I thought I might as well add mine to the mix. I'll address each position/position group in FA and then talk about the draft.
Defense and FA:
The first thing that needs to be established is scheme. Are we playing the 3-4 or the 4-3? I would say we are one year from a full scheme transformation. But, with the right draft and FA signings, we could be there in a year. That means we should be looking at the Parcell's model player, big, tough, strong, smart, and disciplined guys who can contribute in any scheme. There are a couple available players that fit this model, but I'll talk about why I want to stay in the 4-3--for now-- when I talk about individual players. With all of our recent cuts, I believe we can get at least one marquee player and then a bunch of solid contributors. Balance is going to be the key here, because the number three pick will be expensive itself.
Secondary: No problems here. The secondary is the brightest spot on this roster right now. Young, talented, and smart guys who are only going to be better with a solid supporting cast.
Linebackers: As bright as our secondary is, our linebacking corps is conversely dismal. We have one--let me repeat that-- one, starter at linebacker. This is my major beef with the 3-4 switch. Unless we go hog-wild in FA, I don't believe we have the personnel to make the switch this year. The silver lining of this is, between the draft and FA this is a good year for teams to be looking for linebackers. Channing Crowder, Jonathan Vilma, and Bart Scott are at the top of the pile and getting one, if not two of them, is a priority. Scott seems intent on following Rex Ryan to the Jets for some serious money, so he's probably out. But Crowder and Vilma are both players in their prime who can bolster this defense. I think Curry is probably the "surest" thing out of all the picks we could make at the number three. He's a day one starter and would be an excellent weak-side compliment to DJ with Vilma or Curry in the middle. For scheme, the Giants and Eagles immediatly leap to mind. While everyone is talking about the Steelers and Ravens wreaking havoc in the 3-4, NYG, PHI and even CAR are still getting it done in a pressure 4-3, and I think Curry and DJ on the outside give us the flexibility to run a scheme more suited to our defensive line's talent. I say implement the NYG/PHI style 4-3 and abandon this Tampa-2, 4-3 that has been a hinderance to the development of our players. Vilma or Curry could both fit this role, but I definitely think it should be one of these two guys.
Defensive Line: First and foremost, we need a pass-rushing RDE here. Out of all the available players, Antonio Smith of the Cardinals leaps to mind. I think we are fine at DT and Alphonso Boone can play LDE well enough to be serviceable. I doubt any of the stellar ends are going to fall to us at 34, so adding Smith and going the rest of the way with a beefed-up Glenn Dorsey is about our best bet. However, I will say this: if we do switch to a 3-4, Igor Olshansky should become a priority. Hell, he might even be worth picking up to play DT in a 4-3. I think he'll be one of the best value defensive linemen in FA this year, whatever position he is asked to play, and I think we should probably make a move for him. Plus it would give all the 3-4 advocates one more piece of the puzzle for a 2010 switch.
To sum up: I am advocating strongly to stay in the 4-3 this year. The character of the 4-3 will be different than the Edwards debacles. Switching from the Cover-2 shell to a zone-blitz, "joker" shell will improve us dramatically and fit the skill-sets of our players, (and potential players, who I believe should be: Vilma and/or Crowder, Curry, Olshansky and Antonio Smith). That's my wish list for the defense, and as this post has gone on inadvertently long, I'll save my offensive wish-list for another post.