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Mailbag: If The NFL Draft Started Today …


If the draft started today, and the roster was as it is now, who would you target in the first round? - J.M. SMITH / WALDORF, MD

Nick: That's an interesting question but not a realistic one. Still, it's fun to play along because we're basically saying what was needed last year. I think you've got to look at defense. If a disruptive defensive tackle was available at that spot in the first round, that would be my pick. But you could convince me on a safety, cornerback, pass rusher or tight end as well. 

Rob: I'm not a huge fan of doing this so early because the roster is inevitably going to change by late April. I'll just tell you one prospect I like: LSU safety Grant Delpit. This is an unfair comparison, but the first time I watched him play I thought of Darren Woodson. Big, physical safety who can cover. Can, and does, line up anywhere. Played in the biggest of games against the best competition the college level had to offer.

What type of blocking scheme (zone vs. some other traditional stuff) will the O-Line employ this year? - BRADY SIMMONS / MIDLAND, TX

Nick: Honestly, it's going to be the best scheme that fits this personnel. That's what we know about this new staff. The offensive line coach Joe Philbin won't come in and automatically run the stuff that he's done in the past. We saw that with Paul Alexander last year. I'm sure this will be a scheme that highlights this team's athleticism on the line. 

Rob: I'll give you head coach Mike McCarthy's answer to that exact question from reporters last week: "I think you can't just do one thing in this league. I think that's been proven over and over again. Obviously we have an exceptional offensive line, but the normal down and distance runs and the action game need to fit together. That will be a focus, but the starting point will be the zone run. Everybody runs it and we'll run it as well as anybody. But the pattern schemes, gap schemes, how it's been communicated here in the past, that will definitely be part of what we do."

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