ok, if you consider being an ex-prez  ok. Jimmy might be the best CB in this draft and an impact player from day 1. DE Cameron Jordan or DT Phil Taylor would also work nicely within a Wade Phillip’s defensive scheme.

12. Minnesota Vikings – (QB-G-C-DT-ILB) This team was just a lost turnover or two from the Super Bowl a couple of year ago. My new face of the franchise is…Jeff George, I mean Ryan Mallett. All kidding aside, this is the pick I make  so long as the doctors (all) give me the ok. Has a huge upside, and man he can sling it! If not I make a play for McNabb, I mean I GO GET McNabb for a 2nd in 2012 if necessary. Picking up the BPA at the G or DT position would work here. I like DT Corey Liuget,, who’s making a late move up the board, as my special dark horse selection.

13. Detroit Lions – (OT-OG-CB) They won 4 straight to end 2010 and could be 9-7 this year with a few breaks. The Lions need to keep QB Stafford healthy in 2011 as he looks like the real deal. I would protect my QB with either OT Anthony Castonzo or OT Aldon Smith. If not I have an interesting choice between the BPA DE Cameron Jordan, if available, or a CB. Free agency might help the defense at the CB or DE positions as well.

14. St. Louis Rams – (WR-G-DL) Get receivers healed and grab an edge pass rusher and see what I have. This team has WRs; they were young and hurt in 2010 but I believe they can be good group. The NFC West is up for grabs and I want to win it now!  DE  Aldon Smith, DE Ryan Kerrigan, DE JJ Watt are all first on my radar with WR Julio Jones given a hard look. Worst-case scenario I go BPA and then circle some guys in FA. 

15. Miami Dolphins – (QB-RB-C) This team may or may not believe in Henne as their QB, and I believe they don’t. That said, OG Pouncey at 15 is safe and Mark Ingram is probably good to go as well. Another option to consider is the fact that FAs RBs Brown and Williams are both on the wrong side of 30. I would call SD and try to move down to 18 and then take a RB or Ryan Mallett if there. If not maybe move down again, for value.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars – (QB-WR-DE-C) This team plays hard, but never seems to gets it done. Lots of options here, BPA I would go with QB Jake Locker. Put off early money to stay at the University of Washington to graduate while putting the Huskies into the playoffs for the first time in 8 years. He led them to victory in the Holiday Bowl over Nebraska. A seasoned collegiate that’s mature with a good system and coach, he’d also have a quality QB in front of him for tutoring. When they move to LA in 2 years, Jake would be the face of the franchise. I’d look to add quality depth through FAs on the market.

17. NE Picks here from Oakland Raiders trade  for Richard Seymour.

18. San Diego Chargers – (OLB-DE-RT-ILB) The Bolts already struck it big with the signing of Bob Sanders if he stays remotely healthy. His presence on and off the field should be worth a few million. The Chargers must address ILB as they do not have enough on the team to play a scrimmage. I would stay at home and take OT Anthony Costonzo or DE JJ Watt.  If WR Julio Jones is available, I take him for value and leverage with my tendered receiver. If all else fails, I try and trade down to 28 and try to  get a pass rusher and picks.

19. New York Giants – (OLB-OT-TE-DT) The Giants front 7 needs to get better, and so does their pass protection. I’m not a big Eli fan but he has finally turned into a good QB. Getting him some upfront help is first on my to do list. OT is my real need here so Castonzo, Solder, or Carimi are in my sights. I personally love OT Castonzo and so do the Giants because of his Boston College roots.  Giants better fix some things, and getting a new defensive coordinator could help too! I do not see them moving around in the draft. Giant will be active in FAs.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OLB-OT-S-DE This was a surprise team in 2010 and they will not catch many off guard in 2011. They are not afraid of red flags and if Da’Quan Bowers is available, I will grab him. OT Gabe Carimi is who should be here. I also am looking to get a book-end RT in the FA pool.

21. Kansas City Chiefs – (WR-OLB-OT)  The Chiefs won some big games in September and then held on as SD failed to win out! I expect this year with a hard schedule and no surprise factor they will come back down to earth with a 8-8 year. I am going NT Phil Taylor but I will have to look hard at the BPA OLB Justin Houston or Akeem Ayers. Perhaps WR  Akeem Ayers. Another route is to trade back in the draft for more picks.

22. Indianapolis Colts – ( LT-WR-QB-DT) Yeah I listed QB because the way this team plays, is awesome and if Peyton goes down they are 4-12. Payton Manning still hasn’t signed the new contract Robert Irsay says made him the highest paid player in the NFL. So, I would take a deep breath and draft Ryan Mallet here if I can.  I need to think about tomorrow but I would also be tempted to get the best OT available, maybe Solder out of Colorado. I definitely would try and sign a FA RT.

