Here's a look at some players who might realistically be around when we pick. There are some terrific players in this list, it will be fascinating to see what direction Ruskell and Co. take this draft.
1. Defensive End
This is where I would start if it were up to me. This is one of the deeepest DE drafts I can remember with several very good pass rushers. My personal favorite is Matt Roth he would be my #1 pick if I were Ruskell. Here's something I found in a magazine article about him, thought you'd enjoy this. "Roth is regarded as one of the premier pass rushers in the collegiate ranks and one of the toughest players in the country. He is a blue-chip prospect with a blue-collar work ethic. Roth is a colorful character who plays the game as if he is on a "search and destroy" mission."
"Even in practices, the coaches have to pray he stays under control. They will generally blow the whistle early on plays, so Roth does not hurt any of the offensive players. There are times when he plays with such intensity in practices that the coaches must sit him down...."
"2004 -- Suffered a left arm contusion on the first play of the Capital One Bowl matchup vs. Louisiana State. When the arm started to swell, the coaches urged him to leave the field to get it examined, Roth merely said, "I'm not coming out for this."
David Pollack, DE Georgia - Round 1
Matt Roth, DE Iowa - Round 1 (my personal favorite)
DeMarcus Ware, DE Troy St. - Round 1
Dan Cody, DE Oklahoma - Round 1
Justin Tuck, DE Notre Dame - Round 2
Bill Swancutt, DE Oregon State - Round 3
Ryan Riddle, DE Cal - Round 3 / 4
Jonathan Jackson, DE - Oklahoma Round 4
2. Outside Linebacker
IMO there's no one here who is worth a first round pick, I'd rather go after a DE like Pollack or Roth, much better value, then come back in the second and take someone like Burnett or Shazor, both of whom will likely be good NFL players one day.
Darryl Blackstock, OLB Virginia - Round 1
Kevin Burnett, OLB Tennessee - Round 2
Ernest Shazor, S/OLB Michigan - Round 2
Michael Boley, OLB Southern Miss - Round 2 / 3
Leroy Hill, OLB Clemson - Round 3
Rian Wallace, OLB Temple - Round 4
Not necessarily a big need after signing Jurevicius, but still...you just never know what K Drop will do this year, will he finally pull it together? Plus, Engram isn't a young guy anymore.
Mark Clayton, WR Oklahoma - Round 1
Roddy White, WR UAB - Round 1
Reggie Brown, WR Georgia - Round 2
Terrance Murphy, WR Texas A&M - Round 2
Chris Henry, WR West Virginia - Round 2
Fred Gibson, WR Georgia - Round 2
Brandon Jones, WR Oklahoma - Round 3
Courtney Roby, WR Indiana - Round 3
Mark Bradley, WR Oklahoma - Round 3
Jerome Mathis, WR Hampton - Round 3
Roscoe Parrish, WR Miami - Round 3
Taylor Stubblefield, WR Purdue - Round 4
I think the right time to start grooming a center is NOW. There are several guys here who would give us good value, I like Incognito for value (and for the name).
David Baas, C/G Michigan - Round 2
Chris Spencer, C Ole Miss - Round 2
Ben Wilkerson, C LSU - Round 2 / 3
Vince Carter, C Oklahoma - Round 3
Jason Brown, C North Carolina - Round 4
Richie Incognito, Nebraska - Round 4 / 5
Can Herndon be the guy? I wouldn't put too much money on it, and besides, in the pass happy NFC West can you really have too many good CB's? Some of these guys might slip a bit too giving even better value here.
Justin Miller, CB Clemson - Round 1
Marlin Jackson, CB Michigan - Round 1
Corey Webster, CB LSU - Round 1
Fabian Washington, CB Nebraska - Round 1 / 2
Brandon Browner, CB Oregon St. - Round 1 / 2
Bryant McFadden, CB Florida St. - Round 2
Domonique Foxworth, CB Maryland - Round 2 / 3
Eric Green, CB Virginia Tech - Round 2 / 3
Dustin Fox, CB Ohio State - Round 3
Darrent Williams, CB Oklahoma St. - Round 3
Antonio Perkins, CB Oklahoma - Round 3
Derrick Johnson, CB Washington - Round 4
Cedrick Williams, CB Kansas St. - Round 4
Antwaun Rogers, CB Purdue - Round 4
Karl Paymah, CB Washington St. - Round 4
6. Running Back
Will SA be back? Can MoMO get it done? If the answers to those questions are no and no, then I really like Marion Barber from Minnesota. Living here In Goopher land, I got to see this guy play a lot and let me tell you he's going to be a very good NFL running back. He's very, very fast has excellent shiftiness, blocks well and has good soft hands (though he didn't get thrown to an awful lot). He would be an absolute STEAL in the third if he slips, and would still be a great value pick in the second.
J.J. Arrington, RB Cal Round 2
Ciatrick Fason, RB Florida Round 2
Vernand Morency, RB Oklahoma St. Round 2
Marion Barber, RB Minnesota Round 2
Darren Sproles, RB Kansas State Round 3
Eric Shelton, RB Louisville Round 3
Walter Reyes, RB Syracuse Round 3
Kay Jay Harris, RB West Virginia Round 3
Brandon Jacobs, RB Southern Ill. Round 4
Ryan Moats, RB Louisiana Tech Round 4 / 5
Anthony Davis, RB Wisconsin Round 4 / 5
Cedric Houston, RB Tennessee Round 4 / 5
7. Offensive Line
When don't we need help here? Our right side is always our Achilles heel, and now after cutting loose Terry, (and probably Gray) we will definintely need to get some more help here. And as usual there are very good value picks to be had here, I like Snyder and McMahon myself.
Adam Snyder, G/T Oregon - Round 3
Logan Mankins, G/T Fresno St. - Round 3
Pete McMahon, T Iowa - Round 4
Jeremy Parquet, T Southern Miss. - Round 4
Rob Pettiti, T Pittsburgh - Round 4 / 5
Ray Willis, T Florida State - Round 4 / 5
Michael Roos, T Eastern Wa. - Round 4 / 5
Doug Nienhuis, T Oregon State - Round 4 / 5
David Stewart, T Mississippi St. - Round 5
Erik Pears, T Colorado State - Round 5
Calvin Armstrong, T Washington St. - Round 5 / 6
If I were drafting I would take Roth with the first round pick, my second would depend on what happens with Shaun Alexander. If he stays I go defense again probably Burnett or Shazor, if he's gone I go with Marion Barber. After that I'd take the best center left on the board, then finish up with defense defense defense defense...you get my point.