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Mailbag: Faster Rookie Impact? LB Depth?


Lot of talk about possibly drafting wide receiver or safety. I know we still have to see if the team adds help there in free agency, but in your experience, which position of the two usually makes a larger impact as rookies? - MATTHEW K / DALLAS, TX

Bryan: From my experience the safety is going to make the biggest impact. Generally you can plug those guys in and you might have a game or two where there is an issue as opposed to receiver, where the learning curve can be plenty steep. There is so much for a receiver to have to learn about release and routes, not to mention finish the play with a reception. It's rare that you have a player like Michael Thomas from the Saints that comes in and plays as well as he did.

Rob: It depends on the player, but you see receivers need time to adjust that first year. Some wideouts play such a different, wide-open scheme in college, and the quality of coverage rises by a great deal. It's worth noting this isn't the deepest receiver class, either. That's one reason why they went ahead and made the trade for Amari Cooper last year.


When discussing positions of need, it seems like defensive line, safety, and WR are the talk of the town. However, with Damien Wilson recently signing with the Chiefs, and Sean Lee most likely seeing a reduced role this season, is it safe to say that linebacker is also a position of need? If so, is it considered to be a bigger need than any of the other positions previously mentioned? - ALEX HARRIS / SACKETS HARBOR, NY

Bryan: I don't see a need here. Joe Thomas, Justin March-Lillard and Chris Covington should be just fine. Keep an eye on Kyle Quiero as well. That is a sneaky guy that could make this squad. 

Rob: It's way down the list of needs, in my opinion. Lee will get snaps, and Chris Covington was probably drafted last year with a possible Wilson free-agent departure in mind. Don't forget about Joe Thomas, a veteran who can play a couple of spots in a pinch. Missed time with a foot injury last year.

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