23. Philadelphia Eagles – (CB-RT-RG-DE) Eagles have home run potential every play.  That said, Michael Vick could go to the IR every play as well so they need to think protection. I go BPA top G or if OT Anthony Castonzo is still standing, it’s a no brainer. CB Jimmy Smith makes a nice fit as well.

24. New Orleans Saints – (DT-DE-OLB-RB) This team has a lot of talent and I’m adding to the pool with RB Mark Ingram to get some competition for Reggie Bush. Adding defense is a good idea and I like the BPA DE. A better defense makes what Drew Brees accomplishes with the offensive unit even more frightening.

25. Seattle Seahawks – (QB-DE-G-C-RB-OT) This team could just go BPA every pick. Several intriguing choices to choose from. I’m going for Danny Watkins G/C to help rebuild the line and trade a 2012 pick for a veteran QB like Carson Palmer or Kevin Kolb to man the QB spot. Other guys that make sense too are hometown hero, QB Jake Locker, DT Corey Liuget and Colorado CB Jimmy Smith.

26. Baltimore Ravens – (RT-CB-WR-G) This team is close every year and needs to think of life without Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed. OLB Akeem Ayers, OLB/DE Justin Houston or OT Nate Solder all are in my sights. Getting a top CB is a priority as well and I wouldn’t mind picking one up from the FA pool, as a few are available like Ike Taylor or Richard Marshall, both whom desire long-term contracts.

27. Atlanta Falcons – (DE-TE-WR-CB) This team has all-decade TE Tony Gonzales but even he won’t last forever.  I  am going with TE Kyle Rudolph giving QB Matty Ice a security blanket for the next 5 years. I think they will try hard to sign their own FA’s. Next up I’m, going with the best rusher like DE Adrian Clayborn or DE Bowers, should he have fallen this far.

28. New England Patriots – (OT-DE-RB-OLB-G) Is this team bringing back Logan Mankins? If not protecting Brady better be on the top of the list, or I may need a new QB! I believe at 17, 28 and 33 they have the ammunition to continue this dynasty for the next 5 years. OT Anthony Costonzo at 17, G/C Danny Watkins at 28 and at 33 RB Mikel Lashoure are my choices if available.

29. Chicago Bears – (OT-WR-DT-CB) Protecting QB “Cuddles” is my first priority either in the draft or FA. For protection I like FA OT Ryan Clabo. At 29 I go top OT with Gabe Carimi or DT with Corey Liuget. This team plays tough and providing improvement at CB would help immensely. Might go FA for mid-level OT or WR as they don’t don’t want to spend big money.

30. New York Jets – (DE-NT-WR-S-CB) The Jets have lost their NT the last 2 years within a tailgate party of the Super bowl and Rex has done everything he can to hold it together without him. I believe they will go NT Phil Taylor at 30 if he is there, the problem is everyone knows he is the best pure NT in this draft, and there are a lot of 3-4 defenses without one. If I can’t get him I go with OLB Brooks Reed.  Other possibilities are selecting CB-WR as they have Pro Bowlers wanting to get paid at both positions. Free Agents should all have the Jets on speed dial. After all it is NY and they will spend some money trying to fill needs and provide depth.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers – (CB-OG-T-NT) One thing that’s always said about the Steelers is that they do it the right way. They just missed another Lombardi trophy again last year. The O-line is getting worn down and they all could use some new shoes. Hampton at the Nose isn’t getting any younger; I would trade up to 25 with Seattle and grab NT Phil Taylor. Seattle would do well to take this deal as they need players and getting picks helps them.  Other possibilities are at CB where they have been deficient for a few years now. If Phil Taylor is gone, get CB Jimmy Williams, hoping that the mentoring from such a venerable franchise can keep him off the pipe, at least in public.

32. Green Bay Packers – (OLB-WR-RB) It’s hard to think that this team that just won it all will be better and gets to add a top RB to the offense. I like Mark Ingram RB Alabama, or Brooks Reed OLB. I might have to try to trade down and draft a RB early in the 2nd round. I need to re-sign my own players. This team is very young and needs very few upgrades. Team can still be improved with late round selections and FA.

Oakland Raiders – (QB-OLINE!-Safety-CB) No pick in the first round but if you are a Raider fan, you know you received your gift wrapped 1st round pick last year in Richard Seymour, and improved to an 8-8 season because of it. We all know AL Davis covets speed and there is some with their 1st pick at the 48 slot. This year C Stefen Wisniewski would solidify the line and provide the QB with less pressure up the middle, a problem over the years. He can play all three interior positions and is very quick off the snap and exhibits superior upper and lower techniques. Tough and equally skilled at run and pass blocking, a natural team leader with a blue-collar work ethic. His dad and uncle both played for Penn State. His uncle Steve Wisniewski used to play for the Raiders and was just hired as their assistant offensive line coach, and while it may be strange to be coached by your uncle, this is a fit that shouldn’t be missed. But…we all know Al.

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