After reading the suggestion in another thread that our idiot G.M. & H.C. should have miraculously traded up for Mike Evans, while also somehow still getting Stephon Tuitt, Chris Borland, and Pierre Desir, I thought I'd do my own little exercise in looking at what could have been done differently to address particular needs/wants (but with a more realistic premise instead of coming out of left field from the land of make believe).
Here is a possibility, based on how the actual draft board fell, in which we could have added 2 CB prospects earlier in the draft than we took Shaq Richardson, while still addressing most of our other needs.
1. CB Darqueze Dennard. Most folks connected the dots between the Steelers and Dennard prior to the draft, so it seemed like the logical pick here, especially since Gilbert and Fuller were already off the board. Knowing what we know now (with Dallas hot on Shazier's trail at #16 and no one clamoring for Dennard until the Bengals pick in the mid-20's, it's obvious that the Steelers as well as other teams valued Shazier over Dennard, but knowing what I knew last Thursday, I expected the pick to be Dennard (as many of you likely did as well).
2. DE Stephon Tuitt. I was surprised that both of the ND lineman were available when we were picking in the second, and I would have been happy with either of them. If we took the NT Nix first, then we could have supplemented that with a mid-round DE like Brent Urban or a late round DE like DeAndre Coleman (who I believe actually went undrafted). If we took the DE Tuitt first, then we could have supplemented that with a mid-round NT like Justin Ellis or a late round NT like Daniel McCullers or Zach Kerr. We'll stick with the chalk pick here.
3c. WR Martavis Bryant. It was a deep draft for wideouts, but that pool was getting shallower by the time our 3rd round comp pick came up at #97 overall (my 3rd round target of choice Donte Moncrief came off the board at #90). The team was struggling to decide whether to take Speedy Smurf Dri Archer here or Bryant, and then luckily enough wound up with both of them. If I were choosing in the late 3rd round, and didn't know who would still be available in the mid 4th, I would take taken Bryant over Archer here. Colbert gambled and won here, but I likely would not have gambled and just taken Bryant here.
4. CB Pierre Desir. Double down at CB. Both have size and athleticism, with the difference being that our first round pick showed that he can play with best coming from Michigan State in the Big Ten, while Desir comes out of tiny little Lindenwood.
5. LB Jordan Tripp. He won't wow you like Shazier does, but the Montana product seems like solid value to plug into our defense and special teams from the middle of the draft.
5c. RB Lache Seastrunk. I had 3rd or 4th round grade on this short, but fast and powerful RB, so getting him late in the 5th round is good value. However, I would want him to be our potential 3rd down pack in the Mewelde Moore, LaRod Stephens-Howling mold to pair with the bludgeoning Bell and Blount, but they never really pass the ball to the RB's at Baylor, so it would be a question mark how well he would be able to do catching passes out of the backfield.
6. OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. A big athletic lineman from Canada. He's raw, but very smart (McGill is essentially the Harvard of Canada), and could be similar to Kelvin Beachum, who was a late round OL find as an intelligent, versatile lineman a couple of drafts ago.
6c. NT Daniel McCullers. Another chalk pick. Too much value here to pass up.
7. WR Jeff Janis. Got the size, got the speed, but comes from a small school. Can't believe that Aaron Rodgers got three quality wideouts from this draft to help replace the losses of Greg Jennings and James Jones...Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis, and Jeff Janis. What a coup!