I started thinking (scary, right?). Our offensive line was actually very good during the final 6 games of the season, giving up only 8 sacks (compared to 37 through the first 10 games) and opening things up enough for Charles to rush for about 1000 yards over the final half of the season. Our offensive line coach was just fired yesterday as well, so there will be someone new coaching them up next season.
Maybe offensive line isn't as big of a need as we thought it was. Certainly at some point we should draft a potential replacement for the aging Waters and probably a better center, but maybe Albert is the right LT for us given the production at the end of the year.
I've been as much of an advocate for drafting a LT like Russell Okung with our 1st round pick as anyone, but now I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be a better idea to go with the best defensive player available.
That could be the safety Berry who may or may not be there, or guys we haven't really talked about as much like CB Joe Haden or ILB Rolando McClain. Haden is going to be a shutdown corner in the league and the thought of a Flowers/Haden combo with Carr playing the nickel would be one of the best CB trios in the league. McClain could be an elite tackling machine and defensive leader who also has the ability to blitz and get to the QB, which is something we need. I don't think ILB is much of a need as other positions if we keep DJ around though. I'll still be interested in seeing how he does in the BCS Championship.
I think right now Berry is the optimal choice. He's an elite talent, definitely one of the 2 or 3 best players in the draft and he would be replacing Mike Brown, once a great a player but injuries and age have slowed him down to where he can't take the aggressive angles and make the plays that he used to. Hopefully he's available when we pick, meaning the Rams and/or Redskins draft QBs, and the Lions/Bucs both go DT or OT.
How are you guys feeling about our first pick right now?