At this point we probably know quite a bit about the wide receivers and offensive guards in the draft since those are the positions on which the media is primarily focusing. That and, of course, Coby Fleener.
As I've said before though, the team needs to draft future starters at some key positions where age and contract status will very soon become a factor. For instance, how much would the defense suffer if Justin Smith's game drops off to a point far below where he is now?
Smith is arguably among the top two or three guys on defense in terms of impact on it's success. The depth behind him is promising, but unknown to a degree. At any rate, I don't think we can say we have anyone near his level on the current roster.
Looking at that situation leads us to a guy like Jared Crick from Nebraska. In fact, he reminds me some of Smith in that he's a hard worker, blue-collar, not overly special in anything measurable but successful nonetheless. Now, Crick is't going to be ready for the heavy lifting right away, but then again, we all hope that Smith can keep playing at a high level for the next few years.
After the jump, some scouting.
NFP has this to say about Crick, full report here:
Uses his long arms well and displays some shiftiness for his size to slip off the snap and/or down the field. Works hard to play the piano down the line and has a motor that runs non-stop.
Looks better suited to play as a base DE or 5-technique in a 34 at the next level where he can set the edge and use his length to play off blocks.
However, possesses a good first step off the snap and does a great job keeping opponents from getting their hands on him. Consistently is able to knock opponents' punch away and has some savvy pulling the rug out from blockers and using his quickness to get up the field.
These are the highlights. There are definitely some things Crick needs to work on but let's not forget that Justin Smith became a free-agent after his time in Cincinnati where he wasn't considered a "beast" as he is now. Jim Tomsula can whip Crick into shape and have him playing at a high level in no time.